Bus Conversion to Legal RV

Question: My large family races bicycles around N. E. and beyond. We have started a charity to promote awareness and help to cystic fibrosis patients.

Bus Conversion to Legal RV

by Ron (Hopedale, MA)

Question: My large family races bicycles around N. E. and beyond. We have started a charity to promote awareness and help to cystic fibrosis patients. We do not have a non-profit 501c3 in place at present – it may happen since we fit the state parameter, but I just don’t have the money for legal fees right now.

Our 15 passenger van and 20×8′ tow behind trailer are both aging. We looked into a used bus as an option and it seems to be a good economic move. As I have been researching costs and requirements with the DMV and insurance co. I realize real clear that things will be way cheaper and easier if I can register as an RV instead of a bus.

What do I have to do to make my bus a legal RV? It is used to bring my family and some teammates to and from races on weekends 10 months a year. Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: It sounds like you are already talking to the DMV, so we suggest you start there. Ask for their definition of an RV – for instance, do they have any specific requirements for registering a vehicle as an RV. It may vary by state, so if you are considering various states, check them out.

We have no experiece in this area, but found your question interesting and are posting it in the hopes that others will comment. There are certainly others who have done a bus conversion to RV and might be able to help.

An online search will give you multiple websites that discuss how to convert a bus to an RV, from the perspective of practical do-it-yourself tips. There are also bus conversion special interest groups and forums out there.

We invite suggestions and comments to help you out.

Comments for Bus Conversion to Legal RV

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Jan 02, 2015

bus to RV

by: Anonymous


It’s a state DMV issue. I have one, but didn’t do the paperwork conversion. In my state it is called a “car house”. I think there might be some requirements to define the bus as a RV, such as a bathroom, sleeping area, food prep. area, etc. and likely a limit on the number of passengers allowed. You do not have to have a CDL with bus license to drive it. These are just my thoughts as to possibilities that you might run into, but it depends on your state. The great news is that a good bus will run forever.


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