Excess weight in the caravan

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Mar 14, 2005
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When we had a Pegasus 462 (12 years ago!) it too was plated something like 1376kg but uprated it was 1490kg and the axle was labelled 1500kg. No manufacturer would build an axle to weight capability and then expect it to be run at that. There has to be some headroom - I would have though at least 10-15% - else how can the axle handle all of the bumps on the road especially with our current pothole situation!!

The maximum permissible axle load that the manufacturer specifies already includes a safety margin to cope with road conditions.
But, it's the axle load limit displayed on the weight plate that also shows the MTPLM that counts, not the axle rating displayed on a plate attached to the axle itself.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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If you are over weight and supposedly illegal I am not sure how it can invalidate your insurance? Does this mean that when you park illegally your insurance is invalid? :ROFLMAO:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If you are over weight and supposedly illegal I am not sure how it can invalidate your insurance? Does this mean that when you park illegally your insurance is invalid? :ROFLMAO:
Todays philosophical question is akin to comparing two completely different issues that don’t relate to each other. . 😂
 
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Aug 12, 2023
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Todays philosophical question is akin to comparing two completely different issues that don’t relate to each other. . 😂
Overloading isn't likely to cause accident unless axle fails which would mean adding few 100kgs more than required payload. Most likely outcome is stressing body causing joint failures.
 
Feb 23, 2024
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Ok - once again thank you so much for all those who replied. I think i can safely conclude in that weight and overweight issues is important namely for the following reasons
  • Keeping everything legal
  • Ensuring the greatest stability
  • Helps prevent excessive stress on the structure of the caravan
  • Nose weight is important so as to not exceed the loading capacity on the towbar of the vehicle towing the caravan.
For the record and for total clarity I have found a local company in Wigan who has a weighbridge for use for £10 and I have also purchased a nose weight measuring device. So I am sure I'll not only not be legal but be safer too.

Thank you to all once again.
 
Oct 31, 2022
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In what way is "keeping the weight as low as possible" incorrect? Whilst legal limits mustn't be exceeded, getting as far under them as possible will give better stability.
I think that - not always is correct here. Take a look at
View: https://youtu.be/JeEEC5eVNCk?t=302
The whole video is good, but this section shows that sometimes more weight in the trailer can be good.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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I think that - not always is correct here. Take a look at
View: https://youtu.be/JeEEC5eVNCk?t=302
The whole video is good, but this section shows that sometimes more weight in the trailer can be good.
I have seen several of these videos, and they are good at demonstrating loading of a trailer. But non that I have seen have any of the loads placed as they would be , at height in a caravan.
I have had a REAL snake once passing an HGV, and it was terrifying, thankfully the ATC saved us.
It was caused by my self wrongly loading the van with too much load under the rear island bed.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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However most caravan have two MTPLMs as you pointed out, one on a sticker by the door and other in the front locker. One by the door is not mandatory and the other is mandatory and they are guidelines set by the manufacturer. It is also illegal to exceed the maximum load on the tyres.

I doubt very much of the MTPLM of the caravan is the maximum weight that the axle can handle as the axle should be able to handle a greater weight than the MTPLM.
A member posted recently about a failed axle on a 1300 kg MTPLM caravan. The axle itself was rated by its labels at 1500 kg. Possibly Swift/Alko are rationalising axles as when my 1300 kg Sprite axle failed I seriously looked at fitting the next one up which was 1500 kg, and which had the same installation points and physically would be a straight swop.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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A member posted recently about a failed axle on a 1300 kg MTPLM caravan. The axle itself was rated by its labels at 1500 kg. Possibly Swift/Alko are rationalising axles as when my 1300 kg Sprite axle failed I seriously looked at fitting the next one up which was 1500 kg, and which had the same installation points and physically would be a straight swop.
I may have been persuaded to have done the upgrade. May I ask what stopped you?
 
Apr 18, 2024
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They will know when you make a claim as that is why you have insurance. :unsure:
Again, you would have to tell them you'd fitted an axle, correct? Like car insurance, my son has an Evo 8 pushing around 570hp, and apart from the obvious, he has not revealed certain mods mainly because they would up the insurance quite a bit, yet because they are not easily seen - like invisible almost, the insurance would just pay out if he had a smack in it, more like right it off being it is an old car. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet about things that really would have little to no effect on a claim. I have only ever claimed once in over 40yrs of driving and that wasn't my fault, a Capri 3.0ltr Ghia many moons ago with different carbs on it and a better performance exhaust with larger manifolds; the claim went through fine with zero problems as the assessor did not know their way around an engine bay ;)
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Again, you would have to tell them you'd fitted an axle, correct? Like car insurance, my son has an Evo 8 pushing around 570hp, and apart from the obvious, he has not revealed certain mods mainly because they would up the insurance quite a bit, yet because they are not easily seen - like invisible almost, the insurance would just pay out if he had a smack in it, more like right it off being it is an old car. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet about things that really would have little to no effect on a claim. I have only ever claimed once in over 40yrs of driving and that wasn't my fault, a Capri 3.0ltr Ghia many moons ago with different carbs on it and a better performance exhaust with larger manifolds; the claim went through fine with zero problems as the assessor did not know their way around an engine bay ;)
If his insurance would go up if he declared all his modification, the insurer must consider that his risk has gone up by fitting them - so he's effectively driving around without insurance
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I may have been persuaded to have done the upgrade. May I ask what stopped you?
The dealership wouldn’t support it. Alko were not prepared to confirm if the 1500kg was identical fitting points. They could not even confirm that a new 1300kg axke would fit even when given the serial number and bar code of the failed one. They insisted on being given exact dimensions of the failed one. Swift were unable to supply dimensional drawings, Alko would not supply them. Only asking for me to supply specific measurements. A 1500kg axle would not have increased MTPLM just given more confidence in it being okay at 1300 kg. Although the recent post of a new caravan axle failing with a 1300 MTPLM and 1500 kg axle tends to undermine that theory.

In the end I would have had to find somewhere willing to fit a 1500 kg axle but who had no responsibility for dimensionality.

In the end it was better to let the dealer take responsibility fir acquiring and fitting as it gave a full 12 months on the complete task.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Probably the need to get the caravan re-certified or maybe issues with insurance due to a major modification?
It was all explained in my thread “ I have a relaxed axle. But who would recertify a caravan. Swift wouldn’t so who?


 
Jul 18, 2017
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Again, you would have to tell them you'd fitted an axle, correct? Like car insurance, my son has an Evo 8 pushing around 570hp, and apart from the obvious, he has not revealed certain mods mainly because they would up the insurance quite a bit, yet because they are not easily seen - like invisible almost, the insurance would just pay out if he had a smack in it, more like right it off being it is an old car. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet about things that really would have little to no effect on a claim. I have only ever claimed once in over 40yrs of driving and that wasn't my fault, a Capri 3.0ltr Ghia many moons ago with different carbs on it and a better performance exhaust with larger manifolds; the claim went through fine with zero problems as the assessor did not know their way around an engine bay ;)
Assessors are not fools and are very sharp to modifications etc. Why take the chance. If son gets caught out, not only is there a possibility he loses his licence, but also gets a hefty fine for driving without insurance. 40 years ago there was no such thing as a software update, but now the assessors have laptops that can detect modifications in double quick time.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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The dealership wouldn’t support it. Alko were not prepared to confirm if the 1500kg was identical fitting points. They could not even confirm that a new 1300kg axke would fit even when given the serial number and bar code of the failed one. They insisted on being given exact dimensions of the failed one. Swift were unable to supply dimensional drawings, Alko would not supply them. Only asking for me to supply specific measurements. A 1500kg axle would not have increased MTPLM just given more confidence in it being okay at 1300 kg. Although the recent post of a new caravan axle failing with a 1300 MTPLM and 1500 kg axle tends to undermine that theory.

In the end I would have had to find somewhere willing to fit a 1500 kg axle but who had no responsibility for dimensionality.

In the end it was better to let the dealer take responsibility fir acquiring and fitting as it gave a full 12 months on the complete task.
Changing the axle wouldn't have increased the MTPLM without re-certification by the caravan maker - I am watching the axle on my caravan and may need to replace it in the future - I enquired of Fraser-Brown who stated that even though my present 1500 kg axle would be rated for 1800 kg when rebuilt that even they couldn't re-certify the caravan to show an upgraded MTPLM.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Changing the axle wouldn't have increased the MTPLM without re-certification by the caravan maker - I am watching the axle on my caravan and may need to replace it in the future - I enquired of Fraser-Brown who stated that even though my present 1500 kg axle would be rated for 1800 kg when rebuilt that even they couldn't re-certify the caravan to show an upgraded MTPLM.
I have not used these people but their website apparently could assist with recertification.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The dealership wouldn’t support it. Alko were not prepared to confirm if the 1500kg was identical fitting points. They could not even confirm that a new 1300kg axke would fit even when given the serial number and bar code of the failed one. They insisted on being given exact dimensions of the failed one. Swift were unable to supply dimensional drawings, Alko would not supply them. Only asking for me to supply specific measurements. A 1500kg axle would not have increased MTPLM just given more confidence in it being okay at 1300 kg. Although the recent post of a new caravan axle failing with a 1300 MTPLM and 1500 kg axle tends to undermine that theory.

In the end I would have had to find somewhere willing to fit a 1500 kg axle but who had no responsibility for dimensionality.

In the end it was better to let the dealer take responsibility fir acquiring and fitting as it gave a full 12 months on the complete task.
It surprises me that AlKo were not prepared to fit a higher rated axle because they do offer such a service on the Continent.
Recertification is something that that one can organise one’s self. You don’t need to go through an intermediary, but you would have to contact the Vehicle Certification Agency and submit all the paperwork to cover the modification so that an IVA can be carried out. What that costs, I‘ve no idea.
 
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JRT

May 5, 2024
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Again, you would have to tell them you'd fitted an axle, correct? Like car insurance, my son has an Evo 8 pushing around 570hp, and apart from the obvious, he has not revealed certain mods mainly because they would up the insurance quite a bit, yet because they are not easily seen - like invisible almost, the insurance would just pay out if he had a smack in it, more like right it off being it is an old car. Sometimes it is better to keep quiet about things that really would have little to no effect on a claim. I have only ever claimed once in over 40yrs of driving and that wasn't my fault, a Capri 3.0ltr Ghia many moons ago with different carbs on it and a better performance exhaust with larger manifolds; the claim went through fine with zero problems as the assessor did not know their way around an engine bay ;)

Deceiving insurance companies in order to get a reduced premium is folly, pure and simple.

If your son doesn't think he will be found out at claim time he is deluding himself.

It's because of the likes of your deceipt and the fact you got away with it 'many moons ago' that insurance companies are wise to it now.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Changing the axle wouldn't have increased the MTPLM without re-certification by the caravan maker - I am watching the axle on my caravan and may need to replace it in the future - I enquired of Fraser-Brown who stated that even though my present 1500 kg axle would be rated for 1800 kg when rebuilt that even they couldn't re-certify the caravan to show an upgraded MTPLM.

Fraser Brown would only be able to recertify if they have the authority to do so from the Vehicle Certification Agency.
 
Oct 31, 2022
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Deceiving insurance companies in order to get a reduced premium is folly, pure and simple.

If your son doesn't think he will be found out at claim time he is deluding himself.

It's because of the likes of your deceipt and the fact you got away with it 'many moons ago' that insurance companies are wise to it now.
I fully agree and even more so on an Evo 8, I would imagine very few of those are NOT remapped, so it would be the first thing an insurance company would look for.
 
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