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Old 10-30-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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AI vehicle classification

I haven't called airstream yet but do you knowledgable owners have any DOCUMENTATION of my 2015 AI being a conversion van? I was told thats how they classify it. Had a neighbor this evening saying you can't have a motor home in our community. My research before purchase says conversion van is considered daily driver and we do drive it all the time out to dinner and such with friends family ect. The dealer had my registration set as MH (motor home) will get on that first thing tomorrow. Have some jealous neighbors and would prefer not to have to lawyer up here shortly.

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Old 10-30-2014, 05:52 PM   #2
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You will probably have to read your CCRs to see what they classify as a motorhome. Depending on your age, you may want to use the disability card for driving your disabled Mother, Brother etc and see if the HOA really feels like pushing the issue. They are conversion vans and don't have any ugly decals so...
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:58 PM   #3
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Thank you have considered options but really just looking for a sliver of documentation.
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Old 10-30-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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Your problem may lie with city ordinances, as is the case here.

The determining factor was that it has a bathroom, I believe.

We got a letter from the city, with a copy of the ordinance attached, and have to be gone or in a storage unit 11/1-3/31 every year.


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Old 10-30-2014, 09:42 PM   #5
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I was able to get my Interstate registered in Maryland as a MB Sprinter van so it is documented as a conversion van. The details of your HOA are critical. Ours also restricts RVs, but has an exception for SUVs and vans that are primarily passenger vehicles. This was a big factor in buying an Interstate with seating for eight. We also use ours as a second vehicle year round. Another factor in my favor is it's parked in a back alley on the driveway behind my townhouse, not visible by most people. So far after two years no issues from neighbors or HOA.


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Old 10-31-2014, 05:30 AM   #6
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I believe our ordinance specifically prohibits parking on the street or in the driveway, can park in the back yard......no longer accessible to me due to the fence.

We used the second-vehicle argument, but that there is a bathroom was the clincher. It was in the ordinance, and non-negotiable.

And, it's a slight inconvenience, but okay.


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Old 10-31-2014, 05:41 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by CraigL View Post
I haven't called airstream yet but do you knowledgable owners have any DOCUMENTATION of my 2015 AI being a conversion van?
The way it works, when you buy a brand-new Airstream Interstate, you are provided with TWO "Certificates of Origin" one from Mercedes Benz that matches the VIN number on the chassis, and one from Airstream that has a different VIN. That is your documentation of the conversion.

When you go to the DMV, make sure you get a knowledgable clerk, because what they're SUPPOSED to do is register it as an Airstream Interstate, but with the Mercedes VIN, since that is the one that matches the engine block and dashboard data plate VINs.

If they registered it as an Interstate with the Airstream VIN, you'd have a problem if you were ever involved in an accident or had it appear on any other police report, because the police check the VIN on the dashboard data plate, and that's the Mercedes VIN. I don't even know where Airstream etched the Airstream VIN, but it's not anywhere visible.

If they registered it as a Mercedes Sprinter with the Mercedes VIN, you may have a problem on insurance, because Kelley Blue Book and NADA values don't include the conversion price.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:07 AM   #8
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Pro is correct. Never got mibe straightened out here in Fl. Still incorrect when I traded it. I let the dealer deal with it.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:36 AM   #9
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Protag, you have way too many facts in your head.

It makes me dizzy to read your posts sometimes.



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Old 10-31-2014, 06:50 AM   #10
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Protag, you have way too many facts in your head.
That wouldn't be so bad, except I reached my maximum capacity ages ago. For years, every time I shoved a new fact in, a hair had to come out to make room!
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
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... Had a neighbor this evening saying you can't have a motor home in our community. My research before purchase says conversion van is considered daily driver....

Thanks
Craig
We had the same question, contacted our city police, contacted our homeowners association (HOA; we are in a subdivision with deed restrictions).

Bottom line that we were told by the police: "The issue is potentially complicated but it's not a high priority for us."

Bottom line that we were told by the HOA: Radio silence.

Strictly speaking, our HOA dictates on paper what is allowable by virtue NOT of vehicle class but by SIZE - they have a 20-foot length restriction and a 6-foot height restriction written into the deed restrictions. However, that stuff is obsolete boilerplate from the 1980's - there are plenty of daily drivers that are NOT motorhomes that now exceed those specs (I have begun taking pictures of them around our neighborhood in case I get hassled about our Interstate, which we do garage off-site but occasionally keep at home overnight because I want to use it for employment-related purposes). When I pointed out this discrepancy and asked the HOA if they were going to enforce this obsolete restriction, I got no definitive feedback. I don't know how they will deal with this because it has to be all or nothing or else I think they will open themselves to liability. They cannot tell the guy who drives his electrician's Sprinter conversion van home from work every night that he CAN park in the neighborhood but then tell the guy who owns the Interstate Sprinter conversion that he CANNOT park. There has to be equal application of enforcement.

As for the local police, the impression that I got is that if a vehicle is properly registered, inspected, and licensed and is a daily driver, they are VERY reluctant to intervene on that situation regardless of circumstances such as public complaints. They have so many bigger fish to fry, and who wants to be fingered as the bad guy who tried to deny someone their lawfully-operated daily driver??

This potential conflict is going to become soooo much bigger in the future. Larger vehicles are becoming the norm. The new Ford Transit comes in height options of 7, 8, and 9 feet. We are just now seeing the tip of this iceberg.

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Old 10-31-2014, 07:30 AM   #12
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There's worse things, Protag.

I lost a man like that....an unending stream of facts I could not believe he had room to store.

I told him I never had to remember anything, because I had him.


We faced a fine for violating the city ordinance. Police didn't intervene, the city did.

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Old 10-31-2014, 08:07 AM   #13
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When I lived in an HOA about 10 years ago, I pulled up with my then new 2004 Sprinter before I had any commercial signage on the van to work on the new to me villa.

Within a DAY, the condo nazis were on the phone telling me that I can't park an RV in my driveway. After trying to enlighten them about what was and was not an RV, I realized that I was dealing with idiots.

The next day, I parked my 40' diesel pusher in front of the unit. Only took 15 minutes for the phone to light up this time. I invited the powers that be over to tour a 'real RV', but they declined.

For some reason, they never called again when the Sprinter was in the driveway!!!


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Old 10-31-2014, 08:41 AM   #14
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Good story Lew! There always seems to be someone in the neighborhoods we don't have much to do but watch their neighbors.

Regarding the insurance issue that Protag mentioned since I have my Interstate registered as a MB Sprinter. I just have a policy with added value declared for the conversion.


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Old 10-31-2014, 10:36 AM   #15
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Funny
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Old 10-31-2014, 11:56 AM   #16
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The simple solution is to comply with the HOA rules as a responsible property owner. However, doing so means going to court sometimes because words can be interpreted differently by those involved. Pursue the fine print clauses carefully as that may be your salvation. Like Lew, demonstrating the variety of variance possible can sometimes help too which is what I chose to do.

I did my due diligence before buying my current property and discovered my home was the only exception to the registered covenants as it was the developer's home within the subdivision (funny how that worked out). The day after I moved in, the HOA president came by to inform me my 4x4 Suburban was a vehicle violation per the rules. He kindly offered to allow me to "keep it" if I parked it out-of-sight in the garage each evening. Explaining my rules exception did not deter him from expressing his righteousness, nor my responding with "the honest, law abiding citizen" who really didn't want to provoke a war but go away before you're sorry.

The following days were filled with voice mails or notes in the mailbox about compliance and my deviance. That weekend I gathered my motorcycle and Airstream trailers, as well as my 18' runabout and 20' sailboat, from off-site storage and parked them all in the side and back yards staying fully compliant to all county/municipal requirements. I also temporarily swapped the wife's car for our son's 4x4 pickup that week. The howl could be heard in the adjoining state.

Then the next Monday morning I left a copy of the recorded lot description boundaries and the filed HOA covenants on every board member's door step to document the HOA's lack of jurisdiction. I never heard back from any of them so I removed all but the Airstream the following weekend. The 'stream is now our "guest house" when we aren't exploring the country with it.

I had never intended to store any of our toys on-site, merely appear during those loading and fixit transition periods in keeping with neighborhood visuals and values. The down side of their nasty approach is I am growing an evergreen barrier so the 'metal junk' in my yard isn't too offensive as a nicety, but it remains. It has been all quiet ever since.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:22 PM   #17
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Good story SeeMore.

I also currently live in an HOA regulated community. I parked my van at home in my driveway for months with no sqawking that I am aware of and then moved it to my garage on another property I own.

I believe I was actually in violation after reading my CCRs. Looking around the neighborhood though, there were many more offenders (I don't care), so I parked it there anyway.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:31 PM   #18
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For sure!

Everyone else seems to have an issue when you step over their 'perceived' boundaries. Many folks living in HOA's have nothing better to do that try to make your life ax miserable as theirs!!!!

I'm ecstatic that my new residence is zoned agricultural, permitting me to do just about anything I please!!!! It's especially nice when the new neighbors come by and specifically tell you that anything you do is FINE with them.

What a refreshing change!!!!!


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Old 11-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #19
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Ditto that. My dad lived in a condo in Michigan and was told he couldn't park in the same space more than three days a week. His solution was to move his car to my mom's spot (next to his) and my mom's car to his. Every third day.
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