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Old 03-03-2020, 07:32 AM   #41
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is that the only name for it "full" chassis? Or are there other names? Do they come with the least windows as five windows??? Are they more difficult to park because of length? Also I heard that maybe I cant register the bus as an rv if it's over 10,000 pounds so does that mean I just register it as a bus and get a cdl license? Or can I not convert it if I register it as a bus.. ?
larger it is the harder it is to park.
5 windows is as short as I've seen a fullsize school bus.

"fullsize" means its not a van. Just look at the front of the bus and ask yourself or someone else- "is this a van?"
I don't know about registration where you live. What's your location?

As to your question about hills- anywhere a school bus can go a school bus can go. I've seen them on virtually every kind of road conceivable.
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:39 AM   #42
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Van cutaway's are based on a one ton van chassis normally and tend to be geared to just like the van it would be if not cutaway to make a bus. So highway speeds for a van are easy.

Full size shorty buses do tend to be geared for a max of around 55-60, so a gear change is often needed if you want faster. There are exceptions, ECCB is one.

Full size are often built with heavier duty engine, tranmissions, chassis etc. So will hold up better
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Old 03-03-2020, 08:53 AM   #43
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I am in NJ but will move to CA... What's the difference between registering it as a bus vs a rv... are full buses harder to get up hill I'm guessing? I'm thinking about maybe just building the loft inside now...because people are saying insurance wont cover anything on the top... otherwise considering an rv.. so should I just keep the bus I have? It only has 34 thousand miles on it.. also is it hard to get a bus license if you've had speeding tickets or stuff like that? I'm guessing can still convert it with a cdl license..
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:21 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
I am in NJ but will move to CA... What's the difference between registering it as a bus vs a rv... are full buses harder to get up hill I'm guessing? I'm thinking about maybe just building the loft inside now...because people are saying insurance wont cover anything on the top... otherwise considering an rv.. so should I just keep the bus I have? It only has 34 thousand miles on it.. also is it hard to get a bus license if you've had speeding tickets or stuff like that? I'm guessing can still convert it with a cdl license..
In CA, your bus must be titled/registered as an RV or it will be subject to CARB compliance, which means if it's a 2003 or earlier the engine must be replaced with a 2010 engine or newer. There are also scheduled changes for newer models in upcoming years that will require swapping for even newer engines. Vehicles registered as RVs are exempt from this. (note: if your bus is a gasser rather than a diesel, this doesn't apply)

If you're dumping your current bus, maybe wait until you move to CA and buy a bus from the west coast. New Jersey is not a great state for bus-buying.
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Old 03-03-2020, 09:48 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
I am in NJ but will move to CA... What's the difference between registering it as a bus vs a rv... are full buses harder to get up hill I'm guessing? I'm thinking about maybe just building the loft inside now...because people are saying insurance wont cover anything on the top... otherwise considering an rv.. so should I just keep the bus I have? It only has 34 thousand miles on it.. also is it hard to get a bus license if you've had speeding tickets or stuff like that? I'm guessing can still convert it with a cdl license..
Thoroughly research the rules and regs of CA before committing to anything.
I'd keep the bus you have and re-evaluate your plans. 34k miles is amazingly low.
Have you researched the vermont registration method?
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:01 AM   #46
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In CA, your bus must be titled/registered as an RV or it will be subject to CARB compliance, which means if it's a 2003 or earlier the engine must be replaced with a 2010 engine or newer. There are also scheduled changes for newer models in upcoming years that will require swapping for even newer engines. Vehicles registered as RVs are exempt from this. (note: if your bus is a gasser rather than a diesel, this doesn't apply)

If you're dumping your current bus, maybe wait until you move to CA and buy a bus from the west coast. New Jersey is not a great state for bus-buying.
This is very good advice!
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:36 PM   #47
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What are the requirements to register a bus in ca as an rv? The bus I have is 2002 GMC with gas not diesel.. so what doesn't apply? I'm confused.. and i think I have to register it in New Jersey but ill drive it in California predominantly...


I'm having a hard time looking for buses that are "full"size and I definetely would like the smallest size available if I must go full size.... . Are most or all of them diesel engines on the full size??



I have no clue about Vermont registration but looking into it now... I'm contemplating just getting our money back and need to make a decision asap because I just dont know if this bus will work...

The insurance company here said we would register it as a bus for pleasure and he didnt see a problem with a loft on the top because it would be listed as renovated or somthing along those lines...
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Old 03-03-2020, 01:46 PM   #48
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Is the blue bus i posted a picture of with the finished loft a cutaway? Or a full?
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:05 PM   #49
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The bus I have is 2002 GMC with gas not diesel.. so what doesn't apply?
The stuff I was talking about with being CARB-compliant is only for buses with diesel engines. Since your bus is a gasser, forget everything I said.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:08 PM   #50
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If you can get your money back, definitely do it. It's not that your bus is bad, it's that it's better to buy a bus after you figure out what you're definitely looking for.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:22 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
What are the requirements to register a bus in ca as an rv? The bus I have is 2002 GMC with gas not diesel.. so what doesn't apply? I'm confused.. and i think I have to register it in New Jersey but ill drive it in California predominantly...


I'm having a hard time looking for buses that are "full"size and I definetely would like the smallest size available if I must go full size.... . Are most or all of them diesel engines on the full size??



I have no clue about Vermont registration but looking into it now... I'm contemplating just getting our money back and need to make a decision asap because I just dont know if this bus will work...

The insurance company here said we would register it as a bus for pleasure and he didnt see a problem with a loft on the top because it would be listed as renovated or somthing along those lines...
I am speaking for myself only but if I were in your position with this many unanswered questions and subjects I haven't researched I'd get my money back immediately.
1. As far as I'm aware, every vehicle made has a Chassis.
2. Gas mileage on an overloaded Gas engine is going to be atrocious, as in 5-6 MPG vs a diesel on the same chassis perhaps 8-9 mpg. This will add up quickly.
3. If you do not plan on doing your conversion, you should find the person(s) that will do your conversion and consult them about the size of the bus and your conversion wishlist, not buy a bus and try to make it conform to your dream.
4. The bus you have is 2002, so even though it only has 34k (which is really good) if it was driven all 34k in the winter on salted roads, you are still likely going to have rust issues.
5. A "bus" license as far as I know IS a CDL in every state, it may have different endorsements state to state but if you aren't registering it as a RV or something similar(also varies by name state to state) your insurance will be high and you will likely have to get a CDL. If you register as RV, you will likely be able to drive with your normal Drivers license and insurance will be more reasonable.

In summary, I'd get your money back ASAP then spend a lot of time reading the thousands of highly informative threads here about different types of buses, conversion styles, engines, air brakes vs hydraulic, roof raises, etc. You will be spending so much more money on the bus you currently have to Make it fit what you want vs finding a cheap bus that will suit you in the long term and then getting it to the point you want through conversion.

Also, and I'm not saying this to be rude or condescending but you need to do alot of research on everything automotive and then particularly School bus. Most people (again, not trying to be rude but you need to understand) learn what a "Chassis" is in middle school shop class or at the latest high school. If you don't have a basic knowledge of the fundamental workings of the vehicle you plan to live in, there is a fair chance you will be hurt severely or possibly die stranded somewhere(worst case). Think of your bus as your lifeboat out to sea, it will hold you, love you, provide for you so learn to understand and care for it!!

On a brighter note, I admire your "jump off the cliff" bravery in taking the first step and buying. Many people wait years or never do it. Good luck, hope this helps, and again, I'm trying to help you make a good decision, not trying to make you feel dumb or condescend.
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:27 PM   #52
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Are all full chassis busses diesel or no????? The bus I got was only 5.5 thousand after everything including some repairs , and with only 34 k miles and gas not diesel......
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:33 PM   #53
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Just a note that we've merged 3 threads on the same subject into one.....
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Old 03-03-2020, 02:47 PM   #54
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Are all full chassis busses diesel or no????? The bus I got was only 5.5 thousand after everything including some repairs , and with only 34 k miles and gas not diesel......
You will find a rare Gasser or Propane out there, but again, if I were you I'd Highly consider finding a way to get your mind in the "diesel" gear. They last a lot longer, MOST of the time way better gas mileage and there are a lot more mechanics that will know one of the Diesel engines.

If you can get your money back, I'd highly recommend doing it. For 5-6k you can get some really good buses that will make it easier to get your whole wishlist in. Having said that, if you have the money to be filling up a Gasser every few hundred miles and you can afford the insurance on a "bus" vs a "RV" then keep that bus, you probably won't find a better one for that price in the size you have and with that low of mileage.

Here's my rationale: You say you want Solar, a deck and a superstructure which just isn't going to fit on a bus that small. Your engine will work very hard with all the extra weight, will require more maintanence, get poor gas mileage, likely be top heavy and a rollover risk.
Let's say you return it and get a little bigger diesel bus. You will have more roof space for all the things you want. It will be more likely to get better gas mileage and it will definitely hold more items on the roof area. Also with a bigger bus, you may not need as much on the roof, say you could just put a deck and solar, then on your deck put a Jeep tent when you want to sleep outside. Since the bus is bigger, you can have a bedroom inside.

Also you haven't even considered where you will put all your systems. On that short bus you will be hard pressed to put Battery banks, Fresh water, gray water, propane, fridge, sink, toilet (shower if you want one) and sleeping quarters. A bus that is a little bigger will have the room for vital systems. Just another way to look at getting a different bus. Here is Chassis defined: "The rectangular, usually steel frame, supported on springs and attached to the axles, that holds the body and motor of an automotive vehicle." Your chassis is rated for a maximum capacity of weight, it should be on one of the tags by your front door. If your bus is rated for 20,000 pounds and the bus already weighs 18,000 pounds as is, that means you safely can add 2000 pounds, so if you can take a picture of your manufacturing tag and post it, people can help you decide how much weight your chassis is designed for.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:12 PM   #55
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I'm not sure how to post pictures here but it says
gvwr :10000
Gawr front:04100
Gawr rear:07500
Diesel is kinda worse for health tho.. I'm still very confused and dont like having to make this decision now
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:29 PM   #56
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I'm not sure how to post pictures here but it says
gvwr :10000
Gawr front:04100
Gawr rear:07500
Diesel is kinda worse for health tho.. I'm still very confused and dont like having to make this decision now
Just don't huff it and it won't hurt your health.
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Old 03-03-2020, 03:35 PM   #57
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I'm still very confused and dont like having to make this decision now
Get your money back and then revisit this once you've done some more research. I promise you, you will never regret getting your money back.
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Old 03-03-2020, 04:02 PM   #58
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So what does all that stuff mean is it over weight already?
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:27 PM   #59
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So what does all that stuff mean is it over weight already?
Now you need to find out what it weighs and subtract its current weight from it's GVWR of 10,000. I'm guessing you aren't going to have much to work with.

A full size chassis varies from 26,000 to 36,000 in some cases I believe so if you get a bigger bus you will be able to carry 1.5 to 2.5ish time the weight, very important with heavy batteries, 400 to 700 pounds of water, appliances, beds, people, etc.

My bus is 35 feet long with a GVWR of 33,000 pounds. I haven't weighed it with all the demolition done yet but I know I'll have plenty of leftover capacity. One of the bus godz on here can probably tell you very close to what your particular bus weighs, my diesel experience comes from the Marine side of things being Ex-Navy so i'm better with tonnage and displacement estimates.

Also, diesel and NOX are bad for you but would they really make diesel school buses in a way that would hurt the children? Answer being don't sniff the exhaust fumes, minimize contact with the fuel and you will be more than fine. There a literally MILLIONS of diesel engines in the world and if you follow proper procedure your at more risk of dying from second hand cigarette smoke.
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Old 03-03-2020, 05:38 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Calidoscopelove View Post
I'm not sure how to post pictures here but it says
gvwr :10000
Gawr front:04100
Gawr rear:07500
Diesel is kinda worse for health tho.. I'm still very confused and dont like having to make this decision now
GVWR = Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
GAWR = Gross Axle Weight Rating

So basically your front at 4100 is likely very close to it's max rating being it has the engine and tranny, plus all the metal from the chassis to carry. I'm guess you're gonna be between 1500 to 3000 total you can add, but likely much closer to the bottom number. GVWR of 10,000 is very low and it would be pretty ridiculous to try to bump that number up on your current bus. Not saying it isn't possible but I'd guess it would be price prohibitive but I'm not a bus god yet so I could be wrong.
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