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Old 11-30-2018, 12:19 AM   #1
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How is your California rig titled/registered

Hey guys, How is your Sportsmobile Titled/Registered in California? Is it a passenger vehicle, a van, an RV, a commercial vehicle, or something else. I'm not even sure what the possibilities are.

My last Sportsmobile (2006 E350 recently sold) was titled as: "VanC." I guess that's short for "van conversion." Before I buy the next one (Sprinter 4x4), I'd like to make sure my title and registration will not say Recreational Vehicle or RV (My HOA prohibits RVs). Any advice?

I'm also interested in how the DMV determines the registration fees for a Sportsmobile. In California, registration fees are based on the purchase price. Anyone know if that's for the van alone, or if the fee is on the total value/price of the Sportsmobile conversion? If the latter, it would be worth purchasing and registering the vehicle before beginning the conversion, right?

Thanks,
-JR
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Old 12-01-2018, 11:32 AM   #2
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I'm going through the process now in California, I just registered it as a passenger van before the conversion, I still have to smog it and have the CHP verify the title since it came from out of state, but it is currently at SMB west in Fresno so I will have to wait until I get it back to check those two off my list, but they (DMV) already have my money so I think its all just a process now.
The less they know the better off you are.
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Old 12-01-2018, 02:14 PM   #3
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Thanks Russell, So does "Passenger Van" appear on the title or Registration now? Did you have to do anything special to get this designation? Was it a cargo van or did it have rows of passenger seats before the conversion?

Thanks very much,
-JR
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:32 PM   #4
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Mine's body type is listed as "VC". I think you have to meet certain requirements to have it titled as an RV, I don't think that'll happen automatically. I don't know how the title was originally done, as I bought it already CA titled.

I did have issues with insurance companies, who either a) thought it was a commercial vehicle because of the VIN, or b) would not insure it as a passenger van because of the conversion but also wouldn't insure it as an RV because it lacked a toilet. Eventually I ended up with AAA after trying three or four different places.

I would double-check your HOA bylaws and see how they define "RV". The parking ban in the city I live in, while clearly aimed at RVs, is actually an "oversize vehicle" ban and specifies a maximum length, height, and width.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:56 PM   #5
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In my city, ďRVĒ is defined as any vehicle with cabinets or any additions to make it fit for human habitation. So a closet OR a sink OR a toilet OR a stove would make it qualify. As opposed to needing all of those things. However, as with anything, the problem only arises when someone complains.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:59 PM   #6
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Every SMB I’ve had titled in CA (4 or 5) was titled as a Ford van. And then insured as an SMB.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:31 AM   #7
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So "van" is a possible vehicle type for Calif title/registration?
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:43 AM   #8
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Two options.. if it has seats it’s a passenger van, if it has only front seats it’s a commercial truck, and you pay a fee based on weight - which turns out to be roughly the same - I think my recent Sprinter registration was about $100 more as commercial than passenger based on my calculations.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:36 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rallypanam View Post
Two options.. if it has seats itís a passenger van, if it has only front seats itís a commercial truck, and you pay a fee based on weight - which turns out to be roughly the same - I think my recent Sprinter registration was about $100 more as commercial than passenger based on my calculations.
Thanks. Since my HOA prohibits both Recreational Vehicles and Commercial Vehicles (without defining either), I wonder if I should buy a Sprinter Crew van to get the "passenger van" title/registration before beginning the conversion (and selling the rear seats). Might be wasting some money, but much worse in my opinion to have my Sportsmobile stored off-site somewhere after losing a conflict with my HOA.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:10 AM   #10
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Or you could move! Damn HOAs.
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