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Old 02-01-2020, 05:52 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
Hello from LA, CA

Hello to ALL. new register here. NO Bus No Clue NO Idea, yet. Had a crazy idea to convert a shuttle bus and use as a camper for travels loaded with ebikes and go go go. Did some searches for buses and POW!!! whole world of skoolies(didnt even know its was a word) and buses including the infamous FURTHER and ALL you wonderful people come pouring out of the 15" PC screen at work (how else you expect me to make it thru this life sucking.....). I poke around the skoolie forum and cant see any pics till i register......so........HELLO!!!!!! wonderful to meet you all, i hope its warm and pleasant where you are. my name is grez, Im here to leach great ideas and exploit endless conversations with newbies, like myself (asking which is the best bus, best engine, best toilet, best axle grease, best place to park and blah blah blah) all in the effort bypass the crap and get to the good stuff as fast as possible (grin). im in the LA area, originally from NYC, career aviation tech, but been working maintenance practically since 17yo after joining army. I look forward to contributing and drawing from this forum, cheers........TIA

grez
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Old 02-01-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Socal and Vegas
Posts: 160
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: fs65
Engine: 7.2 catapillar 3126
Rated Cap: 41 students
Welcome grez
I'm also new to the skoolie world. Just picked up my buses a few weeks ago and I'm in socal.

Maybe we can connect something soon
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:39 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
where'd u pick up the bus? Im in downey. where are you?
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:42 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: Socal and Vegas
Posts: 160
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: fs65
Engine: 7.2 catapillar 3126
Rated Cap: 41 students
Small world, I grew up in Downey. I'm around Long Beach and the bus is stored in Arcadia with some friends. Feel free to send me a private message with your phone number and I'll reach out
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:57 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
no kidding, small world. plz contact, im sure we will have a few things to talk about.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:00 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Montevallo, AL
Posts: 32
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: Intl S/1753
Engine: IDI 7.3L/AT545
Rated Cap: 65
Hey there!

I'm embarking on this journey about the same time you are - maybe we'll follow the same learning curve!
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:11 PM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,294
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Yeah, Downey! Home of The Blasters!

Lots of used bus resources available to you. CL has a few, 422 bus sales auctions buses for greater LA Student Transportation of America, Public Surplus
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:32 AM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome!

IMHO: You are in a great location for finding buses right now. With new CA emissions regs kicking in that are causing districts to either retrofit a new engine in their old buses or buy new buses.. There will be a lot of CA buses coming up for auction in the near future.

Keep your eye on www.publicsurplus.com and www.govdeals.com
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:35 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
danjo u in downey?

the furthest i have gotten is bouncing around auction sites and CL lookn for some sort of bus. literally i dont know what im doing yet. by trade im a mechanic, i have the hands. everything else is new territory.
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Old 02-02-2020, 10:44 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
steve been visiting govdeal, gsaaution, publicsurplus, CL and even ebay. mostly lookn. the scare for me is not knowing about proper driver lic, do i need some CDL, do i not? how do you get bus off lot, do i need it insured prior to removal. im really green here.......reeeally green
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:10 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by grezm0nkey View Post
steve been visiting govdeal, gsaaution, publicsurplus, CL and even ebay. mostly lookn. the scare for me is not knowing about proper driver lic, do i need some CDL, do i not? how do you get bus off lot, do i need it insured prior to removal. im really green here.......reeeally green
You will need to get the licensing requirements with California DMV or from folks here with first-hand experience in California. Don't take the word of some guy in Washington or Georgia

I can tell you that most, if not all, states require a CDL for anything equipped to seat 16 or more including the driver or has a GVRW of over 26k lbs.

Some here have removed seats before driving home.

Most of us take off or obscure all of the school bus markings and safety equipment and get insurance and a trip permit then drive it cautiously home.

A tip for insurance, many insurance companies give you 7-15 days automatic coverage on vehicles that you purchase. Check with your agent and see if you have that coverage. Also, don't lie to your agent. Nor should you offer any information that they don't ask for.

I have emailed my agent something to the effect of:"I just bought a used vehicle VIN#1ABCDEF12345 and want to confirm that I have coverage on my auto policy for two weeks to get it home?".

She responded "Yes you are covered"

I print out the email conversation and carry that with my insurance card from my truck and the purchase paper work.

Good luck.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:14 AM   #12
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I just asked my agent, who has been licensed in California, and she told me that the company she worked for offered the same temporary coverage when she was working there.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:47 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
TYVM for that steve.

also been reading getting it registered is another task. getting it changed from commercial to private. idk, just getting bits and pieces as i read and swim thru the sea of skoolie world.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:06 PM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,294
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by grezm0nkey View Post
danjo u in downey?

the furthest i have gotten is bouncing around auction sites and CL lookn for some sort of bus. literally i dont know what im doing yet. by trade im a mechanic, i have the hands. everything else is new territory.
Not in Downey. Just like the band.
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Old 02-02-2020, 02:16 PM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 1,294
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Quote:
Originally Posted by grezm0nkey View Post
TYVM for that steve.

also been reading getting it registered is another task. getting it changed from commercial to private. idk, just getting bits and pieces as i read and swim thru the sea of skoolie world.
A class C license is good up to 26,000 GVWR. Most 7 window buses are 25,500, so if you stick to the midsize bus (hard to find) you won’t need to worry about getting a non-commercial class B, AKA 45 foot house car license.

There’s an RV loophole in the CARB rules that allow for registration of a diesel vehicle that has a Motor Home title, so you need to convert it and change the title in order to register it. You’ll want to call CARB diesel hotline to make absolutely sure you get the details right.

If you get a cutaway short bus that is below 14001 GVWR, you can skip all the BS. You can drive with a. Class C, CARB doesn’t care.

National General Insurance would be my first call for insurance.
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:11 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
ty ty ty

mid size Im guessing is 25' and under? ballpark?

if u had to name one midsize bus what would it be?....i need a direction to start in

grez
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:11 PM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
You could take advantage of the Vermont registration you can get it titled as an RV without inspection. Then take the "transferable registration" showing it as an RV to California DMV.

Beware, if you take that route you will be bending the rules significantly.

I have titled and registered three buses as RVs before they were 100% complete.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:05 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 20
Im definitely gonna have to sift thru all the legal stuff and digest it all. in time, in time.

i wouldnt know the first thing about using vermont idea. if im gonna go thru with refit on bus. im assuming it shouldnt be too bad to have registration changed to reflect....i hope. plus its all legit in the end.
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Old 02-02-2020, 05:13 PM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,306
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by grezm0nkey View Post
Im definitely gonna have to sift thru all the legal stuff and digest it all. in time, in time.

i wouldnt know the first thing about using vermont idea. if im gonna go thru with refit on bus. im assuming it shouldnt be too bad to have registration changed to reflect....i hope. plus its all legit in the end.
There is a thread on here that lays out the how to in good detail. It is quite simple.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:46 AM   #20
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 1,343
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
I was insured by LibMu for years...…..

ME: I will be buying a small school bus to convert to a camper. Will you cover it?
LibMu: Yes, no problem, give me the VIN than you can just go pick it up.

Me after driving the bus home 75 miles: OK I bought the bus, let's write a policy.
LibMu: We don't insure school buses, ever.
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