WHAT MAKES A 'MOTOR CARAVAN'?
It is a legal requirement that all UK registered vehicles are classified correctly on the V5C log book. All campervans, motor caravans and motorhomes fall into the DVLA category of ‘motor caravan’. If you have converted a van into a motor caravan then you must return the V5C to DVLA for body type amendment.
For a vehicle to qualify as a 'Motor Caravan' in the UK in the eyes of the DVLA the following permanent fixtures must be present:
- There must be a bed with a minimum length of 6ft or 180cms
- The bed must be an integral part of the vehicle living accommodation area
- The bed must be permanent or converted from seats (the bed can fold away during the day)
- The bed fixtures must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and/or side walls, unless it is over the drivers cab compartment.
- There must be a horizontal sliding door or an outward opening rear or side door.
- There must be a seating area for diners to sit around
- The table can be fixed or detachable
- The table must mount directly to the vehicle floor or side walls
- The table mounting must be secured as a permanent feature, either bolted screwed or welded. The table itself can be detachable.
- Seats must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and/or side walls
- The seats must be secured as a permanent fixture, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
- Permanently secured seating must be available for use at a table
Note: DVLA do not state any requirements regarding water storage. However, most insurance companies state that the water tank should be on board, or under the chassis. However, some insurance companies are happy with an external water container that can be moved, such as those used with a caravan.
- The vehicle must have an on board or external (e,g, under the chassis) water container
- Note: The insurer Adrian Flux requires the water container to hold 6 gallons / 27 litres.
- The vehicle must have at least one cupboard, locker or wardrobe
- The cupboard must be an integral part of the living accommodation area
- The cupboard must be a permanent feature, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
- The cupboard must be secured directly to the vehicle floor and / or side walls
- The vehicle must have cooking facilities powered by fixed gas, electric hob or microwave oven
- The cooking facilities must be secured directly to the vehicle floor or side wall
- The cooking facilities must be a permanent feature, either bolted, riveted, screwed or welded
- Gas and electric hobs must have a minimum or 2 cooking rings. Microwave ovens must have a power source (don't just fit one that can't be used)
- Gas cooking facilities with remote fuel supplies must have the gas supply pipe permanently secured to the vehicle structure
- Gas cooking facilities with remote fuel supplies should have the gas bottle, fuel reservoir secured to the vehicle structure with ventilation to the outside in the event of gas leaking.
- Due to the potential build-up of Carbon Monoxide gases when cooking with gas an unrestricted through flow of air must be maintained. (Roof vent and floor level vent)
- It is also recommended that a CO2 alarm and fire extinguisher be fitted in the vehicle.
- The vehicle must have at least one side window
- New! Since 2011 the DVLA are
now asking that the vehicle look like a motor caravan from the outside.
HOW TO CHANGE A VANS CLASSIFICATION TO CAMPER VAN OR MOTORHOME IN THE UK
In the UK, changing the classification of a van to a campervan or motorhome is fairly straightforward. The following information is based on real experience, correct at the time of the re-classification. This serves as a good guide, but please contact the DVLAand/or VOSA to confirm the rules regarding your vehicle.
- When your conversion is complete, and your van is now (nearly) a camper van or motorhome you need to contact the DVLA and inform them.
- You should change your V5C (log book) document and return it to them. You need to change the vehicle body type to "Motor Caravan". Motor Caravan is the term used by the DVLA for campervans and motorhomes. See the DirectGov website for details on changing your V5 document.
- You should also include a covering letter, briefly covering what you have done to the vehicle. Also include photographs of your converted vehicle. Don’t include too many. Between 10 and 20 are required. Do ensure that you include the vehicles number plate in a shot of the front of the vehicle, and a shot of the back of the vehicle. From the photos the DVLA can see if you have done a good conversion to the vehicle, or simply thrown a mattress in the back.
the paperwork to:
- If you have done a good conversion, and the DVLA are satisfied they will return a new V5 document to you, with the body type changed.
- However, if they are unsure of your conversion they will ask you to visit the local DVLA inspection office. An agent will inspect the vehicle before recommending any change of documentation.
WHEN TO CHANGE THE VEHICLE CLASSIFICATION
You should change the classification of your vehicle from 'Panel Van' to 'Motor Caravan' when your conversion is nearly complete, once the major fittings are in place (bed, kitchen) and it looks neat and tidy. Once you think you satisfy all of the conditions mentioned above, contact the DVLA and start the re-classification process.
You don't want any vehicle inspectors to think it is not finished, so ensure it looks finished before you apply for the change.
Don't worry about finishing touches, you can always complete these once the vehicle is re-registered.
Once your vehicle has been officially re-classified by the DVLA, you will need to change your insurance. Your original insurance will be for a 'Panel Van', and your vehicle is no longer one. So you need to cancel your existing policy, and get a new policy for a Camper van.