VW approved camper conversions require thorough safety checks of all elements to a high standard. We hope we don’t sound too repetitive on the subject of safety, but it is so important! In the camper conversion industry there are so many loop holes and grey areas that can be exploited. In short, if a vehicle has a number plate, i.e. it is registered, there are no minimum safety standards that the conversion will have to pass. Upon MOT or reclassification, only a visual inspection will be carried out. This flaw in legislation has flooded the market with sub-safety standard beds, seats and roofs. There is legislation for pre-registered vehicles. These include IVA, National Small Series Type Approval and Full European Type Approval.
With an IVA (Individual Vehicle Approval) the test is a pre booked inspection at something similar to an MOT station. A Vosa representative will do (only) a visual inspection of the conversion and this does not in any way mean that the Rock and Roll bed or roof has been tested in a proper in vehicle pull test. The National Small Series and Full European Type Approval require far more thorough testing and generally every part will have to be a certain safety level.
In vehicle pull test for Vanworx. Parts used, RIB crash tested bed and Vanworx own fitting frame. We have now completed all physical tests to fulfill European Type Approval. This is a 10 ton pull for a 3 seater. Measurements were within 50% of what is allowed!!
If a Rock and Roll bed and it’s method of fitting has been tested ‘in vehicle’ and witnessed by the VCA or have certification to the same standard then we are happy to supply and fit. However, you would be surprised, when we had to complete our full EU Type Approval, we started digging for information on how to become certified to this standard there was only a couple of options. The RIB, in our opinion, even though it is static – offers a very safe and comfortable bed. The RIB fitting frame was cumbersome and added too much height to get a finish that worked on a cosmetic level (the rear floor for 50mm higher than the front) leaving it near impossible to trim nicely. So we designed, fitted and tested our own fitting frame. With 15 bolts going through the chassis and a substantial amount of plating both in and under the vehicle, the bed is very secure. We tested the frame on a maximum load of a full width 3 seater RIB.
Not only did we pass the test, with our results, the bed could have moved twice the amount it did and we would have still passed. For a sliding bed solution the equivalent to this safety standard is the genuine VW Caravelle and Multivan set up only.
In order to complete Full European Type Approval we have worked closely with the Vehicle Certification Agency. The VCA is the designated UK Vehicle Type Approval authority. In order to be as safe as possible and in order to work alongside Volkswagen, our VW approved camper conversions have had to achieve a certain standard of conversion. The VCA have scrutinised our conversions and looked at details such as measurements of where the roof cut is in relation to the seatbelt anchorages. Other tests include genuine kombi seat fitting and installation of seatbelt plates, Rock and Roll bed installation, pressure testing of the fuel tank with the heater nozzle in place etc. It has been very thorough and makes us all the more confident in the standard that we offer. We are regularly audited by the VCA to maintain confidence in the consistency of our standard of build.
Our favourite roof is the Reimo elevating roof. Fully tested to a standard that passes our Type Approval we are proud to offer this roof. As you are removing such a large structural part of the vehicle you have to ensure that the elevating roofs strengthening frame is tested to be strong enough should you need to rely on it. With our roofs, we can assure you that these are the very best on the market. Not only the strongest available they are are also very user-friendly and cosmetically easy on the eye.
Hydraulic roof beds are available, also complete with mattresses, creating great additional sleeping space. When fitting the roof we take great care with your vehicle, making a very precise cut, cleaning and priming all exposed metalwork. We bond and rivet the roofs (models vary) and details such as trimming the roof aperature, setting the canvas and even the finishing bead of silicon is done to the very highest standards. We are also an SCA approved fitter.
Our VW approved camper conversions are a great source of pride to us. We make every effort to ensure all elements are finished to perfection as well as performing at a remarkable standard in all safety tests.