Mar 14, 2005
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Have you all noticed how much heavier modern vans are getting? Even smaller single axle 2 berths now require very heavy tugs, with noseweights of 70kg+ needing a 4x4 to cope. My first van in 1986, was a 5 berth Perle Olympus, MTPLM of about 900 kgs, the next an '88 Lunar Delta 560 twin had an MTPLM of about 1250 kgs, the next a '92 Delta 560 had fattened up to 1450kgs MTPLM, now our current van - a 472 Caravelair Eden has a portly MTPLM of 1300kg. No wonder so many new vanners struggle to get an adequate match. Yes equipment levels have improved, but so has the weight almost exponentially. What do you all think?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It's all a matter of design, or lack of it. Any manufacturer can design lighter vehicles if they want to, but caravan manufacturers simply don't. Although previously optional equipment has now become standard, caravans are still designed and built like they were in the early '80s when sandwich construction first came in. Virtually all manufacturers only provide a very limited range of light 2 or 4 berth caravans, preferring to build large, heavy 4 berths which "forces" caravanners to buy heavier 4x4's. Is it any wonder that the general public absolutely despise caravanners, clogging up the roads in "our" 4-5 tonne GTW outfits?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Not only caravans have got heavier over the years but cars, too. I just checked through some old brochures and found out that my first car, a '65 Ford Corsair, weighed 1905lb (=864kg) empty. The last car of comparable size that I had was a '97 Vectra and it weighed 1260kg. Even allowing for differences in definition of kerbweight over the years, that's a whopping 40% increase. One shouldn't forget, however, that car brakes (ABS) and performance have improved at the same time, too, so it's little wonder that caravans have followed the trend. I wouldn't want to have to make do with a less solid design in order to reduce weight. Some of the hinges and locks of the overhead lockers already look relatively flimsy and haven't always held up to the rugged use that they've been subjected to when towing over unsurfaced roads.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Admittedly caravans are getting heavier, but so are cars. From the 1980's Cortina, through Sierra, Mondeo & new shape Mondeo, the kerbweights have gone from around 950kgs to over 1500kgs!!! I think it is assumed that people have a newer car than caravan so (theoretically.....) it shouldn't be a problem. It would be nice to see a few more "basic" caravans for those that don't want all the extras. The Bailey Discovery range falls into this category and sells very well.
 

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