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Old 08-24-2022, 01:56 PM   #1
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Looking into doing a skoolie

I am looking into buying my own school bus and transform it in to a home to travel. I have a build out plan that will have a a nice size entertainment area for when guests comes over.


A little about me I am a graphic and web design that owns my own design company. I started doing graphic design band when I started online gaming play Socom. I love doing graphic design and it relaxes me. Im going to paint my logo and contact info on the sides of the bus to get more clients.

Looking for help to getting it start. I love working with my hands and building things.

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Old 08-24-2022, 03:41 PM   #2
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welcome.
what style of bus are you looking for?
research and ask questions about using your bus for business advertisement and for work?
that could be a gray area because once you start using it for a money gain it could require you to need a CDL. thats more what the CDL is about and not the airbrakes and other things.
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Old 08-25-2022, 10:33 AM   #3
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A company logo on the side of a vehicle in my state gets you a visit with a DOT official whenever they see you on the road. Company logo requires at least a chauffeurs license for non-air brake, under 26k GVW vehicle. If GVW above 26K. Its CDL with log book or E-log if the vehicle is new enough.

You need to check your state laws to find what goes on there.
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Old 08-25-2022, 05:18 PM   #4
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As someone who operates a commerical fleet (and crosses state lines so we not only have state ruels but also federal fmcsa rules to abide to) the regulations and insurance requirements get really tricky fast if you're using that bus for commerical purposes! Even if you comply to the letter of the law and are non-commerical, the advertising will get you a lot of attention from commerical motor vehicle enforcement officers in every state you drive through. You'll likely get pulled over for random roadside inspections (commerical vehicles require no probable cause, they can be stopped at anytime for no reason at all to conduct an inspection) or bypassing scales and will spend a lot of time explaining to officers who don't have the fmcsa regs memorized how you are legal with a personal insurance policy, no USDOT number, and no $1.5 million insurance policy coverage.

You do you, but I would find other ways to advertise.
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Old 08-27-2022, 04:11 PM   #5
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Don't be scared off. Having a logo or advertising for your graphic design company on your bus does not make your bus "commercial". Are you transporting people or property in commerce?

No you are not. Your bus is not commercial. Whether or not your state requires a CDL for a large bus, you'll have to check. I think there are 2 states that do not have large vehicle non-cdl licenses, and in those states a CDL may be required. For the rest of us, there is usually some other class of non-commercial license that is required to operate a vehicle over 26,000# gvwr, or one with air brakes, or some other stipulation.
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Old 08-28-2022, 08:45 AM   #6
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The points detailed above regarding commercial vehicles are valid , but not likely.

"NOT FOR HIRE" listed on the side should suffice and if you own a web dev company and not a "transportation" company I don't see a problem.

But as stated above you COULD run into a jerk DOT officer who COULD harass you if they wanted to but its not likely.

New to the forum, I ran a tour bus company in Salt Lake City, mostly taking Chinese tourists into Yellowstone, Vegas, west coast mostly.

Also CDL driver for the last 20 years.

Anything is possible with the DOT though.
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Old 08-29-2022, 05:40 PM   #7
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It will be me and my kids and dog live in in the bus. Having a little office where i will do all my graphic and web design..

Just having my logo, business name and website..

no a commercial vehicle cause i not using the vehicle for making money.. it be be like have a car like a nissan sentra and put your logo and business on it for you business advertisements
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Old 08-29-2022, 06:11 PM   #8
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I agree with some of the others here, and would advise against permanently affixing your logo and stuff to the side--these cops are getting crazy these days, and it's better to avoid if it all possible.

I would certainly get some "NOT FOR HIRE" something and attach to the outside of the vehicle.

You could always use a magnet logo for your company design, but maybe larger since skoolie, and attach it once you arrive wherever.

You can always put the rest of your graphic design skills to work on the rest of the bus.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:14 PM   #9
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I'm having a hard time believing this to be a problem some are making it out to be here. I know y'all are more experienced in this matter than I am, but do you have any real world examples of someone facing such consequences for simply using their vehicle as a rolling Billboard? There are countless vehicles on the highway with full vinyl wraps... A/C repair, plumbers, pizza delivery, exterminators, maid services, realtors, restaurants... The list is endless. Are y'all suggesting they're constantly being harassed, subject to random inspections, and all that jazz for non-transportation related commercial activity? I'm sure not seeing anything like that here, and would be amazed if I did.
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Old 08-29-2022, 08:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
I'm having a hard time believing this to be a problem some are making it out to be here. I know y'all are more experienced in this matter than I am, but do you have any real world examples of someone facing such consequences for simply using their vehicle as a rolling Billboard? There are countless vehicles on the highway with full vinyl wraps... A/C repair, plumbers, pizza delivery, exterminators, maid services, realtors, restaurants... The list is endless. Are y'all suggesting they're constantly being harassed, subject to random inspections, and all that jazz for non-transportation related commercial activity? I'm sure not seeing anything like that here, and would be amazed if I did.
It can be an issue but its not likely. The DOT at the port of entry can be a pain sometimes.

But ifs its obviously a RV conversion I doubt you would have any issue.

When I ran the tour bus company most ports don't want any bus with passengers in their port. full stop.
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Old 08-30-2022, 09:59 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
I'm having a hard time believing this to be a problem some are making it out to be here. I know y'all are more experienced in this matter than I am, but do you have any real world examples of someone facing such consequences for simply using their vehicle as a rolling Billboard? There are countless vehicles on the highway with full vinyl wraps... A/C repair, plumbers, pizza delivery, exterminators, maid services, realtors, restaurants... The list is endless. Are y'all suggesting they're constantly being harassed, subject to random inspections, and all that jazz for non-transportation related commercial activity? I'm sure not seeing anything like that here, and would be amazed if I did.
Most of those are pickups, vans, etc well under 26,000 lbs. Once a commercial vehicle goes over that weight the rules change drastically (CDL requirements are just the beginning).

So, generally, DOT officers aren't going to give a plumbers van a second look because they're looking for big rigs. The issue with buses partially is the party bus industry has a very bad rap for noncompliance. Not to mention companies that buy an old bus to move employees around (I see this quite a bit in the construction industry). So officers in almost every state keep a closer eye on anything that resembles a bus. Most skoolies are pretty obviously rv conversions. Logos (even for something that doesn't scream passenger transportation service like graphic design) are going to draw their attention though... it's simply not as obvious the vehicle isn't commercial. "Not for hire" lettering where a cmv would normally display a USDOT and/or MC number likely won't get seen by a trooper until after he has you stopped. Actually, that could garner additional attention anyway as a trooper passing you at 60mph may see lettering there, can't read it, and think that's your dot number.

That's not to say that someone like OP using their bus as a private vehicle with advertising, appropriately registered and insured, isn't legal and wouldn't win an argument with a trooper, or worst case a judge. It's just he's probably going to get that additional scrutiny (and mostly the inconvenience of being stopped) that I would argue isn't worth it. Plus everytime a trooper has you stopped is just more time for them to see probable cause to look deeper into something else...

All of this is, of course, just my opinion.
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Old 08-30-2022, 11:51 PM   #12
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We have a Freightliner FL60 ambulance conversion...in fact, it was my first conversion and what got me started in that (after taking it to events and even into the Austin Palmer Center convention hall several times, where lots of folks inquired about having us do that for them). It got lots of attention because it's got a 14-foot FBOMB logo on one side and other business graphics on the other.

I've had this rig all over the USA since 2015 and have even used it to tow buses back to AZ from as far as SC. And I only once pulled into a weigh station/port of entry...which was in Utah during our first trip, so I didn't know the rules. The staff said they didn't even "know what to do with us" and sent us on our way with a smile. Since 2015, I've never taken it into a weigh station, never been stopped, and have had nary a glance.

We do have "Private RV" in 2-inch letters on both sides, but I don't think an officer has ever been curious enough to even look that closely.
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Old 08-31-2022, 09:44 AM   #13
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I was thinking, maybe the op could start a fb or Instagram or some other sm site for their company and get a few custom "follow me on" stickers. I see those on almost every bus. While these stickers are not a beautiful graphic display the op originally intended it could get the job done. Then let your portfolio do the talking.

I too want to run a design firm from my bus while I travel. While I don't see it any different from any other remote work I did not think of what it would mean to put a business logo on the side of my bus. This thread has given me pause to that idea.

Maybe since my design firm will be designing food gardens and growing spaces Maybe I'll paint my bus to look like a food jungle and leave Easter eggs of info leading them to my website... lol

Then again that's not easy for the passerby to catch either thus making it an ineffective marketing strategy... unless the bus was parked like at a festival or something.

Hmmmmmmm. What to do...
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Old 08-31-2022, 03:57 PM   #14
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First and Number One:
* scribble your RequirementsStatement.
.
This includes the type of use -- full-time live-aboard, weekends a couple times annually, festival followers.
.
This includes the amount of on-grid staying in resorts, boondocking off-grid.
.
Expected souls aboard.
.
And a realistic assessment of your mechanical skills.
.
For example:
2003, my Very Significant Other got sick.
We immediately scribbled our RequirementsStatement on a brown paper grocery-bag.
As we wrote and refined and eliminated, our choice was obvious.
That morning, we acquired a 1996 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to convert to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
.
Within a week -- while selling everything -- we completed our conversion and hit the road.
Nearly two decades full-time live-aboard.
.
How did we decide?
Our experience included a half-century of make-do camping in lesser rigs, plus a year and a hundred thousand miles delivering RecreateVehicles manufacturer-to-dealer and dealer-to-shows.
For our purpose, a factory RecreateVehicle would crumble to dust the first mile on the rough rustic rural tracks we prefer.
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Are you anticipating a mobile office?
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Old 08-31-2022, 04:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger bus 223 View Post
...research...about using your bus for business advertisement and for work...
.
I read Solo wants to 'transform it to a home'.
I think a home with some design equipment under the counter or tucked away in a closet is a home.
I think a bus converted to a home can carry hush-hush peripherals such as hair-styling, tuna shaving, or free-range basil sprouts to offer commercially.
I think a home can be anything you want... anything are willing to defend with an explanation and a tour.
.
For example:
I think a decal for your YouTube channel with a craftily-designed logo deserves admiration and applause.
Some YouTubers are quiet, others are blatantly blatant with their decals.
.
For example:
YouTuber 'down2mob' gives away palm-size decals to promote his channel, and the dang things are all over the place.
Every camper (aka over-lander') has one of his among dozens of others.
In other words:
* I think your plan is doable.
.
And 'no', a bus registered as a RecreateVehicle would not require a commercial operator.
Fact is, if you want to raise the ire of the weigh-station and entry-port bureaucrats, by-pass the 'NO RECREATEVEHICLES!' sign... drive through with the commercial operators to get an idea of their opinion of opinions on some WorldWideWeb forum

However, if your RecreateVehicle has rows of bus seats capable of transporting students or illegals...
.
.
PS:
We been through this once or twice.
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