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Lutz

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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. Lutz

    towing weights

    Based on years of experience of a multitude of caravanners I don't think that anyone would deny that the heavier the caravan relative to the weight of the car, the more the outfit will be liable to instability under certain conditions, so maybe one should just leave it at that and not try to put a magical figure to a weight ratio. Suffice to say that there are specified legal weight ratio limits that must be observed in Germany if you want to tow at 100km/h instead of theregular 80km/h speed limit that applies to towing trailers and one would imagine that those who laid down these limits did their homework before they were incorporated into legislation.
  2. Some caravan manufacturers have recently started to combine the NCC label by the door with the statutory plate, so there is just the one, but it’s easy enough to check whether it complies with legal requirements or not. It just needs to show the details that I mentioned in my previous reply.
  3. The statutory plate may be metal or self adhesive. The only conditions that apply to a self-adhesive version are that it must be readily accessible and it must be tamperproof, which presumably means that it must be self-destructive if tampered with. To fulfil the requirements for a statutory plate it must show the MTPLM, max. permissible noseweight and max. axle loads in a prescribed order and the type approval number, in addition to the chassis number and the name of the manufacturer.
  4. In the way the question was formulated without mention of any condition, strictly speaking he wasn't deceiving anyone. Maybe he only wanted to express that the car can be fitted with a towbar with which a caravan of some sort could be towed.
  5. With the 'sticky label' itself being of doubtful authority as there is no mention of any sticky label bearing another MTPLM other than the one on the statutory plate being required by law. Hence it is entirely superfluous and one could simply remove it unless it also serves as a statutory plate.
  6. They may use the term 'kerbweight' but they don't mean kerbweight. The figures that they are actually quoting are 'Mass in Service'. If there is a difference between minimum kerbweight and mass in service it just means that the vehicle that they submitted for type approval had some factory fitted options which they considered as 'standard' fitted. Under Item 13.2, the Certificate of Conformity for my BMW quotes 'actual mass' and that, except for the 75kg for the driver that it includes, is basicaly the same as kerbweight. Its mass in service is quite considerably less.
  7. When they Talk about ‘minimum kerbweight’ they actually mean Mass in Service, because that is what it is.
  8. There's something very fishy about those figures. Even allowing the 75kg for the driver included Mass in Service, the V5 figure is unlikely to be more than the actual kerbweight. I strongly suspect that there is something wrong with their kerbweight figure. As kerbweight is specific for each and every car, anything published in a brochure, handbook or website can only be a rough guide anyway.
  9. There's a chap on the pitch opposite on the campsite that I'm staying at here in France at the moment who towed an 1800kg caravan all the way from home with his Passat Estate (I don't know what engine it's got though, I haven't asked).
  10. There most definitely is a formal legal definition of kerbweight, or kerbside weight as the law calls it, enshrined in Part 1 Section 3 of The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations1986, but the problem is that so many choose to ignore it and have their own ideas about its definition. The same applies to unladen weight, which is something different again.
  11. But the recommendation is based on kerbweight, not the V5 figure. There can easily be a difference of 150kg or even more between the two.
  12. Lutz

    Quiz time

    Directive 95/48/ec doesn’t say that those are the limits, only that the manufacturer must document that the vehicle must be technically capable of handling a vertical load on the coupling of at least 4% of the maximum allowable towable mass. There’s nothing there which would prevent him from documenting a higher value, if the towbar system fufils the durability requirements of the said directive.
  13. I was referring more to approaching the manufacturers as a prospective customer, saying that you would be very interested in a particular model but you would only consider a purchase if there were a substantial improvement in the payload margin. I’m sure that if enough did that sort of thing the manufacturers would at least start to put their thinking caps on. I was not referring to the case of caravans already built because there is little that can be economically done to substantially uprate a caravan once it has left the factory. It will normally require an expensive axle change and quite likely the manufacturer wouldn’t have covered such a change in his type approval documentation either.
  14. Lutz

    Quiz time

    I wasn’t aware that there is any legal limit other than type approved technical constraints.
  15. As pointed out earlier in other replies, the towing weight limit can also, in some instances, be more than the difference between the plated gross vehicle and gross train weights.
  16. Lutz

    towing weights

    I only hope that insurers who do insist on such a restriction don’t use the V5c figure as a basis. To my knowledge they use the term ‘actual’ weight or ‘kerbweight’, both of which are greater than the V5c value, so they would be unfairly penalising someone who is over the V5, but under the actual kerbweight figure.
  17. Lutz

    towing weights

    The passengers and luggage are all part of the overall weight of the towcar which must not exceed the plated gross vehicle weight. Whether they affect the towing weight depends on whether the difference between the actual laden weight of towcar, including passengers and luggage, and the plated gross train weight exceeds the manufacturer’s towing weight limit or not.
  18. I have the awning in the car, too, plus the deckchairs, cool box together with all the drinks, but that still leaves the food and veggies (mainly meals that were precooked at home before leaving and kept in the freezer), table, chairs, awning carpet, parasol, TV, sat dish and mast, and of course kitchen utensils, shoes and clothing and bedding to go into the caravan.
  19. Just to name one manufacturer, the Dethleffs 560RET has a nice big end bathroom for a start, if that’s what you’re after. It’s rated at 1700kg as standard, but can be uprated to 2000kg.
  20. No it's got nothing to do with Brexit. It's just a matter of how a manufacturer operates his production planning. I admit that it's easier for the car industry to operate in the way I described because of their much higher volumes, but there is nevertheless ample opportunity to reduce production costs in the caravan industry just like in the car industry while at the same time offering a whole range of factory fitted options.
  21. The only reason that I can think of why UK caravan manufacturers don't offer a range of options is if they keep a stock of all the parts that they need for a production run. Obviously, if they were to offer a large selection of options under such conditions, they would need an awful lot of expensive floor space for storage of all the different components. However, in the car industry, manufacturers get their suppliers to deliver parts only hours before they are needed on the line and often even in line sequence, so they need comparatively little floor space for storage, despite building a vast number of models to different specification.
  22. But why include all the extras if you can make an even bigger profit by selling the extras as factory fitted options? They don’t mess up production lines at all because each caravan is assigned its own parts list for all the bits and pieces that go into it and they are brought to the production line in line sequence.
  23. That doesn't make sense to me. The Continental manufacturers make all their profit on options, keeping the base price as low as possible to make it attractive as a starting point. To catch the eye, the base vehicle may even be a loss leader. Inevitably though, few leave the dealership without specifying options. Even caravans standing on the forecourt at the dealer will rarely be of base specification because it is well-known that hardly anyone would buy one like that.
  24. What makes things worse is the NCC's insistence on displaying an MTPLM in accordance with their formula when the actual MTPLM, as type approved by the manufacturer, is shown on the statutory plate which, more often than not, is hidden away somewhere in the front locker.
  25. People complain a lot on forums like this, but who has actually approached the manufacturers directly and demanded a written statement from them? Unless that is done on a wide basis I can’t see the situation changing.
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