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Post Info TOPIC: Registered OR unregistered


Newbie

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Registered OR unregistered


Hi everyone, my name is Kerry, I'm new here. I joined this group as I am going to be selling my home and buying a bus and converting it to a mortor home,  I'm a single mum and taking on this adventure with my nearly 17 year old twins. I know that I am going to need a little advice on long the way, there is a lot on YouTube about converting busses but majority of it is American, there is not a lot out there that is done in Australia. 

I am currently looking at busses and there is a couple that would be perfect for our project, one is registered and one is not, the one that is not is a lot cheaper which is a lot more inviting but I am concerned about what you have to go through to register a bus. the experience I've had taking cars over the pits to register them has not been a good one.

Has anyone out there been through this and willing to share your experience with me, I'd love to here from you.

Cheers Kerry



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KAParry


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Personally, I would not start with a bus at all. There are many compromises that make converting them a problematic task.
For instance, many are too low inside, the walls are curved (making interior fixtures much more complicated) the windows are the wrong type, the wrong height and size and in the wrong places, the door will almost certainly need to be change to be legal, the insulation is poor or non existent.
I built our own motorhome. It was a small bus when we purchased it. I removed the bus body and started afresh from the chassis and the result is much better, in my view.

To answer your question, unless you are very mechanically capable, buying an unregistered (no current roadworthy) vehicle will be a very serious risk. You may do all your dough!
Buyer beware.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 880W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
 

 



Guru

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Hi Kerry,
Welcome to the forum!

Look I know nothing about motorhomes but a work friend out west of us did a couple. I agree totally with Peter - the other major issue is insurance. I would suggest you go to a couple of insurance companies & tell them the story above & see what they say.

Just personally - if you take on this task, I think you should get a medal or award eg West Australian of the Year!

I trust these answers will not put you off pursuing your dreams but it's better to be safer than sorry further down the track. The members of the forum do offer good advice - often saving the questioner (including me) lots of earned or saved dollars.

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Hi Kerry

Do I understand correctly that your twins will accompany you and are almost 17 years old?

May I suggest you think very carefully about your planned change. At 17 young people are starting many changes of their own and I fear they may soon tire of such a way of life.

Also the process of converting a bus is a complex one requiring many manual skills - mechanic, electrician, carpenter etc

Additionally, sorry to be so negative but I feel it's the reality, if the bus/motorhome is your *home* and it suffers a mechanical breakdown then, abruptly, you are homeless until it's repaired - which could be weeks? Check a post, a few months ago, from a lady in Perth with a Fiat motorhome which had a problem. This is a major reason I have chosen a caravan for my travels.



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Chief one feather

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Welcome to the gang Kerry and the 17 year old twins,

Enjoy here and out in the playground.

I tend to agree with Peter. As a coach and bus driver from a previous life I often thought it would be great to get an oldish bus or coach and convert but then thought of the things Peter mentioned and got that idea out of my head. Just too difficult for this old chief, even back then.

If you and the twins have your hearts set on a big bus maybe look at ones that have already been set up to live or travel in, more than likely work out much better and I tell you that for free.



Keep Safe on the roads and out there.

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Guru

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Unless you have the skills and the considerable time and money and intend to do the conversion 100% yourself, DO NOT convert a bus.
Having someone do it for you will cost around $100 per hour. I spent 3,000 hours converting ours, plus $55,000 (not including the vehicle).
It will be a much better proposition to buy a commercially built motorhome, even if quite old, and spend a pile of money making it into what you want.

I do know a couple who lived in a large converted bus with 2 boys aged 16 and 18 years old. Both were studying at university on line while on the road, so it can be done, but their vehicle was a $300,000 purchase, second hand. They all lived in the vehicle, totally off grid, for 3 years before the boys went their own ways.
It was a great experience for them all.
Cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 880W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
 

 



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Personally I would go for the registered bus. There are too many hassles and expense trying to get an older vehicle roadworthy and legal for registration.



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Bryan



Senior Member

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Hi Kerry , go straight to the horse instead of on here,  BCM Bus Conversion Magazine , they have a forum specific for people who are doing it, have done it , or thinking about it . 



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Guru

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And a How To... Part 1 to 5.
www.freerangecamping.com.au/bus-conversion-part-1/

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Guru

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PeterInSa wrote:

And a How To... Part 1 to 5.
www.freerangecamping.com.au/bus-conversion-part-1/


 Great site

 



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Bryan



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I reckon register it early and keep it registered.
1- the gummint changes legisilation all the time, its never going to get easier or cheaper to register something as complex as a motorhome/ motor caravan, etc with regards to electrical, gas, plumbing regulations
2 you have the vehicle legally ready to go at all times, you can take a few days here and there in the bus as opposed to just looking at it miserably in the back yard
3- it will be easier to insure if registered
4- registration is now levied in part based on the vehicle value. If you buy it for $20k and improve its value to $120k then the gummint will take extra thousands to register it

the downside is registration cost each year

have fun!


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Guru

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Welcome Kerry and sons. There's much good help and advice to be gained in here, and whilst everyone is well meaning I do agree with mezza56 and PeterInSa in particular i.e. consult more focused sources re. bus conversions. Then you'll be in a more informed position to decide if that's the right direction vs. another vehicle type.



-- Edited by SouthernComfort on Sunday 26th of August 2018 08:37:16 AM



-- Edited by SouthernComfort on Sunday 26th of August 2018 08:38:20 AM

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Ge


Senior Member

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Bagmaker wrote:

I reckon register it early and keep it registered.
1- the gummint changes legisilation all the time, its never going to get easier or cheaper to register something as complex as a motorhome/ motor caravan, etc with regards to electrical, gas, plumbing regulations
2 you have the vehicle legally ready to go at all times, you can take a few days here and there in the bus as opposed to just looking at it miserably in the back yard
3- it will be easier to insure if registered
4- registration is now levied in part based on the vehicle value. If you buy it for $20k and improve its value to $120k then the gummint will take extra thousands to register it

the downside is registration cost each year

have fun!


 I don't think point 4 from above is correct not in W.A., Also just decking out a bus is not that simple. The bus to make it legal needs to be reg as a motor home, sure you can get an old bus deck it out,go on your merry way. When you just deck out a bus and off you go it could be illegal in the the eye's of the DMT. Insurance could be also void if a claim was made. As my son has a caravan repair shop in Midland W.A he could be of some small amount of info, i suggest you try Dove campers in Welshpool rd just next to Newtown Toyota they could be a great help.

Wish you all the luck.

Ge ( i have pm you)

 



-- Edited by Ge on Sunday 26th of August 2018 09:11:05 AM

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Veteran Member

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Hi kerry. I would recomend looking at a lot and driving them to make sure your comfortable with the size. If you can't buy the one that suits you and are going to do the fitout yourself. You will need an engineer thats recomended via the rego department. You maybe able to pass it as a panelvan after removing the seats you dont need. Cheers hope it all goes well for you Stuart

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Guru

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Kerry can not drive a bus with more than 12 seats (from memory) without a Light Rigid driver's license, at least, even to test it. Do you have such a license?
A converted bus/motorhome for 3 adults that is permanently on the road will also most likely be over 4.5T GVM, which will also require a LR driver's license, at least.
As soon as the seats are removed from a bus, it is necessary to change its registration catagory, but it can not be registered as a motorhome until it has food preparation and sleeping facilities installed. The registration cost of a motorhome is about half that of a bus (in SA).
cheers,
Peter

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 880W of solar, 400Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
 

 



Guru

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It depends how fast it is finished . If the project is over 3 years ? That is 3 years rego ? Mind you a vehicle should be road worthy anyway ! Yes much the same in NSW . Rego is way cheaper . What sort of bus . What licence etc ? I assume Coaster or Rosa ? Be aware of rust .

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Whats out there


Newbie

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Thank you to everyone for the info 



-- Edited by Scrappy on Monday 27th of August 2018 10:05:31 AM

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KAParry


Veteran Member

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Depending on what state you are in I would be very wary of buying buses or motor homes I have been told that South Australia has brought in new regulations on these and you could be up for quite a lot of money to comply with the new regulations. One other thing to take into consideration if you have a buss or motor home you have to take it with you every time you go anywhere But if you by a caravan you can simply leave it at the place you are staying instead on the hassle of taking it all with you when you go anywhere

 



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