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Found 19 results

  1. Hi I've just bought a Honda crv 2014 2itre automatic petrol wondering if anybody can tell me if it's capable of towing my Lunar clubman 470/2 2004. Caravan is in storage and I don't have weights.Would appreciate any advice and comments .I here and read so much on this topic and different opinions.
  2. 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
  3. Just bought a Vango Air 260 air awning and was surprised how heavy the bag is, even for a small awning, I intend to carry it mostly in the van over the axle, my question is how do you carry it about, like carrying a sack of potatoes around, anybody devised a simple method to carry, without damaging your back, somebody must of invented a simple method, love to hear your comments, sensible ones only !!!!!
  4. I know it’s been discussed before but in this months ‘Caravan and Camping Club ‘ magazine they have a short quality survey. As part of that they print that 84% of the respondents had a motor mover fitted. That’s about what I would have said from observations round sites. Isn’t it about time that manufacturers faced facts and gave us a load allowance that reflected this and was thus more realistic.
  5. 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.
  6. Collected caravan today from dealer after annual service, and decided to take to a nearby weighbridge. I try to be on the ball with weights, so I thought it was time for another visit. Last time I went, a year or two ago, result was 1520kg - unfortunately, 22kg over the mtplm for my van. So I removed removed a few heavy items into the toolbox, which rides in the car next to the dog. This time, it was 1540kg. They again confirmed that the margin of error on the weighbridge is +/-20kg. Well, we've acquired a few items for the van since the last weigh-in, but I'm not sure it amounts to 20-40kg's worth. When I got the van back on the drive, I found that the dealer had not flipped the valve to release water from the system afetr their water test. So I did, and watch water flow out for about 5 mins. A few extra kg there. If anyone knows how much water is held in the boiler of a Bailey U2 Cadiz I'd love to know. Next step is to get a big fat tool bag, and cram it full of the EHU cable, hitchlock, jack and anyhting else heavy and compact so I can put it in the boot to keep the dog company. Sure he'll be delighted. Not sure it'll come to 40 kg, though!
  7. Hi I`m new to the site and I`m looking for my first Caravan. I am really confused about caravan weight. I dont want to take to towing test yet as I may not get on well with a caravan on the road. I understand I can tow with a combined weight of 3500kg MAM. All i seem to find on most adverts is the Mass in Running Order kg and Maximum Technical Permissible Laden Mass kg. What weight do I need to add to my cars weight to get the MAM?
  8. Good evening, I am replacing my Kampa Rally Air 390 awning with a Vango Kalari 520 and I would appreciate a bit of guidance from any owners. 1. Weight - the Kampa weighs 23. 3kg and the Vango nearly 40kg. I have read some posts where owners have found it difficult to feed the Vango through the awning rail due to weight of the trailing material. I wondered if anyone found it helped to remove the end panels (and the front ones if indeed they do unzip). I will be erecting the awning on my own hence the question. 2. Inflation - the Kampa has a single inflation point which has its good points such as when using my 12volt pump but the downside of the Kampa design, having had problems in the early days, is the plumbers nightmare of interconnecting pipes and valves. I get that you can isolate individual air beams on the Kampa but the Vango system seems to be much simpler with individual main and bracing beams. My question is as I won't be pushing such a large volume of air, is my 12 volt pump OTT for the job i. e. is it easier with the hand pump on the Vango. Any feedback and comments on the Vango in general much appreciated. Thanks.
  9. 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.
  10. Just reading about payload etc, WHAT do people consider " the basics" to take with them?. I have been completely staggered by a friends tale of someone on a site piling a 42" tele out in the awning and a sofa!!! . . CONFESSIONS please
  11. Hi, Purchased a new Solaris 554 from Grantham caravans 3 weeks ago, Caravan is great but a few problems created by Grantham caravans. When enquiring about the intitial purchase I asked if the weight plate could be upgraded to make up for the loss of payload due to the fitment of the mover, the salesman said this is a standard practice and they could do it for £50, 3 weeks later I still have not received the plate and now Grantham tell me that Lunar are saying they cannot upgrade the plate as its already rated at its maximum load of 1345kg. I don't know if this is true or they cannot bother to make the request. Why I think this is for a couple of things that have happened lead me to believe that now they have my money they are not at all interested. . 1. On handover of the caravan the Solaris towel pack and bed footer were not available, they said they had run out and would send them to me later -still not arrived. 2. I asked if they could fit some shock absorbers to the van before I picked it up, they told me it was not advisable to fit them to the caravan as they can react with the original suspension and cause handling issues, I know this is B/S as other models of Quasar have them fitted as standard. 3. They had my trade in van in a week before I picked up the Solaris to change over the battery and gas bottles, when I tried to use the motor mover to put the caravan on my drive, the battery would not power the mover, on checking they had fitted an old 75ah battery and not my 110ah battery, I had to drive 50 miles to swap them around. 4. There were no owners manual or service book given to me, had to go back again 50 mile journey to pick them up. 5. Tracker could not be picked up by Phantom, when checking tracker was not plugged in, and worse there was no loom or plugs to connect it to, technician coming this week to install them. Don't get me wrong I love the new van but am getting the idea that I've got what I've got and have to put up with this now. Anyone know if the weight plate is real or a case of can't be bothered by them?
  12. Hi all - I'm planning on buying my first caravan in the next month or two and wanted to know a bit more about my towing limits - it'd be great if someone could help me out. Before I buy a caravan I'm actually going to be buying a new car; not for the purpose of towing, but we need one anyway, so I need to make sure it's suitable for towing what I plan to buy. If it wasn't for a caravan, we'd be looking to buy something like an Astra, Kia Ce'ed or Hyundai i30; something along that size as it's only the 2 of us. In all 3 of those models, the most common seems to be the 1. 4L versions, and sometimes 1. 6. I'm after a small 2-berth caravan; fairly vintage that I can do my own small restoration job on it - so it won't weight a tonne. As an example, the braked tow limit for the 1. 4 and 1. 6 astra is 1020kg. So the questions I have at this stage are: 1) How much ROUGHLY should I use as a rule of thumb for 2 berth caravan weights, and are the older caravans generally lighter or heavier than new ones. They seem a more simple construction, but then again probably don't use the same kind of lightweight materials. 2) Is there a general rule those in the know use when considering tow weights, or is it simply a case of consulting each car's limit as set by the manufacturer (and how accurate are these?) 3) At which point in a vehicles tow threshold does it turn from being doable to being about performance? For example, if a car's tow limit is 1200kg and you are towing a caravan that is 1200kg, does that mean it's perfectly fine and will perform well or (as a guide) does that mean that it will really really struggle because you're at your limit? I hope these questions aren't too daft, and I appreciate any help I get! Thanks again
  13. If I take the rear seats out of a Kia Sedona to create more floor space, would this have an adverse effect eg 200 kgs on my towing capabilites. I am towing a 1600 kg caravan? Any advice would be appreciated.
  14. hi to all I hope I am doing all this right, I have just brought a hobby prestige twin axle 6 and a half meters in body length I have researched the vin number and age it to fw:-1998 and I want to put a motor mover on it but I can not find the weight of the van, the plate we think if was on the body has been taken of if anyone has any idea how heavy the van could be I would be very grateful
  15. What is the total weight of the bailey valencia. 1. I want to know for towing thanks
  16. I notice that Reich sell a digital nose weight measure which is connected between the tow ball and the tow hitch. It retails for just over £30 and just wondered if anybody owned one and could comment on it. Thanks Bill
  17. We are first timers and are in the process of buying a van. We are probably mad, but we downsized house considerably to give us some money to play with in our old age so are buying new, not used, as originally planned (can't take it with us and children are well provided for) We are looking at a dealer special Swift SE or the real Swift SE that has the bathroom heating. The problem we have ( my wife has) is the weight issue! The proper SE comes in at 94% of the kerb weight whereas the dealer SE is 91% My argument is that we will never load the van to its potential MTPLM as there will only ever be two of us and the Passat Estate is cavernous so we will be filling that up, raising the kerb weight considerably. Also, the 85% was thought up in the days before anti snaking etc, which the new vans have. A couple of readers on here have said not to worry and their own experiences of pulling this combination has not created an issue, but though I would throw it open to a wider audience for your views. I have towed a horse box with two large horses so am not a complete novice. Thanks in advance for replies.
  18. Hello, how is everyone. This is my first post so bear with me. I've got a ford mondeo 1. 8 tdci hatch 08 plate. The weight as far as I'm aware is 1500kg, the caravan I have just bought is a elddis crown soverign which I think weighs 934kg or there abouts. All this 85% towing weight and nose weight has me baffled, don't know why it just has. I gather this is ok to tow I'm very competent at towing as I have class 1 and PVC licence with nearly 20yrs experience but for some reason this caravan malarkey has me head battered, could I have some views on if this car is ok for towing and what have you. Thanks from probably an over cautious parent.
  19. Hi gurus of caravan related stuff, With all this talk recently about weights I've had a look at my V5 and it appears to be missing most of the information including mass in service! Is this normal?
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