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Old 02-25-2003, 07:21 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 193

When considering a tractor for pleasure and towing purposes, the subject of how to register it as a motorhome always comes up. IMO, the best proceedure is to first approach the local DMV in your City and State.

Ask the person behind the counter for the WRITTEN registration requirements for registering a motorhome. DO NOT tell them you want to register a tractor as a motorhome. If you do, 95% of the people behind the counter will tell you it can't be done.

It can be done. I have sold Volvo conversions that have been registered as motorhomes in the following States: Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada, Wisconsin, Virginia, and South Carolina. At this time I have two registrations pending, one in Missouri and one in Arizona. (Missouri has the toughest written requirements I have seen for any State). However, the buyer Joe, works for the Missouri Highway Patrol. That can't hurt.

I also will shortly be finished with two other conversions, one going to Montana and another going to CA.

I also know for sure that other Volvos have been registered as motorhomes in Iowa, Michigan, New Youk and South Dakota.

Preparation is the key. Most of the people working at the DMV ar not familiar with the requirements for motorhome registeration. They generally do not want to register a tractor even when it meets the letter of the law. They will make up requirements on the spot.

If you are not totally familiar with the WRITTEN requirements, you will leave very dissappointed. If they tell you for example, that you need to have a permantly installed stove, ask for that specific requirement IN WRITING. Tell them you need it IN WRITING so you will be certain to meet the letter of the law. Generally, these requirements do not exist.

Nevertheless, even when a Volvo is in total compliance with the law, you may still meet a great deal of resistence. Be prepared to go over the requirements point by point. Tell how you are in compliance for each item. They may still refuse. If they do ask for a supervisor.

The legislature wrote the laws. The DMV people do not have the authority to substitute their opinion for law.

It is a good idea to take along pictures of your tractor prior to conversion. That way you can show before and after pictures. be prepared, Be persuasave. No one has failed yet.
Be sure you mention the conversion will be used for recreation purposes only. Point out
that if you tried to use your tractor for commercial purposes, you would be busted at the first weigh station.

BTW, when registered as a motorhome, no CDL is required and you do not stop at weigh stations.

Bill Ramsey spent two hours at the California
DMV getting his Volvo registered. He walked away with the registration he wanted. He was totally prepared and did not give up or take no for an answer.

On the other hand, Tom in Wisconsin registered his Volvo as a motorhome by mail. :-) Go Figure. Your registration may be easy or difficult. It really depends of the person behind the DMV counter you happen to draw. If that person likes to try to exert authority, or is mad at his/her spouse, you may be in for a difficult time. In such cases, request a supervisor or simply go to a differnt DMV office.

My conversions can include the following items: The bed is already there. I generally install a new refirgerator and new micro. I can install an inverter and shore power. I can also put a chamber pot or Porta Potty in. A
propane heater can be installed (and removed later). With the above items in place, this conversion will meet the requirements for
(Im guessing here) 90 percent of all States.
There are inexpensive creative ways to meet outer requirements too, if any.

REMEMBER. Practically everything in life is negotiatable. Be prepared. Be persuasave.
Don't take NO for an answer.


[This message was edited by onezman on February 25, 2003 at 10:55 AM.]
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