DVSA Weight -Roadside checks

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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I found a DVSA website that addresses roadside checks and within it "Excess weight offences" LINK. I found it interesting so share it.

Clearly this is in a category focused on Road Transport, but possibly gives hints to how we also might be judged, if checked and found running overloaded.

One bit makes particularly interesting reading, especially the use of specifically the words "will" and "prohibition" in respect to overloading up to 5%.

To Quote:

"A £100 penalty will be given for a 0% to 9.99% overload, but DVSA examiners will allow a 5% leeway before issuing a fixed penalty or prohibition, unless the relevant weight has been exceeded by 1 tonne or more."

With my 1900kg van, 5% equates to 95 kgs, that's a very comfortable 34% increase on my 277kg payload.

Not that I intend to exploit this nor do I believe I actually do run over weight, just might ease the tension if I do get hauled in.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I found a DVSA website that addresses roadside checks and within it "Excess weight offences" LINK. I found it interesting so share it.

Clearly this is in a category focused on Road Transport, but possibly gives hints to how we also might be judged, if checked and found running overloaded.

One bit makes particularly interesting reading, especially the use of specifically the words "will" and "prohibition" in respect to overloading up to 5%.

To Quote:

"A £100 penalty will be given for a 0% to 9.99% overload, but DVSA examiners will allow a 5% leeway before issuing a fixed penalty or prohibition, unless the relevant weight has been exceeded by 1 tonne or more."

With my 1900kg van, 5% equates to 95 kgs, that's a very comfortable 34% increase on my 277kg payload.

Not that I intend to exploit this nor do I believe I actually do run over weight, just might ease the tension if I do get hauled in.
In our case it is 100kg, but I think they would take the maximum load allowed on the tyres into consideration before allowing you to proceed. I think the part in italics is geared more towards commercial vehicles where 5% is neither here or there when taking into consideration that vehicle may be in the tonnes.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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In our case it is 100kg, but I think they would take the maximum load allowed on the tyres into consideration before allowing you to proceed. I think the part in italics is geared more towards commercial vehicles where 5% is neither here or there when taking into consideration that vehicle may be in the tonnes.
Why is 5% any more irrelevant to an HGV than any other vehicle, 5% is 5% whatever is being discussed?

Also I can't see why the loading on the tyres becomes more relevant that any other part of the load bearing components of the vehicle?
Here you might find the tyre industries recommended chicken factor of overrating caravan tyres by 10% gets you well clear. Not a recommendation I have ever seen the logic in, to me its safety factors on safety factors, or basic acceptance they have not got their ratings right.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Why is 5% any more irrelevant to an HGV than any other vehicle, 5% is 5% whatever is being discussed?

Also I can't see why the loading on the tyres becomes more relevant that any other part of the load bearing components of the vehicle?
Here you might find the tyre industries recommended chicken factor of overrating caravan tyres by 10% gets you well clear. Not a recommendation I have ever seen the logic in, to me its safety factors on safety factors, or basic acceptance they have not got their ratings right.
You have your thoughts and I have mine so lets not argue the toss about who is right and who is wrong!
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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JTQ, Thanks for posting this thread, makes me feel a lot more comfortable, about being accidentally over weight, as I know my van is nearly always at its Max weight.
ie when Mrs H sneaks in another chicken into the fridge. Or bottle of wine.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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How many people carry food and clothes in the caravan instead of the towing vehicle?
We use both - frozen and chilled food/drink goes in the fridge/freezer but most of the other food/drink goes in the car - most of the clothes go in the wardrobe but walking boots stay in the car.
 
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We always carried food in the caravan. Some in the fridge and other in the lockers. Clothes too went in the caravan.
We have never carried food or clothing in any caravan that we have owned. Thought it was the norm to keep weight down. We also have a roof box just in case for the odd occasion.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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We have never carried food or clothing in any caravan that we have owned. Thought it was the norm to keep weight down. We also have a roof box just in case for the odd occasion.
As I see it the caravan has a maximum weight limit what’s the problem in running near to that limit. Fuel economy wasn’t a big issue for me as towing a caravan I suggest it’s the aerodynamics and how you drive it. Anyway the car doesn’t know if your load is in the car or caravan.
 
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JTQ

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How many people carry food and clothes in the caravan instead of the towing vehicle?
We for sure carry clothes and food in the caravan; in both categories the van has its own "suite" of such things along with most other stuff, bedding, toiletries, crocks, cutlery etc.
We are not into shuffling stuff between our home and van, other than not leaving perishable stuff to go off in either.
The caravan's payload IMO should be viable for "caravanning",

Such high mass things as awning, boxes of beer cans and bottle carrier full of wine from home, does go in the car, along with bikes and bits and pieces needed immediately to hand when arriving on site.
Also, though I know its frowned on the car would carry a big steel LPG cylinder if we know we are staying on a rally for over two or three weeks. I find it satisfying to be paying commercial LPG prices for these longer off grid stints.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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As I see it the caravan has a maximum weight limit what’s the problem in running near to that limit. Fuel economy wasn’t a big issue for me as towing a caravan I suggest it’s the aerodynamics and how you drive it. Anyway the car doesn’t know if your load is in the car or caravan.
Fuel economy towing a caravan has never been a concern and we can live with it unless it is ridiculous like our Shogun at 16mpg on a dead flat road. Of course the car knows whether load is in car or caravan. It adjust itself accordingly.
 
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Fuel economy towing a caravan has never been a concern and we can live with it unless it is ridiculous like our Shogun at 16mpg on a dead flat road. Of course the car knows whether load is in car or caravan. It adjust itself accordingly.
I was referring to the cars power in relation to not knowing if the load is in the car or caravan.
 
Oct 19, 2023
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How many people carry food and clothes in the caravan instead of the towing vehicle?
Food - odd packet of biscuits / crisps left over from the last outing, tea, coffee and condiments.
Clothing - A couple of coats, dressing gowns and crocks / slippers that live in the caravan.

I've got about 500kg payload capacity in the car, it makes sense to load the car before the caravan. It's no great hardship to transfer half a dozen bags from the boot to the caravan on arrival. Might be different if there weren't just two of us.
 

Mel

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Our van is in storage so all food, clothes, books, iPads, are in the car. On the van pots and pans. TV, pillows and duvet, lightweight stick type hoover, and shampoo and toiletries. Awning ( 18kg) is on the van, just to rear of axle to manage our 75kg noseweight limit.
 
Dec 27, 2022
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How many people carry food and clothes in the caravan instead of the towing vehicle?
Only frozen and chilled food in the van, everything else and more is in the car. The awning, leveling stuff and tools etc are stored in the van and I have to transfer it all to the car prior to leaving storage.
 
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Jun 16, 2010
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When i was pulled in for a spot check, there was barely enough room for all the caravans that were being hastily re-loaded following their weigh in.
Lots of paperwork being issued as well £££££
 
Nov 6, 2005
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When i was pulled in for a spot check, there was barely enough room for all the caravans that were being hastily re-loaded following their weigh in.
Lots of paperwork being issued as well £££££
After contents were moved from caravan to car, to reduce the caravan weight, were the cars checked to ensure they weren't then overweight?
 
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After contents were moved from caravan to car, to reduce the caravan weight, were the cars checked to ensure they weren't then overweight?
Looking at some of the combinations (while i was waiting to be weighed), I'm surprised there was any room in the cars to fit more!

Couple of big Hobby caravans appeared to fall foul of the length rather than weight, whilst being towed by regular SUV's

Obviously i was well within my weight limits and wasn't towing a wreck, so was away soon after :cool:
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Looking at some of the combinations (while i was waiting to be weighed), I'm surprised there was any room in the cars to fit more!

Couple of big Hobby caravans appeared to fall foul of the length rather than weight, whilst being towed by regular SUV's

Obviously i was well within my weight limits and wasn't towing a wreck, so was away soon after :cool:
This is from the Gov website

Maximum length​

If your vehicle’s maximum authorised mass (MAM) is 3,500kg or less, you cannot tow a trailer that’s longer than 7 metres.

If your vehicle’s MAM is more than 3,500kg then the maximum lengths are:

  • 12 metres for the trailer towed by the vehicle
  • 18 metres for the vehicle and trailer combined
  • 3.05 metres for how far the load can overhang the back of the trailer (whatever the length of the trailer is)
Maximum lengths do not include the A-frame (the frame that connects your car to the trailer).
 

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