So you have just seen the motor home of your dreams and are about to put down the deposit and plan your next adventure.
But do you know what class of licence you need so you can drive it?
There are a number of options depending on the gross vehicle mass or GVM of the vehicle. This is how much the vehicle can weigh when fully loaded.
Tare (empty vehicle weight) + maximum load = GVM
You can find the GVM on the compliance plate
Just remember it’s not what the vehicle does weigh but what it is legally allowed do weigh.
GVM Equal To or less than 4500 kg (Car Licence)
You’re in luck, this vehicle can be driven on a car licence. But please bear in mind that they handle much more like a truck than a car and are significantly bigger than the average family car.
Take your time, giving your self-room to avoid potential hazards and use your mirrors to avoid cutting corners and damaging your pride and joy.
GVM greater than 4500 kg but less than 8000 kg (Light Rigid)
You will find these vehicles are not much bigger than the car licence motor homes, but you will need to obtain a light rigid licence.
For most drivers the step up to a light rigid vehicle is quite easy as they are not much different to driving the smaller car licence motor homes.
GVM equal to or greater than 8000 kg but only two axels (Medium Rigid)
Now you are getting into serious heavy vehicle territory you will find the medium rigid motor homes have more in common with a bus or truck than a car.
The large Winnebagos fall into this class of vehicle but have the advantage of giving you a more spacious environment to live while you travel Australia.
GVM equal to or greater than 8000kg with three or more axels (Heavy Rigid)
Similar in size the medium rigid vehicles but can carry more weight. There is very little difference between driving the larger medium rigid’s compared to a heavy rigid as they have the same maximum dimensions as a medium rigid.
Very few purpose built motor homes will be heavy rigid’s as you don’t need to carry the weight, however you do find a number of converted coaches that will require a heavy rigid licence.
There are a number of gearbox options but in reality most modern motor homes will an automatic transmission to make your driving easier.
Even if you do your driving test in an auto and you have manual car licence you will obtain a condition b (standard manual licence)
Driving Schools only have trucks.
This is the case with the vast majority of driving school, however whether it is a motor home, bus, truck or crane they are all classed as a heavy vehicle and require the same licence.
So if you get your licence in a truck you will still be able to drive your motor home.
When training you to drive a heavy vehicle the truck is a better option as they generally have better vision and are a bit more stable than a bus or motor home making it easier for the trainee.
So what are you waiting for? If that motor home of your dreams is calling out to you, make sure you have the right licence so you can get on the road.