Newbie MAM question

Jul 16, 2018
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Hello
Well we have decided to step into your world and buy a Caravan. That seems like that was the easy part.
Sorry if this is a repeated and stupid arse question
Here come the facts
1. I have B license
2. better half has BE
3. Car has a empty weight of 1484kg Max loaded of 2080kg
4. Car has max towing weigh of 1400kg

So here goes
Can we tow a caravan with a 1500kg MAM as long as we make sure we don’t go over 1400kg? With 4 people and a packed boot this would be in the 85% range of the cars loaded Weight

Problem two. Then If we drive with a 1500kg MAM caravan that puts the MAM of the car and the van at 3580KG so i wouldn’t be able to drive with my B license but my wife can with a BE

Problem three, if we tow a 1500MAM caravan loaded at 1400kg so its actual weight is lower than the cars empty weight, or is it the 1500MAM of the caravan that’s used here or is it the MAM of the car( car must weigh more than trailer)

Problem four,If it’s the 1500kg Caravan MAM and the 1400kg car empty that’s used could it still be towed with a BE license

And exhale
I hope that makes sense?..
Cheers
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Newdur said:
Hello
Well we have decided to step into your world and buy a Caravan. That seems like that was the easy part.
Sorry if this is a repeated and stupid arse question
Here come the facts
1. I have B license
2. better half has BE
3. Car has a empty weight of 1484kg Max loaded of 2080kg
4. Car has max towing weigh of 1400kg

So here goes
Can we tow a caravan with a 1500kg MAM as long as we make sure we don’t go over 1400kg? With 4 people and a packed boot this would be in the 85% range of the cars loaded Weight

Problem two. Then If we drive with a 1500kg MAM caravan that puts the MAM of the car and the van at 3580KG so i wouldn’t be able to drive with my B license but my wife can with a BE

Problem three, if we tow a 1500MAM caravan loaded at 1400kg so its actual weight is lower than the cars empty weight, or is it the 1500MAM of the caravan that’s used here or is it the MAM of the car( car must weigh more than trailer)

Problem four,If it’s the 1500kg Caravan MAM and the 1400kg car empty that’s used could it still be towed with a BE license

And exhale
I hope that makes sense?..
Cheers

No question is silly if it clears up a concern, its the person who doesn't ask that's the fool! So ask away.

I must warn you the matter of vehicle weights can look complex, and it does require careful consideration to understand the intricacies and differences between weights and weight limits. I would say though judging from your questions yo have grasped some of those differences.

As you don't tell us your car and all the weight limits I must bring to you attention that sometimes the maximum towed weight limit can be conditional on the tow car being unloaded. Bearing in mind the rest of your posting where it seems likely you will be exploring the cars GVW limit it becomes important. The way to check is to look at the vehicular weights plate. Subtract the GVW from the GTW and that is the maximum towed weight when the car is fully laden.

Lets take your points in the order you have asked them.

The cars towed weight limit set by the cars manufacturer relates the the actual weight of the trailer and not its potential weight limit. So yes your car can tow a trailer with an MAM (=MTPLM) of 1500kg even though the towed weight limit is 1400kg. as you state that will only be legal provided the trailer is not loaded beyond 1400kg on its axle.

This also alludes to another aspect of the carvans weight, becasue the towed weight is only the weight on the trailers axle, it ignores the fact that part of the trailers weight is shared as the trailers nose load, and this portion is not towed but carried by the car and forms part of the cars load. The problem is that nose load is also a variable and is dependent on how the trailer is loaded.

There is a third point of concern, The majority of caravans have very limited payload capacities. If your caravan has an MTPLM of 1500kg its likely its pay load will only be about 200kg. By restricting the actual weigt of the caravan to only 1400kg that reduces the payload to only 100kg. This is very skimpy when you consider the batterym and gas bottles, cutlery, towels and bedding are part of the payload.

The 85% guidance has no legal strength, it is only guidance, However it does stem from the understanding that Caravans are far from ideal or easy trailers for cars to manage, so the industry suggests that the 100 x (Trailers MTPLM/ Cars Kerbweight) is how the towing ratio is calculated. It is a worst case scenario and how you load the car or caravan makes no difference to the calculation.

Problem 2, You are correct about who can drive, if the combined MAM exceeds 3500kg the driver must hold the BE or B+E entitlement. STOP PRESS.... if your wife has held her BE licence for more than three years she is classed as an experienced driver with the entitlement, and she could be coaching you provided you use L plates. You could use this towards taking the +E extension to give you B+E on your licence

Problem 3. This is a bit of a grey area early B only entitlement did include a clause that required the MTPLM of the trailer must be less than the Unladen weight of the tow vehicle. This requirement is beveled to have been rescinded, so trailers MTPLM's can exceed the cars unladen weight. Whether its wise to do it with a caravan is a different question to which I would say don't do it.

Problem 4.
With a BE licence, there is no legal requirement for the tow vehicle to be heavier than the trailer, but as above with a caravan it is probably wise.

I have just realised that your based in Germany. Please note the information I have provided is based on the situation in the UK, and whilst in theory all EU member states have a harmonised licencing and vehicle weights system, there can be local variations. You would have to check the rules relating to your country of issue.
The UK is unique in having industry guidance concerning tow matching with 85% and 100% figures. Some countries do not offer such guidance.
 
Jul 16, 2018
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Many thanks ProfJohnL sorry here are the missing factors
Car is a Passat Varient TSI weight plate is:
2080kg
3490kg
1-1040kg
2-1090kg

Caravan is a 2018 Knaus sport 500fdk with a mass in running order of 1130( with Gas water etc) so as im not going to drive with a full water tanks I can remove another 70kg so it’s around 1060kg. It comes as standard 1300kg MTPLM but for a couple of hundred Euros can be raised to 1500 or 1700kg
https://www.knaus.com/en-int/caravans/sport/layouts-data/500-fdk/standard-equipment/
With the cars max tow of 1400kg that gives me c.a 300kg which with the Passat estate boot space should give us enough. I suppose it makes sense to get the van certified for 1700 as it’s the same price as 1500, then if I decide to put a tow bar on my five series we can carry more and it will make selling on easier.

If we were stoped at a control and asked for papers, would we be taken to a weighbridge to prove it’s not over 1400kg,? This is what I’m worried about that they just look at the total of max tow of car and max fullladen weight MTPLM of Van put them together and bang we are over the towing weight.

Regarding to towing rules,weight, mass, length, width. As far as I can see/read they are the same across the main land and UK only speed limits vary. My wife’s license (German) was pre 1999 so automatically came with BE. I’m going to have to top up my license to BE(another 500euros)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Newdur said:
Caravan is a 2018 Knaus sport 500fdk with a mass in running order of 1130( with Gas water etc) so as im not going to drive with a full water tanks I can remove another 70kg so it’s around 1060kg. It comes as standard 1300kg MTPLM but for a couple of hundred Euros can be raised to 1500 or 1700kg
https://www.knaus.com/en-int/caravans/sport/layouts-data/500-fdk/standard-equipment/
With the cars max tow of 1400kg that gives me c.a 300kg which with the Passat estate boot space should give us enough. I suppose it makes sense to get the van certified for 1700 as it’s the same price as 1500, then if I decide to put a tow bar on my five series we can carry more and it will make selling on easier.

Note that raising the MTPLM for "a couple of hundred Euros" only applies if specified as a factory-fitted option from new. Later upgrading could cost a lot more as chances are that a new axle would have to be fitted. Of course, it would also require a new weight plate (which can only be issued by the manufacturer) and revised documentation, also from the manufacturer.

Note that exceeding the towing weight is not an offence as such as it is not a plated weight. Exceeding the gross train weight is (because that is plated) and that's where the weight of the caravan comes in.
 
May 7, 2012
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I am not sure how Knaus assess the MIRO figure, but I would be very surprised if it includes a tank of water, but the handbook should confirm this. Generally a full tank is not in this figure as the manufacturers do nor recommend you traveling with the tank full.
If you were stopped and the weights were queried in the UK it would be necessary for the outfit to be weighed, but I cannot speak for Germany. The authorities may have a portable weighbridge with them, so making you tow anywhere would not the be needed.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Raywood said:
I am not sure how Knaus assess the MIRO figure, but I would be very surprised if it includes a tank of water, but the handbook should confirm this. Generally a full tank is not in this figure as the manufacturers do nor recommend you traveling with the tank full.
If you were stopped and the weights were queried in the UK it would be necessary for the outfit to be weighed, but I cannot speak for Germany. The authorities may have a portable weighbridge with them, so making you tow anywhere would not the be needed.
The European (and UK) standard for MIRO, BS EN 1645-1 specifies full water tanks.
 
Oct 8, 2006
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Newdur said:
Many thanks ProfJohnL sorry here are the missing factors
Car is a Passat Varient TSI weight plate is:
2080kg
3490kg
1-1040kg
2-1090kg

Caravan is a 2018 Knaus sport 500fdk with a mass in running order of 1130( with Gas water etc) so as im not going to drive with a full water tanks I can remove another 70kg so it’s around 1060kg. It comes as standard 1300kg MTPLM but for a couple of hundred Euros can be raised to 1500 or 1700kg
https://www.knaus.com/en-int/caravans/sport/layouts-data/500-fdk/standard-equipment/
With the cars max tow of 1400kg that gives me c.a 300kg which with the Passat estate boot space should give us enough. I suppose it makes sense to get the van certified for 1700 as it’s the same price as 1500, then if I decide to put a tow bar on my five series we can carry more and it will make selling on easier.

If we were stoped at a control and asked for papers, would we be taken to a weighbridge to prove it’s not over 1400kg,? This is what I’m worried about that they just look at the total of max tow of car and max fullladen weight MTPLM of Van put them together and bang we are over the towing weight.

Regarding to towing rules,weight, mass, length, width. As far as I can see/read they are the same across the main land and UK only speed limits vary. My wife’s license (German) was pre 1999 so automatically came with BE. I’m going to have to top up my license to BE(another 500euros)

3490-2080=1410 which is the maximum that your Passat can tow irrespective of what your caravan is rated.
Being a TSI I would guess it is petrol as my Passat Estate 2L 140TDi CR can pull 1800Kg.
 
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Newdur said:
Many thanks ProfJohnL sorry here are the missing factors
Car is a Passat Varient TSI weight plate is:
2080kg
3490kg
1-1040kg
2-1090kg

Caravan is a 2018 Knaus sport 500fdk with a mass in running order of 1130( with Gas water etc) so as im not going to drive with a full water tanks I can remove another 70kg so it’s around 1060kg. It comes as standard 1300kg MTPLM but for a couple of hundred Euros can be raised to 1500 or 1700kg
https://www.knaus.com/en-int/caravans/sport/layouts-data/500-fdk/standard-equipment/
With the cars max tow of 1400kg that gives me c.a 300kg which with the Passat estate boot space should give us enough. I suppose it makes sense to get the van certified for 1700 as it’s the same price as 1500, then if I decide to put a tow bar on my five series we can carry more and it will make selling on easier.

If we were stoped at a control and asked for papers, would we be taken to a weighbridge to prove it’s not over 1400kg,? This is what I’m worried about that they just look at the total of max tow of car and max fullladen weight MTPLM of Van put them together and bang we are over the towing weight.

Regarding to towing rules,weight, mass, length, width. As far as I can see/read they are the same across the main land and UK only speed limits vary. My wife’s license (German) was pre 1999 so automatically came with BE. I’m going to have to top up my license to BE(another 500euros)

As Wooden top has calculated the maximum towed weight you should consider is 1410kg.

I am very unsure about the weights you have quoted for the caravan, The load margin seems huge, especially compared to UK caravans, but I do know that UK products tend to have more luxuries fitted as standard than many continental vans, so this might account for some of the difference.

You should not take the caravan manufacturers MIRO weight for granted, If you want to be certain, you should arrange to get the caravan weighed in its MIRO condition so you know your starting point.

UK caravanners find it very easy to under estimate the weight of the items they wish to take on holiday, I presume it will be a similar even for you, which is why I and uncomfortable about your suggested strategy of keeping the caravan light by loading the car. There will be greater danger of overloading the car, if you are shifting payload from the caravan to the car. Do not forget that the caravans nose load has to be counted as part of the cars load, so you will already have 70 to 90kg additional load acting on the cars suspension.
 
May 7, 2012
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Just bought a new Lunar and the handbook states the MIRO does not include a full water tank, and indeed advises not to tow with one. It describes the MIRO as including fluids though, and by that I assume it refers to those models fitted with ALDE heating.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Raywood said:
Just bought a new Lunar and the handbook states the MIRO does not include a full water tank, and indeed advises not to tow with one. It describes the MIRO as including fluids though, and by that I assume it refers to those models fitted with ALDE heating.

Some do include fir a small amount of water in cassette and flush tank. But from memory about 3 kg total. (Prior to use I guess!)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dustydog said:
Craigyoung said:
When I tow my water tank and flush tank are both empty
And how it should be. Water slopping about isn’t good for stability.

Dusty
The free surface effect of 5 kg of fluids in the flush and cassette is negligible. If I can recall my Damage Control lectures of many year ago!
 

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