Updated Conversion Regs From 21 October 19. Graphics And Awning Now Required.

eml

New Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
Interesting, but is this really a problem? Being "recognised as being converted to a motor caravan" and the vehicle's "body type" seem to be two different things.

The conversion guidance you link to says "The body type of your vehicle will not be changed unless its exterior looks like a motor caravan in traffic". Ok, I'm never going to meet that, by design, so I can't change my body type. It also says "The body type does not affect the insurance category of the vehicle, or have any effect on speed limits or other legislative requirements. It is only used for establishing vehicle appearance and identification", so my appearance will have to be "van with side windows", instead of "motor caravan", which is Ok by me.

As I understand it, all I have to do to meet the speed limit requirements is to comply with the 4 categories on the "internal features" page. This is pretty trivial, but I'll have to put in a microwave because I don't have gas.

As for insurance, my insurance company will do its own inspection after the conversion, which I think will be sufficient. At the moment, they're insuring as "campervan in conversion", which can carry on indefinitely.

?
 

Littleoldman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Being a bit concerned about the “high top roof” I spoke to DVLA a few moments ago. Told them I was a H2 height roof. The guy on the phone had to clarify my question with the relevant dept. He came back to me with “each application will be dealt with on a case by case basis”. I’m thinking that my H2 is the same height and a hell of a lot of conversions I saw in Birmingham last week. So I think I’m still in the game. I contacted them because I only have one window in the back at the moment and intended to fit two more in the rear doors. Don’t suppose the would like that so I’m arranging another window in the back on the same side as the window I have in the sliding door. If my roof height didn’t comply I would have gone ahead with the windows in the rear doors.
 

eml

New Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2019
But my point was: why do you want to change the "body type" anyway? It has nothing to do with insurance or speed limits. It seems to be irrelevant.
 

Coire

Member
Joined
May 8, 2018
It was my understanding that an ANPR or average speed camera would issue fines based on the body type. If this isnt true then what IS used to determine maximum speeds? If you get pulled over doing 70 on a dual carriageway in a 'van with windows' but you show the plod you have all the fixed features of a motorhome, would that be enough?
 

Littleoldman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
I’m new to camper vans and never had a caravan, I’m building this as ‘something to do’ and I will use it next year (I have Camp Quirky tickets) but coming from a motorcycle and having ridden many times in Europe I don’t know if I’m going to like it, health issues resulted in me giving up riding having had my first bike in 1969, it’s a great loss. Part of the thinking is if I build in the style of professional companies but better I would hopefully be able to sell it without loosing money. I have self build 4 houses because I’m not impressed with house builders either. I would prefer to get the new classification. It might be easier to sell in the future. My speeding days are long behind me and I happily plod along under the speed limit, so not bothered about that issue. Do you think there’s going to be problems with insurance companies? This camper that’s not officially a camper is a new entity. I really don’t think there will be, because there are dozens of companies who collectively employ hundreds of staff who do these vehicles every day.
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
Looking at the new regs I don’t see a problem for a vast majority of conversions. Perhaps the roof height issue may turn out to the stickler for some.
It does appear that windows and graphics are the biggies ( with all the internal requirements of course), the bit on the check list for external features states “which” of the following applies to your vehicle, so I guess you don’t have to have all the points on the list.

The only issue I can see with my conversion is the view from the back, there are no rear door windows. I’m hoping that some graphics will suffice, I’ve had some stickers made up saying “motor home”, it’ll be interesting to see what the dvla makes of it when the time comes!

Time to look for some side graphics........

Stevie
 

shawn&emma

Member
Joined
Jun 28, 2018
Location
England
Looking at the new regs I don’t see a problem for a vast majority of conversions. Perhaps the roof height issue may turn out to the stickler for some.
It does appear that windows and graphics are the biggies ( with all the internal requirements of course), the bit on the check list for external features states “which” of the following applies to your vehicle, so I guess you don’t have to have all the points on the list.

The only issue I can see with my conversion is the view from the back, there are no rear door windows. I’m hoping that some graphics will suffice, I’ve had some stickers made up saying “motor home”, it’ll be interesting to see what the dvla makes of it when the time comes!

Time to look for some side graphics........

Stevie

I don't think you have to have windows on the rear doors, just needs to be at least 2 on the main body so as long as you've 2 in total.
 

Groyne

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2017
just needs to be at least 2 on the main body so as long as you've 2 in total.
The way I read it is that one side of the van has to have at least 2 windows, though how the police would know if they where looking at the other side?:confused:

2 or more windows on at least one side of the main body (this does not include windows on the driver or passenger doors) to provide a reasonable amount of daylight into the living accommodation
 

Chris Shaw

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2017
Being a bit concerned about the “high top roof” I spoke to DVLA a few moments ago. Told them I was a H2 height roof. The guy on the phone had to clarify my question with the relevant dept. He came back to me with “each application will be dealt with on a case by case basis”. I’m thinking that my H2 is the same height and a hell of a lot of conversions I saw in Birmingham last week. So I think I’m still in the game. I contacted them because I only have one window in the back at the moment and intended to fit two more in the rear doors. Don’t suppose the would like that so I’m arranging another window in the back on the same side as the window I have in the sliding door. If my roof height didn’t comply I would have gone ahead with the windows in the rear doors.

Most commercial PVC's are H2, so unless they are going to outlaw the likes of Autosleeper et al, I think you'd have a good case for an appeal if they refused on height alone.
 

Chris Shaw

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2017
My van as can be seen to the left!! it's symmetrical and has windows all round. Police may mistake me for a minibus but not a commercial van!!

My main concern is the line about an awning!! My van has a usable load of around 525kg which has to include fuel, two adults a dog and all our gear. The average awning weighs between 17-35kg (Thule figures), thats a big chunk of my usable weight. Not everyone wants an awning...

Glad I got mine reclassified under the old rules.

The speed rules seem to have been updated too, Last time I checked it was based on unladen weight. Below 3050kg Unladen, was same as car, above was reduced speed restrictions applied to commercial.

Does anyone know if they change the MOT rules?

According to website:

For the MOT, your van will be classed as either:
  • class 4 if it’s up to 3,000kg design gross weight (this include car-type vans)
  • class 7 if it’s over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight
After my reclassification my MOT changed from 7 to 4, although my gross weight was 3500kg.

Update:

But this page suggests no change!!

 
Last edited:

Chris Shaw

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2017
Subtle point, the new requirements state:

"an awning bar attached to either side of the vehicle"

What is an awning bar? is that different to an Awning mounted on the van?
 

Littleoldman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Chris, got this from the DVLA: it can be an awning rail. They said it would be satisfactory. I’m fixing a rail, I have bought an awning (before the changes) and am going to Sikaflex the rail to the van. Why they would use the term ‘awning bar’ that doesn’t exist in the camper van world can be interpreted as either they don’t know what they are talking about or the have a malevolent streak.
 

BigStevie

Active Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Location
Highlands
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it appears that not all the external features are required, a grey area perhaps? I intend using a free standing awning as the full height side door means a body mounted awning sticks up above the roofline of the van. I guess only time will tell... I’ll try and talk to the dvla(!) and see what they have to say......
 

roadliner

Active Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Location
Peak District, Derbyshire
As I mentioned earlier in this thread, it appears that not all the external features are required, a grey area perhaps? I intend using a free standing awning as the full height side door means a body mounted awning sticks up above the roofline of the van. I guess only time will tell... I’ll try and talk to the dvla(!) and see what they have to say......
Good luck trying to talk to DVLA Stevie. Hope you are well versed in listening to convoluted b***ocks. Look forward to the answer.
 

Littleoldman

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
I live a few miles from DVLA central and in the past I have taken a motorcycle trike to them for them to check that it complied to their rules. I also took a trike to a VOSA centre for them to inspect. I am quite happy for them to check my work and the finished results.
 
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