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Here we are again, another month, another regulatory issue regarding caravans, albeit one that’s been dragging on for ages. Namely, Gross Combination Mass (GCM) upgrades.

Despite our stories rolling out to you with such regularity, they’re becoming mantra-like it seems the message is still unclear on weight – full stop. I’m not going to use this column to write another story on the complexities, and it is a complicated issue, but my ramblings consider the abdication of responsibility by the authorities.

You will have to read the full story to see exactly what’s going on, but essentially the federal regulators hand out one edict and then leave the states open to their interpretations. The situation is such that the aftermarket can offer certain solutions to customers who wish to upgrade the gross combination mass certification, but not to others, based on what state you live in. Of course this all sounds familiar to most Australians who have to suffer these inconsistencies daily for all manner of necessities. I’m not saying a GCM upgrade is a necessity, like clarity on road rules for instance, or medical treatment, but being able to have an upgrade legally performed in one state and the comfort of knowing you won’t get booked by an over-zealous transport officer across the border is at least useful.

And people who tow, in the main, wanna be compliant, don’t they? The one point that may get shouted about in bar-room arguments (or on the Net at least) is whether going bigger in your rolling mass is wise for operatives untrained in towing such large capacities. Maybe, maybe not. That’s a whole other kitchen item in which to keep your aquatic friends.

Mind you, I did speak with someone recently, who when questioned about the match-up between tow car and van and the total weight legality, merely shrugged and said he didn’t want to know … but knew he was over. They’re out there!

We have another story in this issue that similarly displays the odd rules governing our safety. It’s the law to have a smoke alarm in your van but not a carbon monoxide alarm – despite the source of a potential noxious leak being fitted to nearly every RV in the country. And while a potential hazard being thankfully minimal, we thought until recently with the Suburban issue, like the casual disregard to personal safety by my friend described above, people still actually heat their vans with the gas cooker overnight. They’re in there!

I bought a carbon monoxide alarm from Bunnings for my old flat when I started to use an unflued gas heater for winter. Probably overkill but better over than under, hey. I’d more chance of being burgled in the inner city by leaving a window open than the same with leaving a roof vent open, but it’s still a daft idea to have the van cooker going all night.

Yet, we can have all manner of inconsequential bylaws and national legislation passed down on us, some serious regarding press freedom and the right to protest (I don’t care about your politics), and then there’s daylight saving, but more than anything, it’s the lack of consistency. Let’s have country-wide idiocy, nannying, over-governance and lack of transparency too! (What do you mean we do?)

Ahem. Back to travelling.

In the 80s I read about an old English bylaw that hadn’t been repealed. It stated that it was still legal to kill a Welshman if you found him inside the Chester city walls after midnight as long as you used either a crossbow or a bow and arrow.

Could we burst the Canberra bubble with some sharpened river red gum?

THE NANNY SEEMS INCONSISTENT IN DISHING OUT THE RULES FOR PLAYTIME

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter

Here we are again, another month, another regulatory issue regarding caravans, albeit one that’s been dragging on for ages. Namely, Gross Combination Mass (GCM) upgrades.

Despite our stories rolling out to you with such regularity, they’re becoming mantra-like it seems the message is still unclear on weight – full stop. I’m not going to use this column to write another story on the complexities, and it is a complicated issue, but my ramblings consider the abdication of responsibility by the authorities.

You will have to read the full story to see exactly what’s going on, but essentially the federal regulators hand out one edict and then leave the states open to their interpretations. The situation is such that the aftermarket can offer certain solutions to customers who wish to upgrade the gross combination mass certification, but not to others, based on what state you live in. Of course this all sounds familiar to most Australians who have to suffer these inconsistencies daily for all manner of necessities. I’m not saying a GCM upgrade is a necessity, like clarity on road rules for instance, or medical treatment, but being able to have an upgrade legally performed in one state and the comfort of knowing you won’t get booked by an over-zealous transport officer across the border is at least useful.

And people who tow, in the main, wanna be compliant, don’t they? The one point that may get shouted about in bar-room arguments (or on the Net at least) is whether going bigger in your rolling mass is wise for operatives untrained in towing such large capacities. Maybe, maybe not. That’s a whole other kitchen item in which to keep your aquatic friends.

Mind you, I did speak with someone recently, who when questioned about the match-up between tow car and van and the total weight legality, merely shrugged and said he didn’t want to know … but knew he was over. They’re out there!

We have another story in this issue that similarly displays the odd rules governing our safety. It’s the law to have a smoke alarm in your van but not a carbon monoxide alarm – despite the source of a potential noxious leak being fitted to nearly every RV in the country. And while a potential hazard being thankfully minimal, we thought until recently with the Suburban issue, like the casual disregard to personal safety by my friend described above, people still actually heat their vans with the gas cooker overnight. They’re in there!

I bought a carbon monoxide alarm from Bunnings for my old flat when I started to use an unflued gas heater for winter. Probably overkill but better over than under, hey. I’d more chance of being burgled in the inner city by leaving a window open than the same with leaving a roof vent open, but it’s still a daft idea to have the van cooker going all night.

Yet, we can have all manner of inconsequential bylaws and national legislation passed down on us, some serious regarding press freedom and the right to protest (I don’t care about your politics), and then there’s daylight saving, but more than anything, it’s the lack of consistency. Let’s have country-wide idiocy, nannying, over-governance and lack of transparency too! (What do you mean we do?)

Ahem. Back to travelling.

In the 80s I read about an old English bylaw that hadn’t been repealed. It stated that it was still legal to kill a Welshman if you found him inside the Chester city walls after midnight as long as you used either a crossbow or a bow and arrow.

Could we burst the Canberra bubble with some sharpened river red gum?

THE NANNY SEEMS INCONSISTENT IN DISHING OUT THE RULES FOR PLAYTIME

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter