Self builders and converters (1 Viewer)

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Aug 19, 2013
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We're just back from the NEC show. On a van converters stand - I think it was Danbury, there was a large display placard singing the praises of their vans being type approved, and basically rubishing all conversions, self builds included, that are not so approved. Essentially it was saying that any non-approved conversions were laying themselves open to all sorts of legal and insurance liabilities. I did not fully digest the statement, but on the drive home thought about the potential ramifications not only to the converters, but to self-builders.

It would be interesting to hear what any self-builder, or indeed other converters, make of this - fairly strong - statement. It might be worth seeing the full text, if someone can track it down.
 

canopus

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When we had a narrowboat it was the same problem. On the canal a boat had to have a boat safety certificate in order to get a licence to use the canal. Boat Safety Inspectors were allegedly qualified and certified by BW now Canals & Rivers Trust to carry out safety inspections on their behalf. Similarly gas installations strictly had to be installed by what used to be called Corgi registered fitters and many self builders fell foul of this due to them having non-accreditation with the Corgi. Vintage engines couldnt have exposed flywheels, there had to be adequate low level ventilation etc etc etc. Its only a matter of time IMO where vans will have to be certified whether they are from manufacturers or self builders. No doubt the numptie crats in Brussels will stick their two penneth in as well.
 

scotjimland

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Just googled and found this so don't shoot the messenger..

Vehicle type approval explained


From April 29, 2012, every motorhome sold in the UK and in the other European member states must be Type Approved. The requirements for seats, seatbelts and their anchorage points are all clearly defined in these regulations. However, motorhomes are not subject to crash tests under the Type Approval framework.

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Dorwyn
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I can't think that
Just googled and found this so don't shoot the messenger..

Vehicle type approval explained


From April 29, 2012, every motorhome sold in the UK and in the other European member states must be Type Approved. The requirements for seats, seatbelts and their anchorage points are all clearly defined in these regulations. However, motorhomes are not subject to crash tests under the Type Approval framework.

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That's a good google (that's an odd phrase!). Obviously converters get around this by pre-registering new vehicles. But the longer term potential problems legal- and insurance-wise is what is interesting me. I'm not suggesting the all self conversions are illegal.
 

scotjimland

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. Obviously converters get around this by pre-registering new vehicles.

perhaps.. but once converted they need to be re-registered as motor caravans..

but provided ..and I quote.. the motorhome manufacturer can use the approvals from the base vehicle provided it does not modify the specification of the base vehicle. If the base vehicle is modified then the motorhome manufacturer will have to get that aspect re-approved.

so in essence.. if the convertor does not add more belted traveling seats , or modify existing .. they are not modifying the vehicle.. if they do, they would need re- approval..

which begs the question.. does fitting swivel brackets to existing fixed seats constitute modifying.. ? I would say yes..

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Dorwyn
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perhaps.. but once converted they need to be re-registered as motor caravans..

but provided ..and I quote.. the motorhome manufacturer can use the approvals from the base vehicle provided it does not modify the specification of the base vehicle. If the base vehicle is modified then the motorhome manufacturer will have to get that aspect re-approved.

so in essence.. if the convertor does not add more belted traveling seats , or modify existing .. they are not modifying the vehicle.. if they do, they would need re- approval..

which begs the question.. does fitting swivel brackets to existing fixed seats constitute modifying.. ? I would say yes..

... Or even changing the double passenger front seat for a single. Which reminds me, there was some reference on their placard to it not being possible to re-register as a motorhome, only as a PLG. Which is the case with my PVC (not a new conversion, though). It's a bit concerning for the industry? I can't imagine that being the case.
 

scotjimland

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Which reminds me, there was some reference on their placard to it not being possible to re-register as a motorhome, only as a PLG.

sounds like more waffle from Danbury .. .. it is a legal requirement to register correctly.

all van conversions done correctly to the DVLA specification should be be re-registered as motor caravans.. .. personal benefits are reduced VED and insurance..

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There is a legal requirement that a UK registered vehicle is in the correct classification on the V5C log book.
If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C for amendment once the conversion is complete.

plenty info here
http://www.caravanwise.co.uk/motor/diycamper.html
 
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Dorwyn
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It is reregistered as a motor caravan, taxation class is PLG. Been through that process.

It was doing it from new that I was contemplating, and wondering if there are newer requirements, and what the effects would be.

Was that display on the Devon stand?
 
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Dorwyn
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... and what about horse boxes, and general coachbuilders' conversions? Never mind coachbuilt motorhomes. Does everything have to have type approval?

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scotjimland

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... and what about horse boxes, and general coachbuilders' conversions? Never mind coachbuilt motorhomes. Does everything have to have type approval?

As I understand it yes..
I imagine horse boxes would come under 'goods vehicles' ..but not my area of expertise.. more information on the site

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In Scotjims first link it clearly says
" low volume converters & single builders" use an IVA
( Independent vehicle Approval )
 

Terry

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Well here goes -:D-It's aplicable if Danbury etc take a UNREGISERED vehicle do the conversion and sell it as a reg motor caravan ie never reg as a van/comercial van only reg as a motor caravan -They need to have a engineers repot/or have a VOSA cert to say they are approved to do so from vosa -myself can buy a new van that would be reg as a van -convert it then send off for a change of use to motor caravan be on a new van or 10 yr old one Not going into all regs but basic a van needs cooker, sink wardrobe seat/bed and table and most importantly now it needs to look like a motor caravan
terry
 

scotjimland

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Well here goes -:D-It's aplicable if Danbury etc take a UNREGISERED vehicle do the conversion and sell it as a reg motor caravan ie never reg as a van/comercial van only reg as a motor caravan -They need to have a engineers repot/or have a VOSA cert to say they are approved to do so from vosa -myself can buy a new van that would be reg as a van -convert it then send off for a change of use to motor caravan be on a new van or 10 yr old one Not going into all regs but basic a van needs cooker, sink wardrobe seat/bed and table and most importantly now it needs to look like a motor caravan
terry

That is all understood Terry, that is a VOSA requirement for being registered as a Motor Caravan..

but that is not EU Type Approval Broken Link Removed

if you go back to the start of the thread this is what is being refereed to..

Example 1 You buy a panel van to convert , and fit out to VOSA standard , do NOT fit any more traveling seats.. or modify existing.. No Type Approval Required. because you haven't added to or changed the traveling seats.

Example 2 As previous, but you modify the front seats in some way, fit swivel or change a double seat to a single seat .. or fit another belted traveling seat(s) in the rear.. .. It will require Type Approval..
 
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Terry

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That is all understood Terry, that is a VOSA requirement for being registered as a Motor Caravan..

but that is not EU Type Approval Broken Link Removed

if you go back to the start of the thread this is what is being refereed to..

Example 1 You buy a panel van to convert , and fit out to VOSA standard , do NOT fit any more traveling seats.. or modify existing.. No Type Approval Required. because you haven't added to or changed the traveling seats.

Example 2 As previous, but you modify the front seats in some way, fit swivel or change a double seat to a single seat .. or fit another belted traveling seat(s) in the rear.. .. It will require Type Approval..
Pleding a GREY area on swivel seats :D

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scotjimland

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Pleding a GREY area on swivel seats :D


maybe.. do you feel lucky :LOL:

Type Approval has broader ramifications.. quite often hear questions about retro- fitting extra seat belts in the rear .. that would breach the Type Approval Certification of that van..
 
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Dorwyn
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I did think at the show that Murvi and some others were not showing vans with belted rear travel seats, but larger companies such as Tribute, Swift and Adria were. I wonder if that is so, and could be because of type approval issues. Camper van converters were, though. Makes me also wonder about the ramifications for the after sales market.
 

Terry

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Can't remember ;)
It could well be that if they have a VOSA/engineers report/aproval that they can fit extra seat belts without any more aproval ---I know I can buy type aproved /pull tested rear rock and roll beds to fit in vans but who is to say I have fitted them right ?Big can of worms -:)Better if you loose can opener :Dor fit side benches ;)no belts req (y):D
terry
 

Terry

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do what French do -ignore it all ;):D
terry

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scotjimland

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do what French do -ignore it all ;):D
terry

building for myself.. yes.. I would .. can't sue myself :LOL:

building to sell .. different story .. a whole new can of worms and you don't want bitten :unsure:
 

Terry

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All my vans are built fore myself -only once built i get fed up so sell it and start another (y):D
terry
 
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Dorwyn
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Don't get me started on that. My son's a charpentier (roofer) in rural southern France - health and safety does not exist. (Sorry, replying to terry's comment on ignoring rules, didn't see the next posts)
 
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Dorwyn
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Actually, Terry, you've made some good points there. You can't sue yourself, but anyone injured while travelling could if there was a problem, presumably. I did see a sign in some campervan maker's van saying that this van does not have type approval. Perhaps if you stick up such a sign above the seating denying any passenger's rights?
 

Terry

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If you stick a sign up you are acknolegeing ? a known thing -no sign you don't know :D You can do what you want with your own van :)If you get a habitation cert then does any or all respoceability fall on the hab cert guy ?after all he's saying it's good :)

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Terry

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I would think if they have a sign up saying no type app then it would become the owners reponceabilty-let common sence prevail -if you bought a second hand van with 4 belts in you would expect 4 belts to work -would you ask if only front two work and two back have not been type app ?or does this then fall into the MOT testers domain who examines seat belts :(- not sure if they only check for operation and fraying but they also check for rot near to anchor points :DBIG BIG can of worms all I can say is I try to do the best job I can on the vans I convert -when I swap a double front seat for a single /swivel I use the same anchor points as original be that the on the bodywork or on the seats that they have been swaped from :)
 

scotjimland

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If you get a habitation cert then does any or all respoceability fall on the hab cert guy ?after all he's saying it's good :)

nice try Terry.. clutching at straws..

the hab guy is not checking for type approval.. it's not one of the checks..

he's only checking for damp, gas and electrical safety.... etc..

It's the MOT guy that checks seat belts ..he may fail it if not Type Approved
 

Terry

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nice try Terry.. clutching at straws..

the hab guy is not checking for type approval.. it's not one of the checks..

he's only checking for damp, gas and electrical safety.... etc..

It's the MOT guy that checks seat belts ..

t
Snap :D while typing --not clutching at straws (y):)
 

scotjimland

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I try to do the best job I can on the vans I convert -when I swap a double front seat for a single /swivel I use the same anchor points as original be that the on the bodywork or on the seats that they have been swaped from :)

never doubted that for a second Terry..(y)
and doubt it would every be picked up by an inspector..

many have retro fitted swivel seat bases.. make sure they are CE Approved..
Example Broken Link Removed

SEAT SWIVEL BASES CE APPROVED
As a safety critical item seat swivels are CE
 

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