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Old 04-11-2005, 01:05 PM   #1
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For Les and Washingtonians: RV/Motorhome license question

Hi Les and others,

Thanks for all the great info on the forum. I look forward to meeting you. I am just completing my financial transactions to bring Lucinda into the family fold and am working out parking and insurance and licensing. I'll try my Allstate person for a multi-vehicle deal, and maybe AAA and GMAC, knowing about calling in an RV...but what about the license? It'll have a temp tag, but it's stripped to the floor at present--do you know what the state requires for an RV tag? Do I need a bathroom in it, as I was thinking of not putting one in but that may push the decision. Is there a difference between an RV and motorhome in their eyes?

BTW, do you know Ron Kasprisin on the island?

Thanks,
Branden
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Old 04-13-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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Hi Branden,

When I first brought my bus home from Colorado I just licensed it as a "private vehicle" (same as a car; not as a truck!). I also called Camping World insurance (GMAC) and got the bus insured as a private vehicle (not as an RV; they couldn't do that without the conversion being done) and they didn't have a problem with that.

Then JB (with the Crown bus here on the forum who lives near me) called and said the foks in licensing told him he could license his bus as an RV (motohome) from the get-go. So I went down to my local licensing place and told them I wanted to re-register the bus as a motorhome...a little money for the transfer fee and it was a done deal. So as far as I can tell now there aren't specific requirements for certain amenaties in the interior in order to get the RV plate. I'd just take your paperwork down to the licensing outfit and tell them you want to register your new-to-you motorhome. I don't know why they won't do it based on my and JB's experience but if they don't then worse case is you'll just have a private vehilce license plate instead of an RV plate.

I found that my insurance will only go down a little bit when I switch the insurance at GMAC over to the RV category; I haven't done that yet because they do want photos of the conversion and I haven't bothered to take them yet. I do get coverage on the contents of the bus under the RV insurance versus regular vehilce insurance but otherwise there's not a lot of difference (in my case)!

Really, other than qualifying for content insurance and roadside assitance on an RV insurance policy, the real reason I wanted the motohome plate on the bus was so that when travelling there was no question that I *am not* a commercial vehicle. The bus is painted white and looks nice so I don't think I attract much suspicion or attention from law enforcement folks but I also didn't want to attract unwarranted attention from DOT enforcement officials when travelling because they thought I might be a commercial bus.

It's actually getting easier on us I believe because of all the larger private buses (Prevost, MCI, Eagle, etc) and a large number of class 6 to 8 'semi' tractor private tow rigs (the one hauling really big 5th wheel palaces). Law enforcemnet folks are getting used to seeing what used to always be commercial-sized rigs in the hands of private owners. In fact my 35' bus looks pretty small parked next to a bunch of 102" wide, 40' to 45' long motorhomes and bus conversions.
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Old 04-13-2005, 11:10 AM   #3
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Washingtyon State Licensing

Hi Brandon , My experience to get your 'BUS' licensed and titled here in Washington State is as Follows. You will have to have the 'BUS' and have it inspected by the WSP as are all out of state vehicles. This is for Theft and to verify that the VIN # is correct. Now the good part. Take all paperwork to your friendly licensing agency and tell them you are here to get your 'CROWN MOTORHOME' licensed. A little $ (God knows the state is trying everything to get $ out of us) and you will have a Washington State title for a 'CROWN MOTOR HOME'. I personally know of 5 individuals that have done this. WhenI did mine I still had seats in it. the reason for the inspection by the WSP is that Washington is one of only two states that gaurentees title. Dont get too hung up on 'BUS', get hung up on 'MOTOR HOME'. I hope this helps.

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Old 04-13-2005, 02:26 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Thanks Les and J.B.!
It's a former Tacoma S.D. Laidlaw bus, so it's a homegrown bus. Thus it looks like I'll just have to do the licensing, which is great.

Thanks again...I can't stop thinking about floor plans and paint schemes!
Branden
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Old 04-13-2005, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Washingtyon State Licensing

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.B.
Hi Brandon , My experience to get your 'BUS' licensed and titled here in Washington State is as Follows. You will have to have the 'BUS' and have it inspected by the WSP as are all out of state vehicles. This is for Theft and to verify that the VIN # is correct. Now the good part. J.B.
Hi JB...the good news is that Washington State axed the inspection process (a money saving move I'm told) so you don't have to go through that hassle now (even before I brought my bus home).
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Old 04-13-2005, 08:51 PM   #6
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WSP inspection

Hi Les , I wonder if that applies to every vehicle ? I have a military WWll vehicle. I have a notorized bill of sale but no titlte at all. It was lost years ago in another state.

Nice to hear from you again, J.B.
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Old 04-14-2005, 09:22 PM   #7
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Washington DMV Jokers

I was on the horn with the Washington DMV people just a couple of weeks ago, trying to see if I could license a Washington school bus as an RV. They quoted me the standard list of things I’d have to install, and told me I would then need an inspection by the WSP – and to top it off, there was a two-month waiting list for the inspection.

That’s what I get for asking….

-A. Moose
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Old 04-14-2005, 11:11 PM   #8
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Bus licensing

Hi Bullwinkle , If it is a Washington State School bus and being licensed in WA state there is no inspection and no list of to do things.

J.B.
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Old 04-16-2005, 02:31 PM   #9
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Re: Washington DMV Jokers

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bullwinkle
I was on the horn with the Washington DMV people just a couple of weeks ago, trying to see if I could license a Washington school bus as an RV. They quoted me the standard list of things I’d have to install, and told me I would then need an inspection by the WSP – and to top it off, there was a two-month waiting list for the inspection.

That’s what I get for asking….

-A. Moose
I don't doubt that the list of requirements to be a "motorhome" still exists in the books. It just seems that the licensing department has decided it's not worth the effort or something because so far getting motorhome plates on an ex-school bus hasn't been a problem lately; and, this is without "fibbing" at the counter!

It really does seem like if you try and "do the right thing" and call and ask questions you get a different answer from each person and each office you talk to; it's frustrating. Trying to work from a distance makes it even more difficult; I was at least able to walk into the licensing office and tell them I wanted RV plates for my bus and deal with them directly; 15 minutes later I had them in hand.
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Old 06-23-2005, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Georgia Title and Registration, USAA Insurance

hi unionpilot, what insurance company did you use in savannah,
i have gmac and would like to get something cheaper. i have a 85 international 345 gas bus. did you get your bus titled as a rv or private vehicle. i too live in savannah. thanks jesse


Quote:
Originally Posted by theunpilot
I contacted my insurance rep first and they where happy to issue Liability insurance as an RV but they baulked at Comprehensive insurance due to the home conversion rather than a proffesional job, no problem I'll slip it past them as part of my Homeowners policy! Just give me my liability at $86 for 6 months of coverage to include road side service and towing. I took my new insurance card, the old notarized commercial (Govt) title and reg to the GADMV here in Savannah, GA (known for their difficulty in dealing with, particularly us military folk and all our licence and registration issues, IE tags in one state, licence in another and insurance in yet another (my Excursion has New Mexico tags, I have an Arizona Drivers Licence and the insurance is issued here in Georgia) All for very good reasons, money at the top of the list) and Whah-La $36 dollars later was sporting my new RV tags. I was surrprised if not dumbfounded at the whole 10 minutes it took!
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