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HDT in Virginia

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Hey All,

We have a Sundowner horse trailer with camper section that weights ~10,000 pounds empty.  I am researching HD trucks vs 1 ton pickups like the F-350.  I want to get the most value for my investment.  I understand from another member's topic that a HDT must be registered as a private truck in Virginia and cannot be registered as an RV.  Do any of you have a HDT in Virginia and can offer me any insight into the state regulations that I must comply with and the cost for title, registration, and taxes?  I have an email into VA DMV and have not had much luck online with Virginia specific information.  Thank you in advance for your help and advice.

 

DJ

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I was originally a resident of VA in the Richmond area.  When I bought my Volvo DMV told me that I could make the necessary changes to comply with DOT Housecar identification.  I would then have to pay $200 for an inspector to come out and examine the truck so that it could be retitled as a custom made or modified vehicle.   Everything seemed to be GO until the supervisor noted that the EMPTY weight was listed as 54,000 lbs.  This was, of course, an error on the title but she said that it would be against the law for her to change it to the 18,200 lbs the build certificate I held in my hand showed.  She could only change the gross weight.  Sooo........ since the EW was more than 26,000 pounds it all fell through because of a title error I could not get changed.  I was later told by some other owners of HDT's (non-supported hearsay) that the examiner rarely if ever recertified an HDT as a motorhome without an RV body being built on the back of the truck and removal of the weight carrying hitch (fifth wheel).  In conclusion, you "might" be able to get RV registration if your title is OK and the examiner is a nice guy willing to give you the needed approval.

I ended up moving my domicile to SD and titling there as a custom RV - something I am told they no longer do (???????).  My intent was to move my domicile back to VA and with the SD title just register as an RV.  I hit a snag there because the VIN and previous title number were still in the VA system and I was right back at square one even though the empty weight was now correct on the SD title.   Give it a try and talk with Pat (JPL) about his success.  Personally, the insurance cost for full-time, the lack of PP taxes and no annual vehicle inspection quickly made up for the higher tag fee in SD.  So, being listed as full-time (out 6 or more months a year) I could make SD my domicile and drive on down the road - which I have done for the past 9 years. 

Good luck!

Edited by RandyA

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Thank you RandyA.  It sounds like I need to speak with one of  these examiners prior to the purchase.  It sounds a little like the process for titling a replica vehicle.  I will have to read up.  

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DA    I use to tow with a 550 but have been towing with the Volvo for over 7 years. I would never go back to a little truck. My story is somewhat  the same as Randy's. But I got lucky when we bought the Pats Pride aka a 1998 610 Volvo. I live in a HOA but I have a shop in the back that they HATE. I am able to keep the 5er(43') and the Pride here also. Only because it is titled as a Motor Home. It is a RV. I dreamed of converting a single axle Volvo to a MH but the state is really hard to deal with. I never got as far as Randy did. I could never get anybody to talk to me. So when this truck came on Escapees for sale (May 2011) I called him. It was in Minn and I asked him to fax me a copy of the title. I took it to DMV and they said they would honor the MH title. So I had him drive down with it. He was here on Sunday and gave me a 9 hr driving course. We sealed the deal the next day and he flew back to Minn. We have been towing with it ever since.

Now as far as converting one in Va. If the truck has never been titled in Va you stand a chance. But as Randy said they may make a issue if there isn't something over the old location of the Fifth Wheel hitch. On our truck the tow box covers that area but I don't know how a inspector would go with that.

Where do you live In Va? We are in Chesapeake. I know of 2 other HDT's in Va.

Our truck is a 1998. It was bought when it came off a 4 year lease with 400k Bob bought it and had it singled. and the tow box built and then towed a 5er for 9 years and a 150k miles. We bought it from him so we are the 3rd owners. Now we have 590k on it. If you want to ask any question's call me at 757-646-1686. Love to talk trucks with you.    Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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DA   I was in Roanoke last weekend and came thru Lynchburg. Just give me a call if you want.   Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Just a note on SD change to MH.  I did it something like a year ago.  Went loaded with all the documentation they listed on their conversion form (see the Resource Guide titling in SD) and all they wanted was a current weight ticket.  Took 15 minutes.

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Great info.  I plan to register one in va in the future. It does make it a bit scary to buy a truck, do the mods to rv abd then be stuck. 

 

Whet are typical registration fees and pp tax you all pay? 

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On 8/25/2018 at 6:09 AM, NeverEasy said:

Just a note on SD change to MH.  I did it something like a year ago.  Went loaded with all the documentation they listed on their conversion form (see the Resource Guide titling in SD) and all they wanted was a current weight ticket.  Took 15 minutes.

Just an FYI and/or a South Dakota Question.

At one time - probably about the time Randy A registered his in SD.......SD would *not* register an HDT as a MH.  YES the procedure (for lack of a better term) was "on the books" - and at least one member of the forums was so registered.

("Dave K" [?] who is no longer on the forums due to a falling out with the powers that be). 

SD "pulled" his MH registration - and he (and others?) had the choice of commercial or Private Truck (non-commercial). Note that the "Private Truck" registration was NOT a MH registration. As you might expect, he was NOT a happy camper, and fought the re-title - to no avail. Others were simply ignored - and did not suffer the same fate.

Unfortunately - the forum has changed formats (or forum server?) at least twice, and that info -and discussion- was lost.

Sooooo has SD "modified" the wording/requirements of/for MH registration/title for HDTs - or are the MH titles "slipping through the cracks?"

 

 

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I had no trouble getting a "Converted RV" (aka MotorHome) title and registration in SD.  The reported issues with a title roll back previously discussed never reared their ugly head.  It has been 10 years now.  No issues with insurer either.

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Troy    I would not buy a truck till Va looked at the title and said they would title it as a MH. Even then be careful because they can Forget they ever talked to you.   Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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3 hours ago, JPL said:

Troy    I would not buy a truck till Va looked at the title and said they would title it as a MH. Even then be careful because they can Forget they ever talked to you.   Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

I am not sure how to do that though.  I would need to get someone to agree to go to the dmv with me with the title.  That might be difficult, but a valid point.  If I had the truck and coiid not convert it then I would be stuck.  

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In MD there is a form (VR95) that you can self-certify that 4 out of 7 required things are on board. (Toilet, etc). You then become a "multi-purpose vehicle". Look into what school bus conversions do and that may give you a route.

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Troy   When you look at a truck IF it hasn't been previously titled in Va you have a chance to get it titled. But IF it has previously been titled in Va as a working truck you are out of luck. Just take a copy of the truck to DMV and have them put the "verdict" on it. Again you might be able to find a shop/truck trailer repair that can change/retitle a vehicle. Hope you have good luck but just let me know how things are going. You have my #. Since you are close to Lynchburg you might stop by the truck body shop right on 460 on the east side of Lynchburg. Big building with a fenced in yard with truck bodies along the fence.I think it just across from the small airport.    Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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Good info.  I need to buy an out is state vehicle and with just what I M looking for that is probably the case anyway.  I plan to call the dmv tomorrow and see what they say.  

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Glad I came across this forum post.As I’m getting ready to purchase a Volvo 780 to convert for dragging my 5th wheel around.JPL I noticed you as well as others are in Virginia as well as myself.If it’s ok with you, I may call you as well

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Hammer804,

Don't know where you are in VA but all the DMVs don't have the same answers for registration and titling.  In the Tidewater area, we have found that the one on Greenbriar in Chesapeake is the easiest to deal with.  

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1 hour ago, NeverEasy said:

Hammer804,

Don't know where you are in VA but all the DMVs don't have the same answers for registration and titling.  In the Tidewater area, we have found that the one on Greenbriar in Chesapeake is the easiest to deal with.  

Thanks for the info 

I’m in the little town of Chester sounds like your about an hour or so away from me.

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Hammer   We finally got the computer issues fixed so tonight is the first visit to the forum in a couple of months. Enjoyed the phone cons and hope things are working out for getting a real truck! One toners are just toys. Hope some of those guys don't visit here they may take that to heart. Hope to see you soon. 7th?! Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

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On 11/11/2019 at 10:36 PM, JPL said:

Hammer   We finally got the computer issues fixed so tonight is the first visit to the forum in a couple of months. Enjoyed the phone cons and hope things are working out for getting a real truck! One toners are just toys. Hope some of those guys don't visit here they may take that to heart. Hope to see you soon. 7th?! Pat

 

 

The Old Sailor

Yes Sir Pat, Gonna definitely try our best to make it on the 7th,if not we’ll for sure visit another weekend.I enjoyed speaking with on the phone as well.I’ll talk with you soon as we find out the exact dates the wife will be at the beach for work as it’s changed twice since we last talked on phone

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