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Lutz

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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. But where do they get their kerbweight from? It's not documented anywhere.
  12. I also had a Corsair, one of the rarer two door version, but it had 4 on the floor.
  13. 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.
  14. I have yet to come across any source which publishes reliable kerbweights. I've known variances of up to 150kg, sometimes even more.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. There is a difference because the method whereby the max. towload is determined and under what conditions is different in North America to what we use here. I'm not sure of the exact details of North American test procedure, but as far as I know, for one thing they take altitude into account and use Pikes Peak (14000ft) as a criterion, but there are also other differences, such as allowing for their typical electric braking systems on trailers, for example. North American towload limits are therefore generally lower than for the same vehicle over here.
  19. Now they are talking about 5% instead of 10%. No doubt their advice is based on experience in North America and has limited relevance here on the other side of the Atlantic. The 7% guideline is something out of the dim and distant past before maximum allowable noseweights were published and owners had nothing better to go by. Actually, it would be even better to exceed 7%, if it were technically possible to do so. Australian sources recommend 10%, but that is rarely achievable with the average towcar that we are most familiar with. A 4% noseweight limit (not actual) is the minimum that the manufacturers must provide. This means that 2000kg caravans can be, and actually are quite often being towed by vehicles with an 80kg noseweight limit.
  20. The information in Jeep's owner's manual seems to be in conflict with itself. On the one hand, they say that 60% of the weight of the trailer should be in the front of the trailer. This means that 10% (the difference to the trailer being in perfect equilibrium) should account for the 175kg maximum allowable noseweight. If 175kg is 10% then the trailer should never be heavier than 1750kg, not the 2268kg or 3500kg respectively that they quote as maximum towload.
  21. The manufacturer, in this case Bailey, maintains product liability not for a caravan according to a published MIRO plus payload according to EN1645-2 but for the weight shown on the statutory type approval plate. To meet NCC rules, the manufacturer certifies MIRO plus payload, but he also certifies an MTPLM as covered by type approval documentation and this can be higher. It is certainly never less. Therefore, what the NCC certificate shows, has no bearing on the manufacturer's product liability. The actual MIRO only determines the available payload, it doesn't have any effect on the type approved MTPLM. By the way, EN 1645-2 is not an EU regulation, but an industry standard.
  22. That's only a presumption. Norway and Switzerland don't belong to the EU, for example, but you don't need an oval sticker for them so long as a country identifier is present on the number plate. It's up to agreement. I have seen no evidence that the 1960 version is not accepted by Spain although Spain was only signatory to the 1949 convention, not the 1960 one.
  23. The short answer is "no, there is no way to predict noseweight". Some caravans have a very low ex works noseweight, others well in excess of the towbar's or car's limit. If you are picking your new caravan up from a dealer and you have concerns, why not give him a call and ask whether he can measure the noseweight before you leave home. That way, you would know whether you may need to bring some ballast. When I picked mine up from the dealer about 200 miles away, it had a very low noseweight, probably around 25kg for a caravan with a MIRO of about 1450kg. I just took it easy on the way back home and kept my speed down because I didn't have any ballast with me.
  24. One would need a few more details of your intended route in order to be able to provide any detailed information, such as the possible need for vignettes, emissions stickers and the suchlike. Do you have an ACSI or other discount card?
  25. It strikes me that Knaus changed the layout in order to allow the person sitting next to the bathroom to get in and out without having to move the table. As I see it, they have corrected an inherent design fault. Considering it's only intended to be a caravan for two, it would appear to be more important that both occupants can sit down and get up than to allow a third person (it doesn't look as though there would be enough space for a fourth) to sit in U-formation.
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