Self Containment

 What is Certified Self Containment?

Certified Self Containment is maintaining and certifying your motor caravan in accordance with the New Zealand Standard for Self Containment of Motor Caravans and Caravans, NZS 5465:2001.

The creation of the Standard was spearheaded by the NZMCA to provide a solution to the increasing problems associated with the use of motor caravans and the disposal of waste. The NZMCA encourages all motor home and caravan owners to make their vehicles self contained, and help protect the environment and public health from indiscriminate waste disposal.

A self contained vehicle is designed to completely meet the ablutionary and sanitary needs of the occupants (including water for drinking and cooking) for a minimum of three days without requiring any external services or discharging any waste.

Waste water is collected in holding tanks then disposed of via a dump station. Dump stations are connected to reticulated sewerage or septic tank systems, therefore the treatments used in the waste water must be approved toilet chemicals or treatments that do not affect the operation of these systems.

If you would like to check a vehicle's self containment certificate, please click here.


The Standard requires sanitary and safe installation of the following:

1. Fresh water supply: A vented opaque container that is restrained with minimum capacity of 4L per person per day (i.e. minimum 12L per person)

2. Holding tank: A vented opaque container that is restrained with minimum capacity of 4L per person per day (i.e. minimum 12L per person ) and monitored if capacity is less than the fresh water tank. Waste tanks must be vented to the exterior of the vehicle and any waste pipe must have a water seal within 1m of the inlet.

3. Toilet: Must be stored securely when in transit and be able to be used within the vehicle with adequate head and elbow room when the bed/s are made up. Minimum capacity is 1L per person per day (i.e. minimum 3L net holding tank capacity per person)

4. A sink

5. An evacuation hose and valve with cap if the waste tank is not removable

6. A sealable refuse container (with lid)

Why Should I Certify My Vehicle?

A self containment certificate provides local authorities and communities with a way to recognise that a vehicle poses minimal risk to the environment and public health. That way they are able to accommodate motor caravans at reserves and other areas where there are limited or no external facilities.

Without self containment, the environmental and public health problems caused by motor caravans will become unacceptable, and will result in councils and government placing increasing restrictions on the use of motor caravans.

It is also a requirement of joining the NZMCA that new members from 01 July 2009 certify their vehicle within three months of joining, purchasing or completing the modifications to their motor caravan.

How Do I Certify My Vehicle?

Path to Certification

You should first check that your vehicle meets the minimum requirements of the NZ Standard by either refering to our summary or purchasing a full copy of the Standard NZS 5465:2001 from Standards New Zealand (keyword 5465:2001)

When you're ready to have your vehicle inspected contact RV Dreams 04-5262629 to arrange a suitable time and date.

If your vehicle passes its inspection, the check-sheet will be sent to the National Office for recording and processing of your certification documents. Please allow up to 5 working days from the receipt of the check-sheet. Certification is valid for 4 years unless the vehicle undergoes modifications or alterations to an item covered by the self containment certificate. In which case, it will need to be rechecked.