The Blue Sticker
It is recommended that every RV in NZ should be certified Self-Contained. That’s that blue sticker you see on the back of campers, caravans and motorhomes. There’s a whole bunch of stuff behind earning that sticker, and if you have DIY’d your camper, there’s no question the sticker is a badge of honour.
It’s not that hard to achieve minimum self-containment. Here are the guidelines at the time of writing;
Fresh water tanks: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum); eg. 24 litres is required for 2 people for 3 days. 48 litres is required for 4 people for 3 days.
A sink: (via a smell trap/water trap connected to a water tight sealed waste water tank.
Grey/black waste water tank: 4 L per person per day (12 L per person minimum, vented and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank).
Evacuation hose: (3 m for fitted tanks) or long enough to connect to a sealed portable tank.
Sealable refuse container (rubbish bin with a lid).
Toilet (portable or fixed): Minimum capacity 1 L per person per day (3 L net holding tank capacity per person minimum).
A portable toilet must be adequately restrained or secured when travelling. The portable toilet shall be usable within the motor caravan or caravan, including sufficient head and elbow room whenever required, even with the bed made up. Where permanent toilets are installed, this shall be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and comply with the sanitary requirements in section 3 of the Standard.
When these conditions are met, a portable toilet may be used externally e.g. within a toilet tent or awning, where it is appropriate and convenient to do so.
The basic premise, is that self containment is all about water and plumbing. Not dripping grey water, taking out what you’ve brought in.
To get the blue sticker the vehicle needs to be inspected and approved by a registered Self Containment Officer, who will then issue the certificate and the Blue Sticker. Be aware that unfortunately some vans that fake Blue Stickers, so if you’re buying a camper it would pay to check the CSC registers on the NZMCA’s website www.nzmca.org.nz, and NZ Lifestyle Camping www.nzlifestylecamping.com
You can get hold of your local Self Containment Officer via NZ Lifestyle Camping and the NZMCA. Our experiences with Officers is nothing but positive, they have suggested and/or solved any issues around certification.