DVLA refused and put it as a van with a window

in h

Full Member

Messages
18
I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but it seems to me that there are two different things being discussed here. The vehicle may or may not be registered as a motor caravan, which is a class of vehicle which affects MOT tests, road tax and speed limits.
It also has a body type, which reflects what it looks like (not what it is used for).
I think these are two different things, aren't they?
If you have a self-converted van and you did a 'stealth' conversion, surely the point is that is doesn't look like a motor caravan; it looks like a van. So that's what the body type should be recorded as.
 

GreggBear

Full Member

Messages
176
Thing is, we haven't all done "stealth" conversions. Mine was a 7.7metre long green & black 5.5tonne welfare bus. Not very stealthy at all really. Sent my log book off over a month ago now & heard nothing yet....😕
 

in h

Full Member

Messages
18
Thing is, we haven't all done "stealth" conversions. Mine was a 7.7metre long green & black 5.5tonne welfare bus. Not very stealthy at all really. Sent my log book off over a month ago now & heard nothing yet....😕
But have you changed the outward appearance significantly?
 

Markd

Full Member

Messages
530
I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but it seems to me that there are two different things being discussed here. The vehicle may or may not be registered as a motor caravan, which is a class of vehicle which affects MOT tests, road tax and speed limits.
It also has a body type, which reflects what it looks like (not what it is used for).
I think these are two different things, aren't they?
If you have a self-converted van and you did a 'stealth' conversion, surely the point is that is doesn't look like a motor caravan; it looks like a van. So that's what the body type should be recorded as.
Some people with lightish vans (<3.5T unladen) would like motorcaravan classification for increased speed limits and possibly easier-cheaper insurance and ferry bookings.
As it happens a Van with Windows with seats behind driver and <2.05T unladen get higher speed limits as Dual Purpose Vehicles.
 

WillyO

Full Member

Messages
63
Next mot come over to N Ireland as they test as whats reg in log book,so if it says motorcaravan thats what it always will be.
Just got mine through and the chap said somit about new class 4 until he read my l book and muttered um have to test as is.
I think you know as well as I do living in Northern Ireland it will not take long to reach here as our MoT test centres are all government run and stricter than mainland UK to put anything through. It's just another stealth tax for the government a scam!
 

Mr Johnson

Full Member

Messages
5
I’m not happy as my camper has come back as a van with window from the dvla

Where do I go from here as the dvla have just added £350 to my Holiday because they have left it as a commercial vehicle and the ferry are not interested apart from the extra money

I’m not bothered about faster speed or cheaper insurance as it’s cheap already it’s the ferry’s it’s 87 each way as a camper or over 200 as a van

If there someone out there that can really help with the dvla would be much appreciated

James
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Hi James,
Was this because your van does not comply with the new rules? I'm half way through building my van and just about to remove the Reflectix and Celotex Insulation that i have already fitted just to fit the 2nd window. Will it come back as only a van with windows? Is it this going to be a waste of time and money trying to comply?
 

jkwasherman

Full Member

Messages
9
Well I’ve just had a very long and what looks like a personalised reply to my email which I sent to DVLA.
They have completely failed to answer the one specific question.
Do we need all of the listed external features or some of them?
What they did say was that it had to look like a motor caravan.
So I am not really any clearer or can I assume that if it “looks like a motorhome” without all of the features, then that will do.
 

Norfolk Jim

Full Member

Messages
29
Trouble is if they reclassify your camper as a van and you drive it as normal you'll be getting tickets from all the speed cameras and on 'Smart'motorways. About 3 years ago my son came home saying he'd been flashed by a camera on one of our local roads from Norwich to Ipswich. It's a notable road for having more changes in speed limits than I've had hot dinners so you have to keep your eyes firmly fixed on your speedo. He told me he was actually doing around 55 on open road (amazing as normally he's quicker than that) so I called the Norfolk Road Safety Partnership and asked what was going on and whether I was missing something. To my amazement they were very friendly and open and said that particular camera was different to most others in that it recorded any large vehicles doing over 50mph i.e. vans, lorries, buses and the like but it was checked and she confirmed that as ours was registered as a motor caravan we were fine as 60 was the limit for our camper on that road like a car. She also told me where the other cameras were in Norfolk incase the same happened again!!!! I was blown away by how open they were................. obviously no ticket.......................having said that I went through 30 mph camera in my X Trail 2 days ago doing 25 on my speedo and it flashed!!!! There was however some guy in yellow jacket standing at the base of it with a small sign but I was going opposite way so couldn't read it - be interesting to see what happens there!!
 

in h

Full Member

Messages
18
Some people with lightish vans (<3.5T unladen) would like motorcaravan classification for increased speed limits and possibly easier-cheaper insurance and ferry bookings.
As it happens a Van with Windows with seats behind driver and <2.05T unladen get higher speed limits as Dual Purpose Vehicles.
Um, I'm not sure if it was a typo. The speed limits not on a motorhome changes when the "unladen weight" reaches 3050KG, not 2.05T
That's the weight without any of the stuff that is "used on the road" so that'd certainly exclude any of the contents, mattresses etc. No water or tanks. No gas or bottles. No food, no fridge. So chances are that the MIRO (which includes far more) will be nearer 4 tonnes.
Few vehicle makers specify the UW, because only the UK uses it: makers give the MIRO or the Kerb Weight and sometimes call it the UW. Don't be fooled!
 

wildebus

Full Member

Messages
2,132
Um, I'm not sure if it was a typo. The speed limits not on a motorhome changes when the "unladen weight" reaches 3050KG, not 2.05T
That's the weight without any of the stuff that is "used on the road" so that'd certainly exclude any of the contents, mattresses etc. No water or tanks. No gas or bottles. No food, no fridge. So chances are that the MIRO (which includes far more) will be nearer 4 tonnes.
Few vehicle makers specify the UW, because only the UK uses it: makers give the MIRO or the Kerb Weight and sometimes call it the UW. Don't be fooled!
Nope, he did mean 2.05t.
There are some Dual-Purpose vans around but there are quite specific criteria and it is rare that the base vehicle used in a camper conversion would meet that criteria I think. There are a couple of versions of the VW Transporter that do. I think the most common Dual Purpose Vehicle is a Land Rover van varient as part of the typical criteria is 4WD. The Dual Cab Pickups also apply I believe?
Yet another confusion is that there is no body type of "Dual Purpose Vehicle" so again it becomes an potential argument to if your vehicle is or is not (same as the ULW being under 3.05t - who can say if it is or not when it is not recorded? my 4.6t Camper does have a ULW <3.05t as I have a weightbridge ticket showing a weight under that so I can go at car speeds and have evidence to prove that)

EDIT: a link to Dual Purpose Vehicles .... https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/car-derived-vans-and-dual-purpose-vehicles/car-derived-vans-and-dual-purpose-vehicles
 

chrismilo

Full Member

Messages
15
Now .... Given that MOT Testers do not test a vehicle on what the V5C says, but on how the vehicle is presented, these new guidelines could be a real pain for many thousands and thousands of people.
The testers know that the vehicle needs to have a bed, table, storage, yadda yadda as that is what the Guidelines say about what a Motor Caravan has.

Now the guidelines are saying pop-tops are not enough, needs to be a high-top. Need to have an awning (that is daft); needs to have graphics.

So if a Motor Caravan, registered as such previously goes in for an MOT, but has a pop-top, under the new guidelines it could not be MOTed as a Motor Caravan any longer. And if you took the graphics off it would no longer meet the guidelines either.
So no MOT for them (unless they were in Northern Ireland, where they use the V5C to identify the vehicle ;) - that could be a bit of a reversal of fortunes!)
It's a combination of various condition not all so you can get away not having a hightop as long as it has all of the other things mainly it looks like a camper
 

Markd

Full Member

Messages
530
Well I’ve just had a very long and what looks like a personalised reply to my email which I sent to DVLA.
They have completely failed to answer the one specific question.
Do we need all of the listed external features or some of them?
What they did say was that it had to look like a motor caravan.
So I am not really any clearer or can I assume that if it “looks like a motorhome” without all of the features, then that will do.
I'm afraid that as they "expect" a campervan to have the features listed that you stand little chance of getting reclassification without them all.
Let's face it there's no point in writing a list if you then proceed to ignore it!
The two marginal issues are graphics and awning.
Graphics shouldn't be that expensive and despite being required to be permanent could easily be removed.
An awning is pricier and whilst it could be removed and sold on that might be more trouble than it's worth.
I may be wrong but I don't think that anyone on here has yet complained that they've tucked all the boxes on an allowable base vehicle and been turned down.
 

wildebus

Full Member

Messages
2,132
I'm afraid that as they "expect" a campervan to have the features listed that you stand little chance of getting reclassification without them all.
Let's face it there's no point in writing a list if you then proceed to ignore it!
The two marginal issues are graphics and awning.
Graphics shouldn't be that expensive and despite being required to be permanent could easily be removed.
An awning is pricier and whilst it could be removed and sold on that might be more trouble than it's worth.
I may be wrong but I don't think that anyone on here has yet complained that they've tucked all the boxes on an allowable base vehicle and been turned down.
I generally agree with what you have said - but ... there is another "issue" on that DVLA list that is more than marginal, are anything but inexpensive (a poptop costs more than many peoples here base vehicle!) and has never been regarded as an issue before .... a Pop-top.
Pop-tops or elevating roofs have been a mainstay of campervans (as in smaller motor caravans) for literally decades. Have an example from 1974

To say that pop-tops are no longer sufficient to help define a Motor Caravan is frankly ludicrous when vans with lifting roofs in many ways created the entire genre and are to most people a defining and classic external feature of a "campervan" (much more so than awnings or graphics).
 
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