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4 Technical bulletins

42 Conversion vans (AKA day vans)

Due to significant safety concerns, the Transport Agency has determined that all conversion vans (also known as day vans) will require LVV certification before they can enter service in New Zealand. Any second stage certification is not recognised by the Transport Agency.

What are conversion vans?

Any class MB or MD van that was built for the American market and has been customized for comfort can be considered a conversion van. Conversion vans can have some of the features of a camper van or motorhome, but are typically more upscale and designed for everyday use. These vans may have a raised roof, custom paint job, custom wheels, leather seats, captain’s chairs, made-to-order stereo systems, custom-installed TVs DVD/Blu ray players, etc. These custom elements can reduce the safety of the vehicle while giving the illusion of original equipment safety.

Strengthening material removed and not replaced

  • The side windows on conversion vans are enlarged to give a more panoramic view. This modification requires the removal of  a section of a strengthening rib (that runs at about waist height along the length of the vehicle) but then nothing is added to return the lost structural strength
  • These vehicles often have fiberglass high-top roofs added. These are bonded to the cant rail once the original roof is removed. When removing the original roof the reinforcement bows, which run from side to side, are removed, without anything being added to replace them.

roof

Additional fittings

  • The seat fittings in conversion vans are often modified to allow them to be easily removed or swivel. These modifications appear to be substandard and would not meet New Zealand LVV requirements.

seats

  • Seatbelt mounting points are often moved and may be substandard (and would not meet NZ LVV requirements).

Page added 1 December 2016 (see amendment details)