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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. Caravans are big and boxy. That's why they are more sensitive to having adequate noseweight.
  2. In most cases moving off on a gradient is not the issue but the engine overheating if the gradient extends over a long stretch. Nowadays, with so much equipment stuffed under the bonnet, engine cooling problems are usually the determining factor limiting the towload. Let's get one thing straight. There's no reason to be gutted. If you really feel that you are capable of living with 145kg of payload, there's no reason why you should feel that you've made a bad decision. Best check whether the MIRO is actually 1130kg, though, or else the situation could be less reassuring.
  3. Simple. The total max. weight of the caravan is 1287kg. Of that, the car would be carrying 75kg in the form of noseweight. That leaves 1212kg which is actually being towed. Such is the definition of towload. It is the axle load of the trailer, not its total weight. Therefore, he's only got to stay 1212 - 1200 = 12kg below the MTPLM to be legal.
  4. There's been some scaremongering here. Things are half as bad. You are right in saying that you can tow the caravan so long as you don't make full use of the MTPLM. Just stay 12kg below the 1287kg and you are legal if the noseweight is 75kg. The 7% figure is only a recommendation and a not particularly good one at that because in very many cases it is unachievable. The recommendation originated at a time when manufacturers didn't specify noseweight limits and caravans were, on the whole, lighter. 75kg is a fairly typical noseweight limit and perfectly adequate for most except the very heaviest caravans. Just make full use of the 75kg and you'll be alright.
  5. It should be clear to all concerned that if the sum of the towcar's plated GVW and the towload limit shown on the V5c certificate exceeds the plated gross train weight then the gross train weight applies as the lower of the two.
  6. The requirement to self-destroy if attempt is made to remove only applies to vehicle plates, not towbar plates.
  7. Surf01, the reply from the DVLA was a simple 'cut and paste' job, so you could do the same to store it on your PC. In general, towloads are lower in the USA than in Europe is because their criteria for determining limits are different to ours. If you have a look at the average American towbar and compare it with European designs you will understand why. However, larger US pickup trucks may have higher limits than our 3500kg, simply because 3500kg is our limit for overrun brakes and category B licences. Once you go over 3500kg trailer MAM, braking systems are much more complex and require appropriate provisions on the towing vehicle which would involve technical modifications and you do need a C1+E licence.
  8. The rules changed on 19 January 2013 throughout the EU. The only differences from country to country are the respective minimum ages and specific requirements concerning possible prescribed health checks at certain intervals, although there are moves afoot to harmonise them too. Weight categories are, however, the same everywhere. That's why you don't need to swap your licence when moving to another country within the EU.
  9. If they come up with a different reply to the above, it doesn't say much for the competence of the so-called "experts" at the DVLA. Their reply was perfectly unambiguous. Anything else and one would only be trying to put words into their mouth.
  10. No need to. The reply was perfectly clear. If it were not legal to tow a trailer with an MAM exceeding the unladen weight of the towing vehicle they would have said so. There is no mention that different conditions apply to B licences issued before 19 January 2013 compared with those issued after that date. If you have any doubts, I'd suggest you take the matter up with the DVLA yourself.
  11. I have just received the following reply from the DVLA. It seems perfectly OK to me. Thank you for your email received on 22/5/13. Your email reference number is 1319215. The following provides more detail on what licence holders are covered to drive under their category B car entitlement under the new legislation. This came into force from 19/01/2013: Cars Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver with a trailer up to750kg. • Motor vehicles with a MAM not exceeding 3500kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver with a trailer over 750kg where the combination MAM is not exceeding 3500kg. I can arrange to send an information leaflet to you providing further information. If you would like this to be sent to you, please use the reply form below to provide your full address details, including postcode. Do not reply to this email. If you wish to contact us again about this response then please use our Reply Form or copy and paste the following URL in to your browser: https://emaildvla. direct. gov. uk/emaildvla/cegemail/dvla/en/reply_form_drivers. html When filling in the form the email reference number 1319215 will be required. Regards A Prichard Customer Enquiries Group DVLA
  12. The vehicle plate requirements are common for all type approved vehicles. They do not differentiate between type approved motor vehicles or trailers. Plates which are stuck to the vehicle structure meet the requirements provided that they self-destroy if attempt is made to remove them.
  13. The law that you reference is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986, which was long before the EU Directive governing the details that must appear on the vehicle plate (including MTPLM) came into effect. I cannot find the exact details because UK legislation is so obscure, but it must be assumed that the requirement must have been implemented with introduction of vehicle type approval for caravans at the latest.
  14. Yes, but that's only to avoid unnecessary wear on the friction pads. It has nothing to do with reversing as such.
  15. The effort required to release the auto reverse mechanism should be a lot less than that to move the caravan, especially on rough ground. If the brakes on the caravan are working properly there should therefore be little difference between moving off forwards or backwards. The stabiliser won't make any difference to tbe way the outfit reverses.
  16. No, they haven't. Perhaps it's taking them a bit longer to put their thinking caps on before replying a second time. I've sent them a reminder. In the meantime, I've received a reply to the same question from the DSA which is most definitely wrong. They wrote back saying that you need a B+E licence to tow anything over 750kg. I think we all agree that that is not the case. So much for the competence of governmental departments. I therefore await the DVLA reply with much anticipation, hoping that one can at least have faith in their response.
  17. Unless you have tyres on your towcar which have an unusually high load index, the tyres on the car will be just as close to the limit as those on the caravan. Besides, so long as correct tyre pressures are maintained, there is no reason why tyres with a greater load margin should be any less susceptible to having a puncture.
  18. But it's no more legal with a Discovery than with any other car.
  19. In 40 years of living on the Continent I've had only 4 flat tyres, 2 of which were on the caravan (one a blowout and the other a malicious knife attack). With a record like that I wouldn't bother with a second spare.
  20. Some versions of the Meriva and Zafira have a maximum permissible towload of 1300kg and 1500kg, respectively. You need to check.
  21. A couple of years ago, Dethleffs even had a production model with a garage for a motorbike:
  22. How about this one? Apparently it was built as a one-off job on a special extended chassis.
  23. Too true. It would be a good start if at least government departments and legislation could agree on one term and one interpretation. Legislation uses both 'unladen weight' (old laws) and 'mass in running order' (newer amendments) The V5c certificate uses 'mass in service' 'Kerbweight' is not used anywhere in UK law.
  24. 'Sometimes', yes, but also sometimes, no. Kerbweight traditionally does not include 75kg for the driver and sundry items and some still refer to kerbweight interpreted like that. I therefore try to avoid using the term kerbweight as one can never be sure how it will be interpreted, with or without the driver. Unladen weight is not only without fuel and driver but also without engine coolant, oils, etc. and it's not documented anywhere.
  25. The caravan manufacturer can very well specify that the maximum technically permissible laden mass of a caravan is less than the maximum permissible axle load shown on its axle plate. In fact, that is quite often the case. Once the body has been fitted to the proprietary chassis, it could well, as a finished product, be deemed to be not adequately safe if the permissible axle load were to be used to the full.
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