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Old 05-30-2019, 01:01 PM   #1
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How to legally convert in NH

Hello all, here I hope to outline my journey getting my bus retitled as an RV in New Hampshire. I did alot of things in reverse order delaying this whole process by two years.... I'll finally be getting my inspection done on the 10th.

First up, you need all of the legal paperwork for proof of purchase. Mine is a 1999, I needed a legal title. The previous owner never transferred the title over to himself which caused me some headache- the fewer hops the better, but as long as you have the paper trail showing legal transfers, you should be all set.

DO NOT REGISTER. I was 'accidentally' allowed to be registered by my town hall and couldn't get 'general' temp plates because of this. I could only get temp plates having had a "salvage inspection" (more on this later) scheduled, and the plates are only good to and from my home.

First, here's the salvage inspection form:
https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/...s/dsmv545a.pdf

Fill this out and have it ready for the inspection.

Here's the criteria for the inspection:
https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/...s/dsmv545r.pdf

In addition to this criteria, what NH is looking for is evidence that you have repurposed the vehicle. I believe if you remove all of the passenger seating, remove any school bus legal signage, and ensure that nothing required to pass the above criteria is removed or damaged, this will be sufficient. The previous owner on my rig removed the defroster and entire heating loop, this was a big headache to reinstall aftermarket.

I also made mistakes like removing the rear view mirror and sun shade, these I also have to reinstall.

I'll update this thread after my inspection on the 10th and link my updated conversion thread when that is done.
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:23 PM   #2
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Howdy, & welcome to the asylum!

About a year & a half ago, I was where you're at now. Well, I was in Dover, NH, don't know where you reside..! (Take a few minutes to fill out your profile; bus specs, locale, et al. Makes it easier to offer an assist, if we know what you've got in front of you...)
Anyhoo, I was on the seacoast. If you are remotely near there, I can't too strongly recommend you shop around to have your inspection done!!!
I know, they are few & far in between, but Z. Lababidi, I believe in Somersworth is a complete thief.
Needed the safety inspxn, he was nearest to me, so I went. Bus handled just fine; no crabbing, untoward vibrations, tracked arrow-straight.
After "having to have" a replacement of the king pins, coupla days labor later, the bill for my inspxn sticker damned near doubled the cost of my $3K bus!
Brought (bought..?) a whole new meaning to the term, "Highway Robbery."
Friendly word of advice- RUN, do not walk, away from this con job artist!!!
Best of good luck.
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Old 05-30-2019, 02:53 PM   #3
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We are on this journey through the NH process. I went through one of the 'salvage' inspections and it came out the other end as a 'bus', mainly because the VA title didn't have the word 'school' in it, fortunately. We did get temp plates for it with a BOS and now have regular plates, although Commercial.

The next step is back to the 'salvage inspection' to get the title changed to a Motorhome once we install a few more systems in the bus. Unfortunately the criteria for this is not as cut and dried as other states. The RSA is:

259:58-a Motor Home. – "Motor home" shall mean a self-propelled, completely self-contained vehicle that includes the conveniences of a home, including cooking, sleeping, and permanent sanitary facilities, and a driver's seat that is accessible in a walking position from the living quarters.

With any luck we will get this done in a month or so.
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Old 05-30-2019, 07:07 PM   #4
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Titles are required for any vehicle manufactured in the year 2000 and up.
Technically as well as legally, you don't need a title for your 1999 Bus. It would be a selling bonus to have a NH title for it, if you were to sell it to an out of state buyer.
Also, unless it was involved in an accident or stolen and an insurance company covered it as a total loss for the previous owner. The salvage paperwork you're linking is unnecessary to register it.

All you need to register your 1999 bus in NH is a bill of sale as well as a previous registration slip at your town/city hall.
Also a valid out of state title, correctly filled out without erasures or egregious errors, will get you registered without any added inspection.

With only a bill of sale and without a previous registration slip, you must have the vehicle VIN verified on a NH DMV "Blue Slip", completed by any state motor vehicle inspection station or your local police dept. The clerk at town hall will provide the blue slip if you need one.

Changing its status from bus to MH can be done once the conversion is completed.
I'm not sure that exact process but the "salvage" route sounds odd...
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Old 05-31-2019, 06:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Changing its status from bus to MH can be done once the conversion is completed.
I'm not sure that exact process but the "salvage" route sounds odd...
The 'salvage' route is done by Troop G of the NH State Police (yes, that means there is an F Troop...). They deal mainly with vehicles that have been totaled and then repaired. Once they inspect it the title status is changed from Salvage to Rebuilt. Since a MH conversion also involves a title status change, we get to visit them as well.
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:26 AM   #6
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Too cool! Does Corporal Agarn do the confirmation?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
The 'salvage' route is done by Troop G of the NH State Police (yes, that means there is an F Troop...). They deal mainly with vehicles that have been totaled and then repaired. Once they inspect it the title status is changed from Salvage to Rebuilt. Since a MH conversion also involves a title status change, we get to visit them as well.
Also, too funny, albeit a reference likely lost on the younger crowd...
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Old 05-31-2019, 10:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
The 'salvage' route is done by Troop G of the NH State Police (yes, that means there is an F Troop...). They deal mainly with vehicles that have been totaled and then repaired. Once they inspect it the title status is changed from Salvage to Rebuilt. Since a MH conversion also involves a title status change, we get to visit them as well.
If the title was "clean" meaning not crash or theft damaged prior to the inspection, does it get changed to rebuilt status?
That reclassification unfortunately drops any value the vehicle had to next to nothing once a potential buyer sees the state issued VIN decal on the vehicle and change to the title...
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Old 05-31-2019, 11:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
If the title was "clean" meaning not crash or theft damaged prior to the inspection, does it get changed to rebuilt status?
That reclassification unfortunately drops any value the vehicle had to next to nothing once a potential buyer sees the state issued VIN decal on the vehicle and change to the title...
I would assume that once a vehicle is totaled by an ins co, it gets a Salvage title. Yes, a Rebuilt title would certainly be worth less than a clean title, but arguably more than a Salvage title.
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Old 06-02-2019, 05:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
The next step is back to the 'salvage inspection' to get the title changed to a Motorhome once we install a few more systems in the bus.
The state has held my title for 2 years at this point, I'm frankly getting tired of it. What exactly is required for motorhome? All I have are the documents linked at the title.





Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
The RSA is:

259:58-a Motor Home. – "Motor home" shall mean a self-propelled, completely self-contained vehicle that includes the conveniences of a home, including cooking, sleeping, and permanent sanitary facilities, and a driver's seat that is accessible in a walking position from the living quarters.

Ugh, I'm starting to lose confidence we'll get retitled at this rate. We do not have the kitchen finished (framed out), nor a bed installed (planned on using an airbed for the time being), "permanent sanitary facilities" (planned for a compost toilet + sink + shower, again framed out but unfinished). Driver's seat accessible in walking position from living quarters, check. There are no other seats, so I don't know why the state would continue to insist it is a "bus".


Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
With any luck we will get this done in a month or so.
I'm in Windham, I've been looking for someone who has done this before to network with, maybe get their thoughts, trade ideas, etc. It would really help knowing what you plan to do in this area as well, and the requirements as you understand it. If you're interested in networking, PM me.


Thanks for the post.


EDIT: I found this:
http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/...9/259-84-a.htm

259:84-a Recreation Vehicle. – "Recreation vehicle" shall mean a self-propelled or towed vehicle that is equipped to serve as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel purposes and is used solely as a family or personal conveyance.



Sounds more like something doable with my current layout. What would be the functional difference between an RV and Motorhome title then?
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Old 06-10-2019, 12:06 PM   #10
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The inspection is done! The inspector was very nice, and laid out what I need to do. He said:


All the top four lights have to go, both front and back. Taken completely out, holes covered. You can't repurpose them because they're higher than the legal limit for DRLs (which also have to be in the headlight housing), brake lights, or reverse lights.
top_front_lights.jpgtop_rear_lights.jpg


The rear top markers have to be red.
rear_top_markers.jpg


I have red markers at the top corners of the bus. The front two need to be amber, so I'll move those to the rear.
top_side_markers.jpg


Finally, all of the side markers past the midway point must be red. In short, all markers rear of the half-point are red to indicate the direction the vehicle is pointed in.
side-markers.jpg


In my estimation, that's $40 and cutting up some of the leftover sheet metal I have laying around... My next inspection is on the 24th.


Still working on insurance.
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for the update. I was hoping to use the rear warning lights for backup and spots, but guess I have to re-think that. How did the interior stuff go?
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Old 06-10-2019, 02:17 PM   #12
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I don't understand why the upper lights are deemed safe for a school bus, yet I am not allowed that measure of safety?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
Thanks for the update. I was hoping to use the rear warning lights for backup and spots, but guess I have to re-think that. How did the interior stuff go?
"It clearly no longer looks like a school bus."


This came as a surprise to me as you and some other folks were saying it just wasn't going to happen until the build was finished... he seemed reasonable. For the state to continue to insist that the interior of the vehicle still qualifies as a bus when there's no passenger seating is ludicrous.


Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
I don't understand why the upper lights are deemed safe for a school bus, yet I am not allowed that measure of safety?

He was telling me how they have a huge problem with folks using the gigantic LED bars and such above the state's height limits. Not buses, we're talking everything from Jeeps to large trucks/haulers. There are no high, functioning brake lights, DRLs, or other lights on road-legal vehicles.


Since ours is 11' in the air, while not blinding, its a problem apparently.


The things I failed on are, technically, bus features. Removing them isn't a high bar... I wish I could keep the lights, or at least spray over them for the aesthetic, but... the rules are the rules.


Would anyone in NH like a set of big LED brake or reverse lights? I've got three pairs of these LED (white) reverses and a pair of the red/brakes that I can no longer use. The best use I've thought for them is for use in the engine compartment, but I have other lights I could use there as well.
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:18 PM   #14
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That is bizarre! My bus had, and retains the OEM lights, fore & aft, just below the roofline, albeit painted over by prior owner.
Maybe becoz they were primarily an OTR truck repair shop, & didn't know that rule...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
...
The things I failed on are, technically, bus features. Removing them isn't a high bar... I wish I could keep the lights, or at least spray over them for the aesthetic, but... the rules are the rules.

Would anyone in NH like a set of big LED brake or reverse lights? I've got three pairs of these LED (white) reverses and a pair of the red/brakes that I can no longer use...
I used to live in NH, does that count? Low priority for me ATM, but have had doing that light swap mod on my punch list for a while.
What are their specs, and what would you take for them?
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Old 06-10-2019, 03:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
What are their specs...

I have two lights of (RED):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0083T89OE


They have three leads, a negative, and two positives: one for running/parking (low) and a second lead for brake (high).



I have six lights of (WHITE):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0078U33FE


These just have one negative and one positive wire.




Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
...and what would you take for them?
I dunno, I was just thinking to give 'em away. How about the cost of shipping, or maybe mail me back some small/cool item you don't need that I could put in my build?
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
"It clearly no longer looks like a school bus."


This came as a surprise to me as you and some other folks were saying it just wasn't going to happen until the build was finished... he seemed reasonable. For the state to continue to insist that the interior of the vehicle still qualifies as a bus when there's no passenger seating is ludicrous.





He was telling me how they have a huge problem with folks using the gigantic LED bars and such above the state's height limits. Not buses, we're talking everything from Jeeps to large trucks/haulers. There are no high, functioning brake lights, DRLs, or other lights on road-legal vehicles.


Since ours is 11' in the air, while not blinding, its a problem apparently.


The things I failed on are, technically, bus features. Removing them isn't a high bar... I wish I could keep the lights, or at least spray over them for the aesthetic, but... the rules are the rules.


Would anyone in NH like a set of big LED brake or reverse lights? I've got three pairs of these LED (white) reverses and a pair of the red/brakes that I can no longer use. The best use I've thought for them is for use in the engine compartment, but I have other lights I could use there as well.
a friend of mine started a bike racer's club - they have a FE bus, and it looks like the large lights up top have been converted to hold horns - perhaps air horns, train whistle sounding horns, or ones that I've laughed at in the past, the William Tell overture as performed for the Lone Ranger's theme - maybe even the trumpeting sound of the Charge of the Light Brigade
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Old 06-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #17
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Yanno, if it were me, I'd wade into the morass that the NH DMV site can be, and confirm that any lights up high are positively verboten before getting shut of 'em. As I'd mentioned, on my bus they were a non-issue in getting my sticker issued...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
...
I dunno, I was just thinking to give 'em away. How about the cost of shipping, or maybe mail me back some small/cool item you don't need that I could put in my build?
"Small/cool item" Damn, Sam, you're several orders of magnitude beyond me with all of your nifty electro gizmo gadgets! I can't think of a thing that would work with your build.
Tho come to think of it, I do have an unused black plastic tank (black or grey H2O suitable) that came with the bus, that I doubt I'll do anything with. Next time I head over to my friends' place, where my surplus is stored, I can take some snaps, calculate capacity, &/or find an URL for it, if that might be of use to you...
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Old 06-10-2019, 06:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
a friend of mine started a bike racer's club - they have a FE bus, and it looks like the large lights up top have been converted to hold horns....
That leads me to another idea...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072C42X3H


Wouldn't that be obnoxious.



Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
"Small/cool item" Damn, Sam, you're several orders of magnitude beyond me with all of your nifty electro gizmo gadgets! I can't think of a thing that would work with your build.

That's not true, there's all kinds of random little trinkets, knick-knacks or decorative little items people have, and don't even realize it. Things that just kinda blend in, make the environment unique, or something. I just happen to want a liiiiittle more control over the electronics in the bus than most, programming is a hobby of mine, and I've enjoyed learning about AC/DC electrical.


Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Yanno, if it were me, I'd wade into the morass that the NH DMV site can be, and confirm that any lights up high are positively verboten before getting shut of 'em. As I'd mentioned, on my bus they were a non-issue in getting my sticker issued...
I'm not going to weld the holes shut, I'll just make some covers. Maybe later on it wont be a problem.


Quote:
Originally Posted by haz.matt.1960 View Post
Tho come to think of it, I do have an unused black plastic tank (black or grey H2O suitable) that came with the bus, that I doubt I'll do anything with. Next time I head over to my friends' place, where my surplus is stored, I can take some snaps, calculate capacity, &/or find an URL for it, if that might be of use to you...
Oooh. That would be indeed. Wouldn't it be hard for you to ship? I think that's close to an ideal trade for me, depending on the type and capacity.
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:49 PM   #19
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Nothing wrong with taking control of your environment! It's an admirable electrical amalgamation you've assembled. May wind up borrowing an idea, here and there, but a considerably scaled down & simplified system, comparably.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
...
That's not true, there's all kinds of random little trinkets, knick-knacks or decorative little items people have, and don't even realize it. Things that just kinda blend in, make the environment unique, or something. I just happen to want a liiiiittle more control over the electronics in the bus than most, programming is a hobby of mine, and I've enjoyed learning about AC/DC electrical.


Oooh. That would be indeed. Wouldn't it be hard for you to ship? I think that's close to an ideal trade for me, depending on the type and capacity.
Excellent!
It may be a day or few before I amble over there, but it should oughta work for you. The previous owner ordered it, online most likely, and your bus is a one year younger sibling to mine! I'm thinking there couldn't've been many design changes between two model years...
FYI: It has the 4 ports to send to a level reader, but no wires or reader came with the tanks he included with the bus.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:39 AM   #20
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Last night I ran around fixing the markers for red in the rear, amber up front.
IMG_0485.jpgIMG_0484.jpg

Does look kind of nicer this way, I think.
IMG_0487.jpgIMG_0486.jpg

Now I have a bunch of these in red/amber:
IMG_0488.jpg

Not sure what to do with these either! If anyone wants em.... they're cut short but you can crimp connectors on em.

Going to remove the top/flashers this weekend. The 24th is my next inspection day.


Apparently my rear bumper is bent in a little, I may also have a crack at straightening it back out. Debating what to do next week as well: Hire more help, install a mini split, or get more batteries.
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