Are roof vents compulsory?

Oct 17, 2013
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I was speaking to someone last night who is self converting a VW. He says he has been told by someone he knows who wardens a site near Cirencester that he will not be allowed on site unless he has at least 1 roof vent.
Anyone know if this is correct, he has side windows and vents in the rear pillars and doesn't really want to cut holes in the roof.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Not true..

minimum requirements required by the DVLA

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/registering-a-diy-caravan/converting-a-vehicle-into-a-motorhome

Motor caravan minimum features
In order for a converted vehicle to qualify as a motor caravan it must have certain minimum features:

  • a door that provides access to the living accommodation
  • a bed, which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet - this can be converted from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle
  • a water storage tank or container on, or in, the vehicle
  • a seating and dining area, permanently attached to the vehicle - the table may be detachable but must have some permanent means of attachment to the vehicle. It is not good enough to have a loose table
  • a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe
  • a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle, powered by gas or electricity
  • at least one window on the side of the accommodation
If the vehicle has all of these features present, permanently fixed and installed properly, then it is a legal requirement to have it reclassified as a motor caravan on the V5C.
 
Oct 2, 2008
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Devon Sue
Oct 17, 2013
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Thanks for the replies, I have forwarded them, together with details of this forum, we may get a new member!
 

Minxy Girl

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Total rubbish. Perhaps he should give a copy of the requirements to the warden in question as I'm sure he'll discriminate against others at times if he's not educated!

However, personally I wouldn't want a van without some sort of roof venting as warm air will sit at the top regardless of how many opening windows there are so being able to let it out is a bonus ... it wouldn't have to be a roof vent (ie bit plastic glass thing), but a small 'wizz round' type that you see on some commercial vans so much easier to install and would certainly help.
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
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Whilst not essential, most vans appear to have them.
A skylight allows hot air out and more light in. Add a fan and they're very good for cooling down a 'green-house affected' van.
I'd see how it goes without, but plan to add a skylight later.
 

vwalan

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i didnt fit roof vents in my trailer . but do have windows high up so they act to chimney heat out etc .
plus the windows are small so the sun cant heat the trailer up. also white insulation under the clear fibre roof keeps it cool .
even when in the sahara folk come in and think i must have air con as its cool in the trailer.
i deleberately built it like that as i see so many roof vents by the side of the A30 down here and have seem many broken ones hit by low branches etc .
i would never fit a roof vent in my own or a friends conversion .
 
Oct 2, 2008
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I am surprised that the old air gap "safari" roof isnt more popular as it really works well , I was sorry when they deleted it from the Land rover station wagons , you still see it used on accommodation units in Australia It had the added advantage of vents could be open under the roof without worrying about rain getting in when humidity is very high .
 

Nasher

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May 6, 2016
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As many have said, compulsory - NO.

I thought long & hard about whether to have a roof vent in in my conversion, in the end I decided against it, as it was just something else to go wrong.
Usually, it's just me in the MoHo & I can open one or any of the 5 doors or 3 opening windows to keep it cool, so it was the right decision for me, but if there were 2 or more occupants I think I would have fitted one.
 
Aug 6, 2013
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Maybe a different view but if I was converting a van I'd want the biggest rooflight I could find (probably the Heki II). The difference to interior light and the feel of airiness even after changing a large Hymer vent for a Heki was well worth the effort.
 

Jim

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e says he has been told by someone he knows who wardens a site near Cirencester that he will not be allowed on site unless he has at least 1 roof vent.

People are correctly quoting the definition of a motorhome, but missing the point I think. Its up to the particular site owner in Cirencester. If he does not want to allow vans on without skylights he is within his rights to do so. I've known of this restriction before where the site owner wanted to keep his site free of mattress thrown in the back conversions used by some contractors etc.
 
Reactions: DBK

DBK

Jan 9, 2013
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I was speaking to someone last night who is self converting a VW. He says he has been told by someone he knows who wardens a site near Cirencester that he will not be allowed on site unless he has at least 1 roof vent.
Anyone know if this is correct, he has side windows and vents in the rear pillars and doesn't really want to cut holes in the roof.
It's nothing to do with any legislation it's about keeping the site clear of people they don't want. :)
 

vwalan

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I am surprised that the old air gap "safari" roof isnt more popular as it really works well , I was sorry when they deleted it from the Land rover station wagons , you still see it used on accommodation units in Australia It had the added advantage of vents could be open under the roof without worrying about rain getting in when humidity is very high .
i do also have a couple of banks of solar panels on the roof with a 3-4 inch gap underneath .
yes done deliberately to allow shading .
on my earlier vw van i had a brownchurch roof tent and a board that covered the roof . that again all designed to be like thesafari roof set up. even down in real africa that van was cool in the sun.
 
Oct 2, 2008
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People are correctly quoting the definition of a motorhome, but missing the point I think. Its up to the particular site owner in Cirencester. If he does not want to allow vans on without skylights he is within his rights to do so. I've known of this restriction before where the site owner wanted to keep his site free of mattress thrown in the back conversions used by some contractors etc.
Thats all very well , but if he lets one person on with no skylights ,
say a fully professionally converted PVC ,he needs to be very careful how he deals with the next , in this day and age because if someone sensitive , who might be in some sort of minority gets turned away it could all get a bit difficult .
 

two

Aug 4, 2011
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If a site owner wants to stop a vehicle from using their site, they can dream up any kind of rule they like, rather than state the real reason. An excluded person is unlikely to bother to check how rigidly it’s applied.
 
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