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1973 Blue Bird Conversion Bryan 2-15-05  
Hey, I live in the state of TN, and I was wondering do I have to have a CDL to drive my RV? It is a 1973 Blue Bird Bus that has been converted into a RV, and it has a sink, stove, couches, beds, etc. Let me know what you guys think!
Re: 1973 Blue Bird Conversion Phil Feinstein 2-16-05  
You don't need a CDL as long as the bus is not being used commercially (hauling passengers for hire like a taxi)

If you don't have commercial plates and you are using the bus for your own pleasure a regular DL is OK. TN may have an endorsement or test for a class "A" RV, but you can make a pretty good argument for your bus being a class "B" (Conversion within the original body structure, length less than 39.5 feet). In either case, the DMV can tell you whether you need an RV endorsement or if you current license is good for an RV or "Recreational truck"
Re: 1973 Blue Bird Conversion Jim 3-17-05  
I'm pondering a fully converted 1970 Bluebird All American 34ft "flatnose" skoolie.

It has a Cummins diesel V8, 504ci with a Spicer 5sp tranny and two-speed rear axle. Current tanks are 40gal freshwater, dual 80 waste, 35gal gasoline feeding an Olin 4kw genset, 60gal diesel. The VERY complete interior is at "near Wanderlodge spec".

With all tanks full except the waste, the bus currently weighs just under 23,000lb, with about 11,500 of that on the front axle.

That puts it well under the 26,000lb limit for a California standard car license.

CAVEATS: if your Bluebird has an automatic tranny, figure that weighs a bit more. I seem to recall that the Cat 3208 motor weighs slightly more than the otherwise pretty similar Cummins; both of those should weigh more than a gas engine (534 Ford industrial or whatever). You might have a 35ft versus a 34? You might also have bigger tanks of one sort or another - I know water weights 8.3lbs to the gallon, dunno what gasoline or diesel weighs.

I also don't know how common a 26k weight limit is for other states...California broadly ignores the weight limit for motorhome conversions but just one bad accident anywhere in the US where the driver of an MCI-7 or whatever at 38,000lbs is at fault and has a standard license could change that in a hurry.
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