NSW RTA conversion rules

Submitted: Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 16:43
ThreadID: 105876 Views:12957 Replies:7 FollowUps:5
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Hello I am hoping someone can point me in the direction of a link that provides the rules and regulations for converting a van into a motorhome. After a fruitless 40 min phone call with the RTA I am no wiser.
We have converted an Iveco Daily into a small campervan/motorhome and the NRMA suggested we should have it reclassified so wanting to check whether this is what we should be doing.
Regards Karyn
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Reply By: Member - John - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:02

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:02
Karyn, from the RTA website, clear as mud..............

Conversion of a vehicle to campervan/motorhome. Example requiring certification: • Conversion of a bus or ute to a motorhome by structural modifications or modifications that affect the vehicle’s ADR category. Example not requiring certification: • Slide-on campers attached to tray bodies or utes. Note: 1. Structural modifications may include; a ‘pop-top’ roof, and cabin modifications. 2. Campervans and motorhomes converted prior to first registration require Federal approval which is known as ‘second stage compliance’.
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Karyn D - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:35

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:35
That is basically what he kept reading out to me, he couldn't seem to understand that a) the van was not new & b) it's a huge bloody van with kitchen, bed, sink and cupboards. No structural modifications No cabin modifications. He ended up putting me on hold and the the line mysteriously dropped out :(
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:13

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:13
well blow me down - RTA in don't give a $h!te mode. My missus has just come back and given up after waiting 50 minutes in the RTA. 18 seats full up and plenty more standing and waiting. There would've been plenty more in there but for people giving up and walking out. Ten past two until 3 pm. Not even lunchtime and TWO staff on. Erina, Central Coast, NSW.
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:21

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:21
Think that's bad............you should try going to the DMV in California, you need an appointment 2-3 weeks in advance and you still have to stand in line.
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Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:38

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:38
Par for the course, I'm afraid Steve.

While planning last year's remote area trip I realised that the van's rego would expire while interstate. Braked vans need an inspection by an authorised inspection station every 5 years for rego renewal and mine was due.

3 months before we left I used the email form on the NSW RTA/RMS site to ask how to go about it while interstate in rural/remote areas. No answer.

A month later I tried again. No answer.

In the flurry of planning and preparations I didn't follow up and we departed.

While "out there" about 2 weeks before rego expiry I got an SMS reminding me that rego for the van was due.Well, points for that, credit where it's due, etc.

When I got in coverage and rang them I was queued on the phone. Gave up after 20 minutes of my air time. A week later had some coverage and tried again. Same result.

Ended up driving the last 2 weeks with the van unregistered and presumably uninsured as a result.

Got home and opened the pile of held mail. There was a letter pointing out the dire consequences of being unregistered, blah, blah, blah, signed by a person and with an email address for queries.

Sent an email to that address, and you guessed it, no response.

They are effing hopeless.

To be resolved.


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Follow Up By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:56

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:56
gov't department, mate. No boss, no responsibility, ar$e-covering, out to lunch, don't give shiny $h!te etc etc etc.

They'll be towing Kedrons towed by Cruisers in their retirement though.
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:33

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 17:33
Sounds like our medical centre :-)
AnswerID: 524810

Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:00

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:00
There is a list on the RTA website of the engineers that can approve any modifications done. The usual things they look at are fitting poptops, seating changes like swivels to front seats, removing seats etc. The biggest source of grief is fitting rear seating positions that can be used when mobile and are fitted with belts etc.
If LPG and/or a 240AC electricity system is fitted then each system needs approval by relevant authorities.
You then take all the approvals to the RTA so they can charge you appropriately ;-))
AnswerID: 524812

Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:10

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:10
Here is a link to the list of engineers, engineers listusually you would see them before any work is done just to make sure what you are doing is likely to be approved or not.
As the work is already done and no structural changes to the van body then you should be ok.
They also might want a weighbridge certificate.
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Reply By: scruffy - Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:08

Monday, Jan 20, 2014 at 18:08
Was told a while ago that a conversion to a motor home only needs a stove, a sink and a bed. This is in Qld and a mod plate needs to be attached as to the conversion [modified from original]. Hope this helps in some small way. Bob
AnswerID: 524813

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 18:44

Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 at 18:44
Hi Karyn D,
The brother and I have just completed a major conversion of his US imported 32 Ft. motor home and we are heading to the engineer at Taree first thing in the morning for inspection and hopefully approval.

My advice to you is the same as Ozhumvee.

If you are in NSW check the RMS website for details of certifying engineers closest to you.
Explain what your problem is and they will advise you as to whether it will need to be inspected by an engineer. My thinking is that it will if only for insurance requirements.

If you have made no structural alterations to the original vehicle, ie remove metal or add metal, then it may be a straightforward formality. Otherwise there will be a few hoops you have to jump through.

If adding additional seating positions that will complicate matters somewhat.

Hope this helps,
Cheers, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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Reply By: The Bantam - Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:49

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 at 10:49
It seems that it is a trend for government department to not provide advice on their own laws and regulations.
All to often the people who realy know are not available thru the call centre and those in the call centre will only be quoting the web site...which may be less than helpfull.

You may well find the people who know and could be helpfull exist, but they are not generally accessable to the general public.....wade thru the web sites and on line brocures and you may stumble on their contact details.

Generally though, they want you to go to a private certifier and pay for the advice.

Just to be of some help, there are realy three groups of issues you need to be aware of.

Actuall modifications
This is where the vehicle body, chassis, suspension or drive line have been altered.....if you are simpley doing a fit out to a van or changing the body on a ute or truck...these my not be viewed the same as doing a cut and shut where the body merges with the cab.

Changes of use and clasification.
If you are removing seats from a bus, and making it into a motorhome, this is a clear change of clasification..and omnibus intended to carry many people is a distinct vehicle clasification.....The same vehicle with exactly the same body ( like a turbo daily, transit van or sprinter) will be available both as a buss ( fitted with many seats) and as a van.....these two vehcles will be distinctly different clasifications, in spite of being exactly the same vehicle..

Simple changes in seating capacity may be regarded as "modifications".
many people also have their vehicle reclasified or the GVM changed...this is a different iisue for pasenger cars and pasenger derived light commercals than it is for full blown commercials and trucks.

Many people have toyota coasters reclasified to reduce their GVM, to both reduce the regestration fees and to allow them to be driven on a pasenger car licence.

It is very common to have the GVM manipulated on trucks and heavy commercials..and is a relativly simple issue...manipulating the GVM, in particular an increase is a very serious issue in passenger and passenger derived vehcles.

Then there are other issues, that realy have nothing to do with transport authorities, but are required, such as gas plumbing and electrical.

Realy what you ned to be doing is knowing the issues before yoiu start.

AnswerID: 524911

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