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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. Many caravan chassis don’t have parallel sections of frame, but the A-frame continues in a straight line to the rear corners with outriggers to the front steadies.
  2. Maybe it’s different for other trailers, but in most cases the A-frame of a caravan is part of the chassis frame, extending from the hitch to the rear corners.
  3. Are you sure? A 2800kg chassis (the A-frame is part of the chassis) would require twin axles because there is no AlKo single axle rated that high. If the next size down is 1600kg this would mean that a 1700kg caravan would require a 2800kg chassis. Besides, as 1700kg is well within the limits of a single axle it would also mean that the 2800kg chassis must be designed to accommodate both single and twin axles, which I find hard to believe.
  4. My experience is that the German police on the whole take a pragmatic approach to compliance with the rules and will accept minor transgressions without further action. It's the TÜV and consorts which tend to dot the I's and cross the T's.
  5. May I make a slight amendment to your above reply by changing the term 'plated' MTPLM to 'allocated' MTPLM, because the plated value is the statutory one, the allocated value is what is shown on the NCC label? The plated MTPLM is not arrived at by adding the payload to the MIRO.
  6. The hitch may be capable of a higher hitch load than the A-frame. That would explain a lower figure for Axle 0 than what is shown on the hitch itself, so it's unlikely that it could be uprated.
  7. I was referring to the hitch limit which is of course on the caravan itselft's the one on the caravan. The car doesn't have an Axle 0. The definitive noseweight limit for the car will only be found on the type approval plate on the towbar.
  8. The noseweight limit is also displayed as Axle 0 on the statutory plate and that is the one that that takes precedence over all others.
  9. European manufacturers have little incentive to increase noseweight limits because any increase would require appropriate structural reinforcement measures which will only add on-cost for all those who will never use their vehicle to tow and increase weight, which is not conducive to low emissions.
  10. The maximum axle load rating has no direct bearing on the MTPLM although obviously it can't be less than the MTPLM. In the end, the maximum MTPLM is what is shown on the type approval plate. This is the plate, correctly referred to as the statutory plate, that also displays the type approval number.
  11. Looks as though we were at Vauxhall at about the same time. Before I left Luton to work in the Dunstable plant I was involved in pilot build of the CF van. I would imagine that some work must have been done in Germany because of their differentiated legal weight ratio limits to allow one to tow at 100km/h (30%, 80%, 100%, 110% 120%), depending on how the trailer is technically equipped.
  12. Actually, I was referring to UK legislation which is basically no different to that of other EU countries and will probably largely remain that way even after Brexit.
  13. Laws are laws. They don't normally differentiate between military and civilian vehicles and by law artics are treated the same as any other vehicle. Besides, even for civilian vehicles there are exceptions for oversize loads. I know of several who tow caravans at over 100%, too. Yes, without a Category BE licence you would be limited to a caravan with an MTPLM of 1371kg.
  14. The figure for France is round about correct, but Spain comes a close second. I don't know where you got your figure for USA from, but my source says they had 82 million visitors in 2018, giving them third place.
  15. In the first instance, the powers-that-be will use the MIRO shown on the German equivalent of the V5c because that would be the easiest way for an on-the-spot check as you are obliged to carry the document with you. However, as I pointed out, for reasons explained above, that figure could be significantly less than the actual weight of the vehicle. Therefore, in case of dispute, I would think that you could refer to the Actual Mass (Item 13.2) of the Certificate of Conformity which you aren't obliged to produce on demand, but you could submit if necessary. Actual Mass will undoubtedly be greater than MIRO (Item 13). German law is a bit vague so I suppose that a court would have to decide whether Actual Mass or Mass in Running Order is applicable if it's a close call. I don't know if there has ever been a case of precedence to resolve the issue once and for all because generally, in cases like this, the powers-that-be tend to take a pragmatic approach and will not follow up if the differences are not too great.
  16. Why do the insurance companies then refer to kerbweight when Mass in Service is the only documented unladen weight? In general, the vast majority of those that are happy with the speed limit of 80km/h that normally applies to vehicles towing trailers will tow up to the towing limit. Only those that want to tow at 100km/h are affected because then a weight ratio limit of 100% applies legally in the case of caravans (120% for other types of trailer). Kerbweight is not an issue because there is no German equivalent to UK definition of kerbweight. By the way, if the trailer/caravan is not fitted with shock absorbers (dampers), a weight ratio limit of 30% applies if one wishes to tow at 100km/h.
  17. Considering kerbweight includes a full tank and all factory fitted optional extras or permanent features such as a towbar but Mass in Service doesn't include any of that and only a 90% full tank, it's unlikely that the 75kg for the driver and sundry items which are included in Mass in Service are going to be sufficient to make up the difference. I therefore feel fairly confident when I say Mass in Service is nearly always going to be less than kerbweight. If the documentation in your case says something else, I suspect someone got their data wrong. Besides, kerbweight is specific to each and every vehicle. Therefore, a single figure in a handbook or brochure is never going to be accurate for all vehicles of the same model. One would have to at least quote a range. Mass in Service, on the other hand, because it doesn't reflect weights of optional extras is generic for all variants of the same vehicle covered by the same type approval.
  18. At least their interpretation is correct. Trouble is, that figure isn't documented anywhere. Of course, they could weigh the vehicle as you suggest, but they would have to lay their hands on the vehicle first and I can't imagine that they would go to such lengths. Besides it could weight differently then than at the time the incident calling for insurance coverage happened. Virtually without exception Mass in Service is less than kerbweight. The difference can be by as much as 150kg, so the policyholder would be at a severe disadvantage if the insurance company insists on using the Mass in Service figure instead of kerbweight.
  19. But where do they get their kerbweight from? It's not documented anywhere.
  20. I also had a Corsair, one of the rarer two door version, but it had 4 on the floor.
  21. Besides, if the insurance company specifically refers to kerbweight I wonder where they get their figures from as manufacturers aren't obliged to document kerbweight and they don't, even if their brochures incorrectly use the term.
  22. I have yet to come across any source which publishes reliable kerbweights. I've known variances of up to 150kg, sometimes even more.
  23. The safety chain must be longer than the breakaway cable. Otherwise the caravan's overrun brake would not work. As perksm says, the caravan would flap around at speed and, in doing so, it could cause just as much damage. The length of chain that is necessary for the brakes to work is unlikely to prevent the hitch from hitting the ground. Drum brakes are only less efficient in the wet and they are more prone to fade if used continually, but otherwise they are quite as capable of bringing the caravan to rest as any other braking system.
  24. Roads in Germany are toll free for all except heavy commercial vehicles so there are no vignettes for the country. Tolls in Croatia are paid either by cash or by credit card at the toll plaza. There are no vignettes for Croatia.
  25. If using a safety chain one must make sure that it is long enough to allow the breakaway cable to apply the caravan brakes. Otherwise the caravan could swerve to the left and to the right before coming to a stop.
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