Could I, should I? Even must I?

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  • Could I, should I? Even must I?
  • andrewh
    Member

    have my van re-registered as a camper van?
    At what point does a modified van become a camper?
    Nearly finished it now. I have given it windows in the rear and side doors (original Ford parts, just took the whole doors off an old minibus) It has a factory-fitted night-heater (not one I’ve fitted) Previous owner was BT and they fitted a water heater, just a plunger tap and hose.
    I have lined and insulated it, fitted LED lights and a vent in the ceiling and fitted some additional 12V power sockets. Most of it is given over to a bike rack but it has a sofa/bed and a fridge (removable, the kind you can buy to put in a car boot)
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    So, could I re-register it as a camper if I wanted to?
    Is it so far into the realms of camper that I have to? (I think it has to have a permenant stove and sink to count? neither of which mine has)
    If I have the option would you advise me to do so and why? What would the insurance implications be for example? Currently insured as a modified comercial vehicle. Are campers cheaper to insure or is the fact that it is home-made likely to put insurers off?
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    Anyone done it? How did you get on?
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    Cheers guys and girls.

    Premier Icon robh
    Subscriber

    Not sure I have all the answers, but I bought a VW T3 as a 7 seater mini bus, intention was to convert it to a camper from the start so it’s insured though a brocker under Highway as a self build camper, you can get a discount if you are part of SBMC (sign up online)

    We already had windows, we took out the extra seats fitted some storage, rock and roll bed, sink, curtains, 12 and 240v electrics, lighting and a removable cooler.

    Sent off details to DVLA and it’s now recorded as a motor caravanette, we don’t have a fixed cooker, tend to cook in the awning, or eat out when we are away.

    I was expecting to have to go to a center to have the van viewed by inspectors, but they accepted photographic information and copies of reciepts for work and materials.

    Insurance is a lot cheaper for a camper than for a minibus, and speed restrictions are higher than for a van so there’s positives to that.

    jonah tonto
    Member

    the rules are changing about this atm but off the top off my head it needs a fixed sink, cooker, bed and cupboard to qualify. my mate deals with this at the dvla but im away at the mo so cant check for you. but as rob says, you just have to send in pics….the only benifit really is cheaper insurance but then again my van isnt registered as a camper and its insured as one.

    my mate told me about one van that was asked to be changed over and when he looked at the pics they had simply layed out two sleeping bags in the back of a builders van lol. needles to say that got rejected

    edit; as above, also speed restrictions but the 10mph discrepancy for vans is seldom enforced anyway

    Premier Icon sandwicheater
    Subscriber

    You want to modify your van you say!

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXEk3deCOm0[/video]

    Premier Icon robh
    Subscriber

    Should say my self build insurance didn’t require the V5 to be changed just something I wanted to do.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    You want to modify your van you say!

    🙂

    You also have a higher speed limit if registered as a camper.

    andrewh
    Member

    Cheers guys, very helpful.
    Interesting about the rules changing shortly Jonah, there must be a few on here who will be affected.
    Found this on the google:
    1.There must be a door that provides access to the living accommodation.
    2.A bed, which is an integral part of the living quarters which has a minimum length of 1800mm or 6 feet. This can be converted at night from seats used for other purposes during the day but must be permanently fixed within the body of the vehicle.
    3.There must be a water storage tank or container on or in the vehicle.
    4.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’s not good enough to have a loose table.
    5.There must be a permanently fixed means of storage, a cupboard, locker or wardrobe.
    6.There must be a permanently fixed cooking facility within the vehicle powered by gas or electricity.
    7.There must be at least one window on the side of the accommodation.
    If the vehicle has all of these minimum features present and permanently fixed and installed properly then you should be able to have it reclassified as a “Motor Caravan”. Not only is it a legal requirement for your campervan to be in the correct classification once it is on the V5C as a “Motor Caravan” it may also (dependant on its unladen weight) benefit from higher speed limits than a van, lower MOT costs, lower road tax and cheaper insurance (in most cases) than a van.

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    Mine meets criteria 1,2,3,5 and 7 so I don’t think it’s enough.
    (Number 4 is a little odd, it must be both permenant and detachable?!)
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    Jonah, how did you get yours insured as a camper if it isn’t registered as one?
    How does it affect road tax? I currently pay £220 as it’s a van over a certain engine size (I think 1600cc) It’s a 2000cc turbo diesel, reg Jan 2004, probably cheaper tax than a car with same emissions as the tax bands are different for vans.

    Merak
    Member

    This thread is useless without pics.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Number 4 – that would mean some sort of permanently attached wall bracket that the table top fits onto. Think of how some campers/caravans have removable table tops between seats to make a bed…..

    andrewh
    Member

    I have a divider between bike area and bed area, I was considering a fold down shelf/table thingy attached to this on the bed/sofa side, would only be about 8in wide, just enough for preparing food on if it’s raining outside. Nowhere really to put a cooker though and I don’t like the idea of having one anyway, partly fire hazard and also steam/condensation etc. I know neither is an issue in ‘proper’ motorhomes but I think they would be in this. Best I could do would be a stove which folded out and was usable when standing outside. I just have a normal camping gas stove and it works fine for me.
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    Sorry Merak, no pics of finshed van yet, still got a little bit of work to do (finish slats on bed, attach cupboard doors, fit mounting points for the bike holders, connect up all the wires in the fuse box to the power sockets) and some stuff to buy (curtains and mattress) but it’s nearly there now.
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    Also found this The interpretation applied to this definition is as follows and the new interpretation of the rules means that as well as having the minimum requirements it must also have the external appearance of a “Motor Caravan”.

    I don’t want it to look like a camper form the outside. The windows are lightly tinted (chavy I know, but they were like that when I got them) Little bit of rust (a lot at present but going to sort most of it) One mis-matched colour door (ice white and arctic white are surpriingly different) tatty steel wheels etc. Don’t want anyone to look twice when I’m camping in unofficial spots, happy for it just to look like a parked van. Only one side window so if I park facing the right way even the window won’t be seen by passers by.

    Premier Icon prettygreenparrot
    Subscriber

    ice white and arctic white are surpriingly different

    a very pesky truth indeed.

    andrewh
    Member

    Quick supplementary question. The van concerned is a 2004 Transit, 2l turbo diesel. The tax on vans of that age is based on engine size, and is £220 (OK, vehicle excise duty, let’s not start one of those threads again!) A car of the same age would be taxed according to the emmisions and would probably cost more.
    Would a camper be taxed as a van or a car, would rerigistering it change the taxation class?

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