27 people found this article useful

How to Get Your Campervan Certified Self-Contained

Backpackerguide.NZ

How to get a certified self-containment certificate.

Having a self-contained campervan, motorhome or caravan is essential for any traveller wanting to save money on camping by being able to freedom camp in New Zealand. Not only that, it means you have all the living conveniences in your adventure-mobile for a smoother trip. However, to avoid fines for illegal freedom camping, your vehicle needs to be certified self-contained under the Self-Containment Standard – NZS 5465:2001. In this article, we’ll go through how to get your campervan certified self-contained.

To start off, you will need a self-contained vehicle. See this guide to learn more about what a self-contained campervan is. Plus, even with a self-contained vehicle, you also need to understand the rules around freedom camping in New Zealand which you can learn more about freedom camping here.

Campervan Checklist to be eligible for a self-containment certification

Once you have a self-contained vehicle, make sure it has all of the following before getting an inspection. These are the requirements outlined in the Self-Containment Standard – NZS 5465:2001 in order to receive the self-containment certification.

  • Fresh water tanks – 12L per person for three days
  • A sink via a smell trap/water trap connected to a water tight sealed waste water tank
  • Grey/black waste water tank – 12L per person for three days, vented and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank
  • Evacuation hose – (3m for fitted tanks) or long enough to connect to a sealed portable tank
  • A rubbish bin with a lid
  • Toilet (portable or fixed) – Needs to have a minimum of 3L per person for three days and be able to be used inside the campervan with the bed made up (for all vehicles certified/renewed after 31 May 2017).

If you think your vehicle is missing any of these requirements, you can hire a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer to install compliant systems for you. In this case, we recommend you choose a plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer that is registered as an issuing authority and/or self-containment officer. See below for more details.

For tips on how to check if your campervan is suitable for the self-containment certification, see How to Convert Your Van into a Self-Contained Campervan.

Live Chat

 studio tdes on Flickr

What type of vehicle can you get certified self-contained?

In short, a caravan, motorhome or campervan that has facilities for living, i.e. cooking, sleeping, washing, toilet, etc. The vehicles purpose must be for an accommodation that can be transported. The Self-Containment Standard – NZS 5465:2001 defines these types of vehicles as the following:

Caravans

“Any structure designed for human habitation, which is capable of being moved from one place to another, by being towed, or transported on another vehicle.”

Motor Caravans

“A motor vehicle which can be used as a place of abode and has facilities for cooking, eating, sleeping and washing and is not a passenger vehicle.” Note that a passenger vehicle includes “cars, vans, people-movers and some off road vehicles.” However, these types of passenger vehicles are no longer considered passenger vehicles if they have been adequately converted for the purpose of accommodation. Vans that have been converted into campervans fall into this vehicle definition.

Note: The New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA), a popular issuing authority (see below), has temporarily stopped NZMCA self-containment officers to certify people-movers and similar small car conversions until further notice.

Learn more about the Different Types of Campervans in New Zealand.

BackpackerGuide.NZ

Who can inspect and issue your self-containment certification?

Your vehicle can be inspected by either a self-containment issuing authority or a qualified self-containment testing officer.

Self-containment issuing authorities

The most well-known issuing authorities for the self-containment certification in New Zealand are All Points Camping New Zealand and the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA). However, any plumber, gasfitter or drainlayer can also be registered as an issuing authority, so be sure to ask if when considering your options.

Self-containment testing officers

A qualified self-containment testing officer is a member of an issuing authority and can inspect vehicles for self-containment warrants. For a vehicle being tested for self-containment for the first time, it will need to be inspected by two testing officers, unless a testing officer has inspected more than 20 vehicles and tested at least 10 vehicles per year, then the vehicle can be inspected once by that officer.

Pexels

How much does the self-containment inspection and certification cost?

Fees for the inspections and the issuing of the certification vary between companies. Usually, there will be a fee for the issuing of the certification and a fee for the testing officer’s time.

All Points Camping charge NZ$30 for the issuing of the certificate to non-members of their organisation, or NZ$10 for members. An inspection with one of their testing officers is an additional fee with prices determined by your chose testing officer. Alternatively, NZMCA charges NZ$55 for an inspection and issuing of the certificate to non-members, while members pay NZ$15 for the inspection and NZ$15 for the certificate. Registered plumbers, gasfitters or drainlayers have their own inspection and issuing fees.

BackpackerGuide.NZ

what does the Self-Containment Certification look like?

Once your vehicle has been inspected and approved as meeting the NZS 5465:2001standard, then you should be issued an self-containment certificate and warrant of compliance.

Self-containment warrant card/window card

Your self-contained vehicle must display the self-containment window card on the inside of the front left-hand side of the windscreen or front left-side window so that it is visible from the footpath. This is so council officers and Department of Conservation (DOC) rangers can identify your vehicle as a valid certified self-contained vehicle.

The information on the window card includes:

  • The registration number of the vehicle
  • Date of issue
  • The issuing authority
  • Expiry date
  • The maximum number of people the vehicle can accommodate
How long is the self-containment certification valid for?

The self-containment certification is valid for 48 months. However, the certification must be renewed immediately if any alterations to the setup are made.

Self-containment Sticker

When issued a certification and window card, you will also be given a self-containment sticker which is expected to be placed on the lower right-hand rear of the vehicle. Although it is not a mandatory requirement to place the sticker, it is recommended to help give council and DOC officers a quick tool to identify a self-contained vehicle.

If you liked this article then you might like…

Working Holiday Insurance
Was this article useful? Useful Useless
Help other travellers, share this article now:
Pin
HiFX - Money Transfer

Most Popular Videos

Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
Video Thumbnail
backpackerguide.nz
North Island Cities

Public Transport in Palmerston North

How to get around Palmerston North Getting around Palmerston North is cheap [...]

Christian Michel on Wikipedia
National Parks

Paparoa National Park – Guide for Backpackers

That place with the pancake rocks. Rocks! Rocks everywhere! Stacked one, pancake [...]

Nomads Hostels
Hot on Backpacker Guide
Environment
pxhere

7 Ways to Protect New Zealand’s Lakes and Rivers

Keep New Zealand’s lakes and rivers clean. 3,820 lakes are scattered across […]

New Zealand Weather
Tourism NZ Miles Holden

New Zealand Weather in February

What is the weather like in February in New Zealand? Thinking of […]

Driver License and IDs
Tourism NZ

Why You Need an International Driving Permit for New Zealand

Using an international Driving Permit for New Zealand. If your driving license […]

We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.
I accept

Menu