Storage and Insurance

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Storage and Insurance

Postby mccephalopod » Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:36 pm

Hi eplaya,

So as the story goes, some friends and I are about to buy a box truck to warp into a mutant vehicle for this year's burn. We've drafted the budget, drawn out plans and a timeline, and are buzzing with excitement. But, we were hoping some experienced mutant vehicle builders might give a bit of advice on the following issues:

1) Storage: Where do you guys stash your mutant vehicles when you're working on them, or waiting for them to go back to burning man? Do you have any recommendations for cheap storage options in the San Francisco or Santa Cruz area? Alternatively... anyone in those areas have extra space? :)

2) Registration and Insurance: Our vehicle will be street legal enough to get it to the playa (With some assembly required upon arrival), which means we don't have to worry about transportation costs, but do have to register and insure it. Any recommendations on what the best type of insurance plan would be for a mutant vehicle?

Thank you for any and all advice! Hopefully this thread can provide some logistical advice for new-timers planning to build art cars this year.

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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby trilobyte » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:06 pm

Look for some kind of warehouse space/workshop type place. In the bay area, NIMBY, American Steel, or the Box Shop spring to mind, but there are many others. I seem to recall that Tech Shop (another awesome biz in the bay area) has some kind of capacity for working on vehicles, but it would likely not be a solution for both working and storing.

For storing, I'd guess either East Bay or someplace removed from the city may be your best bet, just because of the cost of space in SF proper is so high *shakes fist at high prices* … but depending on your need/desire to work on it during the 'off-season' it may be a premium you're willing to pay. If you don't plan on needing to spend off-season time once you're done, check with the Sacramento or Reno regional groups and see if you can find a place to store it there. The rates would be less, and it'd save you on gas and wear on the engine (as opposed to bringing it all the way back to SF and then back to the playa each year).

I have no ideas regarding the insurance side of things. Hopefully someone else can chime in with advice or tips. Good luck!
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby Galaxo Magic » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:35 pm

Can't help much on either question but thought you could use a bump.

We built Beau in Shipwreck's (my cohort) backyard. Barely squeezed it in and never had any idea what it would look like until building on the playa as his back yard has bushes, buildings and trees around it. All the neighbors enjoyed watching it grow. We had to work out times for using power tools (like saws and stuff) with one neighbor so she could sleep. The vehicle has spent the last 5 months as a somewhat normal looking van and part of the Mutant Response Team in Chico, but mostly sitting in an apartment space. All the elephants ribs, skin, head, canopy are in a storage area at our bands practice facility. We had to get creative to keep the cost down.

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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby Elliot » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:05 pm

Just a really wild idea that might have merit for somebody....

Where I live, rudimentary dwellings sell for peanuts compared to the Bay Area. A group could put in a few Grand each and own a place. A standard lot here is 50' x 100', but many are "double lots" at 100' x 100', and some are bigger yet. For maybe $20.000,- you might buy a place with an old mobile home, and room to park the MV, and even room to build a shop as I did.

You cannot allow the place to look like a junk yard, and sea-land containers are prohibited, but that's about it so far as I know.

On my 100' x 100' I live in a single wide mobile home, I have a one-car garage, I park my 40' bus and three trailers, and I have a brand new 24' x 36' shop with a roll-up door. The building permit for the shop called it a "detached hobby room".

It's roughly 100 miles from the Bay Area, and the roads are slow, but... there it is, just a thought.
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby moonrise » Fri Mar 16, 2012 9:47 pm

Buy a lot (or a dump falling down shitty house) in Gerlach, leave your stuff there in a container, get a Nevada state income tax break if you claim residency and get "local residents" tickets guaranteed to Burning Man. :twisted: If you aren't wealthy chip in for the shitshack and do a closed lottery for your "locals" Burning Man tickets.

Okay, everyone can punch holes in this game plan (maybe). Dog fight (if you can the house). :lol:
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Mar 17, 2012 6:46 am

Fallon might have more available places to buy than Gerlach, and logistics would be easier for the build.
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby moonrise » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:10 pm

Yea, I almost bought a rental in Fallon or Fernley, years ago. Too far for me to worry about maintenance, back at that time.

I kid around about Gerlach because I'm surprised myself that I know a few residents from there, both past and present. I never put the connection together with Burning Man. After jumping into the burn for a full ten days (I wish could go for 2 weeks, maybe someday). I blitzed them with questions and the answers were all interesting stories. One friend lived there back in the 1960's. They found many artifacts, mostly from Charlie Chaplin movies. One day they found a $20 gold piece :P
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby BM Governor » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:03 am

I add the Dogfish onto my insurance plan a week before I leave and cancell it a week after I get back to Reno (Cost about $58.00). The Dogfish is street legal and I drive it out to the playa. I Get a Parade permit for the time i'm on the playa. They tried to jack me around the first time I told them about the event and what a Artcar is, but they finally said its is a vehicle that is unique and qualifies for a parade permit. (Cost $3.00)
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby tisha2 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:09 pm

howdy ~

we've been running into similar issues with The Thugboat as it is also built on a box truck frame. issues arise from it being a 'commercial' vehicle to begin with, and even though we've removed the box and made significant changes/additions to the bed and around the cab, they say the truck is still essentially the same truck it was and dmv and chp both are not willing to change the registration class to "specialty vehicle" (requires handbuilt/kit car, or significant alterations to the engine/cab or chassis, they say). main issue is extra registration bullshit - motor transport license, log book (really??!!), and weigh station stops. due to lack of time, went ahead and renewed the commercial registration and the pricey insurance for now (because they both expire Sept 1, of course) and plan to convert it to motorhome status upon return. engine room already has bench/beds with storage underneath, and will have geni for electricity. just need to add water and it fulfulls the motorhome requirements of enclosed livable space, bed, electricity and water. much easier registration and much cheaper insurance.
also considering non-opping it and getting a special event license as needed. would like to hear more about how you got them to go for a parade/specialty vehicle registration for the Dogfish, BM Governor.
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Re: Storage and Insurance

Postby Elliot » Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:41 pm

Agreed.... If you mean "Special Construction Vehicle", I believe you want to avoid that. That's the last resort for scratch built vehicles, and last I heard there is now a limit of 500 a year in California, and a long waiting list. (I've built two cars that way, but it's been a long time.)

Agreed.... On the other hand, converting my school bus to motor home status was a snap. My local office of the California DMV just wanted receipts for materials and components. I showed them my receipts for the RV toilet, mattresses, water and waste tanks, and a few other things, and that was it. As a motor home, it can be driven with a regular passenger car (class C) license, so long as it is no more than 40 feet long. Even if it has air brakes.

Insurance can be trickier. The insurance company may demand that the local agent inspects it and photographs the conversion. Having enjoyed a long and happy relationship with your local agent can be very valuable.

Registration and insurance on my 40 foot bus are both less than on my little pickup-truck!
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