The Road Vehicle Standards Act ( RVSA ) is set to come into effect on July 1 2021 . Replacing the Motor Vehicle Standards Act ( 1989 ), the RVSA includes a raft of measures designed to improve the safety and compliance of motorised and towed vehicles .
Key among these changes is an end to the so-called ‘ selfcertification ’ of RVs , in which manufacturers could declare their own vans to be compliant and ‘ fit for service ’, and the establishment of the Register of Approved Vehicles ( RAV ). Vehicles and trailers that don ’ t appear on the RAV will not be able to be registered .
Revision 6 of the Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1 – Trailers with an Aggregate Trailer Mass of 4.5 Tonnes or Less contains updates integral to the RVSA .
With that in mind , we wanted to revisit the definitions of the terms related to caravan weights , as found in the updated VSB 1 . After all , if there is one subject related to caravanning that is guaranteed to cause confusion and debate , it ’ s caravan weights . What ’ s Aggregate Trailer Mass ( ATM ), and what about that Gross Trailer Mass ( GTM ) thing ?
Here ’ s what the revised VSB 1 has to say :
TARE VSB 1 STATES :
( The definition of trailer Tare Mass … is currently under review )
Tare Mass is the total mass of the trailer when not carrying any load , and with all fluid reservoirs ( if fitted ) filled to nominal capacity . ( Fluid reservoirs do not include water tanks and waste water tanks in caravans .) Tare Mass includes the mass imposed on the towing vehicle , when the combined tow vehicle and trailer are resting on a horizontal surface . Tare mass is specified :
• With the trailer ‘ ready for service ’; that is , with all standard equipment and any options fitted .
• At the time of entry onto the RAV .
GROSS TRAILER MASS VSB 1 STATES :
GTM is the specified mass transmitted to the ground by the tyres of the trailer when coupled to a towing vehicle and carrying the maximum load recommended by the manufacturer , approximately uniformly distributed over the load-bearing area . The manufacturer must have shown the trailer complies with the ADRs ( Australian Design Rules ) at this mass .