If you go through a van conversion, then you may be wondering whether you need to tell the DMV that you have changed the use of your van into a campervan. After all, they are completely different classes of vehicles, right?
Yes. You do need to register your van as a campervan. The process isn’t all that long, and you can probably complete it in a single trip to the DMV. In some states, it may even be illegal to not change the use of your vehicle as soon as possible.
Here, we want to go into a bit of depth on some of the more common questions that people have about changing the use of their van to a campervan. We will also detail the process that you will need to follow.
Do I Need To Register My Van As a Campervan?
In most cases, yes. There may be a few states that do not require it. However, even then, we suggest that you head to the DMV and get the vehicle re-titled anyway. It will have an impact on your insurance premiums, and insurance companies are not huge fans of providing insurance for a vehicle that is being used in a completely different way from what they think.
Don’t worry. You aren’t going to be jumping through hoops to get your vehicle re-titled. It is a rather simple process, and while it can vary from state to state, it is very rarely going to take more than a single trip to the DMV. Although, do bear in mind that you will probably need to have your vehicle inspected.
What Requirements Must a Van Meet To Be Classed As a Campervan?
To bear in mind that not all converted vans can be registered as an RV. In most states, there will be strict requirements about what a campervan actually is. This means that you will only need to register your van conversion if your vehicle meets at least 4 of the following 6 requirements. Some states may let these rules slide a little bit. However, most won’t.
- There must be a heating or air conditioning system in the vehicle. This must be powered from an external power supply (e.g. a battery) and should not be running on the vehicle’s standard power supply i.e. normal vehicle air conditioning and heating is not enough to qualify.
- Running water supply
- Septic tank
- 110-volt power supply
- A fridge inside of the vehicle. This can run on propane or electrics.
- A cooker inside of the vehicle. This can run on propane or electrics. Do bear in mind that a microwave may be enough to meet this requirement, assuming it is running on a 110-volt supply.
This means that if you have just placed a bed into your converted van, then it won’t qualify as a campervan. It is just a van with a bed in it.
How Do I Register My Converted Van As a Campervan?
As we have said several times, the process is going to vary based upon where you are living. We will give you a general overview. However, we urge you to check the requirements on the DMV website in your state.
In almost all cases, you will need to have your campervan inspected. This isn’t really a case of checking to ensure that the van is safe. It is more to ensure that it meets the requirements of being classed as a campervan.
During the inspection, you will need to provide proof that you own the vehicle. This means that you will need to bring your vehicle’s title along. If you have used parts from other vehicles, then you will need the title or some proof of ownership that they belong to you.
Most DMVs will also require you to provide a list of the conversions that you have made to your van. This is so they know that your van meets the requirements to be classed as a camper van.
Finally, you will need to provide the weight of your vehicle. This means that you will need to go to a vehicle weigh station and bring the receipt along. Without that, your vehicle cannot be registered as a camper van.
Do I Need To Tell My Insurance Company That I have Converted My Van Into a Campervan?
In theory, once your vehicle has had its use changed on the title, this should be apparent to all insurance companies in the future. This means that you won’t have to tell them that you have a converted van. They will already know.
You will likely need to tell your current insurance company, though.
As you will know, insurance is about providing you coverage in the event of an accident. The inside of a campervan is likely going to be worth a lot more than the inside of a van. Many people that have converted their van into a campervan and not told their insurance company have discovered that, should they get into an accident, the full cost of their vehicle isn’t covered. They are losing money.
Yes. Your insurance premiums will go up when you tell your insurance company that you now have a converted van. However, trust us. It is worth paying a little bit extra for your insurance premiums now than losing a lot of money in the future.
If you have a converted van, then you will likely need to register it as a campervan with the DMV. This is not always the case. For example, minor conversions are excluded from this (e.g. if you have no running water or electricity). However, it is always going to be worth checking the DMV website for your state to see what the laws are.
In any case, you will almost certainly need to tell your insurance company that you have changed the use of your van. If you do not, then there is a good chance that the insurance company won’t cover you in the case of an accident.