Kiwis considering purchasing a motorhome, caravan, fifth wheeler or slide on camper should consider joining the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association Inc. (NZMCA).
Established more than 50 years ago, over 44,000 individual members belong to the Association.
The NZMCA says it is open to anyone with an interest in motor caravanning. In fact, you dont even need to own a motorhome or campervan to be a member of the association.
The NZMCA says a self-contained motor caravan is designed to completely meet the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants for a minimum of three days. Fresh water for drinking and cooking is stored in tanks. Waste water is collected in waste water tanks and disposed of via a dump station.
Self-contained vehicles protects the environment from indiscriminate dumping of waste, and gives owners more freedom when travelling. The NZMCA says your motor caravan will require either a Certificate of Fitness (COF) or a Warrant of Fitness (WOF) depending on the manufacturer's gross laden weight.
If your Motor Caravan is Under 3500 kgs:
The vehicle requires a WOF; whichis obtained from approved private garages and Vehicle Testing Stations; the requirements are the same as for a private car.
If your Motor Caravan is Over 3500 kgs:
Coastal Transit Dinette
You will be required to obtain a Certificate of Fitness (COF). If your vehicle has a manufacturer's gross laden weight rating between 3,500 kg and 3,750 kg - but weighs less than 3,500 kg fully laden - you will be able to apply for an exemption from the COF requirements, providing it was first registered in New Zealand before January 1992 and complies with the Low Volume Vehicle Code. Applications may be made to the New Zealand Transport Agency.
Driver License Classes:
There aresix classes of driver licences and a number of endorsements. Most of these endorsements are applicable to commercial activities and the only ones likely to affect drivers of motor caravans are L which indicates a learner licence and R which indicates a restricted licence.
Most people are aware of the existence of a Loading Code that covers the operations of trucks. However many are not aware that drivers of other vehicles are also required to ensure the security of their loads.
The Land Transport Act 1998 provides that a person operating a vehicle on a road commits an offence if that person fails to ensure that any load carried in or on that vehicle, or in or on any vehicle being towed by a vehicle driven by that person, is secured and contained in such a manner that it cannot fall or escape from the vehicle.
The clearly includes any spillages. If a person is convicted of this offence, the maximum fine for an individual is $2,000.00 and the court may disqualify that person from holding a drivers licence for any such period as the court thinks fit.
Road user charges:
Road User Charges (RUC) were instigated by the government to generate revenue required to maintain the national road network. All public road users whose vehicles are diesel powered (regardless of weight) or have a manufacturer's gross laden weight of more than 3,500 kg (regardless of fuel type)are required by law to have a RUC licence (RUCL).
If the vehicle manufacturer's gross laden weight is less than 3,500 kg the speed-odometer is an approved distance recorder. Any vehicle with a manufacturer's gross laden weight over 3,500 kg must be fitted with an approved hub-odometer.
Coastal Fiat Handbasin and swivel toilet
If you tow a diesel powered vehicle behind the motor caravan, then the diesel powered vehicle must have its own RUCL to cover its tonnage. If the towed vehicle is petrol or LPG powered and is of a weight where RUCL do not apply, then no RUCL is required.
However, if you tow a light trailer (not exceeding 3500kgs Gross Laden Weight) behind that vehicle, no extra RUCL are applicable unless the drawbar imposes extra weight on the motor caravan.
The Land Transport Rule: Seatbelts and Seatbelts Anchorages requires that all motorhomes first registered in New Zealand on or after 1st October 2003 must be fitted with at least as many seatbelts as there are sleeping berths All side facing seats must be fitted with lap type belts and all forward or rear facing seats must be lap/diagonal combination belts.
If the motorhome does not havefour seatbelts fitted you may get extra fitted by a NZ Transport Agency approved engineer but it would then be required to be certified by a Low Volume Vehicle Technical Association certifier.
If you are looking at purchasing/hiring a vehicle, NZMCA suggest that it would be easier and cheaper to ensure that the vehicle you select has at least 4 seatbelts already fitted. The effect of the rule is that all persons in the motorhome when it is moving must be wearing a seat belt.
In Australia, KEA is the only campervan rental company to have achieved the Leave No Trace certification of the Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia (CMCA). In New Zealand, KEA has achieved Qualmark Enviro Gold rating as well as being the first campervan and motorhome company to have vehicles certified self-contained through the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA).
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