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Old 05-30-2019, 12:01 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 142
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
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, 12:23 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: E Central Tejas
Posts: 1,318
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: IH 3800, 8 window
Engine: T444E w/ Spicer 5-speed MT
Rated Cap: I prefer broad-brims hats
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, 01:53 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 282
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
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, 06:07 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
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, 05:42 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 282
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
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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, 06:26 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: E Central Tejas
Posts: 1,318
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: IH 3800, 8 window
Engine: T444E w/ Spicer 5-speed MT
Rated Cap: I prefer broad-brims hats
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, 09:41 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 273
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
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, 10:22 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 282
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
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, 04:45 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 142
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
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, 11:06 AM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 142
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
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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