Arghhhh Kerb Weights

May 29, 2018
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When you don’t have the car or caravan yet, getting an accurate idea seems nigh on impossible.

We have looked at Mitsubishi Outlanders. The PHEV will only tow 1500Kg and we may be looking at a bigger van. Even then the OUtlander DI-D which will pull 2000Kg still seems to come up short with a kerb weight of 1600Kg. Am I assuming this is unladen?

Please help as we’re trying to buy car with future proofing for a van.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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This may help. Note some makers include 75kg for driver others don’t. V5 MIS can also help too. I have contacted Car makers technical support in some cases for their definition. Some put their definition in the tech spec section of a handbook which can often be downloaded from their suppprt web page. The DIN should be the one to use but like most things caravanning you will need to research the questions.

https://www.evo.co.uk/features/21040/what-is-kerb-weight-and-how-much-does-your-car-weigh
Any site giving details of cars you need to know the spec and trim level.
 
May 24, 2014
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Please help as we’re trying to buy car with future proofing for a van.

Unless you pick something with a very high kerbweight, towing ability, noseweight rating et al, its going to be very difficult. You may start off with a two berth caravan that weighs little more than a bag os sugar and graduate to a massive twin axle. You have a choice, either pick your car and match a caravan to it or vice versa.

Many of us drive large 4x4s which are exceptional for the job, but the trade off is fuel economy for the rest of the year. Do you need a seven seater, or just extra luggage room.

Basically, you have asked how long is a piece of string. You need also to give a lot of thought as to the caravans layout and what will suit you best. Its very easy to have your head turned on a dealers premises, but remember, its a buyers market, especially at this time of year as most people have purchased already for the season.

You need though to consider far more than simple kerbweights. What licence do you have, is it B+E. Do you understand MIRO and MTPLM, noseweight (caravan and car) and train weight. Have you any towing experience. The story too from the manufacturers handbook is also misleading.

For a novice there is a generally accepted SUGGESTION (see what I did there Prof :) ) of towing to 85% of the cars kerbweight. My car for example has a Kerbweight of 2360 and the book states the maximum legal tow is 3500. As an artic driver of over 30 years standing, I wouldnt dream of towing that weight as even with the car laden it would be far heavier than the cars max laden weight. It is also generally accepted that someone with vast experience would be OK to tow up to 100% of the kerbweight, not something I personally would advocate, but its never wise to exceed the 100%. On a personal level I always like to have some redundancy in the cars abilty, he extra power, weight and stability is nice to have.

My suggestion would be to
decide on your motoring requirement
decide on your caravan requirements for layout, berths etc
play with a few combinations on a tow matching site such as https://towcar.info/GB/
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Ste,
Trying to establish a kerbweight for a vehicle is always difficult, becasue manufacturers are not required to quote it. Also there is confusion about the definition of a kerb weight, so its a bit of a foggy value to discover. Some manufacturers will include the weight of the driver and fuel and some don't. Some declare a range of values which cover several models.

If you cannot find the Kerbweight you may have better luck with the Mass in Service (Registration document Vehicle details line G) This already includes 75kg for the driver, and is generally accepted as being as effective as Kerbweight.

My guess is that you are trying to work out towing ratio's which conventionally are based on:-
100 x (Trailer MTPLM/Tow Vehicle Kerbweight). They have chosen criteria (empty car towing fully laden caravan) that are worst case so in reality it should mean you are better than the calculated figure.
This is an approach that has become ingrained, but has failed to move with the times and use statutory information about the tow vehicle. It ignores the fact that Kerbweight is not statutory figure, and the car manufacturers stated maximum towed weight limits could be less than 85%.

It is important to understand that caravans, by the nature of their weight, size and shape are not simple trailers and they will impose considerable additional forces onto a tow vehicle, so whilst car manufacturers may set maximum towed weight figures well above the MiS, the UK caravan industry uniquely advise that novices should not exceed 85% and experienced caravanners should not exceed 100%. This is sensible on the basis that its wise to keep the weight of any trailer as small as possible and preferably less than the weight of the tow vehicle. This advice is not a guarantee of safety or legality.

The 85% advice is just that advice. It has no legal powers, so a few% either way should not be a deal breaker, unless it exceeds the cars specifications.

I feel I should also mention that when we read of larger heavier vehicles being considered especially with larger caravans, there is a big chance the Combined MAM (cars MAM + Caravans MTPLM) of the outfit will exceed 3500kg, and the driver must have Cat BE or cat B+E on their licence.
 
May 7, 2012
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Basically I would ask the dealer or the manufacturer for the definition of kerb weight used for that vehicle. If they cannot get it to your satisfaction then look elsewhere as there is plenty of choice. As for what else to do I would go along with the Prof's advice.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Ste6t9 said:
When you don’t have the car or caravan yet, getting an accurate idea seems nigh on impossible.

We have looked at Mitsubishi Outlanders. The PHEV will only tow 1500Kg and we may be looking at a bigger van. Even then the OUtlander DI-D which will pull 2000Kg still seems to come up short with a kerb weight of 1600Kg. Am I assuming this is unladen?

Please help as we’re trying to buy car with future proofing for a van.

You can get many 'large' vans which are under 1500KG; Sprite caravans are lighter than their other Swift stable mates with identical layouts. You can get 4 berth fixed bed and 6 berth single axle vans which are 1470KG MTPLM or under.
 
May 24, 2014
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Thing with caravans is that you set off from home with a certain weight, and the caravan is a bit lighter when you arrive. This accounts for the bits that fell off en route.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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otherclive said:
This may help. Note some makers include 75kg for driver others don’t. V5 MIS can also help too. I have contacted Car makers technical support in some cases for their definition. Some put their definition in the tech spec section of a handbook which can often be downloaded from their suppprt web page. The DIN should be the one to use but like most things caravanning you will need to research the questions.

https://www.evo.co.uk/features/21040/what-is-kerb-weight-and-how-much-does-your-car-weigh
Any site giving details of cars you need to know the spec and trim level.

The link quoted above has got it wrong. There is no such thing as a DIN kerbweight and the term isn't even used in the standards. What DIN does define is mass in running order, but that is something different to kerbweight. Kerbweight is defined in UK Construction and Use Regulations, but no manufacturer is obliged to publish that figure. However, they are required to publish mass in running order, also known as mass in service in the V5c, and that is where the confusion starts.

For lack of information on kerbweight it seems that some sources simply use the mass in running order figure and call that kerbweight, which it isn't.
 

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