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Old 08-30-2019, 11:08 PM   #1
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Hello from Arizona

Hey guys!

We just brought home our new 2009 Blue Bird. We are excited to get started on converting our bus into a weekend getaway(er). We've got 4 dogs and probably a cat that will tag along for our lake getaways.

First step up is flooring. We are in Arizona so we get pretty hot. Luckily we are at 5000 feet so not as hot as Phoenix but still.. We've heard that laminate buckles with the heat. Does anyone have any experience?

Looking forward to starting our adventures,

Chris, Breanna and our whole furry crew. (Big Henry, Leo Medio, Freddie, and Little Arthur. Oh yeah the cat too.. Pierre Jose)
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Old 08-31-2019, 12:15 AM   #2
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Do you have it registered in AZ? RV? What was involved in that process?
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Old 08-31-2019, 08:19 PM   #3
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We haven't gotten that far yet! We've literally just unbolted the seats, they are still in the bus until we have time to bring them to storage.

We are farmers so this is harvest time for us, it'll be awhile before we can get to renovations.

It will be registered as an RV in Arizona but we have to meet some requirements, I don't remember what they are at the moment but it is listed on the MVD website.
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Old 08-31-2019, 09:32 PM   #4
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I am also in AZ and would like to take on a project like this some day. I will check out the DMV website. thanks!
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Old 09-01-2019, 01:46 PM   #5
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Bienvinido!

We've done a lot of research (translation: no experience) on vinyl plank flooring. From what I've learned, SPC (stone-polymer composite) is the best subcategory for temp extremes and/or unconditioned spaces. Also, installation matters, subfloor prep is important and glue-down install might work better. Look at our profile and find our post history... I've got a vinyl plank thread with lots of good info & experience from others.

4 dogs & a cat, eh? Sounds familiar. We're at 5:1 at the moment. George, Lady, Chavo, El Hefe, Duke, & the cat, Texas Ranger (aka Tejas Komando).
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:11 PM   #6
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Bienvinido!

We've done a lot of research (translation: no experience) on vinyl plank flooring. From what I've learned, SPC (stone-polymer composite) is the best subcategory for temp extremes and/or unconditioned spaces. Also, installation matters, subfloor prep is important and glue-down install might work better. Look at our profile and find our post history... I've got a vinyl plank thread with lots of good info & experience from others.

4 dogs & a cat, eh? Sounds familiar. We're at 5:1 at the moment. George, Lady, Chavo, El Hefe, Duke, & the cat, Texas Ranger (aka Tejas Komando).

our cat population is quite a bit more diluted than yours - 50 - 1 dogs to cat ( not counting the 20 30 dogs here for boarding or behavior therapy )
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Old 09-01-2019, 02:47 PM   #7
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our cat population is quite a bit more diluted than yours - 50 - 1 dogs to cat ( not counting the 20 30 dogs here for boarding or behavior therapy )

That must be one tough cat!


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Old 09-01-2019, 03:08 PM   #8
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[QUOTE=TheHubbardBus;346272]That must be one tough cat!



my cat must be tougher than yours - mine is like Ali, not a mark on him - lol

cat is 'Milo', dog is Ebony, lab/rottie - Ebony ( 115 lbs ) came to me 9 1/2 years ago to get some behavior therapy - to this day, I've not seen a dog as vicious and dangerous as Ebony was - now, 9 1/2 years later, he is our #1 most trusted therapy dog helping other dogs get past behaviors that he once had - he no longer fights, but he's still tough and fit, and unafraid - Milo is doing his best to get a rise out of Ebony in this picture but not having much luck - lol
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:24 PM   #9
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A lab mix that's vicious isn't something you see every day (Chesapeakes, on the other hand...). The prior owner must have been a real piece of work. Good on you for turning that pup around

And yeah - that's not our cat - just a funny pic off the interwebz (though the coloration is the same). We found Texas Ranger abandoned @ ~ 2 weeks of age. He was raised a bottle baby amongst our pack. He's as much a dog as the rest.
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Old 09-01-2019, 04:29 PM   #10
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Greetings from Hotzona

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Originally Posted by Goingtothedogs View Post
We are farmers so this is harvest time for us, it'll be awhile before we can get to renovations.
(The other half of TheHubbardBus)
Mind if I ask what you're harvesting?
We're in AZ as well but we're in the hot part ;)

For DMV, make sure you have it emission tested first.. they required that for ours. We're currently registered as commercial with full insurance thru Progressive.

Nice to virtually meet you
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Old 09-02-2019, 10:54 AM   #11
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Interesting..... I registered my first bus in AZ when I moved there in 2001 and did not have to have an emissions test.

Come to think of it, I have not had to smog check a vehicle since 1994.

I wonder how common it is, across the country, to have to get an emissions check on a diesel bus/RV?
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Old 09-02-2019, 01:37 PM   #12
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Emissions

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Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
Interesting..... I registered my first bus in AZ when I moved there in 2001 and did not have to have an emissions test.

Come to think of it, I have not had to smog check a vehicle since 1994.

I wonder how common it is, across the country, to have to get an emissions check on a diesel bus/RV?
Maybe age of vehicle? ours is a 2003.. although the entire registration processes seemed to have them a bit perplexed.. so who knows.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Hope yours goes smoothly!
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Old 09-02-2019, 03:28 PM   #13
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Just looked it up. It's not statewide. Apparently emissions testing is only required for vehicles registered w/in the Phoenix or Tucson metro areas. I think (though I'm not sure) that Tucson might even differ in their diesel test requirements or procedures from us.
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Old 09-05-2019, 03:55 PM   #14
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Smile

I Bought my Bus from Arizona Mesa School district on Aug-07-2019 for 3,500 its a 1997 international thomas short bus drove the bus 7 hours that day to where I will be converting it. I can say the school district is the way to go they took such good care of my bus
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:36 AM   #15
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Just looked it up. It's not statewide. Apparently emissions testing is only required for vehicles registered w/in the Phoenix or Tucson metro areas. I think (though I'm not sure) that Tucson might even differ in their diesel test requirements or procedures from us.
That explains it. I was in Bullhead city.

Similar situation here in WA. When I lived on the West side, I didn't have to have emissions tests but folks that lived 10 miles down the road from me did.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:08 AM   #16
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Welcome fellow Arizonan. HOT? sitting at my keyboard it's 74 degrees, 62 at wake up. It was 94 yesterday though We are at 4000ft and have had a mild summer.. 95-101ish, 70 at night.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:07 PM   #17
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AZ Registration

WELCOME! I too am in Arizona, Scottsdale to be specific. I went through this process shortly after April of 2017, when I bought my 2001 AmTran 84 passenger bus and was invited by a friend to park my newly purchased bus in her gravel driveway (in north Phoenix). A month went by, and a trash-pickup driver spotted the bus, reported it, and I was given a warning about commercial vehicles parked in front of houses and was given 30 days to register the vehicle in Az or move it.

A few notes FWIW:
1. School Buses are categorized as a passenger transportation vehicle rather than a personal use vehicle and as such, considered a Commercial Vehicle until re-designated through the title/registration process.
2. The number of passengers a school bus can hold requires a commercial driver’s license, not just a standard operator’s license
3. Even a converted school bus is classified as a commercial vehicle if it has seats for more than 14 passengers. School bus seats are intended for maximum of 3 kids in each bench seat.

I have attached the PDF of the document I received. Item 15, on the second page is the key, as most of the rest is likely already on board. Be sure to check for a newer document! (not always available at the DMV)

I wanted to hedge my bets so I did the following:

First, I removed all the "School Bus stuff" from the exterior: stop signs, adhesive signage, etc. Then gave it a coat of some other color than yellow.

1. For Electricity, I hung a 4k generator in a door under the floor,
installed a 4 circuit electrical panel, and ran my electrical along
the walls, and chords down to the generator.
2. For Cooking I placed an Aroma AHP-312 Cast Iron/Die-Cast Metal
Electric Hot Plate, Black finish, $34.99 from Frys Electronics
3. For a Toilet I installed a Dometic Portable Toilet Bonus Pack, $89.99
from Bass Pro Shop.
4. For Heat I put a small oil filled radiator, and installed a 6K btu
window AC unit from Home depot, $169.00
5. For a Bed, I built a twin sized frame on board, and laid a 4" twin
foam mattress on it.

I have gone on to make some additional major mods (still ongoing) that are working toward full-Off-Grid capability. It is a labor of love that always has me thinking of "hmmm, what now?"
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File Type: pdf AzBusToRvRequirements09112019.pdf (1.12 MB, 4 views)
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Emidd27 View Post
Do you have it registered in AZ? RV? What was involved in that process?
We registered ours as an RV last January. Was easy process. There are several posts on here that have the policy from ADOT. We printed that and followed it. They had the same exact paper in their hand and read down it as they inspected. They were only interested in the modifications listed on the paper. Didn't care about color, lights, mechanical or any thing else. He did keep stressing that the mods had to "give the impression of permanent". Look at my build thread and u can see what I did and passed no problem.
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHubbardBus View Post
Just looked it up. It's not statewide. Apparently emissions testing is only required for vehicles registered w/in the Phoenix or Tucson metro areas. I think (though I'm not sure) that Tucson might even differ in their diesel test requirements or procedures from us.
Its location dependent. I'm in Tucson and I had to smog test. Pulled on and the let it idles for 60 seconds with a probe in it, took my money and was done. If I lived a half mile east I wouldn't have had to smog it. There's a map on the motor vehicles website.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:14 PM   #20
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AZ bus build

We are at 5600 ft altitude in a 1996 Bluebird AARE 40 ft. We put down 1” foam sheets on the floor followed by 3/4” plywood followed by composite flooring. We put 1” foam in the walls up to the window sills but ran out of time and energy to remove roof panels to insulate ceiling (wish we had) it gets real cold when the temps get below freezing. Been here three winters and plan on adding skirting to help keep things warmer during the winds. One thing that helps is reflectix or bubble wrap on the inside of the windows and blocking off the front drivers section and door from the living quarters. Good luck on your build. We used Henry’s Enviro-Whit to coat our roof which dropped the inside temperature 10 degrees. It’s been coated for 5 years and still working good.
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