Caravan plating

Feb 24, 2020
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I purchased second hand elddis Sanremo 574 2015 model last year. Loaded as normal and went to public weigh bridge. Horror 100 kg
Now basically this is an Xplore but the plating is lighter.
Extras have been added by dealer but do not know what weight is involved.
Even if I empty the caravan other than gas bottle,battery, it is still over weight.
Can anyone tell me what’s going on.
Surely some sort of record should be made if dealers are putting extras in caravans. I was working from MIRO on plate but it does not make sense as it’s well over that amount.
As a second buyer I had no knowledge that the user payload of 179 kg was wrong.
How many other caravans are loading way beyond the permissible weight?
 

Damian

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Mar 14, 2005
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Welcome to the wonderful world of caravans !!!!
One of the problems with dealers adding extras is that they are not bothered what it is as long as they get paid to do the job, and there is no compulsion for dealers to specify what each added items weighs and tally that with the plated weight limit.

The only advice I can give at the moment is to find out what the added extras are and then find out their weight, for example a mover will be around 30Kg.
It may be possible to have the weight upgraded by the maker, but you would need to contact them to find out, and of course there will be a cost involved.

The information I have on this model is:
MIRO 1132 kg
Payload 178 kg
MTPLM 1310 kg
 
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Jan 19, 2002
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The Sanremo was a special edition for Venture Caravans, (maybe others too) but appears with specs in some listings.. you might find the original dealers sticker on the van or within the paperwork, so you could try a phone call or try here:
I would expect the special edition to be plated to allow for the extras added, although some of the things, like ?maroon upholstery /curtains will have little influence on the overall weight.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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There is another member who has a similar problem His is a German caravan and it looks like the maker is prepared to offer a much upgraded axle. But at owners cost.

What on earth are the extras that swallow up so much. One gas bottle is normally within the MIRO. Battery is not but EHU cable and step are included along with leg brace.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Maybe things like,an Alko spare wheel carrier and wheel,15 kg, aqua roll and waste carrier, alko wheel brace and jack, chemicals etc, unless you put them into the car it soon adds up. As you know.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Dennis, welcome to the forum,
After I had a new rear panel fitted to my Coachman, we refilled it with all our normal kit which we had been using for the previous 3 years, same shock at the weigh bridge, 40/50 kg over our max. So thinned eveything down, we already carry BBQ and awning in the car, but we thinned the weight down by almost 100 kg so it was at 40 kg below max Weight. Magazines books extra spares,removed the Alko spare wheel carrier, 7 kg, carry the spare wheel under the bed .

Enjoy your new van now though.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Not being funny here but a few kg over? Does it matter. Never seen anyone stopped and weighed. They can't even stopmobile phone users behind the wheel? Not a legal answer but....being a reb el!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I won’t go into detail yet again, but I have been led by a police motorcycle to a DVSA weighbridge where the van and car were weighed and checked for road worthiness as well as my documents etc. So it does happen but perhaps not that frequently these days where all sorts of laws aren’t particularly well enforced.
 
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I would ask Eldiss if the caravan can have the MTPLM increased. Most caravan chassis will be able to run at a higher weight and the caravan manufacturer will often need to do nothing more than send you an updated sticker for the side, some may need uprated tyres. The current models do have some scope, but not a lot, so it may be worth asking.
You might have a case under the CPA as a caravan that cannot be loaded is unfit for purpose. It might be you had only 30 days to reject though. You might get round the 30 day point on the basis the problem was not obvious and there was no good reason to weigh the caravan at the time. If you are a member of either of the big clubs I would try their legal advice helpline, if not possibly the Citizens Advice or a solicitor.
 
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Simple way to find out if your MTPLM can be uprated - look at the legal plate in the gas locker. If like mine the supplied MTPLM plate says 1326Kg but the plate in the gas locker says 1450Kg, then you can have it uprated. For Bailey they charge £66, but IMSMC if you request uprating on a Swift at the time of ordering it is done f.o.c. Foreign made caravans usually have the plated MTPLM the same as the maximum axle load.

If on the other hand your MTPLM plate says, say, 1435Kg and the gas locker label says 1450Kg you have to ask yourself how much you need that 15Kg??!!!

As a point of interest the gas locker label will usually be the same as the label on the axle. Said label in theory should be on the rear of the axle case near the middle - mine is on the bottom of the case about 1/3 across from the nearside. A camera in your mit as you reach underneath is a very effective way of recording the axle data - after you have taken maybe a ½ dozen shots! Don't forget to set the camera to flash on and auto-focus in close-up mode (looks like a flower head.) You can try your phone but holding it at length, getting it in the right place, and pressing a button believe me is not easy! Incidentally, many people don't know that in camera mode the volume up button in most cases will also take the picture - no need to touch the screen.
 
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Simple way to find out if your MTPLM can be uprated - look at the legal plate in the gas locker. If like mine the supplied MTPLM plate says 1326Kg but the plate in the gas locker says 1450Kg, then you can have it uprated. For Bailey they charge £66, but IMSMC if you request uprating on a Swift at the time of ordering it is done f.o.c. Foreign made caravans usually have the plated MTPLM the same as the maximum axle load.

If on the other hand your MTPLM plate says, say, 1435Kg and the gas locker label says 1450Kg you have to ask yourself how much you need that 15Kg??!!!

As a point of interest the gas locker label will usually be the same as the label on the axle. Said label in theory should be on the rear of the axle case near the middle - mine is on the bottom of the case about 1/3 across from the nearside. A camera in your mit as you reach underneath is a very effective way of recording the axle data - after you have taken maybe a ½ dozen shots! Don't forget to set the camera to flash on and auto-focus in close-up mode (looks like a flower head.) You can try your phone but holding it at length, getting it in the right place, and pressing a button believe me is not easy! Incidentally, many people don't know that in camera mode the volume up button in most cases will also take the picture - no need to touch the screen.
When I needed to photograph my Alko axle the iPhone was better than the camera as I was able to move it through more degrees of freedom and easier to see the shot via the larger screen. But it still required crawling under the van.
 
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When I needed to photograph my Alko axle the iPhone was better than the camera as I was able to move it through more degrees of freedom and easier to see the shot via the larger screen. But it still required crawling under the van.

Whatever a plate on the axle displays is irrelevant to the final product. It is only of any relevance to the caravan manufacturer. He will specify the max. permissible axle load on the statutory plate that also shows the MTPLM. It is that axle load limit that counts, not what is shown on the axle itself, although the two values could be the same.
 
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Whatever a plate on the axle displays is irrelevant to the final product. It is only of any relevance to the caravan manufacturer. He will specify the max. permissible axle load on the statutory plate that also shows the MTPLM. It is that axle load limit that counts, not what is shown on the axle itself, although the two values could be the same.
Sorry Lutz but when you are faced with purchasing a new axle you need to know the precise details of the axle that is to be replaced. The only way you can get that is by taking the details off of the problematic axle as a prerequisite to ordering a new axle that meets the specification if the OEM axle. However it was interesting to note that Swift had no configuration data to help. Even with the details obtained from the axle Alko were very disappointing as they also wanted some key dimensions physically measured against an engineering drawing that was supplied. This necessitated taking the caravan to the dealer who put it onto the ramps in order to take the measurements. I’m very grateful that Swift and Alko don’t make cars based on their approach to configuration control.
 
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The axle rating shown on the statutory plate will be the one that the caravan manufacturer will have had type approved, regardless of what any plate on the axle itself may say.
 
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The axle rating shown on the statutory plate will be the one that the caravan manufacturer will have had type approved, regardless of what any plate on the axle itself may say.
But which plate is this, As I have mentioned before, the only plat,e I have on my 2013 Coachman is on the nearside of the van. Nothing on the bulkhead, and Coachman said their may or maynot be one there.
 
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The axle rating shown on the statutory plate will be the one that the caravan manufacturer will have had type approved, regardless of what any plate on the axle itself may say.

Then faced with an Alko axle that had failed suspension rubbers and Alko no longer refurbish their axles, how would you have approached its replacement?
 
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But which plate is this, As I have mentioned before, the only plat,e I have on my 2013 Coachman is on the nearside of the van. Nothing on the bulkhead, and Coachman said their may or maynot be one there.
Before 2014 caravans weren’t subject to whole vehicle type approval and may not have a plate which shows both MTPLM and max. axle rating. My statement referred to post-2014 caravans.
Then faced with an Alko axle that had failed suspension rubbers and Alko no longer refurbish their axles, how would you have approached its replacement?
I would always approach the caravan manufacturer because he and not AlKo is responsible for the product and only he has the valid type approval details which document the axle load rating.
 
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Before 2014 caravans weren’t subject to whole vehicle type approval and may not have a plate which shows both MTPLM and max. axle rating. My statement referred to post-2014 caravans.

I would always approach the caravan manufacturer because he and not AlKo is responsible for the product and only he has the valid type approval details which document the axle load rating.
Lutz
As I said above I did approach Swift and they had no information available to help. As Swift are the Design Authority for the caravan this surprised me. Their advice was to go through one of their dealerships. But even the dealership wasn’t able to obtain data that would allow them to source a new axle from Alko. So following advice from Alko given to the dealership I photographed the axle labels. But even that wasn’t sufficient hence the request by Alko to take the caravan to the Dealership for detailed measurements against an assembly drawing supplied by Alko.




So what does this say about Type Approval if the Design Authority for the system is unable to exercise adequate configuration control.
If you read the thread about “Relaxed axle” you will get more detail of what should have been a straightforward component replacement.
 
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Sounds as though Swift have seriously failed in their need to ensure traceability as part of their duty regarding product liability if they don’t know which components were fitted to each caravan leaving the production line. How would they know, for example, which caravans are affected in the event of a recall if they don’t document such information?
When I was working in the car industry we kept details of all component part numbers, in particular breakpoints in case of changes implemented during a model run, for at least 10 years for every vehicle produced.
 
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I cannot explain the problem otherclive had when trying to get his axle replaced, but I totally agree with Lutz. The responsibility for holding data about the components fitted to a product rests with the commissioning company as it is their product design.
 
Feb 24, 2020
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I would ask Eldiss if the caravan can have the MTPLM increased. Most caravan chassis will be able to run at a higher weight and the caravan manufacturer will often need to do nothing more than send you an updated sticker for the side, some may need uprated tyres. The current models do have some scope, but not a lot, so it may be worth asking.
You might have a case under the CPA as a caravan that cannot be loaded is unfit for purpose. It might be you had only 30 days to reject though. You might get round the 30 day point on the basis the problem was not obvious and there was no good reason to weigh the caravan at the time. If you are a member of either of the big clubs I would try their legal advice helpline, if not possibly the Citizens Advice or a solicitor.
Many thanks for that, see how I get on with elddis first.
Dennis
 

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