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Old 12-08-2017, 08:35 PM   #1
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Swede in California - 1987 Crown

Hey everyone. I am now less than 7 days of picking up my School Bus. It feels surreal that it is finally happening.

My name is Cristopher and I am Swedish, but lived in the US for the past 16 years. I bought a 1987 Crown Supercoach and could not be more excited.

I have (semi) unusual plans for my bus and I will have lots of questions as the journey progresses.

I am located in Los Angeles, but picking up the bus in NorCal. How many skoolies are up there?

Cheers!
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:27 PM   #2
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Hey everyone. I am now less than 7 days of picking up my School Bus. It feels surreal that it is finally happening.

My name is Cristopher and I am Swedish, but lived in the US for the past 16 years. I bought a 1987 Crown Supercoach and could not be more excited.

I have unusual plans for my bus and I will have lots of questions as the journey progresses.

I am located in Los Angeles, but picking up the bus in NorCal. How many skoolies are up there?

Cheers!
Where in NorCal? There's 3 of us in Vacaville that I know of.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:34 PM   #3
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Where in NorCal? There's 3 of us in Vacaville that I know of.
I believe it is called Woodland. Right outside Sac. If anyone has any tips on driving the bus from there to LA legally please let me know. Not sure I am allowed to drive it without a class B license even though it is registered as an "auto" with the DMV. If anyone knows I would love some insight.

thanks!
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:47 PM   #4
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How daring are you?

We have this theory that yellow buses are basically invisible to law enforcement. Nobody looks twice at a yellow school bus, unless you drive funny.

For example, I bought a temp tag but have these deep dark tinted windows and you honestly could not see the tag through the window. I drove around for weeks with no plates and never got stopped, because it was still yellow.
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Old 12-08-2017, 09:49 PM   #5
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How daring are you?

We have this theory that yellow buses are basically invisible to law enforcement. Nobody looks twice at a yellow school bus, unless you drive funny.

For example, I bought a temp tag but have these deep dark tinted windows and you honestly could not see the tag through the window. I drove around for weeks with no plates and never got stopped, because it was still yellow.
I don't mind living on the edge, if one can call it that, but I also would like to sleep in my own bed at night. Heard horror stories.

My plan was to pickup the bus in Sacramento, then drive it down HWY 1 (if it is re-open) for most invisibility plus some great views. But not sure what options I have which is why I hope someone can shed some light on the question.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:29 PM   #6
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Oh, you did specify "legally." Hmm, that does make it more complicated. "Legally" would include a temp tag and insurance apparently, if you're going to be a stickler about it.

I'm not understanding the problem. You get the VIN, year, make and model then go to get insurance. When you get the paperwork at pickup you go to the dmv and they hook you up for a few coins.

The police wouldn't take you to jail. They'd give you several rather large violation tickets and a court date, unless you're hauling something illegal in there. Then you'd go to jail. But let's assume you're not carrying anything illegal in there, for now.

If you can get the vin #, make, model and year, you should able to get insurance, possibly through your current insurer. It would be good to have proof of insurance to present to the dmv, but that's a personal choice.

I know CA doesn't like older diesels, so apparently the excepted those somewhat antique vehicles. I don't know how that works there. CA is so much stricter than OR on emissions.

You're going to drive it back yourself, aren't you? By the way, nice choice for a bus.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:32 PM   #7
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Oh, you did specify "legally." Hmm, that does make it more complicated. "Legally" would include a temp tag and insurance apparently, if you're going to be a stickler about it.

I'm not understanding the problem. You get the VIN, year, make and model then go to get insurance. When you get the paperwork at pickup you go to the dmv and they hook you up for a few coins.

The police wouldn't take you to jail. They'd give you several rather large violation tickets and a court date, unless you're hauling something illegal in there. Then you'd go to jail. But let's assume you're not carrying anything illegal in there, for now.

If you can get the vin #, make, model and year, you should able to get insurance, possibly through your current insurer. It would be good to have proof of insurance to present to the dmv, but that's a personal choice.

I know CA doesn't like older diesels, so apparently the excepted those somewhat antique vehicles. I don't know how that works there. CA is so much stricter than OR on emissions.

You're going to drive it back yourself, aren't you? By the way, nice choice for a bus.
I should have been more specific. My bad. Its registered in my name already. Temp tags acquired. Insurance sorted early next week. So the bus would be legal in CA. I just heard that one needs a Class B license to drive it home...? Its registered as an auto with the DMV btw.
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Old 12-08-2017, 10:39 PM   #8
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I should have been more specific. My bad. Its registered in my name already. Temp tags acquired. Insurance sorted early next week. So the bus would be legal in CA. I just heard that one needs a Class B license to drive it home...? Its registered as an auto with the DMV btw.
You follow the rules of the state that issued your license. If they say Class B, then Class B it is.

Then you are legal in all 50 states.
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:19 PM   #9
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Generally speaking if the vehicle isn't being used for commercial purposes a class "B" license isn't required. I can't speak for your state rules.

Past discussions have shown that you can not enter or exit Canada border crossings without an air brake endorsement on your license, which for most of us means a class "B" license. How hard can it be?
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Old 12-08-2017, 11:51 PM   #10
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Generally speaking if the vehicle isn't being used for commercial purposes a class "B" license isn't required. I can't speak for your state rules.

Past discussions have shown that you can not enter or exit Canada border crossings without an air brake endorsement on your license, which for most of us means a class "B" license. How hard can it be?
You are confusing it with a CDL - Class B.

Some states don't allow their regular license holders to drive heavy vehicles without additional testing.

They add a non-commercial Class A or B to your current license.

Yet others demand an Air-Brake endorsement.

Not all Canadian Provinces require an Air Brake endorsement, and they all recognize a US License. So you should be able to take your Air braked RV to Canada with no questions asked.

The difficulty for motorists is that if a state doesn't demand an endorsement, there is no facility to add one which would leave half of America banned from touring Canada

Last time I went to Canada on my motorcycle (July), they didn't ask to see my license at all, let alone check for an "M" endorsement
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:10 AM   #11
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I can tell you that the DMV book & the CHP Officer that signed my paperwork says as far as RV's are concerned "Under 40ft Class C license ok, 40ft & over class B ENDORSEMENT required which is NOT a Class B license. It doesn't say anything about airbrakes. My 38ft
Crown has airbrakes but according to the DMV pamphlet & the officer I'm ok with just my class C.

2nd, I find I get a lot more done when I ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:04 PM   #12
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I can tell you that the DMV book & the CHP Officer that signed my paperwork says as far as RV's are concerned "Under 40ft Class C license ok, 40ft & over class B ENDORSEMENT required which is NOT a Class B license. It doesn't say anything about airbrakes. My 38ft
Crown has airbrakes but according to the DMV pamphlet & the officer I'm ok with just my class C.

2nd, I find I get a lot more done when I ask for forgiveness instead of permission.
We basically have the same bus minus 3 feet of luscious space. According to you I should be totally fine then driving my bus home next friday? Operating air brakes are no issues on my end, I was just very unclear what the law said as I read that class B is over 40ft but not over 45ft which I clearly am not.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:12 PM   #13
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We basically have the same bus minus 3 feet of luscious space. According to you I should be totally fine then driving my bus home next friday? Operating air brakes are no issues on my end, I was just very unclear what the law said as I read that class B is over 40ft but not over 45ft which I clearly am not.
Thats not quite what I said,, What I wrote was for RV's/Motorhome's, You wrote earlier that your is registered as a" AUTO". If thats the case I personally would drive it but thats me,
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:15 PM   #14
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Thats not quite what I said,, What I wrote was for RV's/Motorhome's, You wrote earlier that your is registered as a" AUTO". If thats the case I personally would drive it but thats me,
Ah. I need to register it as an RV (house car) first. Got it. Crystal clear now
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:54 PM   #15
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Yup, you got it. Find a licensed vehicle vin verifying outfit to sign off your bus as a housecar or motorhome and take the paperwork to the Ca DMV and ASK--don't start paperwork until you know the expected result! If you don't get the answer you want, go to another office and repeat until you hear what you want to hear. If you can avoid presenting your vehicle to the DMV and remember to call your bus a motorhome not a bus. Jack
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:04 PM   #16
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Hello from Riverside, CA

Great thread on licensing! Thanks
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:38 PM   #17
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My plan was to pickup the bus in Sacramento, then drive it down HWY 1 (if it is re-open) for most invisibility plus some great views.
I don't know if the bridge(s) have been rebuilt yet on Highway 1. Yes, it's a gorgeous road, but maybe not if driving a new-to-you bus around its tight curves and gradients. I would definitely think hard about driving any bus there at the best of times. And as for staying invisible, I've never seen a yellow school bus there, so it would definitely attract some attention! Just go down 101 if you can deal with San Francisco city traffic at its north end, or 580 and 5 if you want a direct but boring route south. The latter however will require going over the Altamont and Grapevine passes, so make sure your cooling system is in good condition, and know how to safely descend the Grapevine's long 5% southbound grade if you don't have Jake brakes (trucks end up in the runaway ramps there all the time).

My bus is still registered as an Auto, which strictly speaking requires a non-commercial Class B license because its GVWR is over 26,000 lbs. When you have a Housecar, or whatever California now calls motorhomes and RVs, you are exempt from needing a Class B unless it is over 40 feet long. (Apart from the Ikarus bendy-Crowns and a few home-made articulated Crowns, no normal Crowns are over 40 feet long.) Just drive it sensibly, don't speed, don't make smoke from the exhaust, act like a real school bus driver, always use your turn signals, and stop with your 4-ways on at every railroad crossing (even though as a private bus you don't need to), then you'll be fine. And if you're stopped, just claim diplomatic immunity!

Good luck, John
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:02 AM   #18
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im not sure about california.. but i can say that yellow busses just seem to blend away.. i drove a few thousand miles on mine with full aschool markings on it. and the only notice i got was getting waved to by the real school busses... from texas to Florida then florida to ohio no issues..

-Christopher
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Old 12-16-2017, 10:43 AM   #19
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That's another thing I've noticed since I painted my bus. The other (real) school bus driver's don't wave anymore.
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Old 12-16-2017, 12:44 PM   #20
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Sorry, I told you wrong about taking the 5 south. Obviously if you're coming from Sacramento you won't be going on the 580 at all, unless you want to detour via Oakland / San Francisco. The 5 is quickest, but there's slightly more to see on the 99.

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