Motorhome conversions

Caravan World — 25 May 2017

WHAT IS A MOTORHOME CONVERSION?

A motorhome conversion is the process of turning a traditional passenger vehicle into a liveable RV. This may entail completely stripping and rebuilding the interior of a bus or coach, or changing the layout of an existing motorhome to custom specifications.


POPULAR VEHICLES FOR MOTORHOME CONVERSIONS

Popular vehicles for motorhome conversions include, but are not limited to, Toyota Coaster, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Toyota Hiace, Mazda Gecko, and VW Kombi.


LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

The conversion of an existing motor vehicle to a motorhome is a modification and must be carried out in accordance with the laws and guidelines of each state of Australia. These cover, but are not limited to, vehicle suitability, weights, lighting, size, seating and safety.

You will also need to change the registrations from a vehicle to a motorhome.

For Victoria, visit Vic Roads for more information.

TOP TIPS FOR MOTORHOME CONVERSION?

1. Set a budget and find a vehicle


Ex-service vans (ambulances, fire trucks etc) often come on to the market and can be picked up at auction (private or government) for a song. Or keep an eye on your local classifieds advertising marketplace, try TradeRVs.com.au or Gumtree.

2. Decide what to keep and what to strip


Sometimes it's easier to completely strip the interior of the vehicle and start from scratch. However, depending on the make, model and condition, you may be able to salvage some parts of the interior for your fit-out.

3. DIY or outsource?


Lots of motorhomers manage to DIY their motorhome conversions with the help of handy friends - think plumbers, carpenters, handy-men, people who can sew, designers, etc.

But if you think it's a bit beyond you, look to employ a professional conversion and/or fit-out service. However, be aware that this will up the cost significantly.