OT - Bus Advice

Discussion in 'CF Archive Bin' started by justincl, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Anyone have any advice on a bus? I am looking at a late 90's Ford transit style bus with handicap ramp. Seats about 16 -20.(Think small Cy-Ride style bus) I can get it for less than $1000. It runs and is in decent mechanical shape. I am thinking about making it a tailgating bus. Do I need a special license to drive? What are typical registration fees for buses? Any advice on fixing up the inside or anything in general would be great thanks all!
     
  2. Incyte

    Incyte Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2007
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    So hurry up and bring your jukebox money?

    Sorry, couldn't resist. :wink0st:
     
  3. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Yeah, I guess I left myself wide open for that...
     
  4. clones_jer

    clones_jer Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2006
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    you'll need special licensing unless you register it as an RV (which is the only way to go)

    You'll need a few add-ons, I think they require like 5 things out of a list of 7 or 8 (secondary power source, portable toilet, water tank, etc) we were able to fix it up as required without too much effort and expense (minus the generator).
     
  5. isufbcurt

    isufbcurt Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2006
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    Registered RV is the way to go. I have a semi tractor with a conversion put on the back and I am registered as an RV so I don't need a CDL. Funny thing is that the truck part is 30' long and it gets hooked to a 34' trailer so it is actually longer than a semi, lol.

    It may be seen tailgating in mid October after my racing season is over. Only bad thing is its black, ick.
     
  6. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Thanks guys. I had heard the about converting to RV, but never heard what was necessary. I was thinking of doing that same thing with the generator, toilet, etc. I wanted to avoid having to get the CDL, and then being limited to only a few who could drive!

    Any other suggestions for rounding out the interior? I am thinking of removing the seat, putting in a toilet (as above), installing a couch or two, generator on the back, secondary AC/Heat so it can run without engine on. Possibly TV with antenna, but that may be a winter project.
     
  7. ornryactor

    ornryactor Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2006
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    Pics or it doesn't exist! :laugh8kb:

    But seriously, I am interested in what that thing looks like. I can't really imagine it.
     
  8. clones_jer

    clones_jer Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2006
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    I wouldn't worry about clearing room for the toilet - all we have is a portable one the size of a large shoebox with a crapper lid on it (as well as a piece of tape with the words "do not **** in this")

    we keep it under one of the seats - we've had the hwy patrol check us on our registration, so I know it works without being anything big.
     
  9. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    That's great. Where did you get the list of items you need to be considered an RV?
     
  10. clones_jer

    clones_jer Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2006
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    DOT, local office
     
  11. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Thanks clones_jer, I appreciate all of your help. I will get in touch with the DOT.
     
  12. clones_jer

    clones_jer Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2006
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    the trickier part may be insurance ... I know we had to shop around to a couple different places, I'm thinking Gieco worked, but one of the locals wouldn't insure buses (RV'd or not)
     
  13. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    Yeah I am getting that feeling too. I put a call into my Agent this morning, but he didn't seem too optimistic on writing a policy. I was just trying to get a feel for the premium, but he hasn't gotten back to me yet either.
     
  14. CyCloned

    CyCloned Well-Known Member

    Oct 18, 2006
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    Where did you find this bus? I have been looking for something for my bicycle club to take on RAGBRAI. I am assuming this is a commuter bus, the ones with a big square fiberglass body on a truck chassis. We have seen way too many old school buses dead on the side of the road to get into one of those.
     
  15. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    I actually drove by this guy's place where he apparently deals and swaps anything and everything. He bought it a year ago at one of DOT auctions in Ames. He said that nobody else was bidding on it so he bought it cheap. He replaced the starter and drove it home. He said it needs a basic tune up because it hasn't been used very much over the past year. So I figure I can do a lot of the basic mechanic work myself.

    Yes it is the fiberglass on a Ford straight truck type body. I haven't driven it myself yet, but will do so in the next day or two. I think it can get it pretty cheap.
     
  16. CYdTracked

    CYdTracked Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2006
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    I think you have to prove it seats 15 or less in order to register it as an RV. Also it can't have airbrakes else you'll have to get a special endorsement for that. I know when we were looking for an RV someone told me if we went the bus route you'd have to tear out the permanent seating so you didn't have to get a special liscense to drive it. We wound up buying a Class C motorhome so our drivers liscense covers that.
     
  17. clones_jer

    clones_jer Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2006
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    There is a set number of occupants for any RV - 23??? I'm not sure exactly but that sounds right.

    The DOT will claim an inspection will take place - but I have yet to hear of that actually happening on ours or the two others I know of. Ours was registered as an RV first ... then we actually made the improvements to get it there.
     
  18. isufbcurt

    isufbcurt Well-Known Member

    Apr 21, 2006
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    go here New Page 1 go down a little bit and u will see a pic.

    Also Travman23 mine has air brakes and is still a registered RV.
     
  19. justincl

    justincl Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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    We were planning on tearing out the seats so we should be OK. I just spoke to someone else who had their bus registered as an RV and said the process was not too bad.

    I think the DOT reserves the right to inspect any straight truck, which would probably for the bus frame, annually.
     
  20. CYdTracked

    CYdTracked Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2006
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    I don't claim to be an expert on this but I have talked with people that bought busses for tailgating and that's basically what they did to get it to classify as an RV is to tear out the seats. You can put couches and stuff in there and that is not considered permanent seating. Apparently as long as you take out enough of the bench seats so that the permanent seating is no more than 15 you are fine.

    And Curt, are you sure you are driving that legally with the air brakes? You just driving it with a regular driver's liscense or CDL or some other kind of endorsement? I'm pretty sure you have to have some form of license to drive a vehicle with air brakes. The Iowa DMV site sucks so I couldn't find anything other than this: Applying for a New Iowa Commercial Drivers License - DMV.ORG which mentions something about air brakes under the CDL page.
     

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