Building your own motorhome is no small project and making the right decisions at the right time during the build process can save a lot of pain and ultimately, money.
To that end, getting to know the engineer you will be using, and you will need an engineer, can be very beneficial.
The engineer I have decided to use is Ray Spence, from Canberra Motor Works in Mitchell. I have had two meetings with Ray so far and found him to be extremely helpful on both occasions. The biggest advantage of discussing what you want to do prior to commencing any work is that you can be assured that what you intend to do will meet the requirements required for registration.
One of the problems I have found is that the Vehicle Standards Bulletin documentation that relates to heavy vehicle modifications ( VSB6 ) is more of a guideline than a set of hard and fast rules, and therefore it is open to interpretation. That’s okay if your interpretation is the same as the person at the motor registry that inspects your vehicle, but if it isn’t, then there will likely be issues. This is just one more reason to involve a reputable engineer at the design stage. The engineer is likely to have dealt with many of the motor registry’s nuances and should be able to help you avoid dubious situations.
It has not cost me a cent so far to obtain advice from Ray. The meetings with him have been very casual and informative, each of which lasted over 30 minutes. So, the adage of “you get nothing for nothing” is definitely not true in this case.
I now have a definite direction to go in and it has not cost me anything, other than a bit of time, to know what I can and cannot do in this build.
I will say it again… if you plan on starting a project similar to mine, find an engineer and discuss your plans with him/her prior to starting any development. You won’t regret it.