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HDT as a Motorhome in South Dakota


s106300

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We are meeting Gregg Shields in Rapid City on September 24th to pick up THOR - our Volvo 670 RV Hauler. We intended to register as residents and to register THOR as a Motorhome consistent with our understanding of South Dakota regulations. A recent post, however, seemed to suggest you can't do that any more - what's up with that? Do you have to register as a commercial truck?

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SD MVD long standing policy has been to register our recreational HDT's as "Private non-commercial" , essentially the same class as an F450 pickup truck. You pay a registration fee plus a weight fee based on the total weight of your combo. A while back one member here did claim to successfully register his as an RV in SD, but that was the exception, not the norm. The private non-commercial class gets you the same status as an RV, so I never understood the fuss over which was used.

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The private non-commercial class gets you the same status as an RV, so I never understood the fuss over which was used.

In some states an "rv" is exempt from things that a "truck" is not (ie: type of license required). Some enforcement personnel may look at your truck differently than your MH, even if they are incorrect. And insurance for an "rv" may be less expensive than for "a truck".

 

I don't believe there is a "fuss" as you claim, but many people have valid reasons for choosing one over the other.

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A while back one member here did claim to successfully register his as an RV in SD, but that was the exception, not the norm. The private non-commercial class gets you the same status as an RV, so I never understood the fuss over which was used.

Mine went through and was not kicked back by the auditor. Title says "Converted" and vehicle (truck) is "RV". With only one rear axle insurance company calls it a Class 7 MDT which is contradictory to the registration description (their decision, not mine). Guess I was lucky - but it is what it is now. But yes, cost of tags for both the Volvo and the fiver are assessed by the unloaded vehicle weight.

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Ok, thanks. We are registered with America's Mail Box in Box Elder (Rapid City) and will work with them and Gregg to get THOR registered along with Loki, our as yet unpurchased Smart. We do not yet have our DRV, which we will pick up in Knoxville. How then do they assess the total combined weight for the fee? Ours is a 38RSSA Elite Suites. Do they use the manufacturers specs for gross vehicle weight for the 5ver? Thanks for the help!

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Going from memory here--

 

If you're registering as a private truck, the weight you pay for has to include any trailer you might pull only if the trailer is tagged with an identification plate. Since your 5er will have RV plates, its weight doesn't have to be included. Either the manufacturer's stated weight (I submitted a picture of weights/capacities label) or a scale ticket with the VIN written on it will do the trick (I've used both). It might make sense to weigh it first, just to see what it actually is--I would imagine actual weights "with options" tend to be more than stated, but you never know.

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You just estimate the max combined weight. They may ask you for the trucks actual weight (they took mine off the previous title) but not the 5;er, they leave it up to you to est that. you're going to get a weight sticker to put on your rear plate, 10 tons, 15 tons, 20 tons, etc and the fee goes up accordingly so don't guess too high. Technically if you get stopped and your combined weight is over that sticker amount you can be fined, but the folks doing the registration don't seem to be too concerned with it. That weight sticker is generic, not for a specific 5;er; You could pull 4 different 5'ers with the same truck, or sell the current 5'er and get a new one and that weight sticker would stay the same on the truck, unless you applied for a different weight limit.

 

PS: neither my Volvo or Teton has ever been to SD, I did all this by mail; and at the time I was in Meade county (summer house in Sturgis). So it may go slightly different in person or in a different county. The county treasurer does the registrations. If you use Americas Mailbox, you're Pennington county, the county office is downtown Rapid City.

 

 

 

 

.... We do not yet have our DRV, which we will pick up in Knoxville. How then do they assess the total combined weight for the fee? Ours is a 38RSSA Elite Suites. Do they use the manufacturers specs for gross vehicle weight for the 5ver? Thanks for the help!

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Usually Gregg already has the Volvo titled as a MH in Alberta CA so you will be going through the import process of a MH only. This is what we did in May and I got a copy of the actual DMV importation checklist. I sent it to Gregg for future reference.

We did our registration in Sioux Falls with no issues.

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When I registered my tandem Volvo in SD one year ago, it was through America's Mailbox in Pennington County. The truck was coming into the state titled as a motorhome in Wisconsin. I was told it would still have to be titled and registered as a private truck in SD. When I asked about the tonnage rating, there was lots of confusion at the county treasurer's office about that. The local supervisor was consulted and was certain it should be only the truck's weight, if I wasn't hauling commercial trailers (or other trailers not registered with their own actual weight). The office's logic was that since I was already paying for the weight of my fifth-wheel RV trailer when that was registered, I shouldn't include its weight in the total gross tonnage being paid for on the truck.

 

HOWEVER; not wanting to be in violation of the registration laws, and having read them in detail (they are NOT crystal clear about this, but I understood them to say you need to register the TOTAL combined tonnage), I called the state motor vehicle registration and titling office. After again speaking to several levels of personnel there, I finally got what appeared to be an "authoritative" interpretation stating that indeed, one must pay for tonnage stickers to cover the total weight of truck plus any trailer being towed, regardless of whether that trailer is already registered at its own weight. The supervisor/manager I spoke to there was very sure of this interpretation, and seemed very knowledgeable about it to me. So I ended up paying more to get the higher-tonnage stickers (I paid for 23 tons total, anticipating a Smart car onboard someday).

 

All that said, however, it remains a very murky area in South Dakota. First, you would probably NEVER get weighed; after all, we're not stopping at weigh stations, right? You'd need to get stopped by a state trooper who examines your paid tonnage sticker, figures it's low for the total weight, happens to carry that understanding of the law in his mind, and then forces you to go somewhere and get weighed. Even if all those events happened, I suspect the most they'd make you do is pay the difference at that point in time. And remember, this is clearly an area that is poorly understood by EVERYONE working in the treasurers' offices throughout the state.

 

One of the Commercial Mail Forwarders in SD, might be the one in Emery, I was told, insists to his clients that you only pay the tonnage for your tow vehicle's weight. I think the folks at America's Mailbox might believe that too, although I did inform them of my findings after I upgraded my tonnage stickers. I'm not sure if the Pennington treasurer's personnel have adopted the higher tonnage interpretation now, or not.

 

Coming in from Canada with a titled "motorhome", perhaps you will succeed in keeping that title designation. I just know I was unsuccessful doing that when coming in from Wisconsin so titled. Good luck and let us know your results!

 

Pete

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I am with My Home Address in Emery, SD. When we registered Red Rover in 2006, since he was over 5 years old, I only paid for the combined weight of the truck and trailer. Younger trucks had a different registration fee.

 

A couple of years ago, South Dakota change that time limit to 10 years of age, so I still pay for the combined rig weight, and a trailer fee.

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