Early Motorhomes started out as modified delivery vans and buses. The interior was fitted out with various options. Due to the high cost of modifying the vans and buses, they were classes as a luxury item and suited the more wealthy traveller.
Today's Motorhomes have come a long way since the delivery van days. Their popularity is rapidly increasing, partially due to "baby boomers" reaching retirement. Some travellers are opting to selling their home and living permanently in their mobile home. With the current level of luxury fittings installed in many modern motorhomes, this lifestyle has great appeal.
Recreational Vehicle or RV is a common term now being used. RVing is becoming the way of the future as more people decide this lifestyle suits them.
When choosing a Motorhome consideration needs to be given to special licencing requirements. Larger Motorhomes require the driver to hold a truck or bus licence.
If buying a custom built Motorhome, there are a multitude of things to consider.
Length of occupancy.
Licencing- Each state has different requirements. There are restrictions on the maximum Vehicle Mass and Motorhome size a standard licenced person can drive. You may not want the hassle of applying for a truck licence. Be sure you are aware if you can drive the Motorhome of your choice, before committing yourself.
Manouverability- Larger Motorhomes need a substantial area to turn and if you are not a confident driver, it is likely a large motor home is not going to be a good choice.
Parking space is limited for bigger vehicles in CBD areas of most towns. It may mean you walk a little more than expected.
You may decide to fit special attachments for gear specific to your interests. i.e. Boat, diving gear, surf board etc.
Will you always have mains power available? If not, then there are options of solar panels, inverter and batteries or a generator.
If you have a generator and intend spending time in outback Australia, then consider a deisel powered unit, as unleaded petrol is not always available in remote areas.
Choosing a motorhome.
Be sure to inspect several motorhomes before deciding on a design.
Floor plans are a good way to get an idea how it is all going to fit.
If you plan altering your Motor home in any way, then you need to read this!
Motorhomes must comply with Australian
All motor vehicles in use on Australian roads must comply with (ADR) Australian Design Rules and be fitted with an ADR compliance label.
Department of Transport And Regional Services (DOTARS) administer the ADR compliance through the Vehicle Safety Standards (VSS).
ADR covers the original (1st stage) of vehicle compliance.
Altering seats, windows, vehicle weight, etc, then a Second Stage Manufacture (SSM) compliance is needed.
A cab chassis may have a ADR compliance, then a Motorhome is built on the chassis. This vehicle now must have SSM compliance.
Visit DOTAR website and read 0-4-6 , 0-4-12 in particular.
SSM was only needed for new modified vehicles when this article was written. Be sure to check the DOTAR website to keep updated.
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