What are the compliance rules for small trailers used on the highway?

For customers new to the industry, building a caravan for use on the roads can be daunting. How do you find out what is required in so far as road rules are concerned?

There is a system of National Standards for vehicles know as ADRs (Australian Design Rules) in addition to a large number of Australian Standards.

However the best source of practical information for ‘Building a Small Trailer ‘ is called VSB1- short for Vehicle Standards Bulletin. VSB1 operates as an alternative to the ADRs and applies for all trailers with an ATM of up to 4500kgs. It contains a huge amount of information covering a range of areas including road-lights, wiring, brakes, draw-bars, axles, dimensions etc etc.

It is the responsibility of the Manufacturer to ensure the trailer meets the standards set out in VSB1. So well worth downloading a copy and having it available as a reference document during your build.

Click HERE to Download your own copy of VSB1

Most common Compliance issues

In a recent survey of Caravans in Queensland the most common areas of non-compliance were

  • Rear and Front lamps obscured by other items like spare wheels, generator boxes etc. There are required viewing angles for each light.
  • Reflectors (front, rear and side) obscured by other items
  • Lamps and reflectors incorrectly located especially rear lamps too high
  • Number plate location too high
  • Non-compliant safety chains fitted
  • Compliance with Gas Regulations


Disclaimer: This article was provided to help customers with compliance and was correct as at time or writing – Sep 2016. Customers MUST make themselves aware of the relevant Regulations and Standards as at their build date and ensure they comply with them.