I am so so happy right now!

Today I walked out of the TMR office with a pair of shiny new number plates for my bus.

She is now an officially registered motorhome!

I almost can’t believe that I am finally here, after so many years of dreaming about bus life, saving money, getting my own bus and all the work to get to this point. It now seems a bit surreal.

But it is real and I couldn’t be more proud of myself and what I have managed to do.

Of course, the bus is a long way from finished and I still have a lot of work to do, but I can relax a little now and finish the rest of the build in my own time, without worrying about having to pass inspections or being caught out by changing rules.

I was so nervous yesterday, waiting for the inspector to arrive. I honestly did not know whether he would approve of how I had built the inside, or even whether the bus would pass a roadworthy, given that she had not been off the driveway in almost a year!

But in the end, she passed both the roadworthy and the motorhome inspection with flying colours.

The inpsector also gave me the certification and mod plate I needed for the change in number of seats, and then all I had to do was take all the paperwork into the TMR office and hand over my money.

Registering a Toyota Coaster as a Motorhome in QLD

For those wondering what you need to register your coaster as a motorhome in Qld, I thought I would share my experience.
To qualify as a motorhome in Qld you must have:
  • residential quarters permanently fixed to the vehicle
  • rigidly fixed sleeping berths
  • rigidly fixed cooking facilities
  • rigidly fixed table (may be removable)
  • travel seating for all sleeping berths
  • rigidly fixed storage facilities
  • an approved fire extinguisher in the living quarters
  • at least one outward opening or sliding door on the left hand side or rear of the living quarters
  • the vehicle must NOT have designated load carrying area
Note that you do NOT need any plumbing or electrical setups installed for purposes of registration.
You may however need these to meet insurance company criteria for a motorhome, and if your cooking facilities are gas or electric, then you need the appropriate certification for that installation.
My stove is a metho burning alcohol stove so I didn’t need anything for it.
To get the motorhome certification, you need to have the coaster inspected by an approved inspector. This can be a mobile inspector. You don’t have to take it into the TMR.
I highly recommend Craig Haswell from Performance Auto Inspections if you’re in the Brisbane area.
The inspector will check that you meet the above criteria, and then do a “measure up” to record length, height etc of vehicle which also goes on the motorhome form.
To get registered, you need to take the following to the TMR:
  • Your current Qld driver’s licence
  • Your completed motorhome inspection form
  • A valid roadworthy certificate (mine was a COI as my coaster still has the original GVM and is a heavy vehicle. If your coaster has been downgraded to less than 4.5T you’ll just need an ordinary safety certificate.)
  • Certificate of seating modification if you have had change in number of seats or if you have installed new seats.
  • A record of the vehicle’s tare weight (the unladen weight when empty) You may need a weighbridge ticket to get this. I had last year’s rego papers which had the original tare weight and they accepted this. (this may have been because I wasn’t changing the GVM at all. If you are also changing the GVM they may be a bit stricter about needing the recent weighbridge ticket)
You just take all the paperwork in and get your plates over the counter. You do not need to take the actual coaster in to the TMR.
So my coaster is now registered as a truck-based motorhome.
12 months rego cost me $1140.45 today. This includes compulsory CTP. That was for new registration – subsequent renewals will be a fraction cheaper. It also included a credit card surcharge.
Please note that I didn’t have to pay stamp duty as my coaster was previously registered in my name and I already paid it when I first bought the bus. If this is the first time you are registering your coaster in your name you will also need to pay stamp duty on the market value of it.
Remember – this was my experience and is only relevant for Qld rego. Each state will have its own rules.
But I hope this is helpful to folks who are wondering what’s involved.