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Is your van as safe as houses?

Updated: Jul 13

Five reasons why your campervan needs a Habitation Check

At Customhaus, safety is our main priority. We as a team are from a wide array of backgrounds and most have one thing in common - a focus on established standards of quality and safety.

Van conversions have come a long way in the last few years but there is no official safety standard in place for converted vehicles. Cars have to be MOT tested, motorhomes and caravans have to have a Habitation Check when built, but there is no mandatory check for campervans.

So we decided to carry out Habitation Checks as standard on our conversions, and encourage our self-builders to do the same. These are the most complete check available for a conversion, having been developed over many years for the rest of the leisure vehicle market.

Most of us have partners, kids, dogs and even travelling hamsters, and we’d never dream of putting them into a box on wheels full of electrics, gas, water and petrol and driving them down a busy motorway without being 100% confident it’s not going to leak or explode.

What's a Habitation Check?

A Habitation Check is a leisure vehicle industry recognised test typically carried out on motorhomes and caravans. It’s like an MOT but for the van’s living quarters and appliances in a van.

We believe that Habitation Checks should extend to campervan conversions because they are often carrying our most precious cargo – our families. And that’s why, before any new campervan conversion leaves us, we arrange for a Habitation Check to be completed by an independent MCEA (Motor Caravan Engineers’ Association) qualified engineer.

They use a comprehensive checklist to assess the condition of your campervan and appliances including electrics, gas, ventilation and also any problems with damp.

These are all safety critical factors that tell you if your van is safe to travel and stay in, or not. Campervans are out in all weather conditions, driven long distances and through fields, and otherwise subject to a lot of abuse, so like an MOT, we recommend you get a Habitation Check done every year.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you need to get a Habitation Check now

1. Your safety

You get that peace of mind that your campervan is safe to live in. You’ll be able to go and enjoy your adventures knowing that it has been checked over and certified by a professional.

2. Resale

Annual checks protect your investment. We all know our beloved vans are not cheap and if done right they can really hold their value. So if you come to part ways with yours, having annual Habitat Checks is like selling a car with full service history. There’s perceived value in this extra level of care.

3. Warranty and Insurance

If it’s a new vehicle or renovation you may need a yearly habitation check to keep your warranty valid or satisfy your insurers.

4. Saves you money

A yearly habitation check will save you money in the long run. It means you pick up on any potential problems and can get them fixed before they cause any more expensive damage. We see this all the time and van owners are often surprised at what can go wrong if they don’t maintain their vans properly.

5. Protects your family

We don’t like thinking about the worst-case scenario but we’ve seen what happens when a van is not converted safely, and we don’t want you to be worrying when you’re on the road.

An annual habitation check is a great way of protecting you, your family and loved ones, giving you all the peace of mind that your van is safe so you can go on your travels, have fun and enjoy!

How can I book one?

At Big V, we have on offer an independent, impartial, campervan habitation checking service that gives you that peace of mind. It costs from £200 (depending on your van) and only takes around 2 hours.

And if there were to be a problem, then we can provide the aftercare service and information to help you put it right.

Call us or email on to enquire and book your Habitation Check now.

NB: The habitation check does not include repairing any faults with the appliances or systems in your campervan but this is something we can also do if required.

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