caravan weight

May 7, 2005
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When we changed from a motorhome to a caravan last year,we purchased an Ace Award Tristar.The brochure states a personal payload of 132kg.I had a motormover fitted which reduced the payload to 102kg.Yesterday I loaded the van with what items (less food etc)and thought I would need when going abroad, and it was 65kg over weight. The van warranty handbook states a Maximum Technical Permissable Laden Mass (Declared) of 1438kg.

.The handbook also states Maximum Technical Permissable Laden Mass (possible) of 1500kg.Now,I'm like most people I do'nt like to thin ai'm a 'THICKO'but there again I'm not a know all.I tow with a Ford Galaxy, so I can take seats out so as to put extra items in the car. So can someone explain this,Possible mass to me,e.g.can I tow the van with a M.T.P.L.M.of1500kg.Cheers Edward.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
If the declared MTPLM is 1438kg, then that is your current legal limit. Presumably the caravan is plated with this figure. If a possible MTPLM is quoted in the handbook as well, then this is an uprated option which is available upon special request. To be able to make use of 1500kg, you would need to contact the manufacture and apply for the increased limit. I would imagine that they will send you the necessary documentation and a new plate.

The Galaxy will not be a problem because its maximum permissible towload is 1800kg.
 
May 7, 2005
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If the declared MTPLM is 1438kg, then that is your current legal limit. Presumably the caravan is plated with this figure. If a possible MTPLM is quoted in the handbook as well, then this is an uprated option which is available upon special request. To be able to make use of 1500kg, you would need to contact the manufacture and apply for the increased limit. I would imagine that they will send you the necessary documentation and a new plate.

The Galaxy will not be a problem because its maximum permissible towload is 1800kg.
You're spot on Lutz,after reading your reply to my request,I phoned Swift who manufacture ACE,and they stated that the van can be replated to 1500kg.,and that I have to arrange this with the supplying dealer.This is what I now intend to do.

Again many thanks for your prompt reply.

Edward.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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Although you are right Roger, what Lutz says may not be untrue. My last 'van, a Swift Conqueror, had an mtplm of 1500kgs, but the axles were rated at 850kgs each. So presumably this could have been re-plated at 1700kgs, which would actually have given a needlessly large payload of 695kgs. Tyre load could not have been the problem since my preesent 'van has an mtplm of 1900kgs and uses the same size and load rated tyres. Of course maybe Swift kept the mtplm artificially low to make the 'van legally towable to a wider range of cars.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Keeping the MTPLM artificially low does not have any effect on what you can tow legally (unless your driving licence makes some form of restriction, notably if you passed your driving test after 1st Jan '97).

For example, if the MIRO of the caravan is 1250kg and its MTPLM 1500kg, but the car's maximum permissible towload only 1400kg, then you can still tow legally so long as you only load the caravan up to a total weight of 1475kg (assuming a noseweight of 75kg). You are not legally obliged to have a car which may tow the caravan at its full MTPLM.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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You're right, but how many people would buy a caravan with an mtplm of 1700kgs if their car had a max tow of 1400kgs? Although they could partially load it and tow it legally and fairly safely I don't think it's a common approach. By the way, can you explain how it would be legal to tow 1475kgs with a 1400kgs max tow? I know that 75kgs will be acting on the towball, but you'd still have to pull that weight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
The maximum permissible towload specified by the car manufacturers is NOT the maxiumum total weight of the caravan but its maxiumum axle load. As the total weight of the caravan is made up axle load PLUS noseweight, one CAN tow an MTPLM of 1475kg if the maximum towload is 1400kg.

One should see it like this: The car is not pulling the noseweight but carrying it, hence the noseweight doesn't count as part of the towload. Conversely, the noseweight counts as part of the payload of the car. In order not to exceed its GVW, you may therefore load less inside the car when towing than when driving solo.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
You're right, but how many people would buy a caravan with an mtplm of 1700kgs if their car had a max tow of 1400kgs? Although they could partially load it and tow it legally and fairly safely I don't think it's a common approach. By the way, can you explain how it would be legal to tow 1475kgs with a 1400kgs max tow? I know that 75kgs will be acting on the towball, but you'd still have to pull that weight.
Yes, that is why the caravan manufacturers shy away from unnecessarily high MTPLM's. Many people use the MTPLM figure to calculate their weight ratio and check whether they have a good match or not and a published high MTPLM could put potential customers off for this reason. Besides, as I already indicated, if you passed your driving test after 1st Jan '97 you may not tow a caravan if its MAW (MTPLM) is higher than the kerbweight of the car unless you hold a category B&E licence.

On the other hand, I think it is quite a good idea for caravan manufacturers to offer uprating their caravans as a factory fitted option for those people who specifically want it.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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yes, I see what you mean. The only point I would make is that whether the noseweight is regarded as caravan weight or towcar payload it should still be taken into account when calculating train weight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
The gross train weight is the total weight of the car including the noseweight plus the axle load of the caravan. If you add the total weight of the caravan instead, you would be counting the noseweight twice.
 

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