A UK motorhome company has warned that legislative loopholes means that a number of campervan conversion companies are selling potentially dangerous vehicles to the public.
Jerba Campervans, who are an approved body builder of Volkswagen’s Transporter T6 model, is speaking out about how complex legislation is allowing many businesses to convert and market vehicles that have bypassed safety testing.
Simon Poole, Managing Director at Jerba Campervans, said: “There are two sides to safety in a campervan: driving the vehicle and living in it. But when a van that is already being driven on the road is converted into a campervan, there is nothing in place that ensure either of these aspects have been tested for safety.
“The cooker in the back and the levels of ventilation, for example, have often not been inspected to see if they are safe. It is also unlikely that any proper test has been carried out on the fitting of rear campervan seat belts.”
The UK government’s safety regulations which stipulate the road safety requirements in campervans, such as rear seat belt testing, only covers brand new vehicles and for living conditions such as gas and ventilation no mandatory regulations exist at all.
Simon added: “The reality is that people simply assume that campervans are safe because they’re sold by established companies. But it’s so important that customers make well-informed decisions about which vehicles they buy with safety testing at the forefront of their minds.
“It’s not glamorous, and a bit of research does take time, but it could save lives.”
Jerba Campervans have undertaken and passed full vehicle Type Approval – the highest level of UK road safety testing.
They have also passed the voluntary codes assessed by the National Caravan Council which ensure a leisure vehicle is safe to live in but many companies choose not to follow these.