THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government has given permission to make alterations to large goods vehicles (LGVs) to convert them into camper trucks as per the conditions laid down by the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The direction was issued following a request from the tourism department to give necessary permission in the wake of caravan tourism policy announced by the state.
The tour operators were seeking permission to operate customised camper trucks with camping facilities on LGVs with cargo bodies and having seating capacity of up to five persons after the state government unveiled its caravan tourism policy. Technical committee formed under the motor vehicles department examined the proposal and gave permission to build a closed body or reconstruction of the existing vehicle without making any changes to basic features of the chassis.
Such construction or reconstruction is allowed, subject to the maximum statutory limitation of rear overhang — 60 per cent of the wheelbase as per the Central Motor Vehicle Rules 93. The sanction for operating camper trucks/vans for tourism purposes in Kerala was issued on the condition that the construction or reconstruction and installation of camping arrangements on LGVs with cargo body shall not violate the conditions laid down by CMVR.
A senior officer told TNIE, “Large goods vehicles,which are less than three-years-old, can be reconstructed as caravans. Further, crew cabs can be converted to provide camping facilities in areas where off road travelling is required. In caravans, tourists can spend their time inside the van enjoying the panoramic view of locations. In the case of crew cabs, they can be reconstructed in the model of caravan to provide camping facilities for tourists. But these vehicles will normally take tourists to caravan tourist locations where the tourists will spend their time inside tents or outside the van.
The van will have facilities for tourists to perform their basic chores and keep their luggage along with other things,” he said. Last month, BharatBenz rolled out its spanking new and feature-rich tourism caravan in Kerala. Commercial Vehicle makers Isuzu, Tata Motors and Force Motors are also set to come out with their tourist caravans soon. The state also announced subsidy for investors under the caravan policy. Under the policy, the first 100 caravans will get a subsidy of Rs 7.50 lakh or 15 per cent of the cost, whichever is less. The next 100 vehicles will get Rs 5 lakh or 10 per cent of the cost, whichever is less. For 201 to 300 caravans, it will be Rs 2.50 lakh or 5 per cent of the cost, whichever is less. The subsidy will be available for five caravans of an individual investor or group for three years.
Go off road
Large goods vehicles that are less than three years old can be reconstructed as caravans. Further, crew cabs can be converted to provide camping facilities in areas where offroad travelling is required. In the case of crew cabs, they can be reconstructed in the model of caravan to provide camping facilities for tourists