Weight Plate

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Lutz said:
Dodger524 said:
I agree, but many caravan rating plates only carry the nett weight of the van and its MTPLM weight, my Lunar Clubman for example.
What you are looking at is not the statutory plate then. Since 2009 all caravans must have a plate quoting MTPLM, max. axle loads and max. noseweight, (and since 2014 also the type approval number). Net weight will not appear on that plate. If it's not immediately apparent it may be in the front locker.

I looked for one last week. If my van does have one then it's well hidden, and certainly not in the front locker.

I feel quite bereft. :(
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dodger524 said:
Lutz said:
Dodger524 said:
I agree, but many caravan rating plates only carry the nett weight of the van and its MTPLM weight, my Lunar Clubman for example.
What you are looking at is not the statutory plate then. Since 2009 all caravans must have a plate quoting MTPLM, max. axle loads and max. noseweight, (and since 2014 also the type approval number). Net weight will not appear on that plate. If it's not immediately apparent it may be in the front locker.

What year and make is your caravan?

I looked for one last week. If my van does have one then it's well hidden, and certainly not in the front locker.

I feel quite bereft. :(
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Dodger524 said:
Lutz said:
Dodger524 said:
I agree, but many caravan rating plates only carry the nett weight of the van and its MTPLM weight, my Lunar Clubman for example.
What you are looking at is not the statutory plate then. Since 2009 all caravans must have a plate quoting MTPLM, max. axle loads and max. noseweight, (and since 2014 also the type approval number). Net weight will not appear on that plate. If it's not immediately apparent it may be in the front locker.[/quote

I looked for one last week. If my van does have one then it's well hidden, and certainly not in the front locker.

I feel quite bereft. :(

What year and make is your caravan?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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otherclive said:
What year and make is your caravan?

Do you mean mine? Mine's a 2008 model year and it's got a plate in the front locker. I've seen others where it's at various locations on the front panel or somewhere on the side panel. It could even be inside next to the door, but not on the door itself.
 
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Lutz said:
otherclive said:
What year and make is your caravan?

Do you mean mine? Mine's a 2008 model year and it's got a plate in the front locker. I've seen others where it's at various locations on the front panel or somewhere on the side panel. It could even be inside next to the door, but not on the door itself.

Lutz
No the Poster who can’t find his makers plate.
OC
 
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Dodger524 said:
My van is a 2012 Lunar Clubman SB.

I can't workout how to post an image to this site, but here is a link to a picture of my plate.

It surprises me that although it was built before type approval came into effect in 2014 the plate displays so little information. It doesn't even show a VIN. Nowadays the requirements are quite specific what must be shown on the statutory plate.

By the way, I see that in your text you mention a difference in the load on each wheel between left and right of 180kg. That's an enormous difference and not really conducive to a stable outfit. Do you have any problems with stability when towing?
 
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Dodger524 said:
My van is a 2012 Lunar Clubman SB.

I can't workout how to post an image to this site, but here is a link to a picture of my plate.

Interesting that you have an assymmetric weight across the caravan. My Swift Sprite is the same as spare wheel in locker, electrics, battery, water heater, fridge. cooker, sink unit and worktop, wardrobe and toilet/shower are all on the offside. Swift state that they endeavour to keep the weight across the caravan to a maximum difference of 55%:45% variation. Don't know what mine works out at, but it couldn't help axle loading as I suspect Alko design the axle suspension for a 1300kg MTPLM caravan to take 650kg per side. Static loads should not be the problem as they will be a lot less than dynamic loads. I was thinking of fitting Alko dampers when I have the new axle fitted but Bath University study showed them not to be very effective due to the relatively low level of movement when the suspension bushes flex.

In answer to Lutz's question I have had no concerns over stability when towing.
 
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otherclive said:
... I was thinking of fitting Alko dampers when I have the new axle fitted but Bath University study showed them not to be very effective due to the relatively low level of movement when the suspension bushes flex. ..

Hello Clive,
Don't just take headline from the research project at face value. Its important to look at the specific question the project was trying to resolve and the methods used to obtain results. I am in no way disputing the UoB's findings after all they have the evidence, but they may well have been trying to resolve a different question to your own needs.

In a very simplified view, the caravan has the freedom articulate around the ball coupling, so it can bounce with both trailer wheels trying to leave the road, or it can roll when one or the other wheel is lifted. Neither of these trailer motions will impart sustained unidirectional forces on the tow car, so the difference from the drivers perspective for when dampers are fitted may be less obvious, leading to the conclusion that dampers have limited effect.

But the bouncing of a trailer like a caravan, does more than just affect the towing characteristics, it can also radically increase the wear and tear on the fabric of the caravan and of course its content. I have previously reported that I was involved with a series of tests to establish some of the stress that appliances fitted into caravans undergo at MIRA. The results were to say the least quite alarming. So anything that an stop the comparatively undamped bouncing is likely to extend the useful life of the products.

Alko do claim the compressed rubber in the torsion bar provides natural damping, but why then do they market and sell external dampers for their products? That's a bit of quandry.

I would normally question the validity of claims where people have decided to fit an additional item to a vehicle which takes it beyond the manufactures design spec, becasue they want to believe their expenditure has made a difference. But in this case I think there is enough anecdotal evidence to believe there is a good reason for it.

I have lost count of the number of different caravans I have towed (It was part of one of my jobs), and there can be many reasons for differences in towing characteristics, but in my view there was a perceptible improvement where external dampers had been fitted, in a nut shell I would describe the outfits as less fidgety and consequently the towing felt more relaxed and controlled.
 
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ProfJohnL said:
otherclive said:
... I was thinking of fitting Alko dampers when I have the new axle fitted but Bath University study showed them not to be very effective due to the relatively low level of movement when the suspension bushes flex. ..

Hello Clive,
Don't just take headline from the research project at face value. Its important to look at the specific question the project was trying to resolve and the methods used to obtain results. I am in no way disputing the UoB's findings after all they have the evidence, but they may well have been trying to resolve a different question to your own needs.

In a very simplified view, the caravan has the freedom articulate around the ball coupling, so it can bounce with both trailer wheels trying to leave the road, or it can roll when one or the other wheel is lifted. Neither of these trailer motions will impart sustained unidirectional forces on the tow car, so the difference from the drivers perspective for when dampers are fitted may be less obvious, leading to the conclusion that dampers have limited effect.

But the bouncing of a trailer like a caravan, does more than just affect the towing characteristics, it can also radically increase the wear and tear on the fabric of the caravan and of course its content. I have previously reported that I was involved with a series of tests to establish some of the stress that appliances fitted into caravans undergo at MIRA. The results were to say the least quite alarming. So anything that an stop the comparatively undamped bouncing is likely to extend the useful life of the products.

Alko do claim the compressed rubber in the torsion bar provides natural damping, but why then do they market and sell external dampers for their products? That's a bit of quandry.

I would normally question the validity of claims where people have decided to fit an additional item to a vehicle which takes it beyond the manufactures design spec, becasue they want to believe their expenditure has made a difference. But in this case I think there is enough anecdotal evidence to believe there is a good reason for it.

I have lost count of the number of different caravans I have towed (It was part of one of my jobs), and there can be many reasons for differences in towing characteristics, but in my view there was a perceptible improvement where external dampers had been fitted, in a nut shell I would describe the outfits as less fidgety and consequently the towing felt more relaxed and controlled.

Prof,

Thanks for the reply and I don't disagree with the points that you have made. I realise that in Germany some vans have to have dampers fitted in order to tow at a higher speed. Not sure what that speed is but I doubt its up to 60mph as in UK. Also I have read in websites where owners report better towing characteristics with the dampers fitted. Of course on my van the 60psi tyre pressure is high and may tend to give a a less complaint ride although presumably Swift took this into account when specifying the tyre load index and tyre sizes. Despite the asymmetric load of the caravan which is biased to the offside, and my relaxed offside suspension (25mm) the outfit tows very well, probably because the car is well loaded and the Superb estate is acknowledged as a fine tow car too. My principal aim if dampers were fitted would be to give the Alko suspension a more gentle life on our rubbish roads, Stopping the wardrobe falling off the wall would be a bonus, although at present all of the kit does seem well and truly fastened to the van. But the UoB report graphs did show that whilst there was some reduction in transmitted force it was well below what would be expected from a conventional damper where its movement would be greater than allowed by the Alko suspensions. However the report was 2012 and the latest Octagon dampers will presumably have been designed to integrate with current Alko suspension. So like most things do I want to give up around £100 and some payload, and I think that the answer may be "yes". Less than 3.0 kgs weight penalty and the potential to avoid £1000 axle replacement again may influence my decision. Look on it as an insurance but one not possibly based on a full analysis. :whistle:
 
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otherclive said:
Prof,

Thanks for the reply and I don't disagree with the points that you have made. I realise that in Germany some vans have to have dampers fitted in order to tow at a higher speed. Not sure what that speed is but I doubt its up to 60mph as in UK. Also I have read in websites where owners report better towing characteristics with the dampers fitted.

Subject to fulfilment of certain technical criteria, and that includes fitment of dampers, one can apply for a concession to allow towing at 100km/h (62mph) in Germany. Without dampers the speed limit would be 80km/h (50mph). I would imagine that some thought and probably testing went into the determination of these limits.
 

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