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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. But the forum also addresses tent trailers and there the 120% figure would apply.
  2. For a start, kerbweight is specific to the vehicle in question whereas mass in service isn't. The biggest variation that we, as car manufacturers, identified on otherwise identical cars was in the weight of the sprayed underbody protection. Added to that, sheet metal and paint thickness tolerances accounted for a total of up to 50kg variation. Far bigger is the variation due to differences in equipment specification. Even the same model with the same engine could vary by as much as 150kg depending on the level of equipment and none of that would show up in the mass in running order (unless specified as a range, as above). Just a note to the quoted figures above, if with the driver it can't be called kerbweight, because kerbweight, by definition, is without the driver. The above only applies to caravans and specifically to those fitted with dampers. Different values apply for other configurations. They can be as little as 30% (if no dampers are fitted) to 120% (for trailers other than caravans).
  3. Glad we took the decision to break off our stay and return home from Aguilas (only a stone's throw from Villaricos) just before Christmas when the temperatures were starting to drop and fly off to the Canary Islands tomorrow instead, leaving the caravan in winter storage. Maybe it was a premonition.
  4. The law is there to cater for the vast majority of normal conditions, but there is always a case to allow for exceptions on a case-by-case basis. How else would one be able to allow special vehicles such as mobile cranes for example, which do not comply in full with Construction and Use Regulations? Such vehicles can be approved under an IVA subject to certain restrictions concerning their use on public roads.
  5. The difference between the V5 figure of Mass in Service and kerbweight is not just the 75kg for the driver and 10% less content in the fuel tank.
  6. I would speculate that the insurance companies are not acting on the basis of accident data, but purely on postulation. There simply aren't enough accidents involving trailers to be able to have enough detailed data from which one can come to a reliable conclusion. For instance, how would the insurance company know that poor weight distribution was not the cause rather than the absolute weight of the towed trailer. Also, lack of due care and attention on the part of the driver could be the cause rather than any weight issue. Besides, weight ratio is, after all based on a worst case scenario, but how many vehicles tow a fully loaded caravan with just the driver and no other payload in the car? The manufacturer has full product liability within the limits that he specifies and that means not only five restarts on a 12% incline, but also the way in which the outfit handles and its braking performance.
  7. But there is a big difference between kerbweight and mass in service. Mass in service, by definition, will almost invariably be less than the kerbweight even though it includes 75kg for the driver, which kerbweight doesn't.
  8. I have used my Fiamma Zip awning in wind force 10 storms without a problem so long as the ends and front were fitted and pegged down appropriately.
  9. Here's a response from an RX450h owner in the Lexus Owner's Forum which may be of help:
  10. When the vehicle is running primarily on electric power and the diesel is only charging, but not providing any or much propulsion, the diesel will only be running at relatively light load, a condition that is not encountered so very much with a pure diesel. Emissions control must be specific to take this into account.
  11. True, but a diesel hybrid still requires specific exhaust emissions systems that cannot be transferred directly from an equivalent diesel, so manufacturers will only embark on such a project if the expected sales volumes are large enough to justify the development costs.
  12. The reason why there are fewer diesel hybrids lies in the high investment costs associated with the development of exhaust emissions control of a diesel in conjunction with hybrid drive. It is much easier, and consequently less costly, with a petrol engine.
  13. I can't make the same comment about the reversing lights. For me, they were ample to light up the rear adequately on the rear view camera display, but I do agree about the inadequate size of the starter battery (which happened to be identical to the Nissan Micra - a much smaller car). A negative comment about the RX400h that I would make, though, would be the very torque sensitive steering, especially when towing. When moving off briskly from traffic lights with the caravan on the back, one had to hold the steering wheel tight in order to stay in a straight line. Otherwise it was a very nice car and I have no further reservations about it.
  14. Towload limits are often dictated by engine cooling performance. In the case of a hybrid, which has two modes of propulsion which both have to be packaged under the bonnet, there could be so little air space left in the engine compartment, that cooling becomes a real issue, resulting in a lower towing limit than what one would otherwise expect.
  15. Large front windows can't be an issue in principle because all Continental caravans with front windows are of the large type and their suppliers are the same manufacturers (Dometic Seitz, Polyplastic or Para Press) that produce the windows for the UK caravan industry, too.
  16. For over 6 years I towed an 1800kg caravan with a Lexus RX400h hybrid.
  17. I bought my trailer new so I know that it must be free of grease. I've used it like that for 10 years now without any noticeable wear and tear due to running dry.
  18. I find that rather strange because when I experienced a blowout at motorway speeds I wouldn't have noticed that I had one except for the big bang and seeing bits of rubber flying through the air in my rear view mirror. The outfit behaved absolutely impeccably although I was towing at 100% weight ratio and I even needed to negotiate a bend in a slip road before being able to come to a halt.
  19. But the 54kg (or whatever the noseweight actually is, so it would normally actually be more) are part of the payload so nothing is lost.
  20. The 54kg that you refer to would be the minimum noseweight which one would have to allow for anyway when measuring the car's overall weight.
  21. Why would you need to downgrade the caravan to 1500kg? Even if it were fully laden to its 1554kg MTPLM you would only be exceeding the towing limit if the noseweight is less than 54kg. Besides, the towing limit only refers to the actual load, not the plated maximum, so if in doubt just don't load it right up to the MTPLM. Why would you need to downgrade the caravan to 1500kg? Even if it were fully laden to its 1554kg MTPLM you would only be exceeding the towing limit if the noseweight is less than 54kg. THe towed load is the axle load of the caravan, not its total weight. Besides, the towing limit only refers to the actual load, not the plated maximum, so if in doubt just don't load it right up to the MTPLM.
  22. Besides, it would be rather poor economic strategy to purchase a 4WD purely on the off-chance that one may, once in a blue moon, get stuck on a muddy pitch. If you have a non-4WD you will soon learn the limits of its capability and you will try to avoid pitches that are likely to get muddy. ps: It may come as a surprise to know how many SUV's on the road are actually 2WD.
  23. If I didn't tow I probably wouldn't have such a big car, but my old bones tell me that I still need one that I can step up into rather than fold myself up like a Swiss knife in order to get in. That inevitably seems to lead to an SUV.
  24. 4% is the minimum that the manufacturer must provide. It is not the minimum that must be maintained in service.
  25. I've only ever changed my caravan due to a change in circumstances. The last change was because the old caravan had bunk beds for the children, but as they now have their own ideas about holidaymaking, it was traded in for a fixed twin bed. I'll probably keep that now for as long as I continue to go caravanning and hopefully that will be a good many years.
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