So I was researching the subject more specifically the legal limits and regulations in place in my province (for doing a conversion) and I realized that it differs from most threads around here. By about a mile.
So I exchanged emails with a nice fellow at the engineering office of the SAAQ (It's the local gov. branch that handles registrations, licences and others stuff).
He has been VERY helpful in understanding what needs to be done and most importantly HOW.
FIRST, let me say this now: I know those rules suck BIG time. If you are about to comment on how backwards, nanny and restrictive they are: don't. I've come to terms with the fact that the conversions here will be more expensive than anywhere else in northern america and so should you.
It won't stop be from building my skoolie and it shoudn't stop you either so their is no point in bitching about Qc and what not.
Ok back on topic!!!
the link for the SAAQ is here: Requirements for artisanal RVs
Note that there ARE limits to the shape of the bus you can use. It's straight forward so I won't discuss it here.
The SAAQ requires (to plate a Bus as an RV) the following PERMANENT equipement in the RV:
- Kitchen (including sink, fridge, counter and table)
- beds or sofa beds (more on that later)
- complete bathroom (shower and toilette WITH BLACK TANK.) No composting allowed (yet, more on that later)
- Electrical power independant of the bus's engine (certified by master electrician. You can install it, they need to certify it.)
- Propane gaz installed and certified (same as electrical power.) Actually optionnal but you need a cooking surface. Could be replace by induction cooking or conventional stove top.
- Fresh water tanks
- Grey water tanks
- Water heater (no spec as to propane or electrical but certified by one or both depending on the power...)
- Heating system independant of the engine (no mobile heaters allowed since it's not considered permanent. But splice the wire and hook it up directly and it's ok!)
- At least 2 seated places WITH BELTS
- Number of seats with belts must be equal or higher than bedding capacity. Sofa bed count as beds (and seats if they have belts.).
As I said, electrical work needs a master electrician to give his OK and same as propane.
The seats however are a separate story. Here's the extra regulations:
- Because motor homes are considered to be passenger vehicles, they must be designed to carry a maximum of nine people.
- Passenger seats must be appropriate, properly attached and equipped with seatbelts. The SAAQ will require information on the purchase, origin and installation of the vehicle seats and seatbelts
-Seats and seatbelts must be new, designed for this type of vehicle and installed according to manufacturer specifications
- Installing seatbelts on seats that were not designed for this type of device is prohibited.
What is in bold is what's important (duh!). The seat/belt combo MUST be installed by the BUS manufacturer. They WILL ask for proof. You could
install them yourself but you would require a structural analysis approved by an engineer (mechanical one) to make your case pass. An even then, you could get stuck with a stubborn engineer at the SAAQ that disagrees with yours.
Where it's a bit foggy is on the USES of the seats. They need to be made FOR RVs. That's it. No standards to follow nothing. So your installation could be approved but if the seats aren't "RV enough" for them, tough luck.
On top of everything:
The SAAQ may demand an engineer’s report concerning modifications made to a vehicle. You assume the cost of the report, which supplements the analysis of the case.
The engineer must demonstrate to the SAAQ’s satisfaction that the vehicle is safe and fit to operate on the road network.
This in bureaucrats language means: "GET ONE!". Engineers are 13 a dozen so you probably have one in your family or in your shop that could help you out. Otherwise I'll help you in a years or two... ;)
As far as what type of water heater, tanks etc is used, they don't really
care. Just don't use your kids beach bucket and you should be ok!
Oh one last thing! Don't be stupid when arranging the interior. You could technically mount your fresh water right behind the driver, but they will scrutinize that for strutural integrity more than if it's mounted under the bus... So play it safe (and smart!) with you interior layout!!!
I hope this helps future skoolie from up north figure out where to start!
As I have more info, I'll update this thread.
Oh and just to make sure you are pissed off, 3 years ago you could just sign an affidavit saying you did all this and you where good. But morons kept doing this to get out of paying cargo truck plates and now the SAAQ requires this bullshit. So don't be too quick to blame the lawmakers but look around you for that 1 person who is always trying to cut corners... Give him a mad eye for me please...