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Steamdrivenandy

Two Plates On My Wagon .........

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I doubt they use that strategy very often. If you look at their ranges they all sell the same, give or take. One 2 berth, three or four single axle 4 berth and two or three twins. Usually with an entry level, mid and top range. Every so often some bright spark has a brilliant idea to copy a layout from the archives and shift a bed somewhere different and the whole herd do the same the next year. All the 4 berth singles weigh roughly the same as they're the same length, have the same gear, just shifting the door and some windows about.

 

Presumably they have a rough idea what a van layout, minus chassis, will weigh from their CAD system, add in the relevant minimum payload requirement, ask Mr AlKo for the relevant chassis, add in the weight of that and you have your MTPLM. Take off the Payload you first thought of, and you have the MIRO and anything between MTPLM and the 50kg or 100kg point of the chassis limit is available for upgrade.

 

I'd still rather see all vans marketed with 250kg Payloads as standard with downplating available for the 10% that want/need it. That would mean the 90% that can handle the heavier weight don't have to scrimp and worry about what they load and those that don't worry and bung everything in won't be a risk or at risk.

 

That's relaxing and safe caravanning as it should be, which it isn't at present due to the mania around low weight. There's an educational role that all participants in the business are failing to address and it can be said to be compromising safety with some caravanners.

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I'd still rather see all vans marketed with 250kg Payloads as standard with downplating available for the 10% that want/need it. That would mean the 90% that can handle the heavier weight don't have to scrimp and worry about what they load and those that don't worry and bung everything in won't be a risk or at risk.

 

That's a nice idea but bound to increase our costs - a 1700kg axle will undoubtedly cost more than a 1500kg axle.

 

Personally, I don't feel any need to add to my payload even if my 1500kg caravan could be magically upgraded to 1700kg, still less than half my towing limit.

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With a MIRO of 1308kg, a 2013 ES would end up with an MTPLM of 1558kg if it had a 250kg payload. If I was Lunar I'd fudge that slightly and fit it with a 1550kg chassis and declare MTPLM at 1550kg too. That's only an extra 50kg on the axle and only a small cost increase. You wouldn't be able to upgrade, of course, but nobody would want to, after all the payload is way in excess of the current possible upgrade to 192kg. At 242kg you could fit a mover plus big battery and still have 187kg to use, if you wanted to, that's nearly double the available weight that you have on the current ES fitted out the same way. In effect you'd be hard pushed to overload it and there'd be one less issue to fret about. Easy living, which is surely what caravanning should be all about.

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With a MIRO of 1308kg, a 2013 ES would end up with an MTPLM of 1558kg if it had a 250kg payload. If I was Lunar I'd fudge that slightly and fit it with a 1550kg chassis and declare MTPLM at 1550kg too. That's only an extra 50kg on the axle and only a small cost increase. You wouldn't be able to upgrade, of course, but nobody would want to, after all the payload is way in excess of the current possible upgrade to 192kg. At 242kg you could fit a mover plus big battery and still have 187kg to use, if you wanted to, that's nearly double the available weight that you have on the current ES fitted out the same way. In effect you'd be hard pushed to overload it and there'd be one less issue to fret about. Easy living, which is surely what caravanning should be all about.

My point was that I don't need an upgrade over the upgraded 1495kg it was ordered with - we have a mover fitted but use a lightweight car battery as we never go off-grid - clothes are kept reasonably low - the only food/drink is in the fridge, the rest travels in the car - no awning, BBQ, etc - we travel with empty tanks - two Calor Lites in the front locker but noseweight tends to be low anyway.

 

We'll have the grand-kids with us for a trip next year so their clothes and sleeping bags will need to be added which will probably bring us up to current MTPLM.

 

We all have different ideas of "easy living" - that's the way it should be - having evolved from Scout camping a long way back there is still a "minimalist" aspect to our caravanning.

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My point was that I don't need an upgrade over the upgraded 1495kg it was ordered with - we have a mover fitted but use a lightweight car battery as we never go off-grid - clothes are kept reasonably low - the only food/drink is in the fridge, the rest travels in the car - no awning, BBQ, etc - we travel with empty tanks - two Calor Lites in the front locker but noseweight tends to be low anyway.

 

We'll have the grand-kids with us for a trip next year so their clothes and sleeping bags will need to be added which will probably bring us up to current MTPLM.

 

We all have different ideas of "easy living" - that's the way it should be - having evolved from Scout camping a long way back there is still a "minimalist" aspect to our caravanning.

 

Personally I have the same philosophy BG, though developed via campervan living, not the Scouts. It's rather enforced on a Peggy 2 owner as the 4 berth singles can't be upgraded. We have a 169KG payload, but the optional extra central chest removes 14kg of that. Mover at 27kg and battery at 17kg removes a further 44kg making the available payload 111kg. Better than some after removing mover and battery but it would be far better to have the peace of mind that 250kg payload would provide and even after subtracting mover, battery and central chest we'd have 192kg to play with. We'd never use it all but lots of people would, or at least most of it, and the lack of worry that you're very close, or even over the limit would be a thing of the past.

 

And the thing is it wouldn't be an upgrade, it would be the standard MTPLM and Payload for your van. It wouldn't be mandatory that you had to use it, rather like your car with just you driving, you don't have to load it to GVW. In fact thinking about it, if cars were treated the same way as caravans, they'd be sold as standard without a battery and engine and the GVW which only allowed two passengers and luggage. You'd have to buy and fit the battery and engine separately and upplate the GVW to handle 4 passengers and luggage.

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I doubt they use that strategy very often. If you look at their ranges they all sell the same, give or take. One 2 berth, three or four single axle 4 berth and two or three twins. Usually with an entry level, mid and top range. Every so often some bright spark has a brilliant idea to copy a layout from the archives and shift a bed somewhere different and the whole herd do the same the next year. All the 4 berth singles weigh roughly the same as they're the same length, have the same gear, just shifting the door and some windows about.

 

Presumably they have a rough idea what a van layout, minus chassis, will weigh from their CAD system, add in the relevant minimum payload requirement, ask Mr AlKo for the relevant chassis, add in the weight of that and you have your MTPLM. Take off the Payload you first thought of, and you have the MIRO and anything between MTPLM and the 50kg or 100kg point of the chassis limit is available for upgrade.

 

I'd still rather see all vans marketed with 250kg Payloads as standard with downplating available for the 10% that want/need it. That would mean the 90% that can handle the heavier weight don't have to scrimp and worry about what they load and those that don't worry and bung everything in won't be a risk or at risk.

 

That's relaxing and safe caravanning as it should be, which it isn't at present due to the mania around low weight. There's an educational role that all participants in the business are failing to address and it can be said to be compromising safety with some caravanners.

Then assuming the marketing people know their job there must be a disconnect between their perception of what the UK market requires and the actuality. I know a couple of UK manufacturers selling European versions of their vans. These have the same layouts but with higher payloads, higher capacity axles and different brake compatibilities. But these vehicles are seen as having a limited attraction for the UK market.

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Then assuming the marketing people know their job there must be a disconnect between their perception of what the UK market requires and the actuality. I know a couple of UK manufacturers selling European versions of their vans. These have the same layouts but with higher payloads, higher capacity axles and different brake compatibilities. But these vehicles are seen as having a limited attraction for the UK market.

A bit like the Aussie Baileys.

 

'You UK people can have what we tell you you want, not what you actually need'.

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A bit like the Aussie Baileys.

 

'You UK people can have what we tell you you want, not what you actually need'.

 

Don't think that is correct. Towtug's comment on limited attraction is probably spot on. The membership here, I believe, has little in common with the majority of UK 'vanners and it would be interesting, even here, to see how many members have upgraded which, unfortunately a poll would not show. I doubt the manufacturers would let us know!

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The point being that knowing how many owners currently upgrade isn't a helpful guide.

 

There are some with vans, like mine, that can't be upgraded and probably a large number who are unaware of the availability of upgrades and what they mean. There'll be another tranche who can't be bothered and just load willy nilly and another lot that naively believe that their dealer and their brand wouldn't sell vans that couldn't take a goodly wack of stuff. You can see loads of them at sites up and down the country. I've chatted to some, blithely ignorant of anything to do with weight and supremely confidant that their dealer will see them right.

 

Giving all those folk a goodly payload so that they can take the kitchen sink, if they want to, can only be good for safety and potentially for their driving licences. As I say, if they're really into weights and/or need a lighter van for car or licence purposes then offer a downgrade.

 

Think of it this way, 15 years ago movers were hardly used and a 16kg battery was the norm. The same types of payload were used, i. e 150kg or so for a single axle 4 berth, and, in effect 134kg was available for stuff in the van. Now loads have movers and 25kg batteries and the available payload is just 106kg. And yet, I bet lots of owners still stuff 134kg of stuff in their vans without thinking and without batting an eyelid.

 

Give them what they need and what they're under the mistaken impression they already have, a plentiful payload, and they immediately become safer and legal once more. Give them a margin, rather than towing on the edge.

 

To gain acceptance there needs to be a total sea change in the way the whole industry thinks and acts. Manufacturers need to market based on safety, on good margins, on ease, on less stress and not on low weight. The 85% thing needs clarifying and debunking. Dealers need to understand their product better and not keep repeating 85% like parrots. Clubs need to stop reinforcing the 85% and spend some time and money educating and clarifying weight issues. Only when all change their attitudes will the caravanning public have the scales pulled from their eyes and relise that low weights aren't doing them any favours.

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To gain acceptance there needs to be a total sea change in the way the whole industry thinks and acts. Manufacturers need to market based on safety, on good margins, on ease, on less stress and not on low weight. The 85% thing needs clarifying and debunking. Dealers need to understand their product better and not keep repeating 85% like parrots. Clubs need to stop reinforcing the 85% and spend some time and money educating and clarifying weight issues. Only when all change their attitudes will the caravanning public have the scales pulled from their eyes and relise that low weights aren't doing them any favours.

Some proper research into caravan stability, and safety adequately funded and published would also help by establishing a few facts

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To me it's very simple.

 

When we bought new for the very first time last year, I was so caravan ignorant of the whole process. I thought it would be like buying a car, but no.

 

Long wait times and hardly any options.

 

If we focus on options then if the sales guy educated me, as car dealers do, I would have hand on heart paid more money, yes more money for an axle with a higher payload.

 

This is how daft things are, I have had to remove the carpets, spare wheel and carrier to keep our 4 berth caravan under the increased MTPLM we bought, the equipment we have is not unusual, mover, 1 lite gas bottle, 1 lite awning and its for just the 2 of us.

 

There is a massive need for higher payloads for those like me that want to stay legal, but not wanting to go to twin axles.

 

Quick edit.

 

Shouldn't also the caravan manufacturers want me to stay legal too?

Edited by Simple Life
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It's funny how the 85% advice is regurgitated ad nauseum at output or the user interface end of the market when I have never heard mentioned let alone debated or considered at the input end during marketing, planning design or homologation meetings. It simply never enters the consideration when it comes to the design.

Put simply the considerations given to weight tend to focus on what does mister average caravanner drive, what are the capabilities of that vehicle, what is the age demographic (ie licence types) and what does he want in it (ie layout 2 berth 4 berth etc)

When that's established this tells the marketing guys what they think the market is demanding. If they are leaders they will innovate something that fills a gap, if they have enough money they create a product first then create a market for it (rarely happens for trailers, not like SUVS in the auto industry). If they are followers they look what everyone else is doing and aim to compete with them.

 

Once that's done they hand it over to the designers and tell them how much the market will pay.

 

On average the designers work on a cycle of about 14 months for the next year's models( so currently concepts for 2019 models will be finalised about now).

 

It's quicker and easier for the designers to work on a platform that already exists as the concentration is often on the layout and decor rather than the mechanics. As such the platform is often used for an increase in size and mass until it is no longer possible to extend it further. As more equipment gets added there's a balancing act to reduce other things to maintain the Payload etc which could often translate into scaled down furniture and fittings or reduced quality.

 

The addition of some equipment (like movers) can often mean a need to increase the running gear capabilities which inevitably mean more cost, the knock on effect is then to push the price into another bracket which makes it unattractive to its target market. so they stick with what achieves regulatory and NCC compliance.

So in a way manufacturers cannot be blamed if they produce a lightweight trailer for a particular market with an adequate payload but without movers etc. They fulfil their marketing brief and the requirements of the regulatory authority and the NCC. Allowing the dealer to then fit the goodies but then reduce the available payload sort of gets them Off the hook( and allows the dealer some income).

It's far from perfect but considering the caravan manufacturer market is labour intensive and low margin, I have to say I'm not without some sympathy for them.

 

If the investment potential was there I'm sure someone would by now be churning out robot built caravans in the same way as cars.

Edited by Towtug
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I agree that the average caravan customer brings it on themselves by demanding the lowest possible price which means thin margins. However that's how the car market has been for a long time and they've managed to produce a more and more refined product, both technologically and ergonomically. True the car market is vast compared to caravans and the capital invested immense and that must explain at least part of the difference.

 

I truly believe that we could have safer, less worrisome caravanning if they altered the focus and concentrated on providing a good higher payload product as standard with a downgrade option for those that need/want it, rather than the other way around which tacitly encourages overloading, increases risk for all road users and worry for many.

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Some proper research into caravan stability, and safety adequately funded and published would also help by establishing a few facts

 

Agree entirely. The issue of safety has been raised often in this thread but does a stronger chassis (next one up) make any difference to safety. Putting aside legalities for one moment, I suspect the overloading claimed to be common, will, in the main be within the tolerances designed in by Alko, BPW etc. When was the last time we heard about a chassis failure?

I feel a bit indifferent to this whole thread not because it's wrong rather because it's a good read and discussion going nowhere. Suspect there is no body/org etc that has an interest in progressing this.

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Agree entirely. The issue of safety has been raised often in this thread but does a stronger chassis (next one up) make any difference to safety. Putting aside legalities for one moment, I suspect the overloading claimed to be common, will, in the main be within the tolerances designed in by Alko, BPW etc. When was the last time we heard about a chassis failure?

I feel a bit indifferent to this whole thread not because it's wrong rather because it's a good read and discussion going nowhere. Suspect there is no body/org etc that has an interest in progressing this.

I doubt that there is much difference between most of the different chassis ratings other than the stiffness of the springs, too stiff and the van will be bouncy, too soft and it will jolt when it bottoms out.

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Perhaps the first place to start is to lobby the two big clubs to ease off on the 85% recommendation except for extreme novices. At least that would allow a greater range of tow cars for the caravans.

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Perhaps the first place to start is to lobby the two big clubs to ease off on the 85% recommendation except for extreme novices. At least that would allow a greater range of tow cars for the caravans.

 

I think the CMC has already started easing off a bit, although that may just be me being optimistic. It really needs the NCC to get real and encourage all manufacturers and dealers to go easy on 85% and train their staff to understand the realities a bit more.

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Perhaps the first place to start is to lobby the two big clubs to ease off on the 85% recommendation except for extreme novices. At least that would allow a greater range of tow cars for the caravans.

AFAIK the 85% has only ever been a recommendation for beginners - they've always used 100% for experienced tuggers but often don't mention the latter.

 

The Towing Ratio recommendation comes from the NCC which comprises the 2 main clubs, caravan sites and caravan makers - the representatives of the whole industry except caravanners as CC/CMC and C&CC aren't there to represent members but to represent their interest as major site providers.

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AFAIK the 85% has only ever been a recommendation for beginners - they've always used 100% for experienced tuggers but often don't mention the latter.

 

The Towing Ratio recommendation comes from the NCC which comprises the 2 main clubs, caravan sites and caravan makers - the representatives of the whole industry except caravanners as CC/CMC and C&CC aren't there to represent members but to represent their interest as major site providers.

 

As I mentioned way earlier in this thread, contrary to popular belief neither the CMC nor the C&CC are members of the NCC. You can check the NCC's list of members and I've had it confirmed by a member of NCC staff.

 

The origin of the ratio's seem lost in time and if used correctly are a helpful guide. Unfortunately many caravanners have been misled by dealer salespeople who have little understanding, reinforced by journalists who are similar. I have nothing against folk who decide 85% is the mantra by which they'll always select their vehicles, as long as they do it knowing the full facts.

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As I mentioned way earlier in this thread, contrary to popular belief neither the CMC nor the C&CC are members of the NCC. You can check the NCC's list of members and I've had it confirmed by a member of NCC staff.

 

So I see now - I was always lead to believe they were members - I wonder if that was always wrong or they ceased membership at some point.

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The thing is even the Towcar awards use caravans that are weighted to 85% . ....

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So I see now - I was always lead to believe they were members - I wonder if that was always wrong or they ceased membership at some point.

Wouldn't it be great if the C&CC and the CMHC, were willing to lobby as hard for the interests of their members. As the NCC does for its members. Crazy dream I know.

Edited by fred
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