Are you planning to buy an older caravan or motorhome? Best read this then!
Since 2013 New Zealand has undergone a process of updating the rules around gas safety in motor and caravan vehicles, all road vehicles with a gas system installed are now classed as high risk vehicles. Which is sensible in the eyes of the emergency services, as they turn up to a road incident they need to be assured that the vehicles involved have a safe gas installation and a current gas certificate to protect both the occupants and the services from potential hazards.
All new vehicles that have been sold after 2013 by a dealer or importer should have a gas certificate registered to the VIN number of the vehicle. The inspecting gas certifier will have registered the vehicle on the Work Safe database and all the appliance model/serial numbers will be listed in the database, this is to prevent anyone making changes without recertifying the workmanship after the fact.
Vehicles that are older than 2013 may not always have a gas certificate, except if at some point between 2013 and now the vehicle has had any gas works done by a registered company. It is therefore important to note that if any work is done on a gas appliance or system in a pre 2013 vehicle, it will require a gas certificate to ensure that the system meets all the new regulations.
To obtain a Full Gas Certificate, existing appliances, or any components of the gas system will need to meet the latest specifications. Unlike the electrical certificate, a gas certificate is not displayed by a tag on the window, but only on the database, so it can be a little hard to know if the gas certificate is current
A safe vehicle should have the following:
All appliances must have flame failure protection
All appliances must be correctly installed according to regulations
All gas pipes must be in the solid copper sheathed pipe or steel
Gas bottles must be stored correctly in a locker sealed from the inside of the vehicle
The gas regulator must have a pressure test point
The gas bottle connection should have a safety valve that shuts off if there is a sudden drop in pressure
You should have a gas detector and CO detector
The reason you need to be careful when buying an older vehicle is that you may think you are getting a good deal, but if there is something wrong with the gas system, you may have a costly surprise when you have to upgrade the gas system of an older vehicle
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