Don't forget to look at the panel on the left of this page for other topics especially if you are looking for information on travelling in the EU (HERE)
The European Parliament has introduced new regulations to be effective in Europe from the 1st September 2019
This will change how motorhomes will be taxed, considerably increasing the cost to owners.
Motorhomes are currently taxed as private light goods (PLG) commercial vehicles (3,500kg and under) or private heavy goods (PHG) commercial vehicles (over 3,500kg).
There are very different emission taxation bands for commercial vehicles and cars in the UK.
From 1st September 2019 new emission regulations require the C02 emissions for all vans and cars to be stated on the type approval paperwork.
A motorhome uses a commercial vehicle as its base and has a unique vehicle classification meaning that NEW motorhomes registered with the DVLA will, for the purpose of Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), move out of the commercial vehicle tax bands and will now be taxed as a luxury car.
This will see the road tax for a new motorhome increase to £2,135, plus there will be significant higher ongoing yearly tax costs for a further five years.
13ELE2000 HEAD UNIT MANUAL - SEE TECHNICAL HINTS AND TIPS
UPDATED INFORMATION FROM DOT MAY 10th 2018
The information contained in this document relates solely to the construction requirements for vehicles. Readers should ensure that they are aware of, and comply with, all relevant requirements on other aspects of vehicle use (driver licensing, vehicle excise duty, insurance etc). CLICK HERE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Fiat Ducato with Comfort-Matic Heater
Fault Hot Air to Drivers Feet
Useful information supplied by member
Dennis Hobbs who experienced problems with the heating in his motorhome.
Sargent Recall Notice
A small number of PSU built in November and December 2016, and fitted to vehicles in January / February 2017 are being recalled. They have identified 70 circuit boards that may prematurely fail due to a possible manufacturing problem. These 70 PCB’s were used during a period where 190 EC155 PSU’s were manufactured, so we are including all 190 of these for checking and possible replacement.
If the PSU serial number is between 7908 to 8095 inclusive then it is one of the 190 that need to checked.
Sargent have produced a short video showing how to check the number, and then the internal PCB batch number as required. See the YouTube video below. If you need to contact Sargent, call 01482 881655 or email Dave Chapman at Dave@sargentltd.co.uk
Fiat Engine Oil Euro 6 IMPORTANT NOTE
I have been trying to source top-up engine oil for the Euro 6 engine and this has been quite interesting. The oil is fully synthetic which of course equals expensive. I have tried to match the specification with oils available and came across what appeared to be a major error. The Fiat Handbook page on Fluids and Lubricants (page 329 in mine) states the oil is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with the specification shown as being 9.55535-S1. This being manufactured by Petronas and named Selenia WR Forward. In talking to Petronas and Castrol I have ascertained that the S1 is ascribed to a Euro 5 engine and NOT Euro 6 and is not recommended for the Euro 6 models. I have spoken with Fiat Customer Service who confirm that the oil required for this engine is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with a specification of 9.55535-DS1. They accept that there is a misprint in my Handbook and showed some concern over this. They have escalated the issue to the powers that be who are concerned with the production of the handbook and expect there to be a correction issued via a Service Update through Fiat Professional agents. I have also been warned that these engines are liable to use a half litre of oil every 600 miles and therefore a close watch needs to be kept on the engine oil levels.
I am unsure how many members already have Euro 6 vehicles but as more purchase new models hopefully they will pick up on this issue. I am sure that it will take months for this to appear in new Handbooks, mine is dated 02/2015 and came with a 2017 model, meanwhile owners and presumably maintenance engineers may well be filling up with incorrect fluids.
Just thought that you might be interested to know that the saga with Fiat continues.
Fiat Customer Services came back to me to confirm that the correct oil for the Euro 6 engines is SAE 0W-30 ACEA C2 with a specification of 9.55535-DS1 entitled Selenia WR Forward. I asked the source of their confirmation and was told that it was from the Fiat Handbook. Having emphasised that this was not in my handbook they conceded that the handbook was out of date. At the bottom of the last page of my handbook there is a Print Number : 603.99.772 – 05/2015 – 1st edition despite being shipped with a 2017 model. It was suggested that for the up to date version I should refer to the internet to which I responded that this was unacceptable and potentially impossible if I were located on a campsite with no signal or communication. The correct handbook for Euro 6 models is Print Number. 603.91.187 – 03/2017- 3rd edition. On investigation I found that the 2015 handbook was ascribed to all cabs up to November 2016 and suddenly changed to the 2017 version with December 2016 models. I have also established that the latest 2017 Auto-Trail and also Swift models continue to be shipped with the 2015 handbook – someone seems to have a job lot of these with little concern to the end user. I wonder how many other incorrect references appear in the earlier version??
Having remonstrated with Fiat, who refused to send me an updated version, they advised that I spoke with my dealer or the local Fiat Professional garage to come to some agreement as to how a current handbook could be made available!! I understand that the potential cost to acquire the correct handbook is £20 + VAT. You will not be surprised to hear that I will not be paying that!!
With thanks to Bryan Steiner for this information
Carriage of Passengers in Campervans
Statement from the Department of Transport
This document provides general guidance and advice on the legislative requirements in Great Britain relating to the carriage of people in campervans. Every effort has been made to ensure that it is factually correct but recipients should check with the producers of this document if they are unsure about the validity of a particular regulation after the date of publication or if they have reason to believe any part is not correct or is now out of date.
Although it is not specifically illegal to travel in the accommodation area of a campervan, you should bear in mind that this area would not have been specifically designed for use when travelling and Regulation 100 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986 No. 1078) may apply. This requires: a motor vehicle, and all its parts and accessories; the number of passengers carried, and the manner in which any passengers are carried in or on a vehicle; and the weight, distribution, packing and adjustment of the load of a vehicle, to be at all times such that no danger is caused, or is likely to be caused, to any person in or on a vehicle or on a road.
Further to this, Section 40a of The Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by Section 8 of the Road Traffic Act 1991) Part II, Using a Vehicle in a Dangerous Condition, states that: A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when:
(a) the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories (b) the purpose for which it is used; or (c) the number of passengers carried by it, or the manner in which or equipment; or they are carried; which it is
(d) the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the manner in secured; is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.
Our advice is that passengers are safest in a forward or rearward facing seat equipped with a three- point seat belt. Seat belt anchorage points should be designed so that they will be capable of withstanding the high forces of an impact and seat belts must comply with the latest British or European standards and be marked accordingly with either the 'e', 'E' or BS 'Kitemark'. We strongly recommend that they are professionally installed by qualified persons (such as a commercial garage or seatbelt specialist).
Although side facing seats, with or without seat belts, are not illegal, we would not advise that they are used. This is because seat belts are not designed to be used with such seats. In the event of an accident, seat belts on these side facing seats may help to prevent the wearer being thrown around the vehicle or from being ejected, but in a frontal crash they can increase injury risk by subjecting vulnerable parts of the body to higher loads than seat belts used on forward facing seats.
If you intend to carry children aged 12 years or under, the seat belt wearing regulations require them to use a suitable child restraint. You should bear in mind that child restraints cannot be fitted to side facing seats. In order to fit the required child restraints, you would need to have forward or rearward facing seats with full three-point seat belts.
Whilst there is no specific legal limit to the number of passengers carried, the manufacturer will probably specify the maximum number that the vehicle is designed for and if that is exceeded,
Regulation 100 of the Road Vehicles (Construction & Use) Regulations 1986 or Section 40a of The Road Traffic Act 1991 may again apply. It is therefore important that you also confirm the number of passengers and the manner in which they will be carried with your insurance company.
The requirements for child car seat use can be viewed at: http://www.dft.gov.uk/think/focusareas/children/childincar?whoareyou_id=&page=Overview.
If you require any further information regarding the content of this information sheet, please contact the DfT at the address below:
International Vehicle Standards Department for Transport Zone 1/34, Great Minster House 33 Horseferry Road, London, SW1P 4DR
Telephone: 020 7944 2091 Fax: 020 7944 2196 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Have your fitted a Nudge or Bull bar to your motorhome?
Have you informed your insurance company?
I fitted a very nice chrome nudge bar to my motorhome and following a conversation with a member I was advised to inform my insurer of the modification.
To my surprise I was told that my insurance would be invalid if it was left on. It is now for sale!
Not all insurance companies have the same exclusions, so if you have fitted one or are thinking about fitting one, check with your insurers first!
My insurer is Saga.
Thanks to John Pridgeon for raising this very important point.
Truma UK has informed motorhome owners of a potential safety problem with gas filter cups fitted since the start of 2012. The gas filter cup is located between the gas bottle and the regulator. We decided to relay this call. A faulty processing in the manufacturer's supply chain has resulted in the possibility of a material fault in the windows of the gas filter cup. This can allow gas to escape freely into the atmosphere via the cylinder box. In unfavourable circumstances, this might cause gas deflagration and injuries, although Truma wants to state that it is not aware of any cases where this has happened. To avoid any risks, Truma has therefore decided to replace all filter cups in the market with a new version. The rest of the filter body assembly is unaffected and will not impact on anything surrounding or connected to it, such as the hose or the regulator. The probability that the material fault will present itself is very low; however, motorhome owners who have a Truma gas filter fitted in their vehicle must take the following precautions:
Customers can replace the cups quickly and easily themselves. The gas supply needs to be closed before the part is replaced. Then the old filter cup can be unscrewed – like when replacing the filter cartridge – and the new filter cup screwed on.
To see how it’s done, watch this helpful video.
We recommend you to address the manufacturer if you are impacted.
Gassing in motorhomes?
The Royal College of Anaesthetists issued a statement last year amid claims that Britons were being gassed and burgled in motor homes and now the robbery of
Jenson Button claiming gassing is in the news, it is repeated here.
"Despite the increasing numbers of reports of people being gassed in motor-homes or commercial trucks in France, and the warning put out by the Foreign Office for travellers to be aware of this danger, this College remains of the view that this is a myth."
"It is the view of the College that it would not be possible to render someone unconscious by blowing ether, chloroform or any of the currently used volatile anaesthetic agents, through the window of a motor-home without their knowledge, even if they were sleeping at the time."
"If there was a totally safe, odourless, potent, cheap anaesthetic agent available to thieves for this purpose it is likely the medical profession would know about it and be investigating its use in anaesthetic practice."
They went on to say that the quantity that would be needed to fill a motorhome would require a tanker full and the significant cost would far outweigh the advantage of the robbery. They also said that the administering of the necessary volume of an uncontrolled anaesthetic agent would mean the possibility of killing the victims.
Check out the links on the side bar for other useful information.
2020 European Rallies announced
Autumn Magazine now available for download
Fly Screen problems? Guide how to re-string
Thank you to Sue Holmes and Dave Heighes
A small selection of photos of the new 2020 models on display at Malvern Show
NEW Motorhome taxation costs from 1st September
(New vehicles registered after 01/09/19 )
Visiting Brussels? You may need to register your vehicle.
Driving in the EU after Brexit? Update 12th August
Europe changes gear over speed limits on country roads
Germany's Diesel Ban is Starting to include Autobahn Network
Safe parking at rallies advice, please take time to read this item.
Auto-Trail - Where it all began, a brief history.
Click HERE to view our