Trailer conversion

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 09:02
ThreadID: 137212 Views:919 Replies:5 FollowUps:17
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Hi again all,

It always seems to be a weekend when you need to contact a govt department, so i thought id run it by here so might save me some time on the phone.

I have recently permanently attached a soft floor tent to my 7*4 off road trailer.

It has a mod plate for the suspension and ATM upgrade but this was done before the tent went on.

Does anyone know if it needs engineering or it is just classed still as a box trailer?

It is registered to weigh 1020Kg all up and it would weigh close to 500Kg give or take a few empty so weight isnt a problem. The suspension is rated at 1350Kg but is only registered up to 1020Kg.

Any thoughts appriciated.
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Reply By: Erad - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 09:22

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 09:22
Going back over 20 years, a friend of mine in country NSW had a box trailer - not sure how big, but it was not a large trailer. He built a temporary camping setup on the trailer and mistakenly went to the local RTA office. They classified it as a caravan, and he then had to have it inspected every year for roadworthiness. I have heard of similar problems with with people using their box trailer to tow a boat and a copper pulling them up telling them it is a boat trailer. Not sure where you live, but if it is in NSW, shut up about what you have done...
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:03

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:03
As above, it should be registered as a caravan, it should also reflect this new description, along with the revised tare weight on the compliance plate. You can buy a blank compliance plate from most trailer parts suppliers.
If your trailer ATM is 1020kg it would need the suspension to be rated at 1224kg as a minimum, so your 1350kg rating is good.
It also has to have a fire extinguisher fitted.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 09:57

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 09:57
"I have recently permanently attached a soft floor tent to my 7*4 off road trailer."

Modify it so it is easily detachable. It then becomes a load so no need to approach the RMS,
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:24

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:24
PeterD, This is what I was thinking as well, as long as it is detachable, it cannot be considered permanent. Same as slide on campers for the back of utes.

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Follow Up By: duck - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 13:34

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 13:34
I have a large slide on camper on Isuzu 4x4 truck & in NSW according to RMS road side scaleys if its bolted on its classed as permanent even thou I have a full tray, it must meet ADR as a motorhome & if its strapped or chained on its classed as a load, so I now have now fitted Wing nuts & bolts. This will confuse them as it Not permanent & it’s not chained or strapped
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:50

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:50
Not so sure that it would be that simple, in Victoria a standard 6x4 trailer doesn’t have to be registered, UNLESS you put a boat on it, then it is regarded as a boat trailer & must be registered.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 21:21

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 21:21
Thanks for the update Shaker.

I lived in Vic in the early '80's & they were the rules then too. I actually thought that Vic would have changed that by now.

Here in SA, a trailer, is a trailer, is a trailer....................

It matters not whether it's a boat trailer, a 6x4, a caravan, or a camper trailer. The rules are the same.

I can buy a trailer & fit a camper tent permanently to it & it's still just a trailer to the Govt.
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 07:42

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 07:42
Unbelievable.

Not what you are saying, but that there can be so many different laws for the same thing in the same country.

So in VIC 6*4s dont need to be registered.

Do they have number plates?
What if you cross a border, is it still legal and insured?

I imagine it is the same as when a QLD registered vehicle that hasn't had a safety inspection in 30 years is driven interstate.

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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 08:22

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 08:22
You have a choice regarding the number plate, you can buy a special plate or you can make a plate displaying the number of the vehicle that it towing the trailer.
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Follow Up By: KevinE - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 12:57

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 12:57
There you go!

They were the rules in Vic 36 years ago too. I used to borrow my mates 6x4 trailer & just made up a number plate the same as my car for the trailer while I was towing it.

You used to be able to make your own plates in SA years ago too, but that's been a massive no, no for decades now. Big fines & demerits if you do!
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 16:37

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 16:37
I don't know what people are complaining about 6 states and territories making their own rules. The Untied Wtates have 50 off states all making their own rules. At least here you can travel much further before having to rethink the rules.

"You used to be able to make your own plates in SA years ago too, but that's been a massive no, no for decades now."

If you go back far enough, NSW and other states only issued one plate and you were required to manufacture the other one.
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Monday, Sep 10, 2018 at 10:24

Monday, Sep 10, 2018 at 10:24
qldcamper, I had a small camping trailer I use to tow behind my motorcycle. I live in Vic. but because a toured extensively interstate, I chose to have it registered. This trailer was much smaller than 6x4.



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Reply By: Hoyks - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:33

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 10:33
Yes. According to the standards bulletin you will have to get it registered correctly, but it should be just paperwork and a bit of stuffing around.

You could argue the "permanently equipped" if it is only 4 bolts, but if you have strapped anything else onto the now camper, then you will probably be pushing it up hill.

"Typical Examples of Trailers Covered by this Bulletin

11.4 Caravan
An enclosed trailer, which is intended for use as a mobile home or living quarters when parked. It will usually provide fixed sleeping accommodation and/or facilities for the preparation of food. A trailer permanently equipped with a folding and stowable roof (such as a camper trailer) is a caravan."
VSB 1 Building Small Trailers. National Code of Practic
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Reply By: swampy - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 14:13

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 14:13
Hi
Provided the trailer is registered for braked either single axle or dual axle and the appropiate weight rating leave it alone . The only exception is if u want to insure it .
Then u will have to go thru the full procedure . Just paper work . Pain in the ass..
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Reply By: qldcamper - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 15:41

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 15:41
Thanks for all your thoughts guys.
Looks like i got some paperwork to do with the transport department.
After the work it took to fit the thing, 2 days drilling stainless, cost a small fortune in drill bits, I really dont fancy taking it off to make it removable, and that would be a pain to get the struts and everything working, lots easier to do the paperwork.

I am also not a head in the sand type of guy, with license plate recognition cameras mounted in police cars it is too easy for them to pick up errors in types of trailers. Then there is always the insurance issue if involved in an accident, better off dotting the i's and crossing the t's before there is an issue.

But the question was more does it need to be engineer approved before going to the transport department to do the paperwork?
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Follow Up By: Member - PhilD_NT - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:33

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:33
So a roof top tent permanently bolted to a roof rack and securely attached to a car cab or canopy then becomes a motorhome. Where exactly do you draw the line?
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:54

Saturday, Sep 08, 2018 at 18:54
My friend did the same as you & it didn’t need to be engineered, he did need a fire extinguisher fitted & also a weighbridge certificate.
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 07:35

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 07:35
What state?

I really love these uniform laws we have across Australia.

The fire extinguisher makes good sense. But it is just something else that can be stolen or set of as a new years eve prank, unless it can be fitted inside the trailer which would be locked up when unattended.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 12:02

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 12:02
Things vary from state to state. In cases that vary from state to state a reply like that is useless unless you include the state where the action took place.
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 17:57

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 17:57
My follow up was regarding Victoria, which I had mentioned in earlier reply/follow up.
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Follow Up By: swampy - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 18:24

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 18:24
HI
If its registered as a braked trailer the only time u might change it is to gain insurance .
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 19:44

Sunday, Sep 09, 2018 at 19:44
With the police being on to caravans & campers re weights etc, it is well worth a couple of hours to weigh the trailer, fit a new compliance plate & change the registration.

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