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Old 11-30-2020, 09:46 PM   #1
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Using Bus as Home When Titled as Car

Hi all. Supposing I bought a Skoolie (already finished) that weighed less than what would require a CDL, did not have air brakes and titled it as a passenger vehicle. Then bought a piece of land where it is legal to sleep in your car and lived out of it to avoid the “living out of an RV laws” in some states. Has anyone done this or are there problems with this idea? Thanks.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:56 PM   #2
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Yes. Very few places in the US where the land use regulators would allow you to do so.

Most that might allow it temporarily, must have water / septic in place, and show steady progress toward a home being built to code.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:02 PM   #3
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Literally zero chance of a former bus being retitled as a car. It could be retitled as van or truck, but the GVWR remains the same, air brakes or not. If under 26,000, the best you could hope for would be to title and register as van or truck.
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Old 11-30-2020, 10:50 PM   #4
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Literally zero chance of a former bus being retitled as a car. It could be retitled as van or truck, but the GVWR remains the same, air brakes or not. If under 26,000, the best you could hope for would be to title and register as van or truck.
PA allows changes to be made to titles with a mail-in form, and apparently there is nothing in the PennDOT system that automatically flags a change from "BUS" to any other type of vehicle. A number of PA users on this forum have changed "BUS" to "MOTORHOME" in this way (bypassing the required inspection here for a modified vehicle), and I have read of people here retitling their buses as station wagons using this mail-in process. I think it's an oversight on PennDOT's part and it would only last until you happen to come to PennDOT's attention for any reason - like an accident or a citation. But it seems you can just do it here.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:30 PM   #5
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Chicken before the egg.... If you followed all the steps to legally create a working farm on A-1 zoned land, one could register any vehicle as ag use only. Then said vehicle would be required by law to be parked on said land unless transporting or selling crop, etc. Farm owned vehicles park on retail land to sell produce everyday.
So, are you building a goat shed, a watermelon hauler? Growing Christmas trees for retail sale and guarding the crop after harvest. All normal.
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Old 11-30-2020, 11:43 PM   #6
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https://www.skoolie.net/forums/membe...ture25103.html
This describes two vehicle classifications under the Florida statutes regarding farm vehicle registrations.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:18 AM   #7
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interesting about titling as a car.. I went to get the plates for my red bus a few weeks ago (ohio).. and the lady at the DMV asked (why is this a bus when it has only seating for 11?).. my reply was that it is an International and titled as a type BU.. then she looked at the weright class and saw it as 17,500 and asked if i took seats oiut? (nope its a shorty).. she then re-set the registration from commercial bus to 'Passenger VAN' and issued me new plates.. this goes back to what my original bluebird shorty LONG ago was registered as...



as for land.. I have been looking at land here in central ohio to put up a big pole building to use as my bus restoration and storage.. its really interesting to find how many plots of land require a residence be built or have permanent plumbing.. ie a septic system and well.. my original plan was to build my shop first and then some time down the road build a house.. and i didnt want a septic system / well as then id have to heat the place all the time to maintain the water.. im not sure what the aversion to non-residences is but it seems to be there.. are they afraid of people buying land and just using it to pile junk? arethey looking for the tax-$$ of having fully improved structures on site?
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:40 AM   #8
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It is all about the tax revenue on improved land. Empty lots around me are $600 a year in taxes. With a house starting at 2k and up. (One acre lots)
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Old 12-01-2020, 01:54 PM   #9
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As well as the neighbors not wanting usages that pull down the value of nearby properties.

You're not allowed to escape the rat race is the bottom line, requiring water & sewer facilities is just a means to that end.

If you want to live in a vehicle, generally you have to keep moving along.

If you want to settle down, you need a bougie S&B home.

Plenty of places you're not even allowed to **have** such a large vehicle, unless it's parked so as not to be visible from the road.

And you can only paint your home from an approved list of Pantone codes.
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:11 PM   #10
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As well as the neighbors not wanting usages that pull down the value of nearby properties.

You're not allowed to escape the rat race is the bottom line, requiring water & sewer facilities is just a means to that end.

If you want to live in a vehicle, generally you have to keep moving along.

If you want to settle down, you need a bougie S&B home.

Plenty of places you're not even allowed to **have** such a large vehicle, unless it's parked so as not to be visible from the road.

And you can only paint your home from an approved list of Pantone codes.



some of that is understandable in managed neighborhoods, suburbs etc where lots of houses close together.. but what surprises me are the requirements even when land is 'out' i mean some of the places i looked the nearest house was 1/4 mile or more away and would stay that way because my property would be a couple acres and yet the requirement to build more than just a pole barn or camper.. now granted the rules didnt state it had to be a bnrick house etc.. a manufactured (trailer) was permissable.. however couldnt be a travel trailer or motorhome unless being used for temporary housing while building a house.. most said 6 months with extension available to 12 months for building a home.. essentially allowing a person to build their own home.. a "farm building" without a residence was permissable but still most wanted septic and well installed..



again i understand it in a managed neighborhood or ewven a county setup where the lot sizes are smaller and houses closer together but way out surprised me. now if I wanted to go WAY OUT which driving an hour or 2 to get to my busses isnt something i wanted to do.. then I pretty much could do what i wanted.. I was looking at say 20-30 minutes out from the tip of the suburb I live in which im at the edge of the metro now.. when I drive 5 miles south or west im in the country..
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Old 12-01-2020, 03:05 PM   #11
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Even true out in lots of places where human settlement is very very sparse.

Even where the local community government is amenable often the state steps in to force them to require septic & water.

It may not seem fair or "make sense" to you, or from a social justice POV

but good luck raising it as a political issue

bougie lifestyle, oppressing the poor and maintaining property values are all pretty baked in to the politics and culture of Amerika

turns out "Freedumb" is only allowed within a narrow Overton window
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Old 12-01-2020, 04:33 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Even true out in lots of places where human settlement is very very sparse.

Even where the local community government is amenable often the state steps in to force them to require septic & water.

It may not seem fair or "make sense" to you, or from a social justice POV

but good luck raising it as a political issue

bougie lifestyle, oppressing the poor and maintaining property values are all pretty baked in to the politics and culture of Amerika

turns out "Freedumb" is only allowed within a narrow Overton window

ha! I wouldnt attempt to raise it as a political issue..



a friend of mine did make a good pooint though earlier whch is that the township or nearby city would be expected to provide emergency services to people on that land.. which is true if your half baked hippie tent caight fire and you dialed 911 they provide ambulance and fire service so wanting some tax revenue does make some sense..



nevertheless i'll still take it in the USA any day over the frozen tundra of the country up north.. nbot that ohio isnt also worthlessly dreary and frozen.. LOL
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Old 12-01-2020, 05:47 PM   #13
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I lived for a few years in a community in rainforest near the ocean in Australia

everyone just squatting, home made shelters

certainly no expectation of any town services

So many "rainbow people" ended up migrating in they took over the town council

now all huge, very upscale tourism, real estate / developers ended up making **a fortune**
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Old 12-01-2020, 06:01 PM   #14
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It is called zoning and without it you have hell.

Where can you legally live in a car? Allowing to sleep in one is not the same as living in it.
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:05 PM   #15
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It is called zoning and without it you have hell.

Where can you legally live in a car? Allowing to sleep in one is not the same as living in it.

apparentlyu around seattle and san francisco ..numerous news stories done on people who had good jobs but couldnt afford the cost of apartments in those cities (pre covid) and were living out of cars /using their employers Gyms to shower and freshen up in for work...
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Old 12-01-2020, 07:30 PM   #16
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Yes, those would would otherwise be homeless get cut a lot of slack - deservedly so in places where there hasn't been enough social/affordable housing for decades.

Doing so out of choice because you want to FIRE retire early, different but just a matter of degree.

But once you're a landowner (top X% of wealthy by definition) then expectations are completely different!
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:17 PM   #17
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With all of the obvious aforementioned truths, why would anyone expect to easily complete a build or live in a bus, without first owning land zoned to do so? Kinda defeats the spirit of why so many folks are here. A little navigation can go a long way.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:38 PM   #18
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I haven't been able to confirm this, but apparently in Pennsylvania you can purchase land (at least in some parts of the state) and camp on it (including camping in an RV parked on the property) for 180 days out of each year. So if you acquired two such properties, you could shuttle between them (plus a one week vacation).

I found an amazing piece of property last year in Easton. It was a 1500' x 30' strip of land between the river and a residential road, zoned to not allow buildings of any kind. There were a couple of spots that could have easily parked a 35' bus. I called around to find out whether it would in fact be legal to "camp" there part of the year, and also whether it would be possible to get electric and cable drops to the property despite the no building zoning. I wasn't able to find anybody with the city who had any idea about that.

I also found a neat property over in New Jersey that is basically a big sinkhole, not really usable for any purpose residential or commercial, but a very cool, secluded but not remote spot to park a bus on. Assuming the hole is done sinking, of course.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:03 PM   #19
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Rent the real estate, then hit the road
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:23 PM   #20
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For OP. One could go to a campground once a month, empty the black tank, get a receipt. Besides, exactly what department of government is actually tallying each citizens' daily sleeping habits to certify said 180th day? Probably best to testify to whats allowed and not admit to what's not.
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