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Paul90125

MTPLM Update

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The caravan we are planning to buy has an MTPLM of 1100 kg, but can be increased to 13000 kg. As our car can tow this, we are planning on having the upgrade at purchase. Am I right in my assumption that this doesn’t alter the caravan structure at all, and just consists of a new sticker to cover the original MTPLM plate. I’d heard that the max MTPLM was based on the weight the axles of the caravan can manage. The lower MTPLM quoted was just to emphasise the “lightness” of the caravan for “smaller” tow cars. Is that correct? Thanks.

Paul

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Posted (edited)

Just about correct. However an increase in MPTLM might need a change of tyres to utilise it depending on their load ratings.

Edited by Easy T

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1 hour ago, Paul90125 said:

The caravan we are planning to buy has an MTPLM of 1100 kg, but can be increased to 13000 kg.

Nevertheless  Paul 13000kgs is a tad high so maybe 1300kgs would be more realistic? ;)

Take note of Alan's comment too.

Gordon.

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Any upgrade has to be confirmed by the manufacturer and it is his responsibility to provide details of what technical modification, if any, must be carried out in order to achieve the higher figure. As Easy T says, on UK caravans this may be a possible change of tyre equipment. However, on Continental caravans it may involve fitment of a heavier duty axle, too, because on the Continent it is usual to have an MTPLM which is the same as the maximum permitted axle load.

The easiest way to find out if a technical change is necessary is to check the details on the statutory weight plate, usually located in the front locker. If that already shows 1300kg as the legal MTPLM, then no further modification is necessary.

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Might the insurance have to be notified of this modification too. Or would it come under Original manufacturers specs?

Would they try to wriggle and say it was too heavy in the event of a claim?

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Which insurance - presumably caravan. I can't think why it would affect insurance. I have never given MPTLM values to an insurance company and never been asked about MPTLM and as it is within the caravan design approval I can see no problem personally

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1 hour ago, smino0_1 said:

Might the insurance have to be notified of this modification too. Or would it come under Original manufacturers specs?

Would they try to wriggle and say it was too heavy in the event of a claim?

 

I guess it's a possibility, especially if the loss adjuster is very 'keen'. It might be best to ask the insurer beforehand, just in case. Another reason why having an allocated MTPLM below the chassis limit is a nonsense.  

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32 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

I guess it's a possibility, especially if the loss adjuster is very 'keen'. It might be best to ask the insurer beforehand, just in case. Another reason why having an allocated MTPLM below the chassis limit is a nonsense.  

 

If the statutory plate shows a higher MTPLM than the 'allocated' MTPLM on the label by the door then the manufacturer has documented with that plate that the caravan is technically safe at the higher MTPLM. An insurance company would therefore not be able to claim that the caravan was overloaded if it doesn't exceed the MTPLM on the statutory plate.

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This has been debated at length, on here, several times before. The only firm conclusion being that it is a confused mess!

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4 hours ago, Lutz said:

 

If the statutory plate shows a higher MTPLM than the 'allocated' MTPLM on the label by the door then the manufacturer has documented with that plate that the caravan is technically safe at the higher MTPLM. An insurance company would therefore not be able to claim that the caravan was overloaded if it doesn't exceed the MTPLM on the statutory plate.

 

You know that I agree with your position on this Lutz. The point is though, that an insurance company may attempt to avoid liability by quoting the allocated MTPLM as the limit upon which they accepted the risk. On that basis it might not matter that the caravan is technically safe at the higher amount. If anyone's worried about that potential situation the they should get confirmation in writing from the insurance company.

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34 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

You know that I agree with your position on this Lutz. The point is though, that an insurance company may attempt to avoid liability by quoting the allocated MTPLM as the limit upon which they accepted the risk. On that basis it might not matter that the caravan is technically safe at the higher amount. If anyone's worried about that potential situation the they should get confirmation in writing from the insurance company.

However at the end of the day how on earth will any insurance company be able to claim that the MTPLM whether allocated or statutory was exceeded and caused an accident especially if the trailer was within the statutory MTPLM?

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45 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

However at the end of the day how on earth will any insurance company be able to claim that the MTPLM whether allocated or statutory was exceeded and caused an accident especially if the trailer was within the statutory MTPLM?

Good point! It is highly unlikely that a caravan which could be proved to be a significant contributor to the cause of an accident would be in sufficiently good shape to be weighed. In addition, only if there was a fatality being investigated would the caravan be weighed sufficiently soon after the accident to provide reliable evidence.

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6 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Good point! It is highly unlikely that a caravan which could be proved to be a significant contributor to the cause of an accident would be in sufficiently good shape to be weighed. In addition, only if there was a fatality being investigated would the caravan be weighed sufficiently soon after the accident to provide reliable evidence.

May prove an issue if the caravan is scattered far and wide? 

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55 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

However at the end of the day how on earth will any insurance company be able to claim that the MTPLM whether allocated or statutory was exceeded and caused an accident especially if the trailer was within the statutory MTPLM?

 

We're not talking proof of whether the weight of a van might or might not have caused an accident. That stuff is down to the police etc. I'm saying that an over zealous loss adjuster might spot it as a loophole and the insurance company may declare the insurance invalid. If you want to be certain that is not a possibility, get acceptance of an upgrade by the insurer  in advance, in writing. Belt and Braces.

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Never been asked the MTPLM for any caravan that we have insured and most of them have had the MTPLM upgrade.  As that is the way it has come from the manufacturer or dealer who have supplied the sticker and the caravan is still standard with no modifications, I do not see an issue.  You are looking for issues were there aren't any!  :D

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41 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

Never been asked the MTPLM for any caravan that we have insured and most of them have had the MTPLM upgrade.  As that is the way it has come from the manufacturer or dealer who have supplied the sticker and the caravan is still standard with no modifications, I do not see an issue.  You are looking for issues were there aren't any!  :D

 

I'm not looking, I'm just suggesting that if folk want surety then they should get written confirmation from their insurance company. 

 

Just a thought but how many of the caravans you have owned have been the subject of substantial damage or have been totalled, as that's when your likely to find out if they're going to play hardball. 

 

Another point is that you know enough not to accept a move like that from an insurer but there can be gullible folk about who might get intimidated into accepting such a position. 

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The majority of MTPLM upgrades offered by UK manufacturers is only a few 10's of kilo's. I cannot see a responsible insurance company using this as an excuse.

Anyway the third party cover is part of the towing vehicles insurance cover and they haven't a clue what you have on the hook. They cover any road worthy trailer unto the maximum the tow car can handle legally.

That's my thoughts.

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1. It's not really third party cover we're discussing, it's caravan accident cover.

2. Upgrades are usually anywhere between about 10kg and  99kg. That's because the axle weights available are either set at 50kg or 100kg intervals. So if the allocated MTPLM is, say, 1301kg and the axle fitted is 1400kg then you'll get 99kg and if the allocated MTPLM is 1390kg you'll get 10kg upgrade. Under 10kg isn't usually offered as it isn't worth fiddling about with.

3. The point I'm making has nothing to do with how much the upgrade might be, it's the fact that any upgrade at all might be considered a change of specification. An unscrupulous Adjuster, on bonus, could try to wriggle out of liability. 

 

All I'm saying is that if it's a concern it might be sensible to get something in writing.

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2 hours ago, Gd485 said:

Anyway the third party cover is part of the towing vehicles insurance cover and they haven't a clue what you have on the hook. They cover any road worthy trailer unto the maximum the tow car can handle legally.

 

They will have a clue if you are involved in an accident as it will all be on someone’s claim form.

 

But the insurance you take out to cover Caravan is usually comprehensive to cover damage you may do to it, and that insurer may well be interested in the weights.

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I don't want to roll in a topic of discussion that has been covered so many times before, but as you mention a possible change of specification I would remind you that the Certificate of Conformity, and I mean the type approval certificate, not one issued on behalf of the NCC, provides the only documentary proof of specification and that includes the type approved MTPLM, just as the statutory plate does.

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6 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

3. The point I'm making has nothing to do with how much the upgrade might be, it's the fact that any upgrade at all might be considered a change of specification. An unscrupulous Adjuster, on bonus, could try to wriggle out of liability. 

 

All I'm saying is that if it's a concern it might be sensible to get something in writing.

 

There is absolutely no point! You enter into a contract with your insurance company for them to insure your caravan for a certain sum of money.

 

They ask you what make and model it is, you tell them, end of. They are totally disinterested if it’s been updated to a higher weight than what the brochure says PROVIDING it remains within the MTPLM to which the type approval refers (that’s thevdecal in the gas locker NOT  the one on the outside) 

 

My caravan left the factory with an MTPLM of 1397 kg. I paid to upgrade it (paper exercise) to 1450kg.

 

1450kg is what’s shown on the external data decal AND, more importantly, on the decal inside the gas locker which is the ABSOLUTE MTPLM. 

 

The external decal shows a lower MTPLM than the gas locker (when it leaves the factory)  because the manufacturer can specify whatever they wish providing it doesn’t EXCEED the Type Approved MTPLM. (As shown on the gas locker decal) 

 

They put lower MTPLM’s to make caravans available people with lower licence categories or lighter tow cars.

 

Here is an practical explanation as to why they do this.......

 

My car has an MTPLM of 2100 and a MGTW of 3710kg so in theory I can legally tow 1610Kg.

Now my caravan left the factory plated at 1397 kg, which, when added to my cars MAM gives a max train weight of 3497Kg so my son, who only has a Cat B licence can still drive it because the train weight is (just) under 3500kg

 

 However because I have paid for the (paltry) upgrade the combined max is now 2100 + 1450 so GTW is 3550 This means he cannot now drive it because his licence only goes up to 3500kg.

 

It’s EXACTLY the same caravan worth EXACTLY the same amount. The insurance company don’t give a hoot which of the two weights are on the stickers, all they worry about is what they might have to shell out if it catches fire etc.

 

You are inventing a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

 

Andy

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I'm not inventing a problem. I'm just suggesting what to do if you have concerns about upgrading and the possibility that it may adversely affect your insurance.

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On 20/03/2019 at 06:34, Paul90125 said:

The caravan we are planning to buy has an MTPLM of 1100 kg, but can be increased to 13000 kg. As our car can tow this, we are planning on having the upgrade at purchase. Am I right in my assumption that this doesn’t alter the caravan structure at all, and just consists of a new sticker to cover the original MTPLM plate. I’d heard that the max MTPLM was based on the weight the axles of the caravan can manage. The lower MTPLM quoted was just to emphasise the “lightness” of the caravan for “smaller” tow cars. Is that correct? Thanks.

Paul

Go for it! But double check your figures regarding towing limits. We had the same thing when we bought ours, only 100 Kg upgrade though, due to planning for a mover to be fitted. Do as Easy T suggests and check the load rating of the tyres, ours were just able to cope, and we did have higher rated ones fitted when the old ones "came of age". Hope you enjoy for your 'van  ;)

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11 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

There is absolutely no point! You enter into a contract with your insurance company for them to insure your caravan for a certain sum of money.

 

They ask you what make and model it is, you tell them, end of. They are totally disinterested if it’s been updated to a higher weight than what the brochure says PROVIDING it remains within the MTPLM to which the type approval refers (that’s thevdecal in the gas locker NOT  the one on the outside) 

 

My caravan left the factory with an MTPLM of 1397 kg. I paid to upgrade it (paper exercise) to 1450kg.

 

1450kg is what’s shown on the external data decal AND, more importantly, on the decal inside the gas locker which is the ABSOLUTE MTPLM. 

 

The external decal shows a lower MTPLM than the gas locker (when it leaves the factory)  because the manufacturer can specify whatever they wish providing it doesn’t EXCEED the Type Approved MTPLM. (As shown on the gas locker decal) 

 

They put lower MTPLM’s to make caravans available people with lower licence categories or lighter tow cars.

 

Here is an practical explanation as to why they do this.......

 

My car has an MTPLM of 2100 and a MGTW of 3710kg so in theory I can legally tow 1610Kg.

Now my caravan left the factory plated at 1397 kg, which, when added to my cars MAM gives a max train weight of 3497Kg so my son, who only has a Cat B licence can still drive it because the train weight is (just) under 3500kg

 

 However because I have paid for the (paltry) upgrade the combined max is now 2100 + 1450 so GTW is 3550 This means he cannot now drive it because his licence only goes up to 3500kg.

 

It’s EXACTLY the same caravan worth EXACTLY the same amount. The insurance company don’t give a hoot which of the two weights are on the stickers, all they worry about is what they might have to shell out if it catches fire etc.

 

You are inventing a problem that simply doesn’t exist.

 

Andy

 

So if the caravan has a plate in the gas locker that specifies a maximum MTPLM which is the legal specification and is enforceable, then if that plated weight and your car MAM is greater than  3500kg then anyone on a lower Cat B licence category should not be able to tow that outfit, the door plate is a red herring.

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30 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

So if the caravan has a plate in the gas locker that specifies a maximum MTPLM which is the legal specification and is enforceable, then if that plated weight and your car MAM is greater than  3500kg then anyone on a lower Cat B licence category should not be able to tow that outfit, the door plate is a red herring.

Even the so called experts, and enforcement authorities do not tend to provide clear consistent answers to this one.

With that in mind, it is unlikely ever to come to court because nobody wants to pay for a lengthy court case for a few Kgs.

However, who wants the hassle of finding out?

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