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Old 11-15-2010, 04:44 PM   #1
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Farm vehicle or RV?

As of right now, my short bus is registered as a farm truck. Bought it from my uncle who lived on a farm and used it to haul hay to auctions. I'm wondering if I should leave it registered as a farm vehicle or switch it to an rv. Im not too sure that im going to put much work into it as far as electric and plumbing as Im not planning on putting a bathroom in it. I would like to have a workable sink but thats it. I have a generator that can power anything I might need, but I dont plan on using much. I'll have a gas stove for cooking, but Im sure I'll do most of my cooking outside. With all things considered, Im not even sure if I would meet rv requirements in the state of PA, on the other hand, Im not sure if I can title it as a farm vehicle because I dont live on a farm. Anyone know which of these would be more practicable?
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:06 AM   #2
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

It all depends on the individual state laws. I knew a farmer when growing up in Massachusetts, and there his farm plates were like dealer plates - they were registered to the farm, not the vehicle. One could be put on any farm vehicle (no cars, but trucks and pickups were OK) but each vehicle it appeared on had to have a valid annual safety inspection sticker. Also, there was a 50-miles from the farm limit on valid operations - extended road trips were limited. I have heard farmers in other states say their farm plate was restricted to certain roads around the property.

If you were making a hunting camp or such, and just wanted to take the bus to town for supplies, a farm plate might be OK. I certainly would not want to go cross-country on a farm plate, unless the PA farm plate serves as a regular registration naming one vehicle. I would also try to make sure there was a utility area in the bus (store a few hay bales?), and not make it 100% living space.

You will have to dig into the state rules to find if it would be better as a truck, RV, or farm vehicle. I don't see any way around it.

When you find the rules, if they are odd ones, make a copy to keep with you, because officers may you encounter don't know off the top of their heads rules that they don't work with every day.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:01 AM   #3
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

Thanks for the help guys, so rv title is what I need. Just did some research and found my next steps. I'll post them for others to refrence. This is from the PennDOT website...

PROCEDURE AND DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED
All Modified Vehicles must undergo an enhanced vehicle safety inspection to ensure the vehicle is in compliance with
all equipment and inspection requirements. This inspection must be performed at an enhanced vehicle safety
inspection station. A list of these stations can be found at www.dmv.state.pa.us. Click on the link for Business Partner
Info, then Station Owners and Mechanics.
Once the vehicle has successfully passed the enhanced inspection, the enhanced inspector or certified document
reviewer will photograph the vehicle and examine the documentation presented by the vehicle owner to support titling
the vehicle. Required documentation includes, but is not limited to:
Form MV-426B (Application for Reconstructed, Specially Constructed, Collectible, Modified, Flood, Recovered Theft
Vehicles and Street Rods) with all applicable signatures. Note: Obsolete versions of Form MV-426 or MV-426B with
a revision date prior to December 2006 (12-06) will not be accepted.
Proof of ownership in the form of:
o Pennsylvania Certificate of Title
o Certificate of Title issued by another state or jurisdiction and indicating the vehicle was modified in another state
or jurisdiction
o The following documents are not accepted by Pennsylvania as proof of ownership:
- Form 907A issued by the state of New York
- Any title, certificate of origin, statement of origin or certificate of salvage that indicates the vehicle is to be used
for parts only; is not suitable to be rebuilt or titled; or is not designed, constructed or intended for use on public
roadways
Form MV-1 (Application for Certificate of Title) if the applicant's name does not appear on the face of the certificate
of title or salvage.
A detailed description of the modifications made to the vehicle

Proof of Insurance
All applications for a Modified Vehicle MUST be submitted to the Department for review and processing. Modified vehicle
applications cannot be processed by on-line business partners. Any application submitted for a modified vehicle title may
be delayed should it warrant further review by PennDOT and/or the Pennsylvania State Police.

PENNSYLVANIA INSPECTION REQUIREMENTS
After the vehicle is titled and registered, modified vehicles are subject to periodic safety inspections as well as emission
inspections (where required). Periodic inspections can be performed at any inspection station throughout Pennsylvania.
A vehicle is only required to be inspected at an enhanced vehicle safety inspection station for initial titling.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

so if you are using it for a rolling kitchen for the farm on the farm or in the field your okay. take it camping, you're in trouble.
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Old 11-16-2010, 11:48 AM   #5
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

I think that you basically need a sleeping place (air mattress), a cooking place (you said you had a stove... you don't have to cook INSIDE) and a "personal facilities" place (a portipotti or ... a bucket with a lid?). This is a basic requirement. Some states get picky, others don't. Just remember, do not volunteer any more information than you absolutely have to. Once you get it titled as an RV/motorhome, you will refer to it as an RV or as a "Motorhome" when talking to official type folks like insurance agents and DMV.

When we titled the Eagle as a motorhome in TN, I tossed one of our air mattresses in (didn't inflate it) set a gas grill inside the door and set my porti potti from the pop-up inside (none of this has to be permanent... if they will be inspecting the interior, then you may want to inflate the mattress and toss a couple of blankets and pillow on it). Then I wrote up a statement saying that I had the "required facilities" and listed them... a sleeping area, bathroom facilities and cooking facilities (NO DETAILS!!!)... got it notarized at our bank (because it was free there) and went off to get my new title. They never looked at the notarized paper. And this was after 3 months of doing a routine similar to "who's on first" (See that Eagle bus across the street... this office tagged it as a motorhome..."). Then I got to go thru the same deal with a scooter (which never did get tagged)... in order to drive a scooter on the TN highways, it has to be tagged, but TN doesn't tag scooters, but you can't drive it on the highway unless it's tagged...
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:34 PM   #6
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

After some research on this site, I found out some more info. User granzeier stated in "stqarting out - The family camper bus" (sorry, couldnt figure out how to quote part of the thread)some of the requirements from PennDOT.....

So, the logical first step is to go to the PennDOT (Pennsylvania Department of Transportation), right? Didn't help, the Pittsburgh office is only for driver's licensing, etc, and they don't know much about customizing buses into RVs. They said to try AAA! So, off to AAA - they only knew about the MV-426B form, an application for title for a modified vehicle. Oh well, at least it's a place to start. A quick search showed the instruction manual for that form and the required inspections. It turns out that my skoolie needs to have at least four of seven required traits:
Cooking appliance
Refrigerator
Self-contained toilet
Heating/Air conditioning
Portable water supply
Faucet and sink
Separate 110/125 or LP gas supply

If this is accurate, I should be able to convert it to an rv. I'll have everything but the power supply, which Ive been considering more and more. I'll probably get my brother to install it since thats his strong point. So for now, I need to finish my floor and get this done!!
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Old 11-16-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

at least four of seven required traits:
Cooking appliance... that would be a grill or camp stove
Refrigerator... you should be able to use a cooler... did it say "refrigerator" or "refrigeration" (cooler will apply if the latter) a cheap dorm fridge if the former applies
Self-contained toilet... porti potti or "bucket"
Heating/Air conditioning
Portable water supply... a jug of water... we bought a nice 7 gal jug to store portable water for our food cart from Wally World.
Faucet and sink
Separate 110/125 or LP gas supply
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Old 11-16-2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

As far as the "porta potty" goes, would it need it be installed or have its own space? Or could I just have it in storage until its used?
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:54 PM   #9
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

I just set all my stuff on the floor so that I could truthfully say... it was IN the bus! I wasn't lying! Hey, the guys on the coach bus forums told me to do that. I blame them! They were bad influences.
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Old 11-16-2010, 04:12 PM   #10
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Re: Farm vehicle or RV?

Thats what I was thinking.. I was going to buy one of those porta pottys at wallmart and store under the bed or somewhere just in case the gf had to go if there were no restrooms around. Not sure she would use a tree like I would! So maybe if I do that, I can say I have one at least. Then I should have all or most of the requirements
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