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Mr Plodd

Caravan gross weight, a response from Bailey!

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On 09/11/2018 at 16:24, Mr Plodd said:

If you buy on the information on the external plate (which the vast majority of buyers would do) it’s possible that  the one inside the gas locker, with the higher weight would cause you to be (totally unwittingly) over on permitted gross train weight!  Also that enables manufacturers to charge for an upgrade when none is ACTUALLY needed (due to the higher MTPLM shown on the “less visible” plate)

In my opinion there should be ONE weight plate ONLY.

The only reason I can see for an additional sticker should be to duplicate the information maybe in a more accessible location.

23 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

Recently some UK manufacturers have taken a slightly different tack, with Hymer UK (Elddis/Compass/Buccaneer) and Lunar now sporting  just an external plate but separating the NCC figures and the mandatory information with a line. This means that in their case one plate has two MTPLM's on it, unless it's been upgraded, when both MTPLM's will read the same.

Putting two weights on the same plate only serves to muddy the waters.

On 09/11/2018 at 15:13, montesa said:

Long overdue that there was some exposure to this scam & really is time this fiasco was stopped or made clearer for all to see & properly understood. 

It's a minefield trying to explain who can tow what under which licence anyway without the manufacturers adding to the confusion. If a manufacturer wishes to down rate a chassis, then this should be permitted providing they do it permanently on the plate containing the VIN.

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13 hours ago, fred said:

 You will notice that the representative absolutely failed to answer the question about legality.  

 

A point that I certainly didn’t miss!  I have responded to their rather vague email asking for clarification. See below for my response. The trail needs to be read bottom to top. I will of course update this post with their response which I feel will be VERY carefully worded and probably rather vague.

 

Andy

 

Dear Jo

 

Many thanks for your reply in regards to what the MTPLM can be updated to.

 

 I would be grateful for clarification on the other issues highlighted in italics in my original email.  

 

Regards

Andy Xxxxx

 

 

Dear xxxxxxx

Thank you for your email.  

You can purchase a max upgrade kit which will allow you to increase the MTPLM from 1382kg to 1450kg. A new weight plate is included in the pack and this will replace the weight plate located by the habitation door. Only the weight plate on the outside of the caravan needs to be replaced. In the max upgrade kit, I believe you will receive a new weight plate ( for the outside of the caravan ) a new certificate and two decals. But please confirm this with Prima Leisure https://www. primaleisure. com/

Kind Regards
Jo Barrington
Customer Services Co-ordinator

customerservices@baileyofbristol. co. uk

Bailey Caravans Ltd, South Liberty Lane, Bristol,BS3 2SS.
http://www. baileyofbristol. co. uk
# ref: 15694


-----Original Message-----
From: Xxxxxx
Sent: 07 November 2018 21:17
To: Customer Services <customerservices@baileyofbristol. co. uk>
Subject: Query from contact us page

I am due to take delivery of a Phoenix 640 in March next year. I am interested in upgrading its MTPLM from new.  
Please can you advise me as to what MTPLM this model can be upgraded to ? 
Also can you please confirm which of the two stickers, the one that is located by the habitation door or the other inside the gas locker,  it is that carries the relevant information in regards to MTPLM that would be used by any enforcement agency? 
My understanding is that it is NOT the external one but the the less visible one located in the gas locker. Is that correct?
If I have the caravans MTPLM upgraded what exactly would I receive in order to be able to prove it to any enforcement officer.  
I would be grateful for written confirmation in order to avoid any doubt on my part as to the maximum LEGAL weight of my new caravan. I am aware of the requirement of not exceeding the maximum train weight of my towing vehicle.  
Thank you in advance.


Andy Culley
 

 

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I am sure that since Oct 2012 the chassis has a mandatory statutory plate fixed to it and this shows the maximum load on the axle and it is this load that cannot be exceeded and ultimately it is also the maximum MTPLM of the caravan.   It is also this plate where the police can have a successful prosecution.

However by the same token it is unlikely that VOSA or the police would crawl under the caravan to find the plate and it is easier to get a prosecution by other means i. e. exceeding the maximum load of the tyres, outfit in a dangerous condition etc.

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Why the UK manufacturers think it is perfectly a good idea to lock the plate away in a locker that gives full information as per EU regulations I think a police officer might have different opinions and I have read on other forums of fines on plating in European countries .

 

My understanding of the law and weight declarations the lowest is always used be it the plates chassis or axle or tyres so having a plate with two weights and changing the outside one and still having a lower weight declaration  inside is totally confusing without changing the plate ?

 

 

Dave

22 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I am sure that since Oct 2012 the chassis has a mandatory statutory plate fixed to it and this shows the maximum load on the axle and it is this load that cannot be exceeded and ultimately it is also the maximum MTPLM of the caravan.   It is also this plate where the police can have a successful prosecution.

However by the same token it is unlikely that VOSA or the police would crawl under the caravan to find the plate and it is easier to get a prosecution by other means i. e. exceeding the maximum load of the tyres, outfit in a dangerous condition etc.

Chassis plating comes under regulations on multi stage construction and the next stage manufacturer is required to plate that supersedes the original plates . A motorhome has a chassis plate but the motorhome manufacturers plate is the one that is used .

Edited by CommanderDave

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The main problem is the multiplicity of organisation involved.

1. The manufacturers: Who want to show the lowest possible MTPLM because they believe that more buyers want a low figure for weight ratio or licencing purposes than there are wanting a higher payload.

2. The NCC: Who want to present a united front for the manufacturers but succeed only in adding a layer of bureaucratic   fog.

3. The legislators : Who do not really understand either the buyers or the manufacturers and whose speciality is creating bureaucratic fog.

4. The enforcement authorities: Made up of several components:-

           a. The police, trying to enforce the legislation in such a way that improves standards and secures the occasional conviction to prove that they are doing their job. Bearing in mind that the person whose feet are on the ground only has a tenuous connection to the heads that produce the official thinking!

           b. The DVLA (or whatever they are called this week),  essentially playing a similar role to the police, but their person whose feet are on the ground has had different training to the copper and is equally tenuously connected to a different bunch of heads doing their thinking.

           c. The legal system, courts etc. like the legislators they do not really understand either the buyers or the manufacturers, but in addition do not really understand either the police or DVLA.

 

And finally, we have to decide where we carry our luggage!

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Not sure why people are on about plates in lockers.   In the past twenty years we have only had one caravan with the plate in the front locker and that was a 1991 Compass.   All our other caravans have had a removal sticker near the door even those manufactured after Oct 2012.

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When UK caravan type approval came in all the caravan manufacturing members of the NCC introduced the Type Approval compliant weight plates in the gas locker. Bailey seemed not to understand that the weights to be shown should be the limits, rather than some random number. They since changed to showing the limits as required. I believe all the others got it right first time round. The placing of the plate in the gas locker was too consistent to be an accident, so I suspect it was either done on the advice of the NCC or agreed by the NCC member manufacturers. The plates were introduced with no PR fanfare or even a mention in van handbooks. All this suggests that UK manufacturers regarded the requirement for labelling as an awkward imposition and they were in a joint sulk about it.

 

It's noticeable that the group that has led the way from gas locker plates has been Hymer UK whose parent in Germany has a completely different take to the NCC on weight plating.

 

  

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1 minute ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

When UK caravan type approval came in all the caravan manufacturing members of the NCC introduced the Type Approval compliant weight plates in the gas locker. Bailey seemed not to understand that the weights to be shown should be the limits, rather than some random number. They since changed to showing the limits as required. I believe all the others got it right first time round. The placing of the plate in the gas locker was too consistent to be an accident, so I suspect it was either done on the advice of the NCC or agreed by the NCC member manufacturers. The plates were introduced with no PR fanfare or even a mention in van handbooks. All this suggests that UK manufacturers regarded the requirement for labelling as an awkward imposition and they were in a joint sulk about it.

 

It's noticeable that the group that has led the way from gas locker plates has been Hymer UK whose parent in Germany has a completely different take to the NCC on weight plating.

 

  

 

:goodpost:

 

What I am attempting to do here is to get a written response out of Bailey (because that’s who I am buying the caravan from) to say which of the two stickers carry the legally relevant information in respect of weight. I can then remove the one that’s basically irrelevant (and possibly save a few quid) 

 

What I suspect they are doing is providing all of that information, which includes the actual MTPLM, on the sticker that’s “hidden away” in the gas locker and THEN affixing a clearly visible sticker on the outside which shows a LOWER MTPLM.

 

That way the potential market for that caravan is a bit wider due to the lower MTPLM showing on the outside (and would possibly enable a non Cat B licence holder to tow it with their car) PLUS of course they then have the “option” of providing a weight upgrade sticker  (at a cost)

 

Thats DESPITE the fact that, if the information on the gas locker sticker is the legally enforceable one, the caravan is ALREADY  legally plated at the higher weight.  

 

Andy

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Although this may seem strange but, we have a local vosa testing station nearby. so i went in and asked the q's

And they replied with we are not interested in vehicle specific weights with the exeption of the gross train weight of the towing vehicle.

many vehicles display a towing capability,but have are not able to able to tow much more than that in the gross train weight.

For example a suzuki Vitara has a capable tow limit of 2000kg,but the gtw for vehicle spec is only 2900kg. And the kerb weight for the top model is 1265kg

So technically speaking the car is only able to tow 1735 empty to empty,and not the 2000kg of which it is capable of.

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30 minutes ago, smino0_1 said:

Although this may seem strange but, we have a local vosa testing station nearby. so i went in and asked the q's

And they replied with we are not interested in vehicle specific weights with the exeption of the gross train weight of the towing vehicle.

many vehicles display a towing capability,but have are not able to able to tow much more than that in the gross train weight.

For example a suzuki Vitara has a capable tow limit of 2000kg,but the gtw for vehicle spec is only 2900kg. And the kerb weight for the top model is 1265kg

So technically speaking the car is only able to tow 1735 empty to empty,and not the 2000kg of which it is capable of.

 

That is somewhat at variance with what I have been involved with for many years, and is still going on. That being that they are pulling in a wide variety of vehicles and trailers (not just HGV’s but, boats on trailers, caravans, box trailers etc all being towed by cars and vans) and checking their various weights. ANY that are over on any are issued with an immediate prohibition!!

 

There is no way on the planet VOSA  will let an overweight vehicle of ANY description continue on its journey. Just suppose they do and it’s involved in a serious crash! Think of the ***** that would fly!

 

How would you feel if was your loved one involved and possibly killed due to an overweight vehicle being allowed to continue by an enforcement agency of ANY description.  

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd

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33 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

:goodpost:

 

What I am attempting to do here is to get a written response out of Bailey (because that’s who I am buying the caravan from) to say which of the two stickers carry the legally relevant information in respect of weight. I can then remove the one that’s basically irrelevant (and possibly save a few quid) 

 

What I suspect they are doing is providing all of that information, which includes the actual MTPLM, on the sticker that’s “hidden away” in the gas locker and THEN affixing a clearly visible sticker on the outside which shows a LOWER MTPLM.

 

That way the potential market for that caravan is a bit wider due to the lower MTPLM showing on the outside (and would possibly enable a non Cat B licence holder to tow it with their car) PLUS of course they then have the “option” of providing a weight upgrade sticker  (at a cost)

 

Thats DESPITE the fact that, if the information on the gas locker sticker is the legally enforceable one, the caravan is ALREADY  legally plated at the higher weight.  

 

Andy

 

My thoughts about the B licence regulations is it is the plated mam of the trailer so it would be wrong to use the plate on the side when the Actual maximum weight is in the locker but still a maximum weight .

 

People could be technically towing illegal on B licences  With a plated limit over 3500 kg .

 

NCC is only a self appointed governing body over UK manufacturers with no legal powers .

 

Dave

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1 hour ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

:goodpost:

 

What I am attempting to do here is to get a written response out of Bailey (because that’s who I am buying the caravan from) to say which of the two stickers carry the legally relevant information in respect of weight. I can then remove the one that’s basically irrelevant (and possibly save a few quid) 

 

 

Andy

 

 

Are you buying from Bailey?  Surely it is the retailer who is responsible for providing a product that complies with legislation. :unsure:

 

But we know what you mean. ;)

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6 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Not sure why people are on about plates in lockers.   In the past twenty years we have only had one caravan with the plate in the front locker and that was a 1991 Compass.   All our other caravans have had a removal sticker near the door even those manufactured after Oct 2012.

 

It doesn't have to be in the locker, but more often than not it is. It must, however, be a plate that displays the name of the caravan manufacturer, the type approval number, the VIN and the relevant axle and noseweight weight limits, as well as the MTPLM. Any further information must be distincly separated from the aforementioned details.

Edited by Lutz

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3 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

What I suspect they are doing is providing all of that information, which includes the actual MTPLM, on the sticker that’s “hidden away” in the gas locker and THEN affixing a clearly visible sticker on the outside which shows a LOWER MTPLM.

Thats DESPITE the fact that, if the information on the gas locker sticker is the legally enforceable one, the caravan is ALREADY  legally plated at the higher weight.

That pretty much sums up my thoughts hence my earlier comment about only having one weight plate.

9 hours ago, Gordon said:

In my opinion there should be ONE weight plate ONLY.

The only reason I can see for an additional sticker should be to duplicate the information maybe in a more accessible location.

Gordon

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7 hours ago, Durbanite said:

Not sure why people are on about plates in lockers.   In the past twenty years we have only had one caravan with the plate in the front locker and that was a 1991 Compass.   All our other caravans have had a removal sticker near the door even those manufactured after Oct 2012.

 

Because Bailey put their weight plate in the gas locker, which incidentally is not at the front but the side. They then put a different sticker near the door which is not the legal one.

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16 minutes ago, thebriars said:

 

Because Bailey put their weight plate in the gas locker, which incidentally is not at the front but the side. They then put a different sticker near the door which is not the legal one.

 

Although they are selling a caravan as in this case 1382 kg the actual maximum plated weight is 1450 kg which could put a B licence driver over the 3500 kg and invalidate their vehicle insurance and they are totally unknowing and innocent .

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

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I fully support Andy's endeavour in this respect.   Just reading through this topic it seems to me that many have their own interpretations on the subject, some may be right, some partially correct and others way off.   But this begs the question, why are we, in effect, guessing.   The question is simple and the industry either in the guise of the NCC, one of the clubs, a dealer or a manufacturer should be able to provide the same definitive answer.

 

Like Andy, I am also cynical and consider this to be an easy money generating scheme.   We deserve better.   

 

I had my Lunar updated at the factory when new.   It cost me £35.   for this I got a different sticker by the door.   can't say I have ever noticed a plate inside the gas locker.   I will have to look in future.   I believe some upgrades result in a higher tyre pressure, mine did not.

 

Just to add to the confusion.   Alko put a maximum loading sticker on the axle.   That is what mine was upgraded to.   Can't imagine it being legal to go above that figure.

 

John  

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1 hour ago, JCloughie said:

Just to add to the confusion.   Alko put a maximum loading sticker on the axle.   That is what mine was upgraded to.   Can't imagine it being legal to go above that figure.

 

John  

 

No it wouldn't be, but I don't think any caravan manufacturer is that stupid to permit an axle load on the statutory plate that is higher than what the chassis manufacturer shows on his sticker, but even if he did so by mistake, the type approval authority should pick the item up when they go over the vehicle.

 

Edited by Lutz

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13 hours ago, JCloughie said:

I fully support Andy's endeavour in this respect.   Just reading through this topic it seems to me that many have their own interpretations on the subject, some may be right, some partially correct and others way off.   But this begs the question, why are we, in effect, guessing.   The question is simple and the industry either in the guise of the NCC, one of the clubs, a dealer or a manufacturer should be able to provide the same definitive answer.

 

Like Andy, I am also cynical and consider this to be an easy money generating scheme.   We deserve better.   

 

I had my Lunar updated at the factory when new.   It cost me £35.   for this I got a different sticker by the door.   can't say I have ever noticed a plate inside the gas locker.   I will have to look in future.   I believe some upgrades result in a higher tyre pressure, mine did not.

 

Just to add to the confusion.   Alko put a maximum loading sticker on the axle.   That is what mine was upgraded to.   Can't imagine it being legal to go above that figure.

 

John  

 

John,

I think my van is a good example and apologies for mentioning it again.   I had been looking for a Vanmaster for some time so had done a bit of research, as we do.   Saw van for sale but it had a 'door' plate showing an MTPLM a couple of hundred kg below that which I knew to be the correct figure.   I mentioned this to the dealer and as we got closer to firming up the sale, he asked me if I wanted to increase the MTPLM.   I said I did and he brought out an identical door plate which increased the MTPLM to 2200kg and stuck it on.    This was a 'proper' door plate with VM logo and all data identical except the increase in MTPLM.   My memory might not be spot on but I think the old plate was around 1980kg with both plates having a MIRO of 1760kg.

 

My supposition is that he was able to do this with Vanmaster (previous incarnation) who were and still are not members of the NCC and (I suppose again) Vanmaster gave them license to stamp 'what they liked' on pre-ordered Vanmaster plates?  Not for one minute am I suggesting that the dealer or VM did anything wrong in that they were only following what appears to be national practice and the powers that be do not see it as an issue!

In my case the weights are above the level likely to impact on B Licences but VM also make single axles. ...?

 

I continue to search for the 'official' plate!

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36 minutes ago, SamD said:

I continue to search for the 'official' plate!

 

 

If the caravan was built after the introduction of whole vehicle type approval (29th October 2014 at the latest) it must have a statutory plate somewhere that complies with type approval requirements.

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4 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

 

Although they are selling a caravan as in this case 1382 kg the actual maximum plated weight is 1450 kg which could put a B licence driver over the 3500 kg and invalidate their vehicle insurance and they are totally unknowing and innocent .

 

 

Dave

 

Which is why I raised all this several years ago, and it just goes round and round and round. ....

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7 minutes ago, thebriars said:

 

Which is why I raised all this several years ago, and it just goes round and round and round. ....

 

I accept that but, realistically, it is advantageous to caravanners to leave things as they are.   Confusing it may well be but I doubt very much that  B licence holders could be prosecuted in the situation we have at the moment and it allows them later to pass the +e and not to have a need of van change.

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On 10/11/2018 at 09:57, Durbanite said:

Not sure why people are on about plates in lockers.   In the past twenty years we have only had one caravan with the plate in the front locker and that was a 1991 Compass.   All our other caravans have had a removal sticker near the door even those manufactured after Oct 2012.

+1. ..and a ALKO letter stamped weight on the chassis of course-if you can be bothered to crawl under the caravan to find it. ..apparently on the A-frame part :blink:

Edited by charlieboy2608

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12 hours ago, SamD said:

 

I accept that but, realistically, it is advantageous to caravanners to leave things as they are.   Confusing it may well be but I doubt very much that  B licence holders could be prosecuted in the situation we have at the moment and it allows them later to pass the +e and not to have a need of van change.

 

The regulation are quite clear that driving licences is based on Mam or maximum allowed mass which is the maximum plated weight and as it is plated at the higher figure .

 

It is confusing but can be illegal for some and I wonder how many B licence holders are driving illegal with possibly no full comp insurance .

 

 

Dave

14 hours ago, SamD said:

 

John,

I think my van is a good example and apologies for mentioning it again.   I had been looking for a Vanmaster for some time so had done a bit of research, as we do.   Saw van for sale but it had a 'door' plate showing an MTPLM a couple of hundred kg below that which I knew to be the correct figure.   I mentioned this to the dealer and as we got closer to firming up the sale, he asked me if I wanted to increase the MTPLM.   I said I did and he brought out an identical door plate which increased the MTPLM to 2200kg and stuck it on.    This was a 'proper' door plate with VM logo and all data identical except the increase in MTPLM.   My memory might not be spot on but I think the old plate was around 1980kg with both plates having a MIRO of 1760kg.

 

My supposition is that he was able to do this with Vanmaster (previous incarnation) who were and still are not members of the NCC and (I suppose again) Vanmaster gave them license to stamp 'what they liked' on pre-ordered Vanmaster plates?  Not for one minute am I suggesting that the dealer or VM did anything wrong in that they were only following what appears to be national practice and the powers that be do not see it as an issue!

In my case the weights are above the level likely to impact on B Licences but VM also make single axles. ...?

 

I continue to search for the 'official' plate!

 

Plate prior to 2014 only required a plated with the manufacturer and Mtplm and vin number . Only a caravan manufacturer can declare maximum weights same as a car manufacturers .

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Some of the caravan magazines and organisations are giving B licence matching advice based on the (lower) MTPLM displayed by the door.

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