Converting Ford Transit van to Campervan

Submitted: Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 16:40
ThreadID: 98216 Views:6042 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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I'm hoping to get a bit of advice! My husband and I have just purchased a Ford Transit van and are going to convert it into a campervan. What I need to know is:

1. Do we need to change the vehicle details on the registration documents from van to campervan or motorhome? If so, roughly what are the costs involved going to be?

2. We are only going to have it sleep 2 (my husband and I), but we need it to seat an extra 2 passengers in the back for when our son and his friend come with us (they will be camping outside in a tent). I obviously want seat belts on these seats to keep them safe, but what I need to know is do the seats HAVE to be forward/backward facing or can the seating face inwards towards the middle of the van? i.e. seats running along the sides of the van. We have been told 2 different things!

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can give us - we are 'conversion virgins'!!! :o)
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Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 17:34

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 17:34
Hi Lynnmarsh,

My brother who is well versed in the current regs as he is converting an imported motorhome to right hand drive, tells me that all you need is a frig, a sink and a bed and you can get it registered as a motorhome or campervan. Apparently a cheaper rate of registration

I would suggest you drop into your local registration office and ask over the counter for information or perhaps look online.

You should be given the relevant forms etc to fill in at the time of asking and it may be as simple as heading off to your local mechanic who does blue slips. (that is the process in NSW I believe).

The extra 2 passenger seating arangements are another matter.
The brother and I are currently working on that very thing for his 32 footer.

The extra seating has to have lap sash seatbelts and it all has to be aproved by an engineer who will have to certify the vehicle as being able to carry 4 persons.

The engineer informed the brother that "I do not want to see anything made of pipe". Brother acquired some approved seats with seatbelts out of a bus and they will be alright as they are certified by the manufacturer.

It is also OK to face the seats into the centre of the vehicle as opposed to forward facing if necessary. The seats must also be bolted to suitable supports which can carry a loading of 4Gs or 4 times the weight of the heaviest passenger they may be required to carry if I have got my facts right.

If you live in NSW you would be well advised to go to the RMS office (formerly RTA) near you and ask who is the nearest RMS certifying engineer as many engineers who formerly did this sort of certifying work have decided to give it away as the RMS has had a shake up in this regard. Many have declined the extra paperwork and responsibility flowing on from the shakeup.

There were a couple of seat on ebay last week which would be suitable and were quite inexpensive I thought. Brother paid about a thousand for 3 sets of 2 seats as the seller would not seperate them.

Motorhome seats

Brothers were in similar condition so he is going to throw a cover over them.

If you get stuck in this regard drop me a line as the brother may have a spare set he could help you out with cheaper than the ones on ebay . email is alanvale at skymesh dot com dot au.

Use seats in the subject line or I might think it spam and delete it.

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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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 17:40

Monday, Sep 24, 2012 at 17:40
I should have added that the seats and or seatbelts must be out of a European or Japanese vehicle but not American according to the engineer.

We assume that the American units are a little light on in construction therefore.

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: Lynnmarsh52 - Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:49

Wednesday, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:49
Fabulous Bruce!! Thank you so much for your reply, it was very helpful.

We are in Perth, so don't think we would be able to have any seats from you. Just finding out now that being in WA is a bit of a nightmare to get hold of any larger items that we need for our conversion! But we have seen absolutely loads of seats on 'Gumtree' that are local, and very reasonably priced, so I think we'll be snapping some up in the week.

Thanks again Bruce, and I may be in touch if we get stuck on any other conversion issues if that's okay :o)

Lynn
AnswerID: 495673

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 14:45

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 14:45
That's OK Lynn, always happy to help.

Your regulations over there in WA could differ slightly perhaps but as most states have to adhere to the ADR (Australian Design Rules) they should not be fare from our regs.

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: PeterInSa - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 16:47

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 16:47
Lynn,
Suggest you join:
http://www.ozerv.com/forum/index.php
This is a forum that a lot of CMCA members are in after the CMCA Forum closed down. There is a sub forum on Motorhome/Campervan Design, Electrics/Plumbing etc etc.
You, may wish to join the CMCA when your vehicle is finished to get good value Insurance as well.

Would definitely talk to a certified engineer before you do to much, get them on side with your plans and it could save you redoing some things. In SA and probably WA you will also need Gas certification and Electrical Certification and when complete a checkout by RTA or equivalent

Peter
AnswerID: 495743

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