Road act 3

28 / 11 / 2015

Summary

So what I knew beforehand were the dimensions and weight limits for all kinds of trailers towed with a regular licence and that the home would be best to register as a recreational trailer. I’ve had meetings with both inspection officer and a gas installer licencee and here’s what I learned.

Registration

To get the house registered as a recreational vehicle, there are a few regulations to be followed. Firstly, the building must contain the following “firmly attached” components: seating and a table, beds, a fixed stove and storage space. I reckon these requirements are made to prevent false registration, since owning a recreational vehicle isn’t taxed. I’ve heard stories that people have actually installed Primuses to their vans to get them exempted.

I asked what does the “firmly attached” exactly mean and whether the required items could be fold-able, stash-away or movable. They can. Apparently the point of the definition is to keep heavy and potentially dangerous stuff in place in case of a car crash – and that this law has been made for recreational vans – so that the people inside don’t get hurt. The law concerns trailers as well, but the officers opinion that it isn’t as crucial than it would be if working with a van – since it’s illegal to travel inside the trailer when towing anyway.

Secondly, unlike the plumbing, the gas and the electrical installations must be documented and approved by licensed contractors. If there is gas involved, the home must contain a fire extinguisher at the time of the registration or first inspection – but not after. Sense – you make none.

The third statement was simply that everything should be well built and I’d be fine with the registration. The officer told that the structures in rec trailers are usually quite crappy even if they’re factory made and that the structure I proposed looked all right. I asked a few questions about the fastenings and the answers were simple: it’s OK to drill and bolt components to the trailer frame, except for the shaft and the two supporting beams underneath. No welding allowed.

I also asked about personal belongings. Apparently they don’t need to be fastened in any way if stored inside cabinets, but the exact answer I received was quite funny: “it’s illegal to haul cargo in a rec trailer”. I was quite confused, since I thought that the tow-able device was the one that didn’t allow cargo, but apparently it concerns rec trailers as well – with the exception of CAMPING GEAR. Luckily, I think that the definition of “camping gear” is quite flexible 😀

Gas and electronics

A pretty tight document concerning the gas and electronics can be found here. The stuff I have to say about the gas is pretty much the same.

The short version is the following: let the professionals do it. What needs to be taken into consideration while building the structure is basically that the gas needs to be stored separately from the living quarters (either outside or in an airtight cabinet) and that there needs to be at least two 10 * 10 cm vents that CANNOT be closed – one located at the floor level and the other one in ceiling level. Every burner needs to have flame monitoring and the heaters (air or water) powered with gas need to be sealed in an airtight space with it’s own ventilation.

All in all I didn’t hear anything intimidating or compromising.

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