How To Register An Old School Bus & Get RV Insurance In Ontario Canada
Nolan Reid dove through the Service Ontario hoops, leaped over the Insurance hurdles, and achieved something that so many people from Ontario have simply deemed impossible. He got RV Insurance on his old school bus AND to top it off, he got his bus titled as an RV with a simple yet temporary setup.
If you’ve been calling around, and banging your head against the wall trying to figure this out… You’re definitely going to want to read Nolan’s story.
Learn how to get your school bus titled as a motorhome in the province of Ontario, with a temporary setup.
With all of our research, and talking with others who have obtained RV insurance for their skoolies, plus a motorhome title… We’ve learned that each country, province, and state does it a little differently.
The nice thing to know is that once you start to know the language behind the mysterious registration & insurance curtain, you can start to ask your local authorities the right questions.
We have heard of way too many people giving up on their tiny home on wheels dream because the initial set up of RV insurance and titling are too darn difficult.
This is why we are so grateful that we connected with Nolan because FINALLY, we got our fellow Ontarians an Ontario RV insurance & title success story.
In this article, we’re featuring Nolan Reid from Hamilton Ontario, who successfully got his bus insured & titled as an RV. Here is his story.
DISCLAIMER: Everyone's situation is different. Laws for titling and registering a school bus as a motorhome vary from country to country, state to state, province to province and even city to city. Also, laws, rules and regulations can change without notice. What works for someone in one place, may not be the same for someone else. Use this Skoolie Title Story as a guide to give you the language you need and to get you going. Ultimately, it is your responsibility to verify what's current in your area. This article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be substituted for legal advice. Please consult your local title and registration governmental agency for current processes & procedures.
How to register an old school bus and get RV insurance in Ontario Canada
When it comes to getting RV insurance in Ontario and registering an old school bus as a motorhome we had to really search for someone who had successfully gotten both.
Many people we had talked to had gotten the RV title, but then got dropped from insurance for one reason or another.
Because Brian + I are doing our conversion in Ontario this is the number one question we get asked! However, we ended up going another route for our RV title & insurance because we have a bit of a unique situation with Brian being American and me being Canadian. In this article, we go over why we chose to buy our bus in the USA, and what to consider before you buy an old school bus that’s for sale in Ontario Canada.
In short, something we discovered while bus shopping in Ontario was that the insurance & registration process really isn’t up to speed with this whole school bus conversion/tiny home on wheels movement.
Lucky for all of us, Nolan Reid from Hamilton Ontario was willing to share his RV Registration & Insurance story with us. Honestly, we’ve searched for months so Nolan really did us & our community here a solid!
Here’s what Nolan had to say about how to register a school bus as a motorhome & get RV insurance in Ontario.
What first intrigued you about building a Skoolie?
Watching family’s on YouTube converting old school buses, and needing a space at the family cottage.
When did you acquire your Skoolie?
Where did you buy your school bus?
A private bus company for a private school.
When you bought your school bus, how did you get it from the seller’s lot to your conversion location?
The owner drove it to my parked location, and also got it safetied for me as well.
What components did you need to install to meet the Ontario mobile home title requirements to go from school bus to RV?
There were 5 things that I needed:
- Kitchen sink
- Power Source
- Fresh Water
If you want more details about what we like to call The Ontario Method for getting an RV Title CLICK HERE.
What were the steps required to register & title your school bus as a motorhome / RV in Ontario?
- Took out seats
- Put in a temporary bed
- Added a temporary cook top
- Threw in a mini-fridge
- Set up a generator
- Set up a bucket with a toilet seat on it
- Painted the whole bus a different colour
- Removed all bus strobe lights & stop sign
- Got Emissions Test – Ontario Drive Clean
What was your Ontario skoolie insurance process AND what kind of RV policy did you need?
To get an RV title for your school bus in Ontario, you needed to take pictures to Service Ontario to prove that your Skoolie Motorhome has at least 4 of the 6 Creature Comforts that are necessary. I made sure I had 5.
Learn more about the necessary documentation for Service Ontario & “Creature Comforts” HERE
Once the bus was switched to RV status, I had to get an appraisal from a registered appraiser.
“Economy” is my insurance company. I had a temporary bed, kitchen, and bathroom set up when the appraiser came to take pictures.
I also sent the insurance company photos of the ownership showing that I in fact had RV status. After that, the appraiser sent the report in.
Then with insurance, I could go and get plates and a sticker.
Do you live in your Skoolie full-time?
I’m building it and planning for it to be our weekender or part-time home for our family.
What’s one piece of wisdom you’d like to give people who are considering converting a school bus into a Skoolie that you wish you knew before you got started?
It’s more money than you think to convert an old school bus into a motorhome.
Also, find a used RV parts supplier. There is a great one towards London Ontario.
What do you think your superpower has been throughout your Skoolie build?
I work hard, and I am mechanically inclined.
You can follow Nolan here:
Hey, we're Brian + Erin. Currently, we're workin' on our bug out bus. Lucky the proverbial $hit hadn't hit the fan yet when we picked up this 40-foot beauty in Phoenix AZ and drove it up to Canada to convert it. Hopefully, we all still have time...
Honestly, this bus conversion has been the only sane thing in this insane world lately. We can't tell you how good it feels to BE working on something that lights our souls up and has such potential for a life that is entwined with nature, love, and happiness.
Our main goal is to inspire people to get off-grid and become self-reliant. We are well on our way and are super excited to talk about solutions with others who are shooting for a similar way of living.
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