registering your motorhome

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 27, 2015 at 21:53
ThreadID: 131216 Views:5173 Replies:3 FollowUps:11
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I’m writing this blog in the hope that I can help any future motorhome builders in NSW where our own experience was riddled with unclear, ambiguous and imprecise answers to our questions.
We bought a 97 Toyota Coaster 22 seater with disabled door access. Here are some of the things we learned the hard way –
• To reduce the level of driver’s licence to standard rather than LR you need to be under a TARE weight of 4495 tonne, reduce the seating capacity AND here’s the one they forget to mention - modify the suspension.
• For registration you need to take -
? an electrical certificate from a licenced electrician
? a gas certificate from a licensed plumber
? a compliance certificate from an auto engineer (approx. $1,000)
? because of the modifications, you will need a BLUE certificate from an authorised mechanic. The registration renewal will only require a PINK slip. You only need a BROWN certificate if the vehicle is over 5 tonne and has air brakes. *Coasters have vacuum brakes.
? a weight certificate obtained from a public weighbridge
? a hard copy of a CTP green slip (electronic option is not possible in NSW when you have a blue slip)
? If registration has expired, you will be required to hand in the plates. In our situation, we were only 2 months out of rego so our CTP was still active. The RMS gave us the option of keeping our old plates. * you will need to take the plates with you when you go to the RMS because they need to sight them. Also a note to the wise – we got everything done except the CTP slip which was paid but couldn’t be sent electronically to the RMS. We returned the next day with a hard copy of the CTP but the computer didn’t cope with the process spanning 2 days. After many hours it was sorted but my advice is to cancel the application if it’s not done in one day and start again another day.
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Reply By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 08:14

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 08:14
Re the weight the GVM must be less than 4.5T for a car licence and the tare below that to allow for a reasonable load which includes fuel, passengers and anything else you wish to carry.
IMHO it is hardly worth the effort to "nobble" the vehicle as it is only a normal driving test to upgrade to an LR. There may be a slight decrease in rego costs but again hardly worth the effort especially as you would have to stuff around with the suspension in order to comply with light vehicle regs.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Follow Up By: Member - peasuep - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 19:23

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 19:23
Thanks Peter,
We agree, we decided not to fuss around with the suspension as we both had an LR licence anyway.
However, to upgrade to LR licence in NSW it is a full day course @ $700-$800 and they test you at the end.
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 21:43

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 21:43
You can also still upgrade to an LR by just doing a knowledge test and then driving test at the RMS rather than the more expensive full day $700 competency based course.
The easiest way is to borrow or hire a Hiace Commuter 14 seater bus which are very easy to drive and park.
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Follow Up By: Member - peasuep - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 07:42

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 07:42
How do learn the practical load securing methods?
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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 09:04

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 09:04
There isn't any practical load securing with an LR upgrade, well there wasn't when I did mine years ago and there doesn't seem to be on the RMS site either, just questions on it in the knowledge test.
Going to an MR you do all the practical on different load restraints and must fit each type as well as do an extensive knowledge test on loading.
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Follow Up By: Member - peasuep - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 19:20

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 19:20
Our recent experience with the RMS is that their website is woefully lacking in information so I wouldn't be relying on that as a source. Going in person is just as frustrating because the tellers rely on the website. It was the local RMS that told me to do the full day course....as I said in the original post...very confusing...and frustrating.
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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:55

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 09:55
Think you might be in error there as from the NSW RTA registration page it says this

Light vehicles (up to 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass) Which is the LOADED limit NOT the TARE which is the EMPTY weight

Did you get confused with this about tax

Light vehicles – motor vehicle tax

(effective 1 January 2015)

Light vehicles (up to 4.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Mass) attract motor vehicle tax based on the tare (unladen) weight of the vehicle. The more it weighs, the higher the vehicle tax. In addition, vehicles used for business purposes attract a higher vehicle tax than those for private use.
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Follow Up By: Idler Chris - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 16:31

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 16:31
I was talking to Vic Roads last week about the registration of my new D-Max cab/chassis and they informed me that registration cost was the same no matter what the tare weight was as long as it was under 4.5 tonne.
What other people think of me is none of my business.
Do unto others what you would have them do unto you.

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Follow Up By: TomH - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 19:14

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 19:14
I think some one has their wires crossed here All vehicle are graded according to their MAXIMUM ALLOWABLE LOADED WEIGHT.

EG your Dmax would have to be under 4.5T GVM or you would need a LR licence to drive it.

Tare has almost nothing to do with it except as in post above for Tax in NSW.

IE Once you get in it you have already exceeded the Tare weight as you have when you filled the fuel tank
It may be taken into account for rego but certainly not for licences. In QLD the number of cylinders governs how much rego costs Have just paid for a 1.2l Polo $670 for rego and 3rd party ins. My 6cyl Cruiser used to cost over $800.
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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 11:48

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 11:48
TomH, I don't think Idler Chris has his wires crossed, he mentioned nothing about the type of licence needed to drive his D-Max - he was talking about Vic rego cost not being based on tare weight of the vehicle, but merely a fixed charge for all light vehicles under 4500kgs tare.

I can't speak for other States, but in W.A., the licence fee (rego) is based on the tare weight of the vehicle, for all types of vehicles.
The calculations for the licence fee is based on "per 100kg x Total weight" (i.e. - tare weight).
The licence fee amount per 100kg varies from $5.00 for cranes, forklifts and tractors to $59.97 for motorcycles exceeding 250cc.
So it's advantageous to yourself, for lower rego cost, to keep your vehicle as light as possible.

Licence fee calculator - W.A.

I think it's also time the States started to use standard terminology as well. NSW calls rego a Tax, W.A. calls rego a "licence" (which can be confused with Drivers Licence for newbies), and "fee" seems to be able to be used for anything.

Cheers, Ron.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 13:24

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 13:24
"I think it's also time the States started to use standard terminology as well. NSW calls rego a Tax, W.A. calls rego a "licence" (which can be confused with Drivers Licence for newbies), and "fee" seems to be able to be used for anything."

Couldn't agree more, Ron. When talking with my Melbourne family about annual fixed cost for vehicle ownership, it's hard to get a meaningfull discussion as they all get mixed up with terminology.

Re your NSW comment, looking at my NSW rego renewal for my BT50 due in a few days:

Registration Fee $63.00
Motor Vehicle Tax (based on tare weight) $441.00

Before I can renew my rego, I must first renew my Compulsory Third Party insurance (choose from a number of non-government providers) - $676.00.

So $1118.00 each year just to get it on the road.

Now add Comprehensive insurance - another $1100.00 odd.

Grand total $2218 ish

All due less than a month after Christmas:-(

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: TomH - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 14:30

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 14:30
In the OP it says this which is incorrect

• To reduce the level of driver’s licence to standard rather than LR you need to be under a TARE weight of 4495 tonne, reduce the seating capacity AND here’s the one they forget to mention - modify the suspension.

You can only drive a vehicle of UNDER 4500kg GROSS VEHICLE MASS (Max allowable loaded weight ) on a car licence


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Follow Up By: Ron N - Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 15:04

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2015 at 15:04
That is correct. But you referred to "D-Max" in your second post - not the OP - leading one to understand you were saying Idler Chris had his wires crossed.

The OP definitely has his wires crossed, as he doesn't seem to have a grasp of the correct use of mass terms.

The registration authorities are a jumble of confusion at the best of times, as they rarely know all their own rules and regulations.

I re-registered my 5 tonne Isuzu truck after purchasing it unregistered from auction, and carrying out extensive repairs on it.
The tare weight was originally 4560kg, as written on the fuel tank. I went to the trouble of getting a registered weighbridge ticket, and found the truck actually weighed 4720kg. I hadn't added any weight during the repairs.

I presented at the W.A. DOT fully armed with every piece of documentation I reckoned they would need - only to have the terminal operator complete ignore my weighbridge ticket, and list the tare as the original 4560kg - because that's what it came up as, when she logged into the vehicle record!

I guess it was just too much trouble to change it all on the system. It doesn't bother me one iota, it means cheaper rego for me.
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Reply By: Ron N - Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 11:10

Monday, Dec 28, 2015 at 11:10
The 4500kg limit is an important dividing line to authorities, between "Light vehicles", and "Heavy vehicles".
Authorities across Australia regard anything over 4500kg GVM as falling into the "Heavy" or "Truck" category.

As a result, it is regarded by authorities that a higher level of driving skill is required to operate vehicles over this weight.
You often cannot get any registration concessions for vehicles over 4500kgs GVM.

If you come across a road that has only recently been opened after flooding or damage, you will often find it is "open to light vehicles only".
This means vehicles with a GVM of less than 4500kg. If your vehicle has a GVM over 4500kg, you are excluded from using the road, as your vehicle is classified as a "Heavy" vehicle.

In addition, the Vehicle Standards Bulletins requirements alter substantially, once you get into the "Heavy" category.
You can carry out some modifications to "Light" vehicles, that are either not allowed on "Heavy" vehicles - or that are more heavily scrutinised, and which have to meet tighter VSB requirements on "Heavy" vehicles.
There are different VSB codes and regulations applying to "Light" and "Heavy" vehicles, that are strictly applied for each group.

In general, if you can keep the GVM of your vehicle below 4500kgs, you will find less restrictions on what you can do, as compared to a vehicle over 4500kgs GVM.

Cheers, Ron.
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