Should consumers be offered more options?

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Nov 6, 2005
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I am guessing a bit here, but the refusal to uprate the axle may be to do with it taking the specs out of those that the van was type approved for and therefore making it illegal on the road.

However. A member on here reports that they have updated their axle on a couple of vans but I don’t think they explained how they covered the roadworthiness on paper.

Don‘t knock me down, I have no expertise in this area.

John
Unlike some EU countries, it's not illegal in the UK to change or modify a vehicle or trailer outside the scope of it's Type Approval PROVIDED that it remains roadworthy. - although in the case of an axle change on a caravan, the maximum authorised weight can't be altered except by the manufacturer or a chartered engineer. So it's not a matter of Type Approval but Construction & Use Regulations.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Utopia is available. Vanmaster being one of the bespoke manufacturers. But expensive.

Clive , I really don’t know why those involved would not fit a higher load rated axle for you.? You were paying the bill. The fittings are the same and an upgrade doesn’t affect your plated weights.
When did anyone on here tell the car manufacturer what tyres they wanted? Never!
I’d like to see vastly improved production quality. Axle ratings with say 30% margin, not on the button so to speak. 21 st century waterproof joints and materials. A lot of window seals are ancient technology!
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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6 ft 4 in. What is your model van?
It's the Swift Challenger Sport 442 think the 480 is the equivalent model in this years line up Aldi heating not blow air. Gives you singles of 6'5" near side 6'1" off side. Big enough. Been hanging my nose over a 480 but can't afford, even a good second hand one on my pension.:sleepy::sleepy::sleepy:
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Unlike some EU countries, it's not illegal in the UK to change or modify a vehicle or trailer outside the scope of it's Type Approval PROVIDED that it remains roadworthy. - although in the case of an axle change on a caravan, the maximum authorised weight can't be altered except by the manufacturer or a chartered engineer. So it's not a matter of Type Approval but Construction & Use Regulations.
Gosh if I had realised that I would have slapped a new axle in place and signed it off myself. 🤭
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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If a caravans specification does not meet your desires - then don't buy the caravan!!!!

You have time to look over a new caravan before you decide to buy it, so there is no excuse.

If you don't like the tyres, I'm sure the dealer will change them for you - at a cost!

If you don't like the available MTPLM, as if it can be increased, if not don't buy it and complain afterwards.

Its like wanting a Mercedes but you buy a Trabant hoping you can modify it become a Merc.

You can blame the UK caravan industries approach to MTPLM partly on the Industries Towing Ratio Advice, which suggests you can only tow a small caravan with a car.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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If a caravans specification does not meet your desires - then don't buy the caravan!!!!

You have time to look over a new caravan before you decide to buy it, so there is no excuse.

If you don't like the tyres, I'm sure the dealer will change them for you - at a cost!

If you don't like the available MTPLM, as if it can be increased, if not don't buy it and complain afterwards.

Its like wanting a Mercedes but you buy a Trabant hoping you can modify it become a Merc.

You can blame the UK caravan industries approach to MTPLM partly on the Industries Towing Ratio Advice, which suggests you can only tow a small caravan with a car.
Not sure anyone is complaining after a purchase but they may be disappointed after being forced to compromise due to the lack of choice or options available.

John
 
Jan 3, 2012
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i am 6ft 5ins tall but our van suits ours needs when i remove the front cushions i can stretch my full size out so at present happy with this caravan
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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although in the case of an axle change on a caravan, the maximum authorised weight can't be altered except by the manufacturer or a chartered engineer. So it's not a matter of Type Approval but Construction & Use Regulations.
Can you specify the secion or clause where this is stated as being unable to locate it however the legislation is pages and pages? Thanks.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If a caravans specification does not meet your desires - then don't buy the caravan!!!!

You have time to look over a new caravan before you decide to buy it, so there is no excuse.

If you don't like the tyres, I'm sure the dealer will change them for you - at a cost!

If you don't like the available MTPLM, as if it can be increased, if not don't buy it and complain afterwards.

Its like wanting a Mercedes but you buy a Trabant hoping you can modify it become a Merc.

You can blame the UK caravan industries approach to MTPLM partly on the Industries Towing Ratio Advice, which suggests you can only tow a small caravan with a car.
A very strange reply as in many cases you find the ideal layout, but the MTPLM is too low. Why can't people have a choice?
Our vehicle is capable of towing up to 3500kg and can safely tow a trailer up to 2200kg and be within the 95% guideline advised by some insurance companies. The extra 200kg would be very useful to us instead of the measly 165kg payload. It would also save us the hassle of loading the roof box as at present we are struggling to do that as it carries the awning
 
Jun 20, 2005
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You can have a choice but only with the bespoke makers not the mainstream manufacturers.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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A very strange reply as in many cases you find the ideal layout, but the MTPLM is too low. Why can't people have a choice?
Our vehicle is capable of towing up to 3500kg and can safely tow a trailer up to 2200kg and be within the 95% guideline advised by some insurance companies. The extra 200kg would be very useful to us instead of the measly 165kg payload. It would also save us the hassle of loading the roof box as at present we are struggling to do that as it carries the awning
Knaus with the Starclass do some good option choices and in the brochure the impact on payload is specified, (positiveor negative) but the biggest benefit is the there are good payload increase options.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Knaus with the Starclass do some good option choices and in the brochure the impact on payload is specified, (positiveor negative) but the biggest benefit is the there are good payload increase options.
We looked at a Knaus a while back and while it did seem solid and heavier, many standard fittings left a lot to be desired. However to start adding ALDE, aerial options, etc to bring it to the same standard as a British caravan would have set us back several thousand making the British caravan the better option. We are now pleased we made the correct decision.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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Can you specify the section or clause where this is stated as being unable to locate it however the legislation is pages and pages? Thanks.
I can't give an exact reference - but they don't allow "Tom, Dick or Harry" to just declare a different maximum weight, otherwise we could all uprate our caravans with a sticker REGARDLESS of mechanical limits.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I can't give an exact reference - but they don't allow "Tom, Dick or Harry" to just declare a different maximum weight, otherwise we could all uprate our caravans with a sticker REGARDLESS of mechanical limits.
We did just that as dealer sent it in the post and we stuck the new sticker on the side of the caravan. One could probably buy a sticker off eBay and the police would not know the difference.
The MTPLM sticker on a caravan body is only a guideline and is not a mandatory sticker which is why you cannot be prosecuted if DVSA or police used sticker as a reference. However if you exceed the axle weight or load on tyres then you can be prosecuted.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
I uprated/upgraded my weight plate. there were no modifications to the van, as the axle was already rated at the higher rate. The appropriate paperwork came with the new plate.
On my van the lower rating is done, I think, to cater for the new driving licence classifications. To make it easier to bring the train weight within the 3500kg range. To put the van within the range of more potential buyers.

The upgrade on my van was well above a 100kg. From 1235kg to 1350kg.
The 'upgrade' that you referred to is not a true upgrade because the higher MTPLM was there already. It was even plated at the higher figure on the existing statutory plate. A true upgrade always requires a technical change - at least different tyres, more often a new axle.
For manufacturers to cover such true upgrades they need to include them in the type approval documentation as a possible variant. If that is done, there would be no problem in offering different axles or even different chassis options for the same model. Most Continental manufacturers do this, offering their models in 100kg upgrade increments.
 
Oct 17, 2010
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The 'upgrade' that you referred to is not a true upgrade because the higher MTPLM was there already. It was even plated at the higher figure on the existing statutory plate. A true upgrade always requires a technical change - at least different tyres, more often a new axle.
For manufacturers to cover such true upgrades they need to include them in the type approval documentation as a possible variant. If that is done, there would be no problem in offering different axles or even different chassis options for the same model. Most Continental manufacturers do this, offering their models in 100kg upgrade increments.
[/QUOTE

I realised that, as I said, it was a "weight plate" upgrade. "as Axle was already rated at the higher rate".

It's a paper exercise as (I believe) because in theory, you could downgrade the the Weight plate to 1235kg to bring my train weight in line with the 97 licence regs Axle weight still plated at 1350kg.

Confused am I.
Please expand this post.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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You're right on that front Buckman, I bought a triumph motorbike and the exhaust said track use only which was engraved on a plate on it. I was broke at the time and couldn't afford to replace it so ground off the engraving and put an EU or is it ec approval label (engraved alloy, available on many sites) on using araldite. Mot tester actually pointed out that was what he was looking for when he passed the bike.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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A very strange reply as in many cases you find the ideal layout, but the MTPLM is too low. Why can't people have a choice?
People do have choice, either accept what's on offer and the compromises it brings, or look elsewhere, or don't buy at all. After all very few if anyone actually needs a caravan, they only desire one, I doubt anyone's life depends on owning a caravan.

You can "wish" for anything, but realistically you can only choose from what's available, and what's available is driven by the caravan manufacturers bean counters, not customers wishes.

UK caravan manufacturers have had more than enough time to realise that many caravanners might desire a greater payload capacity, so ask your self why haven't they listened? Its down to what they think they can sell, and in the UK ( and EU) the way the way the licencing regulations and industries' own guidance have developed mean that increasingly manufacturers are being forced to look for less heavy caravans which counters against larger payloads.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Unlike some EU countries, it's not illegal in the UK to change or modify a vehicle or trailer outside the scope of it's Type Approval PROVIDED that it remains roadworthy. - although in the case of an axle change on a caravan, the maximum authorised weight can't be altered except by the manufacturer or a chartered engineer. So it's not a matter of Type Approval but Construction & Use Regulations.
That is not so. If a vehicle is technically modified beyond the scope of its type approval and the original manufacturer is unable or unwilling to amend the type approval documentation, it needs to be IVA'd before it is legal again. Unfortunately there seems to be no simple process in place to carry out an IVA on a trailer which is not registered. For that reason, most modifications are clandestine and don't surface unless an accident which could be attributed to the modification occurs.
A major modification involving a revised axle rating or MTPLM requires a new statutory plate which can only be issued by the manufacturer named on the plate. If the original manufacturer is unable to do so, the party that carried out the conversion becomes the new manufacturer and issues a plate in his name. This is necessary to ensure traceable product liability.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Please expand this post.
What is there to explain? If you look at the statutory plate (the one displaying the type approval number if the caravan was built after 2014) it will normally already show the higher MTPLM and the statutory plate is the only plate that is recognised in any legislation.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Deliberately putting an incorrect label on a product to deceive (whether its an MOT inspector or a prospective purchaser) is in fact fraud.

What you might be tempted to do as an individual regards ignoring or flouting regulation because you believe detection is unlikely to occur, its not impossible.

Honest Companies (and some do exist) would not deliberately seek to deceive as they stand to loose a lot more.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Deliberately putting an incorrect label on a product to deceive (whether its an MOT inspector or a prospective purchaser) is in fact fraud.

What you might be tempted to do as an individual regards ignoring or flouting regulation because you believe detection is unlikely to occur, its not impossible.

Honest Companies (and some do exist) would not deliberately seek to deceive as they stand to loose a lot more.
If the MTPLM is rated at at maximum of 1500kg by the manufacturer and the axle is rated at 1600kg then I would think you would not be committing fraud if one then attached sticker off eBay listing the MTPLM as 1600kg. Interesting thought, but not one I would be inclined to try.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Whilst some caravanners want bigger payloads, which necessitates higher MTPLMs and bigger towcars, the opposite is happening and will continue - all due to the pressure to reduce CO2 and NOx - few EVs have towing limits at all and their restricted range will be further reduced when towing.

The restrictions around cars, both EV and IC, won't take towing into consideration as we're such a small minority - we might even see the end of touring as we know it.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If the MTPLM is rated at at maximum of 1500kg by the manufacturer and the axle is rated at 1600kg then I would think you would not be committing fraud if one then attached sticker off eBay listing the MTPLM as 1600kg. Interesting thought, but not one I would be inclined to try.
Forgery will be committed if the plate obtained through eBay was not issued by the vehicle manufacturer.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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A forgery will be committed if the plate obtained through eBay was not issued by the vehicle manufacturer.
Why do you think that as it is not a mandatory statutory sticker although the one on the chassis is mandatory since about April 2012? Most caravans now have a sticker on the body and not a plate.
 

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