Jump to content

"Pulled" on the way to Norfolk.


Recommended Posts

We are back from a lovely week in Norfolk, our favourite location and surprisingly the first visit with this van, after almost 18 months of ownership due to other commitments and of course a certain pandemic. 

 

On the way there we were pulled into a check point, all rather scary. Suddenly thinking if I had done everything right, despite being sure I had. It was staffed by members of DVSA and the local constabulary and they were very thorough in the checks, I mean really thorough. They started with a visual check working from front to back. Tyre condition and inflation both on car and caravan, towing mirrors, not just fitted but for adjustment using a cone, I had to call out if i could see it or not and to make sure you didn't just say yes they would randomly remove it altogether. The VIN number of the car and CRiS number of the caravan were checked, the gas bottle was checked to ensure it was turned off, the weights were recorded from the VIN plate then the vehicle was weighed, car first then caravan, the conformity label on the towbar was checked, the caravan unhitched and the nose weight checked. All the lights were checked of course.

 

In the end I got a pretty clean bill of health, one or two "minors" to sort. It was noted that the condition of the breakaway cable was poor, though still functional, I was just 7kg short of the rear axle weight and bang on the 75kg nose weight limit of the car.  The offside rear brake light was also not as bright as it should have been and my towing mirrors were "barely" wide enough to take account of the 8ft wide van. It was suggested that longer extended mirrors would be better, there was about six inches of the "visible area" I was missing, I was forgiven for this.. After about twenty five minutes I was on my way again. The one thing I did get to learn is the weight of the van. measured whilst hitched at 1512kg, and nose weight of 75kg means to me a gross weight of 1587, 113kg short of it's MTPLM of 1700. I do want to find the unladen weight, or should I say the weight of the van including the stuff we don't normally remove such as pots and pans to see how that has changed having fitted motor mover, microwave, new vanity basin, laminate floor etc. I did ask if I drove that way again next week with the van empty of food, clothing etc would they weigh it again for me, but they didn't seem too impressed. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 3

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

********* Naughty Step Aficionado And Grand Collector Of Naughty Points *********

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 83
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

We are back from a lovely week in Norfolk, our favourite location and surprisingly the first visit with this van, after almost 18 months of ownership due to other commitments and of course a certain p

Yes, the car rear axle. As far as I can see the van has no separate axle weights. We had the kids, 10 & 3 in the rear seats and the boot loaded, I had quite a lot of tools in there. There is also

I have no intention of getting into an argument with you. I have merely explained my personal experience of having actually gone through the process of having a Motorhome up-plated in the past. Have y

Posted Images

Was this just past the Holdingham roundabout at Sleaford by any chance? They regularly hold caravans there.

Edited by Towtug
Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got pulled over (spring of 2019) they were not quite that thorough, but then there were a lot of vans on the road that day, so I guess they were going for checking a lot of vans in the day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, PMW said:

....... I was just 7kg short of the rear axle weight and bang on the 75kg nose weight limit of the car.  The one thing I did get to learn is the weight of the van. measured whilst hitched at 1512kg, and nose weight of 75kg means to me a gross weight of 1587, 113kg short of it's MTPLM of 1700.  

Do these weights make sence to you? I assume the "rear axle" is the car rear axle? Quite close to the limit so was the car heavily loaded or did you have rear seat passengers? To be 113Kg under the MTPLM is great. Again, does this coincide with your own estimated weight?

 

Just noticed your car and caravan description in your avatar. The "rear axle" was the caravan rear axle? 

Edited by Ern
info added

Ern

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a wider question here , do you think they are more or less likely to pull over a Range Rover with a Caravan being towed Of 1600kg max weight ? 
 

big towing capacity and tow ball weight of the hitch alone on my winterhoff is 150kg same as the car 

Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Buck5555 said:

There is a wider question here , do you think they are more or less likely to pull over a Range Rover with a Caravan being towed Of 1600kg max weight ? 
 

big towing capacity and tow ball weight of the hitch alone on my winterhoff is 150kg same as the car 

The tyres could be in poor condition, so the towing vehicle used is irrelevant.

  • I do not understand 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Ern said:

Do these weights make sence to you? I assume the "rear axle" is the car rear axle? Quite close to the limit so was the car heavily loaded or did you have rear seat passengers? To be 113Kg under the MTPLM is great. Again, does this coincide with your own estimated weight?

 

Just noticed your car and caravan description in your avatar. The "rear axle" was the caravan rear axle? 

 

Yes, the car rear axle. As far as I can see the van has no separate axle weights. We had the kids, 10 & 3 in the rear seats and the boot loaded, I had quite a lot of tools in there. There is also the Adblue tank in the boot in the spare wheel well, plus loads of electrics under the boot floor not to mention all the hydraulics for the roof and of course 75k from the van so perhaps not quite the "user payload" available I might be taking for granted. So yes, perhaps just about but it was a bit of an eye opener that we were so close. I have to admit it was not something I have ever paid much attention to. 

 

3 hours ago, Towtug said:

Was this just past the Holdingham roundabout at Sleaford by any chance? They regularly hold caravans there.

 

No, the A47 at Thorney Toll.

 

39 minutes ago, Buck5555 said:

There is a wider question here , do you think they are more or less likely to pull over a Range Rover with a Caravan being towed Of 1600kg max weight ? 
 

big towing capacity and tow ball weight of the hitch alone on my winterhoff is 150kg same as the car 

 

That is a good question. They seemed to be more interested in LGVs and we were the only caravan stopped whilst we were there, although several went past. I do wonder if the combination was a deciding factor in pulling us in, as a lot of people look at it and think how can you tow a 24 foot twin axle van with a convertible. 

  • Like 4
  • I agree completely 1

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

********* Naughty Step Aficionado And Grand Collector Of Naughty Points *********

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, PMW said:

I do wonder if the combination was a deciding factor in pulling us in, as a lot of people look at it and think how can you tow a 24 foot twin axle van with a convertible. 

 

There is a perception by a good many that a caravan with two axles requires an SUV/4x4 style towing vehicle when it is easily possible to use a normal saloon/estate that is a good match.  I have had a couple of "on-site-experts" question my wisdom/choice of tow car in the past, preferring to believe their own thoughts rather than my factual weights when it comes to weight ratios.

  • Like 1
  • I agree completely 3

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

 

There is a perception by a good many that a caravan with two axles requires an SUV/4x4 style towing vehicle when it is easily possible to use a normal saloon/estate that is a good match.  I have had a couple of "on-site-experts" question my wisdom/choice of tow car in the past, preferring to believe their own thoughts rather than my factual weights when it comes to weight ratios.

 

You're right but becoming less so as cars' weights reduce.  I think I'm right in saying my current RR Sport is about 400 kg less than its predecessor and I was close to 100% with my last van.

Sam :beardy:   RR Sport HSE Dynamic towing Swift Elegance Grande 845

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, SamD said:

 

You're right but becoming less so as cars' weights reduce.  I think I'm right in saying my current RR Sport is about 400 kg less than its predecessor and I was close to 100% with my last van.

 

We're entering a whole new era of car weights, some reducing but others increasing (with added batteries & the like) and some just not able to tow at all.  Our twin axle has a factory MTPLM of 1624kgs which I used to tow with a BMW 5 series saloon at around 1750kgs and now with a Volvo V90 at around 1850kgs. 

  • Like 1

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

 

There is a perception by a good many that a caravan with two axles requires an SUV/4x4 style towing vehicle when it is easily possible to use a normal saloon/estate that is a good match.  I have had a couple of "on-site-experts" question my wisdom/choice of tow car in the past, preferring to believe their own thoughts rather than my factual weights when it comes to weight ratios.

 

We have it almost every time we go away, but with a kerb weight of 1935kg we are at 88% on an MTPLM of 1700kg which is fine by me, even if you do take notice of the 85% rule which I personally think is nonsense. And with 300+ bhp, 700nm of torque and a very small rear overhang it is a far better tow car than people might at first imagine. 

  • Like 1

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

********* Naughty Step Aficionado And Grand Collector Of Naughty Points *********

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect the chances of you being stopped at a checkpoint is more to do with how many are already in the checkpoint, than your particular set up, unless it's obviously dragging on the floor and swaying from side to side.

Their capacity to carry out the checks is limited, so they'll only do what they can deal with. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It is good to see the checks were done correctly but they are few and far between on caravans and I have never seen one. I do know from talking to Police in the course of my work they are quite astute at picking out the suspects, which is why you cannot rely on the statistics on problems found. They do check the odd one that looks right though so nobody is totally safe.

Possibly like many people they think convertibles weigh less as there is no roof but in most cases they weigh more as they require extra strengthening to allow for this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind just caravan legalities.........I am rather glad they weren’t doing it a couple of weeks back when I returned to Norfolk passed  that very spot.

 

3 days after my journey I received a letter from the authorities advising  me,  my car wasn’t on their database as being insured. ...and to take immediate action to avoid prosecution (my words).


Panic call to Saga.
 

For  some inexplicable reason, my new vehicle had been reinsured in May with the previous vehicles registration number. (same models, just newer)

The Saga person postulated, as I used a comparison website for the quote I could have reused their stored data. What ever the reason I had completely missed the error on my documents...and had been driving around uninsured since May! I can only put it down to Covid fog!

 

Now correctly insured 😌 and double checking the caravan for next outing. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

Possibly like many people they think convertibles weigh less as there is no roof but in most cases they weigh more as they require extra strengthening to allow for this.

 

Unlike many convertibles the E class is built on a purpose designed chassis, used for the cabriolet and coupe, not simply the E class saloon chassis with extra beams added but the roof is hugely heavier than a tin lid, which weighs next to nothing. I don't know the weight of a standard E class roof panel and liner, but would guess not much more than 10kg whereas the cloth roof on the cabriolet alone is over 30kg, the frame another 58kg then you have all of the hydraulics. The convertible is 120kg heavier than the identical coupe model. 

  • Like 1

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

********* Naughty Step Aficionado And Grand Collector Of Naughty Points *********

Link to post
Share on other sites

Used to call them the “nuts & bolts” men in my truck driving days. Plenty of those checks in the 70s & 80s with warnings on the CB if you needed to avoid them. Most of these roadside checks went by the board in later years with “the cuts” & they are few & far between these days my still truck driving friends tell me.

 

Good reason to stop large outfits are that many under 40s have no idea they are driving unlicensed. I have failed to convince a local builder in his 30s that he is not licensed to tow his twin axle builders truck behind his Tranny.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been flagged down for one of these checks, but as I drove into their checking area I was waved straight through.

 

Seemed MUCH more interested in vehicles towing large German caravans than anything domestic, plenty of those getting a thorough going over from what I saw.

 

 

Lunar Solaris 524

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was pulled I was told that they simply pulled the next caravan after the Bay was cleared.

However, I suspect that any outfit that looked suspect would be pulled as a matter of routine.

Link to post
Share on other sites

In my day it was “the coppers nose” that usually decided what to pull into a check point. Some outfits just “looked wrong” and I have say that I would probably pull a  rig with a convertible tow car as not many are rated to tow!

 

Another sure fire “nose twitcher” would be a tow car that’s well down at the rear (we have all seen them haven’t we) 

 

Interesting to see how much under your caravans MTPLM you were (113kg ) Many of us don’t have much more than that before we start adding anything :(

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Experience is an awful teacher who ends up sending you simply horrifying bills

Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Interesting to see how much under your caravans MTPLM you were (113kg ) Many of us don’t have much more than that before we start adding anything :(


I’m sure the OP has a Lunar and I think (could be wrong!) that they don’t have the usual weight plate by the door so the weights could have been taken from the plate inside the front locker giving the absolute maximum weight? That would explain the apparent huge payload allowance.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

In my day it was “the coppers nose” that usually decided what to pull into a check point. Some outfits just “looked wrong” and I have say that I would probably pull a  rig with a convertible tow car as not many are rated to tow!

 

Another sure fire “nose twitcher” would be a tow car that’s well down at the rear (we have all seen them haven’t we) 

 

Interesting to see how much under your caravans MTPLM you were (113kg ) Many of us don’t have much more than that before we start adding anything :(

that's good insight, I like to get as much of the 'heavy stuff' in the car before I start thinking about loading the van... I might rethink this strategy! Thanks @Mr Plodd

 

Ted 

Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, GaryB1969 said:

I’m sure the OP has a Lunar and I think (could be wrong!) that they don’t have the usual weight plate by the door

 

it is indeed a Lunar, but does have a VIN plate mounted below the door. What I can't find is any kind of plate in the gas locker. The VIN plate reads 1600kg MTPLM, the commissioning certificate 1700, and the customer order sheet shows FOC weight upgrade option. 

Mercedes E350 CDi AMG Cabriolet, Lunar Freelander 640EW Twin Axle @1700kg

********* Naughty Step Aficionado And Grand Collector Of Naughty Points *********

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...