Caravanning News is registered with the National Library of Australia's PANDORA archive

MAY 2021


'This is of serious concern'

New regulations will not solve problem of non-compliant RVs, warns council

Colin Young  Have your say

Australia's highways and byways are full of non-compliant recreational vehicles, according to the Caravan Council of Australia.

And it has warned that new regulations scheduled to come into force in July will not solve the problem.

"They will not guarantee that all future caravans will be fully-compliant," claims the council's founder and general manager Colin Young (pictured).

"The new safety and quality regulations will not apply to all manufacturers and importers," he explained.

"This is of serious concern as some companies that produce caravans in small numbers will be exempt from having to meet the requirements of the new laws."

Mr Young said companies that will not be subject to the same level of government scrutiny will be some newcomers to the market, which often lack the necessary resources and experience essential to manufacture safe and high-quality caravans.

"Industry insiders have long been worried that there are too many new manufacturers and importers competing in a very limited, and highly-competitive, market," he claimed.

Mr Young believed the new Vehicle Safety Standards regulations would allow larger caravan companies a lengthy 'phase-in' period to 'get up to speed' with the new requirements.

"It may well be that the intended benefits of the new laws will not become apparent for up to one year after their introduction," he said.

"Unfortunately for the many owners of defective non-compliant caravans there are no retrospective provisions in the new act, hence they are being forced to continue to pursue rectification action against the dealers who sold them their vehicles.

"Despite the good intentions of the Australian Consumer Law to protect customers who bought unsatisfactory – or even unsafe – products, it is well known that getting the dealers to honour their responsibilities is often very difficult.

"Potential buyers of caravans need to be extremely careful to ensure their proposed caravan is in fact fully compliant with Australia’s vehicle safety regulations, as stated in the national Australian Design Rules."

Mr Young also fired a broadside at manufacturers, saying it had been hoped one major positive outcome from the lengthy and crippling COVID lockdowns was that they made good use of the non-productive time "to have a thorough and professional appraisal of all aspects of their business".

But "most unfortunately", this has not been the case with all manufacturers.

"The CCA has been advised of numerous instances where defects have been found on new caravans manufactured over just the past few months," he said.

"While most of the complaints were about the well known industry problems, a number of new bugs have now become apparent."


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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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