What is the RVSA and does it apply to me as a self builder?

The Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) is the biggest legislative change the Australian Caravan Industry has seen in over 30 years. For Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers and Importers in Australia, the RVSA is set to completely transform the industry as we know it.

Under the RVSA, Manufacturers and Importers of Low ATM Trailers, including Caravans (with an ATM of 4500kg or less), will need to obtain an approval in order to continue supplying trailers to the Australian market.

Under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA), Trailer Manufacturers have been able to self-certify a Trailer as compliant with the guidance contained in the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 (Rev 6) Building Small Trailers. The declaration of this compliance is on the identification plate affixed to the Trailer, with no notification to the department required.

Under the RVSA, Low ATM Trailer Manufacturers supplying more than 4 vehicles to the Australian market in a 12-month period will need to obtain a vehicle type approval for that type of Low ATM Trailer.

Every road vehicle, including Trailers, will need to have certain vehicle and compliance information listed on an online database known as the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) before they may be provided to consumers for the first time in Australia.

Most DIY Caravan customers are building only one project for their own use and in this situation many of the changes to the RVSA do not apply to them. However these projects must still be placed on the RAV – the Register of Approved Vehicles which is the online database for the vehicle and compliance information. This is called Concessional RAV Entry Approval and is explained more thoroughly by clicking here

For many customers they enjoy the build so much they go on to establish a small business building a number of projects each year and these customers will need to familiarise themselves with all the changes, to see how the new RVSA changes apply to them. We highly recommend anyone building RVs on a regular basis join their own State’s Caravan Trade Association which is an excellent source of this type of information.

A summary of the ADRs applicable to towables (eg Caravans) is provided below

Disclaimer: This article was provided to help customers with compliance and was correct as at time or writing – Aug 2021. Customers MUST make themselves aware of the relevant Regulations and Standards as at their build date and ensure they comply with them.