“Combined” Weighbridge weight correct or wrong?

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Mar 14, 2005
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Depending on the spring rates of the suspension of a twin axle, putting just one wheel of a twin axle on a weight gauge will obviously reduce the load of the second wheel to a greater or lesser degree if the that wheel is unsupported. In the extreme, if the suspension were to have an infinite spring rate, i.e. solid, putting one wheel on the weight gauge would lift the other completely off the ground and the total weight of one side of the caravan would be measured by the gauge. By doing the same then with the other wheel one would get the same result. Adding the two together would then obviously give you much too high a reading for that one side.
Clearly not a realistic scenario for any caravanner trying to use the Reich caravan weight control units.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I would presume Reich have done their research and their product works well

Other half (the boss) has said No... I'll maybe sneak an order in one of these days when she isn't looking ;)

She mentioned we would need to have the Caravan weighed, 17 times, and that won't happen.

@Hutch That bottle of Co-Op super crap strength Rum is still available, straight swap ;) haha
You might like to show her this
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLRJS6fUK_c


Also regards the cost, I think this video also make some good points regarding convenience vs cost.
 
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Oct 19, 2023
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Simpler, cheaper and quicker to use a weighbridge even if it is out by about 20-50kgs.
Hmmmm, for me.....

Simpler- check everything is secure in caravan, engage motor mover, raise steadies, maneuver out of driveway, hitch up to car, check lights, drive XX miles, drive onto weigh bridge, unhitch caravan, then do the above in reverse order........ vs....... engage motor mover, raise steadies, move caravan forward and backwards a couple of times over scales, drop steadies and disengage motor mover. Reich wins.

Cheaper - depends on how many times I would use a weighbridge, how much they charge, how much fuel I'd have to use to get there and back etc, but weighbridge wins.

Quicker- (see simpler) Reich wins.

Accuracy - according to the DVLA's consolidated code of practice....
'The accuracy limit for gross or train weights of a multi-plate weighbridge is +/- 50kg multiplied by the number of plates used for the weighing. Where an axle or group of axles is weighed on the same plate the accuracy limit is +/- 100kg.'
Reich claims +/- 3%, so unless your caravan weighs over 3333.3kg Reich wins.

I think I'm convincing myself that I should buy one (YMMV). :ROFLMAO:
 
Dec 27, 2022
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I just mentioned weighing the caravan again and was met with a blank stare and the word Why?
I want a Reich so I know that when I leave home we are under the limit.
 
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Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Just wondering how many folks who had no intention whatever of taking the van to a weighbridge; now, having discovered that there is a gadget, consider weighing is absolutely essential? 😇😀
 
Oct 19, 2023
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I just mentioned weighing the caravan again and was met with a blank stare and the word Why?
Answer: 'I think that the caravan is over weight so unless I can prove that it's not by weighing it you'll have to remove the 37 spare pairs of shoes and 25 handbags you always take with you'. ;)
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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With our previous caravan we weighed it a couple of times. With the current caravan we gave up on weighing it as saw no point as we carry very little in so probably under its MTPLM anyway. No aquarolls, wastemaster, awning, poles etc.
 
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Answer: 'I think that the caravan is over weight so unless I can prove that it's not by weighing it you'll have to remove the 37 spare pairs of shoes and 25 handbags you always take with you'. ;)
We have that conversation when it first went on a weighbridge, followed by "that can't possibly be right" .
We now travel with all clothes plus the awning and my spares etc in the car.
It's really that I just want another gadget.
Plus I know someone whose caravan I'm convinced is way over it's MTPLM and would like to prove it to him.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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I just mentioned weighing the caravan again and was met with a blank stare and the word Why?
I want a Reich so I know that when I leave home we are under the limit.
I had the chance of getting my Reich CWC, unit from a friend, for a Bottle of Rum. It puts my mind at rest about weights. A no Brainer.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just wondering how many folks who had no intention whatever of taking the van to a weighbridge; now, having discovered that there is a gadget, consider weighing is absolutely essential? 😇😀
Whilst on this occasion I can see the post was made with the intention of it being humourous, there is a serious and important side to this topic.

Like many of us, it often amazed me at how many family caravans arrived on site and began to unload an awning full of bicycles, BBQ and gas cylinder, chairs and tables cool box full of beers, wind breaks, Scuba and fishing gear children's ride on toys.... etc. I'm pretty sure both there must be quite a number of such caravans, and tow vehicles that were overloaded by a significant margin.

But bearing in mind the poor load margins most UK caravans have of typically only 10 to 15% of MTPLM, after essentials like gas and battery, then clothes and food, ehu cable, wheel chocks, awning and pegs, its all too easy eat up the whole load margin and become illeagaly overloaded.

Most years we hear of police forces mounting spot checks campaigns around the country, and some times we do get to hear a brief summary of the results. I recall a number of years ago an officer indicated they had found about half of the caravans they had checked had various infringements, most were minor and we're advised and allowed on their way after adjustments had been made, but a there were some seriously overloaded examples where the outfits had been impounded, and the drivers charged with various offences.

I suspect that with the COVID pandemic which seemed to encourage more people to start caravanning, there will be a swathe of especially inexperienced drivers who do not understand the weight limitations, and all-be-it unintentionally breaching their limits.

The subject of towing weights is an intricate subject, with real consequences such as safety, making towing as easy as possible not mention legal challenges, if you get it wrong.

There are numerous specific nose load gauges on the market, and not one of them actually measures the nose in accordance with the way the construction and use regulations define it. But with the Reich caravan weight control product, we do have a device that actually does do what it claims in a scientifically sound manner, and it can be used to work out a real nose load to within 3%

Just for clarity I have no links to the manufacturer or sellers of this product, apart from the fact of it's demonstrable efficacy, and I purchased one (second hand).
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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I to never ceased to be amazed at how much stuff people bring with them. I can only assume they're experienced enough to know they are within their limits.

Not aware of anyone emptying their on board water tanks before departing either.

Equally I don't think I've ever seen anyone measure their nose weight when leaving or checking and adjusting their tyre pressures on arrival or departure.

No wonder I get strange looks when packing up.🙂
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Quite apart from the fact that noseweight can only be measured after unhitching the caravan, which is something that is seldom done during a roadside check because it takes too much time, I know of no piece of legislation which actually states that exceeding the limit is an offence. Of course, if it is blatantly obvious that the noseweight limit is exceeded, then this could indicate a dangerous loading condition and that, of course, is an offence. It would also be quite likely that the rear axle load of the towing vehicle is exceeded and that, too, is an offence.
To my knowledge, the noseweight limit only relates to the vehicle manufacturer's product liability.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Quite apart from the fact that noseweight can only be measured after unhitching the caravan, which is something that is seldom done during a roadside check because it takes too much time, I know of no piece of legislation which actually states that exceeding the limit is an offence. Of course, if it is blatantly obvious that the noseweight limit is exceeded, then this could indicate a dangerous loading condition and that, of course, is an offence. It would also be quite likely that the rear axle load of the towing vehicle is exceeded and that, too, is an offence.
To my knowledge, the noseweight limit only relates to the vehicle manufacturer's product liability.
Surely, if the caravan is weighed at a roadside check and found to be at or over, the vans Maximum weight on the trailer axles. Then the authorities would check on the nose weight and give advice to move payload into the towing vehicle, or impound the trailer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Quite apart from the fact that noseweight can only be measured after unhitching the caravan, which is something that is seldom done during a roadside check because it takes too much time, I know of no piece of legislation which actually states that exceeding the limit is an offence. Of course, if it is blatantly obvious that the noseweight limit is exceeded, then this could indicate a dangerous loading condition and that, of course, is an offence. It would also be quite likely that the rear axle load of the towing vehicle is exceeded and that, too, is an offence.
To my knowledge, the noseweight limit only relates to the vehicle manufacturer's product liability.
When I was guided in to a DoT station noseweight was checked. It was carried out on their multi platten weighbridge. Unhitching and rehitching wasn’t difficult as the van could easily be moved with little effort.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Surely, if the caravan is weighed at a roadside check and found to be at or over, the vans Maximum weight on the trailer axles. Then the authorities would check on the nose weight and give advice to move payload into the towing vehicle, or impound the trailer.
Would the issue be exceeding the maximum weight on the towbar i.e. if tow bar is rated for 80kgs and the nose weight is actually 100kg then an offence has a been committed.

The other offence relating to nose weight could be exceeding the gross maximum weight on the rear axle of the towing vehicle. Easily done as vehicle will probably be heavily loaded at rear plus weight of trailer nose weight.

The floor in our caravan is almost clear with the exception of two small fold up boxes. On the bed are the two chairs so about 9kg and the TV another 3kg. Otherwise normal pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. No clothing or food carried in the caravan.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Would the issue be exceeding the maximum weight on the towbar i.e. if tow bar is rated for 80kgs and the nose weight is actually 100kg then an offence has a been committed.

The other offence relating to nose weight could be exceeding the gross maximum weight on the rear axle of the towing vehicle. Easily done as vehicle will probably be heavily loaded at rear plus weight of trailer nose weight.

The floor in our caravan is almost clear with the exception of two small fold up boxes. On the bed are the two chairs so about 9kg and the TV another 3kg. Otherwise normal pots, pans, crockery and cutlery. No clothing or food carried in the caravan.
I don't think that there is any legislation directed solely at the towbar. However if in the professional opinion of the DVSA specialists the loading v specification were deemed unsafe they can direct you to reduce the load, or possibly impound the vehicle.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I don't think that there is any legislation directed solely at the towbar. However if in the professional opinion of the DVSA specialists the loading v specification were deemed unsafe they can direct you to reduce the load, or possibly impound the vehicle.
I would think that the tow bar would have a sticker on it defining the gross maximum load otherwise any sort of tow bar could be fitted on the vehicle?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I would think that the tow bar would have a sticker on it defining the gross maximum load otherwise any sort of tow bar could be fitted on the vehicle?
Yes towbars do have the max load specification on them, but Im not aware of any legislation applicable. so that is why I said that if the DVSA inspectors deemed it unsafe then they could demand you take action to reduce the load. But if the load combined with the cars axle loading took the axle outside of its specification that would be illegal.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Yes towbars do have the max load specification on them, but Im not aware of any legislation applicable. so that is why I said that if the DVSA inspectors deemed it unsafe then they could demand you take action to reduce the load. But if the load combined with the cars axle loading took the axle outside of its specification that would be illegal.
"Unsafe and dangerous" would be the offence? Maybe Mr Plod can enlighten us?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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"Unsafe and dangerous" would be the offence? Maybe Mr Plod can enlighten us?
This describes a potential offence under the RTA

“Section 40A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states:-

A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when-

(a)the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment, or

(b)the purpose for which it is used, or

(c)the number of passengers carried by it, or the way they are carried, or

(d)the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the way it is secured,

is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.”
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Surely, if the caravan is weighed at a roadside check and found to be at or over, the vans Maximum weight on the trailer axles. Then the authorities would check on the nose weight and give advice to move payload into the towing vehicle, or impound the trailer.
If the axle load already exceeds the MTPLM of the caravan, there would be no need to measure the noseweight. By adding the noseweight to the axle load to establish the overall weight, that would be exceeding the limit even more.

Would the issue be exceeding the maximum weight on the towbar i.e. if tow bar is rated for 80kgs and the nose weight is actually 100kg then an offence has a been committed.

I doubt whether exceeding the noseweight limit by only 20kg that this would amount to a dangerous loading condition. If it were 100kg then the matter would be different, but in the end it would be up to a court to decide.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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There are the statutory limits such a Gross Vehicle Mass and Gross train Mass and axle loads, exceeding any of them is construction and use infringement or vehicle excise infringement.

However due to the type approval process there are other specifications unique to each model, that might not incur a statutory penalty, but they can inform decisions on unsafe or dangerous loading.

Exceeding any specification is taking the vehicle beyond its approved design and function. Suggesteing exceeding such specifications is irresponsible.
 
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