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Old 02-27-2018, 11:45 PM   #1
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Question Seeking advice for NV legalities

My boyfriend and I are residents in the state of NV looking to do bare bones minimum bus conversion to start. We need to make a short bus liveable and legal by May. After that we will worry about the cosmetic appearance but we are willing to rough it in order not to sign into another lease with our apartment. We are desperately seeking any advice on how to dp this with our time frame and a small budget. If anyone has any advice we would greatly appreciate it. We are ready to start living a different lifestyle.
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Old 02-27-2018, 11:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by peacetrain2018 View Post
My boyfriend and I are residents in the state of NV looking to do bare bones minimum bus conversion to start. We need to make a short bus liveable and legal by May. After that we will worry about the cosmetic appearance but we are willing to rough it in order not to sign into another lease with our apartment. We are desperately seeking any advice on how to dp this with our time frame and a small budget. If anyone has any advice we would greatly appreciate it. We are ready to start living a different lifestyle.
Take a couple of weeks to fully strip and insulate the interior.

You can build out as basic as you like, but you'll thank me later
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:01 AM   #3
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Agreed. Strip the interior until you see the inside of the exterior. Insulate first, then take your time.

I hope you've got shade.
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Old 02-28-2018, 12:55 AM   #4
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If you'd like to convert the registration, here's a pretty good outline of the registration change process from 2015. I've had recent dealings with the DMV on this topic and the outline below is consistent with my experience.

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Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
I searched for a thread on Nevada registration requirements, and didn't find one, so I thought I would share my experience here. I just purchased a bus located in Colorado and my husband will be picking it up later this week, then attempting to title/register it in Nevada.

I called the DMV and said I had purchased a bus which is undergoing a conversion to an RV. After being transferred to several different departments, my call landed in the Emissions Lab, which seemed to have the most information. They said you change the bus to a Nevada title (I have 30 days to do this, during which no insurance is required, since the bus will be declared non-operational), and then proceed with the conversion while still titled as a bus. After the conversion, you fill out an affidavit of non-operation and they give you a movement permit, which gets you to the inspection location.

The inspection has two parts: interior and mechanical. The mechanical/safety inspection is based on form VP-64, which can be found here: http://www.dmvnv.com/pdfforms/vp064.pdf

But the interior inspection happens prior to that. To qualify as an RV in Nevada, a vehicle must have:
1) Sleeping quarters. I asked if that meant a framed-in bed. He said yes, it couldn't be a mattress on the floor.
2) Cooking quarters. A Coleman stove on a countertop wouldn't be enough; it needs to have a plumbed kitchen and any cooking elements should be built-in.
3) An eating area. It didn't specify built-ins, but he said everything needs to be permanently attached.
4) A restroom with toilet and holding tank. I told him I was planning to install a composting toilet, which would not have a black tank.
Answer: "Then it's not an RV."
"So you're saying that no RV registered in the state of Nevada has a composting toilet?"
"I'm just reading what's on the paper, ma'am."
I'm not sure how that works. Short of registering in a different state (which is still a possibility), I'd appreciate any suggestions on how to get around this. The conversion requirements look very strict, although I can't find them in writing anywhere on the Nevada DMV website.

Additionally, vehicles over 26,000 GVWR are exempt from needing a CDL when classified as an RV, but Nevada does require a non-commercial class B license when >26,000.

Again, this is just my experience. I hope others will have more to add.
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Old 03-15-2018, 08:46 PM   #5
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If you'd like to convert the registration, here's a pretty good outline of the registration change process from 2015. I've had recent dealings with the DMV on this topic and the outline below is consistent with my experience.
I just read the statute and unless you are raising the roof or perhaps relocating a door, I don't think this section applies. This is intended to make sure that a salvaged, rebuilt, specially constructed, or kit built vehicle has been made safe for the roadway. The chassis of the bus is not changed in most build outs. The only safety items that are removed were only ever intended to be for school childrens' safety- the flashing lights, stop sign and arm. There is nothing inherently unsafe about a bus on the road unless you have modified it in a way that changes the chassis - adding a roof deck would also do that, cutting off the entire rear of the bus for a toy hauler, replacing the entire floor pan, etc. Just removing the seats, floor and ceiling and insulating etc is not what they are talking about.

My vehicle was already titled as a motorhome in Oregon and I registered it as Motorhome in NV. I took in a weight certificate from a CAT scale and my VIN inspection with the title, bill of sale and proof of insurance. The woman asked me if it had a bed I think, an I said well of course motorhomes have beds but she did not specifically mention any list of things it had to have and the NV code specifically states:

NRS 482.071  “Motor home” defined.  “Motor home” means a structure:
1.  Attached permanently to a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis;
2.  Designed as a temporary dwelling for travel, recreational or camping use; and
3.  When assembled for the road, has a maximum body width of 102 inches.
(Added to NRS by 1973, 229; A 2001, 1725)

RS 482.101  “Recreational vehicle” defined.  “Recreational vehicle” means a vehicular-type unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for travel, recreational or camping use, which may be self-propelled, mounted upon, or drawn by, a motor vehicle. The term includes a recreational park trailer.
(Added to NRS by 1973, 229, 1585; A 2001, 1726)

The DMV website states:

"There are no special registration requirements for non-commercial recreational vehicles. RVs must meet pass emissions tests when required. You may need special driver license classes or endorsements for large vehicles or multiple trailers."

I see nothing under Nevada law that requires a bathroom in an RV or motorhome, so there's no reason a bus remodel would require one. If they say wait, that's a bus you say it used to be a bus, now it's a motorhome. All motorhomes are RVs, but not all RVs are motorhomes.

also, according to the form attached:

“Rebuilt vehicle” (NRS 482.09 means: 1. A vehicle for which one or more of the following major components have been replaced: (a) Cowl assembly; (b) Rear clip assembly; (c) Roof assembly; (d) Floor pan assembly; (e) Conventional frame coupled with one additional major component; or (f) Complete front inner structure for a unibody. Note: The term “rebuilt” does not include a vehicle for which the only change is the installation of a truck cab assembly.
Definitions  “Complete front inner structure for a unibody” (NRS 482.0154) means the weld on structure of a vehicle, including, without limitation, the radiator support. Left and right aprons, upper and lower rails and strut towers, designed and intended to be located forward of the cowl assembly.  “Conventional frame” (NRS 482.0157) means the main longitudinal structural members of the chassis of a vehicle used as the major support in the construction of the vehicle.  “Cowl assembly” (NRS 482.01 to mean the forward structural portion of a vehicle to which are intended to be attached all or a part of the windshield frame, fire wall, housing of the instrument panel and hinges for the front doors.  “Floor pan assembly” (NRS 482.0385) means the pans designed and intended to form the floor of the passenger compartment of a vehicle.  “Rear clip assembly” (NRS 482.0965) means the entire rear structural portion of a vehicle designed and intended to be located behind the rear seat of the vehicle.  “Roof assembly” (NRS 482.106) means the structural parts of a vehicle, including, without limitation, more than one-half of the vertical roof supports, the framework of the roof and the exterior metal skin that together are designed and intended to be located over the passenger compartment to form the roof of the vehicle.
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:39 AM   #6
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I just read the statute and unless you are raising the roof or perhaps relocating a door, I don't think this section applies. This is intended to make sure that a salvaged, rebuilt, specially constructed, or kit built vehicle has been made safe for the roadway. The chassis of the bus is not changed in most build outs. The only safety items that are removed were only ever intended to be for school childrens' safety- the flashing lights, stop sign and arm. There is nothing inherently unsafe about a bus on the road unless you have modified it in a way that changes the chassis - adding a roof deck would also do that, cutting off the entire rear of the bus for a toy hauler, replacing the entire floor pan, etc. Just removing the seats, floor and ceiling and insulating etc is not what they are talking about.

[...]
Your interpretation of the statutes matches mine. My vehicle was also retitled as a motorhome in a different state.

The folks in the DMV office and on the phone insist that these unpublished equipment requirements are legitimate. The reference the DMV office gave me looks like it was pulled straight out of the 2015 post.

Did you go to the commercial or regular office? Did you end up needing a drive test?
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Old 03-16-2018, 02:46 AM   #7
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Your interpretation of the statutes matches mine. My vehicle was also retitled as a motorhome in a different state.

The folks in the DMV office and on the phone insist that these unpublished equipment requirements are legitimate. The reference the DMV office gave me looks like it was pulled straight out of the 2015 post.

Did you go to the commercial or regular office? Did you end up needing a drive test?
I went to a regular office with my Oregon MH title and my CAT scale weight of 17860, bill of sale, proof of insurance and my NV DL and a VIN inspection done by the local community officer from the sheriff substation in my community. The VIN inspection is the only one required by law to register a MH or RV although people that live in some areas do also have to do emissions testing.

I don't think the person you talked to knew what they were talking about. I have the relevant statutes in my.phone now if anyone wants to bug me.

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Old 03-16-2018, 02:56 AM   #8
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Thanks for the details!
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Old 03-16-2018, 12:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for the details!
What DMV office did you talk to and did they have those requirements in writing?

I was *so surprised* when I read about your experience because NV is a lax state overall. It's legal to own an RPG here (although not the ammo). You can fire fully automatic weapons at gun ranges! It made no sense to me that a desert state would require a flush toilet!! And indeed the law does not have ANY requirements once I actually started to read the NV Statues and their definitions. Even if they added requirements later they would grandfather existing ones I am sure.

Nevada insurance is a different matter. The insurance does, I believe, require more in terms of something being considered an RV or motorhome. As long as I can get liability I don't care, but I *am* concerned about that and I'm a little nervous about asking questions!! I wish the underwriting guidelines were available to look at so we could make decisions with the info we need. Even if I call and ask my agent, if it's not in writing, what good does that do me? Even if it's in writing, if they are wrong, what good does that do me? How am I supposed to make a good decision if I don't know what the rules are?

What insurance do you have and how did you get it? I have commerical for personal use right now thru AIS.com who wrote it with Progressive, underwritten by someone else. 595/yr with the pay in full discount.

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Old 03-16-2018, 12:50 PM   #10
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When I lived in Nevada I had my bus insured as an RV with State Farm. My premiums were around $300 a year for full coverage. It's been several years though. It may be worth checking.
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:08 PM   #11
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When I lived in Nevada I had my bus insured as an RV with State Farm. My premiums were around $300 a year for full coverage. It's been several years though. It may be worth checking.
I have RV insurance through State Farm; it's still about $300/yr for liability only. I sent my agent photos of the inside and outside and they took care of the rest. The insurance office people I've talked with have been consistent when it came to the equipment they were looking for and they were helpful over the phone. My memory's fuzzy on the details but the equipment list was fairly generic.

I was at the Vegas commercial office trying to get a class B noncommercial license (Yay GWVR > 26001#!). Why the regular DMV can't handle it I have no idea; I was following what the person on the phone told me when I called. Following directions in this case didn't work out in my favor.

I guess it was technically in writing since they printed it off and handed it to me, but it was word for word the same as the first post I quoted. I was (and still am to some extent) surprised to find that these requirements aren't anywhere to be found in the NAC, NRS, the Register of Administrative Regulations, or anywhere else I looked.
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