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Sopru Campmobile Re-Registration & Engineering Reports

Discussion in ''How To' & 'Handy Hints'' started by Doob, Sep 27, 2020.

  1. Doob

    Doob Member

    I am seeking forum comments on re-registering a Sopru ‘Campmobile ‘ and issues raised with engineering reports .

    We are nearing the end of a long restoration project of our 1971 low light Kombi campervan. I believe the original campervan conversion was done by Sopru in the early 1970’s probably in NSW. While we have the original Australian compliance plate behind driver’s seat, unfortunately there is no ‘E . Sopru & Co Pty Ltd’ name plate behind the passenger seat. Nor do we have any documentation from the time of the conversion. But the roof and old furnishings are consistent with Sopru’s ‘VW CAMPMOBILE’ style conversions.

    Our Bus looked very similar to this one, before our restoration work began.


    The vehicle has been out of registration for a few years now. I am expecting that when we go to re-register it (here in WA) , there may be questions raised about the pop-top campervan modification. Given the lack of documentation, I am guessing we may be required to get an engineering report in order to get it re-registered.

    Has anyone else been down this track recently, with re-registering a Kombi campervan? Has an engineering report been required? If so, what types of issues have been raised – and what modification has been required by the engineer?

    For our vehicle, the conversion company simply cut a hole in the metal roof, which included removing the central roof cross beam – as required to accept the lower fixed fibreglass section of the pop-top assembly. No additional metal support or stiffening structure was added to compensate for the loss of the metal roof section and central cross beam.

    Is this typical?

    Given that our campervan conversion was done in the early 1970’s (almost 50 years ago) and the vehicle has suffered no adverse structural effects in that time, one might argue the loss of roof metal is not a structural issue! But I’m not sure if an automotive engineer would take this view?

    I have tried to do some internet research on E . Sopru & Co Pty Ltd. There are a number of posts within this KC forum that mention Sopru Campmobiles (see links below). I found a PDF copy of a 1976 Campmobile owner’s manual on ‘thesamba’ forum. Also a good article in the November 2012 issue of the Club VeeDub Sydney magazine – see pages 30 to 33. (link below)

    I would greatly appreciate any comments on more recent engineering reports done on Sopru Campmobiles, the need for any additional structural stiffening (or other engineer requirements), and any addition history on early Campmobiles by E . Sopru & Co Pty Ltd.

    See below a list of links I have come across so far.













  2. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Avalon Beach NSW
    As you have read, a Sopru that has not run out of rego. may be reregistered as is, without further modifications.
    However, once a vehicles rego expires and remains unregistered for a while, the vehicle will be inspected as if it is the first time.......this will mean that it will have to comply with current ADR requirements.......that’s where the engineering comes in. Typical requirements that have been discussed on KC by different members include requirements to stiffen the roof cut out, seatbelt replacements, rnr bed upgrade/anchor points and how the cupboards are secured.....
    It can be a minefield and you are really at the mercy of whomever does the roadworthy inspection.
    Good luck.
    David H and KahunaKombi like this.
  3. Doob

    Doob Member

  4. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Abbotsford NSW
    it is how they should have need done in the first place.
    Then again - if they did do the camper conversion properly there would be a lot of restorers out of a job these days
    oldman likes this.
  5. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    Saw some restos a few years back and they just cut the tin top roof section out for a poptop and no structural integrity added :eek: ..... even when advised to do so :rolleyes:.

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