Last time, I detailed my efforts at attempting to prepare the bus for recognition by the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) as a Motor Home.  Now the final act.

I spent the time to remove most unnecessary material from the bus, extra tools, and trash.  I then tidied up, to make sure that all the components requested in the verbal instructions I had received were easily visible.  Additionally, I double checked all my documentation, and reacquainted myself with the locations of the identifying tags containing the vehicle identifiation.  Now I was armed for battle!

I reviewed the website, noting that the inspectors were in and available at 7am, so I arrived early, went inside to present my case.

I was absolutely beaming as they inspected the bus, checking off the components installed, and removal of the seats.  They checked the glued-on Information tag over the driver’s seat, and the parts tag rivited over the entry door.  Everything seemed to be on track.  Then one of the officers asked where the riveted VIN plate was, refering to it as the “Primary”.

This is a tag riveted to the vehicle, on a car usually found on the driver’s side of the dash at the bottom of the windshield.  We searched everywhere.  They talked to supervisors, I searched the web.  We checked the engine compartment, on the frame near the front left tire, even opened every door and compartment.  Nothing.  Only the two items already found.

So I pulled out my documentation showing a complete chain of ownership from the factory, including bill of sale, original title of the school, and my auction receipt.  With the documents, they were almost ready to sign-off.  Then someone handed me the 2-page printed “Equipment Requirements for RVVN (Van Conversion).

The first 14 items are typical items required for road-worthyness of nearly any vehicle; it was the final, 15th item that created a problem:

15.  RVVN’s must have carpeting or customized flooring installed.  They must also have at least one of the following items of furniture and/or appliances:

  • Sofa
  • Bed
  • Table
  • Chairs
  • Ice box or refrigerator
  • Sink
  • Stove

See Policy TR 420.10 for more information on RVVN conversion requirements.

There are two issues with this paragraph.

The first sentence “RVVN’s must have carpeting or customized flooring installed.” implies a state of completion that is in contradiction with the second half of the sentence:  “They must also have at least one of the following items of furniture and/or appliances:”

Requiring customized flooring makes the assumption that conversion of the vehicle is actually complete, and will not require any further modifications.

Requiring only ONE item in the list counters that assumption, suggesting that a partial conversion may be acceptable to the authority.

I presented my concerns, and argued “strongly” the contradiction; as well that I had made four separate trips to the MVD seeking this information, and it was not to be found.  Nor was the information posted online, and even when pressed on my prior visit, I was told that a copy of the policy containing the text was not available.

In the end, a compromise was reached.  They agreed that since I had demonstrated compliance, and documentation, they would note on the documentation that the order would be “Pending installation of customized flooring”.  This qualifier would allow the issuance of the new title with the body type changed to Motor Home, class A.

My frustrations had reached a head.  Yet the offered compromise would win my case, while providing the department documentation to protect them should an officer stop the bus-now Motor Home and question my compliance.

For Me, it was a win.  I would be returning the bus to its parking place until the conversion was complete anyway.  AND … with the title identifying the vehicle as a private vehicle in both purpose and ownership, the city would no longer require me to  abandon my parking space.

So I signed the paper, accepted the updated, title, installed the license plate, then took her back to her berth, settled her in, and resolved to take a week’s break.  This has been a hard fought battle.

The New Title

The compromise tastes good.