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Towcar


Caravan

Found 11 results

  1. Good evening, I was at the local Caravan Accessories shop preparing to buy a couple of electrical sockets for our Folding Caravan when I spotted a 2014 Coachman VIP 462. So I approached the Salesperson ... The Coachman is a beauty and has been well looked after and when we sank into the upholstery, we were just about sold on it. HOWEVER, the Coachman website, the advertising literature, the Dealer's Window Display in the van all refer to MIRO 1330kg and MPLM 1455kg, whereas the plate on the side of the van states MIRO 1330 and MTPLM 1500kg! The towcar, VW Tiguan 150 SCR Diesel [2016 Mark 1] is shown on the V5C as 1597kg Mass in Service so the towcar match ratio is almost 94%! I've towed small/medium trailers for 40 years off and on and have driven large Panel Vans [owned a VW LT35 LWB High Roof for about 4 years, and have owned the Gobur Folding Caravan for 7 months during which time we have camped for 90 nights in Scotland, France [twice] and Spain. I have however only towed a standard caravan for about 1 mile, and that was over 45 years ago when I was delegated to fetch my father's caravan from my brother's house! My concerns are: 1. Is the Coachman too much for Tig to tow, practically and legally 2. Am I being stupid/too ambitious in making the switch from a 1050kg MTPLM Folding Caravan to a 50% heavier Touring Van, especially with practically no equivalent towing experience? 3. Are Coachmans a quality brand? It looks very nicely fitted and is virtually unmarked,despite having had a decent amount of use There is a 2017 Lunar Quaser 462ew for sale at the same dealer [didn't have the chance to inspect it because they were waiting to close for the night!] but I think the brand is a couple of notches below the Coachman. The Lunar is listed as having everything that we would nee, and the MIRO is showing at 1061kg, with the MTPLM at 1185kg. Would this be a better towing option, albeit not as 'posh' or robust as the Coachman? Has anyone/does anyone own this model, and if so, how does it perform? We hope to travel to France by the end of April for 3 months and then return in October for up to 6 months in France and Spain [International Driving Permits obtained + Green Cards but might need a revised version if we change the caravan ...]. TIA for any replies and advice. Steve
  2. Hi and apologies to a question which i will know has been asked many times but want to check, with it being more specific to my own situation I'm thinking of purchasing a caravan soon - 2016 ELDDIS XPLORE 586, which has the following spec; 6 berth, Single axle Mass in Running Order (Kg) - 1155 Maximum Technical Permissible Laden Mass (Kg) - 1350 Internal Length (metres) - 5. 7 Shipping Length (metres) - 7. 29 Width (metres) - 2. 18 My towcar is a 2016 Skoda Octavia Estate SE Technology 2. 0 TDi (150ps), with the following spec; Max Permissable Mass 1924kg Mass in service (kerbweight) 1354kg Max Technically permissable towed Mass (braked) 1600kg My question is, I'm aware there is a ADVISED GUIDELINE that newbie's should try not to exceed 85% of the kerbweight of the car for the caravan's MTPLM (1151kg, in this case). ..BUT, skoda's kerbweight includes 75kg for the driver - I will be travelling with my wife and 2 kids (both under 5) with a combined weight of 93kg. ..i will also generally be fully laden with luggage in the boot and luggage in the top-box. ..all-in, i'd guesstimate i'll have an additional 300kg (including the passengers and luggage) each time. ..this brings the car's gross weight to 1654kg and 85% of this now becomes 1406kg. ..with he caravan MTPLM being 1350kg, this would give me a new ratio of 82% car grossweight:caravan MTPLM. ..is this now more advisable/safer for me, or are the guidelines based strictly on the original kerbweight, without any additional weights added? I also understand that weight displacement within the caravan is of paramount importance (i. e placing heavier weight low down and over axle area etc). I'm likely complicating things but the caravan is definitely the model we want and i was hoping to avoid having to change my car, as I only recently purchased it (without any future thoughts of towing caravans!)...above all and especially with travelling with my family, I just want to ensure i'm doing things as safely as reasonably practicable and thought this was the best place to get answers, from experienced caravanners. I thank you in advance
  3. Hi everyone I'm in need of a little help. I'm very new to this and have been researching all the acronyms when discussion ratios of kerb-weight to towing weight etc, but I've come to a major question. .. (We don't currently have a caravan (and only a ford fiesta) so we're trying to look at matching a 2-berth caravan and a small panel van, lets say, a Renault Kangoo 1. 5 dCi . They give a kerb weight of around 1100kg for the Kangoo, and a maximum weight loaded of 1600kg. Now, I understand I can safely tow 85% of the kerb weight. .. so, 935kgs of caravan.) So my question is. .. if we want to get a caravan which weighs more than 935kg, surely all we have to do increase the weight of the panel van. So, if we increase the weight of the panel van to 1500kg by packing all the stuff into the van then we could safely tow 1275kg of caravan? Am I correct in thinking this? Your expertise would be greatly appreciated. Very best wishes from the newbies Emily and David
  4. Do you want a laugh? Just received a letter from Bailey, via our dealer. It is accompanied by a new weight plate with a reduced MTPLM, and a matching new Certificate of Compliance. So I now have three of each, and not forgetting the fourth plate in the gas locker. 1) MTPLM 1374kg (The original brochure value, and I purchased a spare weight plate at that value, should anyone need the lower weight for their licence restrictions) 2) MTPLM 1500kg (I got the upgrade included in the deal) 3) MTPLM 1450kg (Now Bailey have downgraded my upgrade, and now consistent with the Al-Ko axle rating) 4) MTPLM 1500kg (displayed in the gas locker) I now have side stickers and matching NCC Certificates of Compliance for all three different weights. None of which are consistent with the EC Certificate of Conformity. The letter suggests the error was due to technical information supplied to them (presumably by Al-Ko) being incorrect (really?) You couldn't make it up . .. What a ***** muddle Shame, the caravan remains as faultless as ever. Looks like the Nespresso Lattissima might have to stay at home though. ..
  5. Hello all, a bit of advice (& clarification) is sought regarding tow limits, recommendations & outfit matching! I’ve got to replace my current car, because its tow limit is way too small, for something vastly better. I’ve been offered a 63 plate Skoda Superb diesel estate 2. 0 Tdi Cr Elegance 5dr for an attractive price from a reliable source with a fully known vehicle history. I’ve known the vehicle since new! So I’m really tempted, especially as its towing praises have been sung by PC on multiple occasions! I’ve yet to buy a van, but have settled on a 4 berth, front lounge with facing settees, end washroom, mid diner layout from around the 2010-2012 era (as this fits budget) & looking at various van MTPLM stats, find my choice weight wise, ranges from between 1280kg – just below 1600kg. Now I hit my quandary, I’ve towed before & was once caught out by snaking, yep learned the hard & frightening way not to drive too fast when towing & so will be setting the speed limiter (just in case!) in future. Now to the Skoda its’ got a kerb weight of 1501 allowing 75kg extra for driver, but has a manufacturers max braked tow weight allowance of up to 1800 kg. So some vans might ‘slightly’ exceed the 85% (1271kg) best practice recommendation, but would be well below the 1800 kg max. Reading a Practical Caravan tow car report for this vehicle it contained the statement that the vehicles a bit on the light side but was found to be steady, reliable & safe when towing a van that was above the 85% figure. Now I’m keen on the Skoda, hence this submission for some experienced drivers’ wisdom. Will it make a safe tow car with a van of say 1550kg? I’ve also thought that of course I could load some of the van payload into the Skoda when towing to ease the situation, thus beefing it’s weight up. So please if you can offer some good guidance I’m really open to & hoping for some fact based support!! So in advance thanks for helping me out, regards Dave W.
  6. Hi everyone, now as we all know there seems never to be a week when a new post about weights appears and we see get all manner of extremely knowledgable and useful comments and replies but here is the thing. I'm currently in Australia and out of curiosity I picked up a random caravan magazine and flicked through the pages. Read a review of a lovely twin axle van, large double bed, huge fridge, 120 litre on board water tank, fitted (very substantial) canopy, long a frame, air conditioning, ok you get the idea but it also had a full size washing machine (domestic type) etc. and it still had over 400 kg load margin. Total weight, MTPLM if you like old 2800 kgs. and the car used to tow this beast a Mitsubishi, can't remember the exact model but it's not available in the U. K. Kerbweight 1850 kgs. Manufacturers towing limit 3500 kgs! Looking round at the units being towed here, mostly by large 4x4's granted but many seem to be in excess of 100%. it seems that the laws of physics do not apply here. or are we far too careful?
  7. One of the themes that constantly recur on CT surrounds the subject of MTPLM. What it means and how it's applied etc. Most recently there's been debate about whether the MTPLM published by manufacturer's in brochures, handbooks and on plates/stickers on the outside of their vans, is an enforcable legal limit, or whether the axle weight figures on plates that started appearing a few years back in gas lockers and the like, override the MTPLM. Some CT members have been vociferous in insisting the latter is the legal limit and they've declined to pay for formal upgrades of their van's MTPLM on the basis that the axle limit overrides any weight, like the MTPLM, that the manufacturer may allocate. So I thought that I'd approach the Tech Desk of the CMC for a definitive answer to this vexed issue. Sadly they couldn't provide an answer and referred me to the NCC. They've been very helpful in responding to my query and I'd like to thank David Reid and his colleagues for their help and for giving me permission to publish their responses. I'm sorry for the length of this post but I thought it best to reproduce the correspondence in full: 'In recent years caravans appear to have sprouted an alloy label, usually inside the gas locker, which includes the VIN number and a number of weights. In design it looks very like the mandatory weight limit plates on cars. There is no real explanation of the purpose of the plate, either on it or in manufacturer's manuals. It obviously features weights, but the largest weight is usually more than the van's standard MTPLM. One has to assume the higher figure is the limit of the axle and probably the amount that the MTPLM can be upgraded too, with the manufacturer's agreement and necessary documentation and a likely charge. However some folk insist that because the gas locker plate has more info on it than the exterior plate or label and conforms with the format used by cars it is the statutory weight plate as far as the authorities are concerned and overrides whatever is written on the exterior label. If this view is correct it raises a number of issues. Why have an MTPLM if the legal limit for a van is the axle weight limit? Why print a lower MTPLM in brochures/adverts/manuals when the axle limit is what will be relied upon by the authorities? Why is the higher limit hidden in a gas locker and why is it not clearly evident on the exterior of the van? If the MTPLM is an irrelevance as far as the authorities are concerned then are van manufacturers committing fraud selling upgrades to customers that aren't necessary to comply with the law? If the MTPLM is still relevant as far as the law is concerned, what is the purpose of this newish plate and how does the industry communicate it's relevance, so that owners don't unwittingly break the law. Any clarification would be very welcome. ' Whilst waiting a response I rec'd a holding email and responded with this: 'Yesterday I came across a sentence in the CMC 2017/18 Handbook which sort of touches on this very issue. Bottom right of Page 646 talking about MTPLM/MAM and the weight plate '(usually mounted close to the entrance door but can be mounted anywhere on the external skin - some manufacturers are now mounting them inside the gas locker)'. So that phrase in the Handbook can lead to confusion, especially where there's both an external plate and a gas locker plate which don't match. No wonder the CMC Tech Dep't suggested I ask the NCC. We do have several CT contributors who have noticed the inconsistency and have refused to pay their van manufacturer an upgrade fee because the gas locker plate shows a higher axle limit than their MTPLM. So it's a current issue for a relatively small number but might grow unless we can offer a robust explanation.' Here's David's initial response: 'I have copied your email below and added some comments in red. I hope these are helpful. Should you have any doubt about this please feel free to contact me. I would appreciate it if you did not publish my direct contact details. Kind regards, David In recent years caravans appear to have sprouted an alloy label, usually inside the gas locker, which includes the VIN number and a number of weights. In design, it looks very like the mandatory weight limit plates on cars. There is no real explanation of the purpose of the plate, either on it or in manufacturer's manuals. The label that is frequently installed within the gas locker is the type approval plate: This plate is required for European Whole Vehicle Type Approval, National Small Series Type Approval or Individual Vehicle Approval. Each new trailer produced and used on the road in the UK since 2013 must be approved by ECWVTA, NSSTA or IVA. It obviously features weights, but the largest weight is usually more than the van's standard MTPLM. One has to assume the higher figure is the limit of the axle and probably the amount that the MTPLM can be upgraded too, with the manufacturer's agreement and necessary documentation and a likely charge. The label at the door of the caravan is provided by the manufacturer to demonstrate compliance with the requirements of the NCC Product Approval Scheme and is usually referred to as the “manufacturer’s weight plate,” whereas the label provided in the locker (or elsewhere) is for the type approval of the completed caravan. The label by the door is not required by regulation, however, it is the plate that is usually referred to by enforcement agencies as it is accessible without the need to open the lockers (which is a difficult area due to the caravan being residential accommodation). Because the label by the door is used by enforcement agencies the NCC advise that it should be kept up to date and not removed. We are aware of at least one case where enforcement action was taken by the DVSA where a touring caravan was loaded in excess of the MTPLM of the manufacturer’s weight plate despite being within the MTPLM shown on the type approval weight plate. Manufacturers usually charge a small fee for updating the manufacturer’s weight plate and associated paperwork if the end user wants to upgrade / downgrade to a higher / lower MTPLM. However, some folk insist that because the gas locker plate has more info on it than the exterior plate or label and conforms with the format used by cars it is the statutory weight plate as far as the authorities are concerned and overrides whatever is written on the exterior label. The type approval plate is the only plate that is required by regulation, however it should be noted that the manufacturer’s weight plate demonstrates that the van complies with the wider requirements of the NCC’s Product Approval Scheme and is usually used as the basis for any enforcement action by the police and DVSA. As part of the NCC’s Product Approval Scheme the manufacturer’s plate is used to demonstrate compliance with the NCC’s code of practice for touring caravan payloads (NCC CoP 304) that requires a greater payload than that found in the requirements of the type approval regulations. As stated above the enforcement agencies usually refer to the NCC label during compliance checks as this is the most accessible and straightforward way to get the required information about the caravan. If this view is correct, it raises a number of issues. Why have an MTPLM if the legal limit for a van is the axle weight limit?The weight limit for the caravan is the MTPLM not a sum of the axle limits. The weight plate by the door (manufacturer’s weight plate) is a requirement for NCC Product Approval. As explained above, for reasons of ease it is usually the plate referred to by enforcement agencies due to its accessibility. The upper limit for type approval purposes is the MTPLM published on the type approval plate. The MTPLM takes into account wider requirements such as the tow hitch, brakes, tyres etc. which wouldn’t be accounted for if you simply total the axle limits. Why print a lower MTPLM in brochures/adverts/manuals when the axle limit is what will be relied upon by the authorities?A lower MTPLM is often printed on the manufacturer’s weight plate (and in accompanying sales and promotional literature) in order to ensure that the caravan can be matched with the widest possible range of tow-cars and is therefore accessible to the widest range of users. Some caravan manufacturers will type approve their caravans to more than one MTPLM (usually a maximum weight, a minimum weight to meet NCC requirements and a minimum to meet type approval requirements) – in this case you would usually find that the two plates (the type approval plate and the manufacturer’s weight plate) matched. Other manufacturers only type approve their caravans to the absolute maximum weight that they’ll allow and then simply use lower figures on the manufacturer’s weight plate to open up the range of tow-cars that can tow the caravan. Why is the higher limit hidden in a gas locker and why is it not clearly evident on the exterior of the van?The manufacturer’s weight plate is designed to be easy to see as it gives information with regards to the NCC Product Approval Scheme and for day-to day use. The type approval plate is placed in accordance with the requirements of the type approval regulations. If the MTPLM is an irrelevance as far as the authorities are concerned then are van manufacturers committing fraud selling upgrades to customers that aren't necessary to comply with the law?The manufacturer’s weight plate is generally used as a basis for roadside enforcement and therefore the NCC advise that the user should retain this plate and update it if required. We have been advised that should the manufacturer’s weight plate be missing during a roadside check the police or DVSA would usually refer back to generic weights given within manufacturers’ literature and websites or they would refer to the record held for that caravan by CRiS to determine the correct MTPLM. It is therefore essential that the manufacturer’s weight plate and the CRiS record are kept up to date especially where the caravan’s MTPLM has been upgraded. When a manufacturer’s weight plate is upgraded CRiS should be informed of the upgrade to ensure that the CRiS database reflects the upgrade undertaken. If the MTPLM is still relevant as far as the law is concerned, what is the purpose of this newish plate and how does the industry communicate its relevance, so that owners don't unwittingly break the law. The MTPLM (as shown on the manufacturer’s weight plate and the CRiS record) is probably the single most important figure for a touring caravan user to know about their caravan. With regards to upgrades, unfortunately, there are costs associated with creating updated internal and customer paperwork and updated labels as each one needs to be individually created and recorded. There is no question of the caravan manufacturers profiteering from this exercise. Some manufacturers will not charge for weight plate upgrades made at the time of order. We will ask the NCC’s technical panel for touring caravans and motorhomes to review the current labelling arrangements as it may be that greater clarity is needed if the caravan using public are becoming unnecessarily confused by the current practice of the industry. Any clarification would be very welcome. I hope that this answers your questions.' I followed up with the following: 'Thankyou very much for your very comprehensive answer to my questions. Having read, digested and hopefully understood your answers I'm still left with a query that I suspect you can clarify. I understand your suggestion that law enforcement agencies would consult the 'manufacturer's plate' on the side of the caravan to access relevant weight information. This is what we on CT have always assumed, but from what you are also saying that plate complies with NCC regulations, not Type Approval and despite what it might think, the NCC is 'just' a trade association, not a government, or law giving authority. Therefore the NCC regulated plate surely cannot be considered to be a legally defining item in a traffic regulation case, although it may well fulfil the requirements of NCC rules on construction. Indeed if I understand your words correctly the fact that the 'manufacturer's plate' exists demonstrates compliance with NCC rules and that the NCC minimum payload formula is slightly tighter than that required under EU Type Approval regs. Of course it's a moot point whether any law enforcement agent would actually appreciate the subleties of that situation. I guess it boils down to which figure would be accepted in a court of law as being the formal maximum gross amount that a caravan can weigh, a manufacturer's plate that doesn't fully comply with Type Approval requirements or a plate that does comply with those requirements but is relatively hidden away.' David's further response was: 'The NCC are aware that Law Enforcement Agencies and DVSA carry out a substantial number of checks of tow car / caravan combinations each year. Where these checks are carried out those Agencies use the information provided on the manufacturer’s visible plate to establish any overload that there may be. Where an overloaded caravan is found the vehicle combination’s further journey would be prohibited until such time as the combination falls within the allowable weight – in some cases detachment of the tow car to allow for it to continue to its destination and then return to offload excess weight from the caravan to the tow car has been implemented. In the case of what was considered to be a serious overload, and transfer of load was not possible, then prohibition would be enforced. This process would only be used in the case of a serious overload and evidence would be presented to a Court. This evidence would include information obtained for the caravan, including the manufacturer’s plate information, tyre, axle and hitch capacities. If available, and where access to the ‘secured area of the caravan’ was obtained, then this may also include any information from the Type Approval plate. I have taken some advice from the industry and those that have more experience of how enforcement is dealt with “on the ground” in writing this reply. I hope that this covers your remaining points.' After some consideration of the responses I sent the following: 'Reading your latest response again David there still seems to be a 'grey' area. If the matter went to Court, as you say 'evidence would include information obtained for the caravan, including the manufacturer’s plate information, tyre, axle and hitch capacities. If available, and where access to the ‘secured area of the caravan’ was obtained, then this may also include any information from the Type Approval plate. ' This is the crux of the matter, in that, surely, no judge would convict if the Type Approval plate evidence showed that the van was actually under the axle limit, even though it was above the MTPLM. Indeed it's likely that such a case would never go to Court as it probably wouldn't qualify as a 'serious overload'. In that case it renders the MTPLM worthless as an enforcable limit and really it only serves as a legally enforcable figure in the case of B+E driving licence restrictions where the total of GVW and MTPLM define the weight limit. That being the case it must cast a shadow on the situation where you pay money to upgrade the MTPLM of a van, when legally it's not necessary if the van's axle weight is higher. Or am I not seeing something?' And finally David's last response, rec'd this morning: 'The NCC seeks to ensure, by its recommendations, that the ‘trailer combination’ that is in use does not represent a danger to both its user and also other road users. It is the responsibility of the person in charge of that combination that they comply with the various legislation that applies at the time. The NCC’s recommendation is that the manufacturer’s weight plate and the CRiS registration should be kept up to date. This recommendation would obviously go alongside our recommendations to ensure that the caravan was adequately serviced / maintained and that replacement items such tyres should be carefully specified to ensure the continuing safety of the vehicle and combination etc. If there were an incident or investigation that did end up in going to court the magistrate would consider ‘all’ the evidence presented, not individual items in isolation. The court would then interpret the law as they see fit. The NCC does not have the remit to interpret the law. It is also important to consider that any non-compliance may render the combination as ‘outside of the conditions of insurance’ provided by their insurer.' So there you have the whole correspondence, I'd be interested in your reactions and comments.
  8. Hi all, im new to caravanning! Thought i had done all my research correct but cant seem to find the answer to a specific question about weight distribution and the law. I. e. how will vosa/police view this if i get stopped. Here goes: If for example my car kerb weight is 1500kg and my caravan mtplm is say 1540. Can i carry all my luggage/food/kit/awning and anything else heavy to ensure my car weight exceeds my caravan weight, getting as close as possible to the advised 85% average. Do they always weigh your rig (van and car individually) or do they just go off the figured stamped on your plates. I mean if the mtplm is 1540 then say the unladen weight is around 1400 and with my car being 1500 kerb weight, would probably be atleast 1750 with family/luggage/fuel etc in, common sense says im safe. ..but is it legal?? (For info, i have access to a weighbridge in work) Need to get some confirmation as i want it to be legal. Incase i wasnt clear, i intend to carry all kit in my car to ensure car is heavier than caravan.
  9. Today I've just been to inspect a bespoke built caravan for its owner prior to it being shipped overseas. The idea being that as it will be subject to their version of an IVA its best to make sure its right before it goes. Unfortunately it didn't pass muster as it exceeded the max allowable mass for each axle by about 45kg. I've just spoken to the owner and asked him if his specification to include actual Granite worktops and a metal fold out bed are really necessary. I thought the idea was to travel light?
  10. I’m confused. The Bailey Brochure ‘Pegasus Model Range – Technical Specification’ and the Bailey Handbook list the Genoa at: MRO: 1159Kg user payload: 127Kg MTPLM: 1286Kg However, the dealers’ copy of ‘Bailey Season Weights and Sizes Sheet (Revison A)’ lists the Genoa at MIRO: 1215Kg User payload: 127Kg MTPLM: 1356Kg The website ‘TowCar. info’ also lists the Genoa at these higher weights. Does anyone know which of these two sets of figures is correct?
  11. Hi to you all out there. How much importance do you place in knowing the kerbweight of your tow-vehicle and the MiRO of your caravan?. Do you take your weights from the manufacturers documentation or from a Third Party Data base?. Do you think that your outfit would stand scrutiny by VOSA?. Have you had your outfit on a weighbridge and was it a VOSA specification Dynamic Axle Weighbridge?. Have you established that the kerbweight that you were given is correct & factual by putting yourself and the tow-vehicle onto a weighbridge of any kind with 90% fuel & 7kgs of luggage, then adjusting for your own weight differential? from the specified 68kg driver allowance?. Do you own or have access to borrowing a noseweight gauge that you can take with you when out with your caravan?.
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