This is my first post here, but I've been using this forum in our conversion process, so thanks for all the help so far!
Here's our situation. My husband and I live in Pennsylvania, and bought a full-size bus from a child care center. It was registered as a commercial vehicle, so instead of going through the process of getting CDLs/ commercial insurance, we got it towed to the farm where we're doing our conversion. Then we plan on towing it back to the mechanic for our enhanced safety inspection so we can get a title change to a motor home. Then we will move out of our apartment into the bus.
According to PennDOT's Self Study & Training guide for Enhanced Safety Inspectors (http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/pdotforms/in ... _guide.pdf
If the vehicle is not equipped with at least 4 of the following, the application will be rejected when submitted to PennDOT for processing.
• Cooking appliance
• Self-contained toilet
• Heating/Air conditioning
• Portable water supply
• Faucet and sink
• Separate 110/125 or LP gas supply
We sourced a wood stove (actually approved for motorhome use), and plan on using it as our only source of heat, as well as our winter cooking appliance (summer cooking would involve an outdoor kitchen/ rocket stove/ camp stove). So the wood stove would, in practice, take care of 2 of these 6 requirements. When I called one of the guys who does the enhanced inspections, he was looking at the same exact guide, and was stumped about the legality. I called the PennDOT office in Harrisburg today, and they were also stumped. The woman said it was the first time she'd heard of putting a wood stove in a motor home, and if it's not referenced in the manual, it's probably not permitted. I argued that no specific methods are mentioned, or barred, therefore, how could it be assumed not permissible? Supposedly, a supervisor is supposed to call me back.
We're nearing the completion of our subfloor, and I'm allotting an area with suggested clearance for the slate hearth. We'd like to install the wood stove as soon as possible, because it's cold as heck here right now, and it would make it much more comfortable to do the rest of the conversion. I think we'll end up fulfilling the other requirements just in case the stove heating/ cooking requirements don't pan out - i.e. putting a dummy electric cooktop on there. But I'm concerned that either the mechanic will fail us because they think the wood stove is illegal, or, when we send photos to PennDOT, our application will be rejected. I don't really want to install and then deinstall the stove, nor do I want to continue working in frigid conditions.
Does anyone have experience with the legality of stoves, or how to talk to officials to convince them it's safe/ legal?
Please don't bother with responses advising us to "just use propane" or "wait until spring to do the rest of the conversion" etc. In case you're wondering, we plan on full-timing, mostly staying in one place, complying with clearance recommendations, and of course never using the stove while the vehicle is moving. For air exchange, we will crack windows, as we got a large stove compared to our living area. This is our stove model: http://www.englanderstoves.com/13-nc.html
Winter is actually the best time for me to do this work because I'm a landscape design professional & springtime (and the rest of the growing season, to a lesser extent) is insane.
To check out the progress of our bus: http://facebook.com/laLUNABUS
Kristen & Dallas, Easton, PA