Jump to content

Tow Weights clarification


Flatcoat888
 Share

Recommended Posts

Potential car purchase has 1750kg Mass in service, type approved to tow 1500kg, train weight 3650, caravan MTPLM is 1550. If the caravan actually weighs 1500kg in travelling mode what is the legal situation? I think I know the answer however the more I research the more I become less clear. The car dealer tells me it would be legal but not taking notice of that! 

Edited by Flatcoat888
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Flatcoat888 changed the title to Tow Weights clarification
  • Replies 167
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Firstly you don't know what the car will actually weigh, so have no idea what the actual Train Weight will be. If the van actually weighs 1500kg then all you can say is that the car must be under 2150kg to remain legal.

It's unlikely that anyone can keep a UK made 1550kg caravan at or below 1500kg as that 50kg is generally about a third of the payload and a battery and mover use up a further third. It would be a very empty van if all you could load it with is 50kg of stuff.

If you are a novice and you applied the 85% advice then the car is OK to pull about 1500kg.

If you have a B only licence then we'd need to know the car's Gross Weight to make an assessment but with a 1550kg van the GW has to be below 1950kg to be legally able to go on the road.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The legal situation will depend upon:

a) The driving licence you hold

b)The PLATED weights of the car and caravan

c) The ACTUAL weights of car and caravan

 

For a) If you hold cat B licence then the plated weights (MAM of car + MTPLM of caravan) is limited to 3500kg under driving licence law. The weights used to calculate this are PLATED weights not Actual weights

 

The ACTUAL weight cannot exceed a PLATED weight when driving on a road under construction and use law

 

Any weight on the type approval certificate as a maximum tow weight should not be exceeded, but this is not 'policed' as prosecution agencies rely on PLATED weights and ACTUAL weights.

 

hypothesising about how much something might weigh is a waste of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 minutes ago, reluctant said:

Any weight on the type approval certificate as a maximum tow weight should not be exceeded, but this is not 'policed' as prosecution agencies rely on PLATED weights and ACTUAL weights.

 

 

The type approval certificate should always agree with the weight on the statutory plate. If it doesn't there is something wrong somewhere and someone has made a mistake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dealer is correct on the basis that at 1500kg the caravan would be within the car manufacturer's warranted towing limit. This is not a legally applied limit but if exceeded it can detrimentally affect any car warranty. However the earlier caveat that it is hard to run a caravan below its MTPLM applies.

 

The car dealer has no way of knowing the weight you will run the car at, so has no idea how the rig might compare to its legally applicable Train Weight limit.

1 minute ago, Lutz said:

 

The type approval certificate should always agree with the weight on the statutory plate. If it doesn't there is something wrong somewhere and someone has made a mistake.

 

The type approved towing limit doesn't appear on a plate though, so isn't used as an enforcement issue. The plate just has GVW and GTW plus axle weights.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

The type approved towing limit doesn't appear on a plate though, so isn't used as an enforcement issue. The plate just has GVW and GTW plus axle weights.

 

In the case of a caravan it will have the noseweight limit instead of GTW.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Oh crikey - how can a simple question be complicated in so many ways. I was using rounded figures to simply establish the legal position. No dealer has anyway of knowing what weight is put in the car on any outfit so that is irrelevant to my query. So, however to clarify, I have been caravanning 10 years, have B+E, the MIRO is 1360 before, I repeat before removal of carpets and table (in attic), EHU and spare wheel which go in the car so probably resulting in a MIRO circa 1325 kg. Add back in 55kg for battery and mover and have 120kg payload to 1500kg. Car payload circa 280kg (2slim adults, awning, 20kg dog, EHU, wheel, tools, odds and sods) so well within car payload limit which i recall is actually 460kg - the GVTW is probably higher than I have quoted (can’t find exact figure at moment) but I do know the MIS and tow weight limit are spot on.  The nose weight is 75kg. So, assuming I tow a 1550 plated caravan at 1500kg am I legal or not? Simples yes/no will suffice…. I hope! 

Edited by Flatcoat888
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I say no as MTPLM exceeds car's tow weight. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The MIRO is a legal definition so you cannot change it by removing items from the caravan, but what you are doing is reducing the actual weight, in the same way adding items to a car does not increase its Mass in Running Order/Kerb Weight.

 

So what you are stuck with is the plated weights, that being the MAM  of the car, and the MTPLM of the caravan which is all VOSA or the police will use when checking things out.

 

The only other issue is the cars max towing capacity, which if the plated weights permit would allow you to tow a caravan that weighs no more than 1500kg, so in theory you could get the gross weight of the caravan to 1500kg (you would have to weigh it to be absolutely certain), and it would be within the towing limit of the car.

 

But anything you don't put in the caravan would end up going in the car which would increase its payload and could then take you above the MAM, and/or the max axle weights.

 

So as you can see there isn't a simple YES/NO answer, and personally if it is that tight I would look at an alternative tow car.

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Except in the case of licence entitlements, MTPLM is measured against the actual weight, so, if the van in this case weighs 1500kg it is legal. The MTPLM limit is for the whole caravan, including noseweight.

 

If the car is loaded as suggested by the OP and if the MIS is correct, then its actual gross weight is 1930kg and with a 1500kg caravan the actual train weight is 3430kg, so within the car's train limit of 3650kg.

 

However using manufacturer published empty weights as a way to establish actual loaded weights is usually misleading as tolerances in manufacture, plus the use of single weights to cover a range of different specs tends to lead to inaccuracy.

 

Personally I don't like pushing boundaries in what can be a safety critical area, so I always try to ensure that any van I tow has an MTPLM at least 200kg below the car's towing limit.

 

 

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies to all trying to help but law isn’t opinion. I fully understand how MIRO weights are measured and arrived at however what else can the consumer go by? How many people in reality take their caravans to a weigh bridge? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

Apologies to all trying to help but law isn’t opinion. I fully understand how MIRO weights are measured and arrived at however what else can the consumer go by? How many people in reality take their caravans to a weigh bridge? 

 

I blame the caravan makers for not putting weighbridge on every street corner.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

😂😂

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Butb they could have a weighbridge on the factory premises, and weigh each caravan as it comes off the prodution line, and certify the actual weight - fat chance of that happening!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

How many people in reality take their caravans to a weigh bridge? 


Me, I weigh the new car before it has anything put in it, and I also weigh the new caravan, we have a weigh-bridge 1/2 mile away so not a tedious task.

 

If I know where I am starting from everything else can be calculated. 

Jaguar E-Pace 180D HSE R Dynamic - 2008 Swift Conqueror 540

 

"Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan Talk"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

Apologies to all trying to help but law isn’t opinion. I fully understand how MIRO weights are measured and arrived at however what else can the consumer go by? How many people in reality take their caravans to a weigh bridge? 

You should know by now, mention weights and everyone ties it up in knots!!

 

For legislative enforcement purposes it is quite straightforward.

1. For driving licences no weighing needed as it is maximum permitted (plated) weights regardless of actual weight on the day but that isn't the matter in question and you already have the correct licensing groups.

2. For axle, gross vehicle and gross train weights it is the weight on the day as determined by a weighbridge. So if the plated GTW is 3,650kg and your car and caravan together weigh that or less you are legal. However, you need to be careful not to overload the axle and GVW of the car whilst trying to keep the caravan weight down and to distribute evenly. The offences concerned refer to exceeding the maximum permitted weights so if every weight is at or below the maximum permitted, no offences are committed.

Edited by Legal Eagle
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the above but would add that if the car manufacturer states a towing limit of 1500 kg then it is foolish to exceed this. In practice it will be the maximum weight the car can restart five times on a 12% hill but exceeding it would breach the warranty, assuming it is still in force and could be used by enforcement officers as a basis for preventing you driving on if you were stopped. 

Not sure how you would ascertain you were only loaded to 1500 kg, but in most cases this would leave you with an impractically low loading allowance so would not work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as the towing legalities go, MIRO, both that of the car and of the caravan, are totally irrelevant. Driving licence entitlement restrictions aside for a moment, only the actual laden weights count relative to their respective plated limits.

I hate to raise another issue because I've been reprimanded for it in the past, but because the OP is asking about legalities I feel compelled to add that the car's towing limit cannot be compared with the MTPLM of the caravan, but only against its axle load. That's how the law is defined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As previously outlined as a result of weight saving action i theoretically have circa 120kg payload after allowing for battery/mover. The non hybrid version of the same car has a MIS of 1550kg and a max tow weight limit of 1750kg….. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As has been pointed out, the Mass in Service is only of benefit to an owner as an indication of what payload they can add. It has no relevance to the legal position re weight (or licence) offences.

 

The only sensible route is to check the MTPLM of the caravan from its plate and ensure by taking your fully loaded outfit to a weigh bridge that in practice you do not exceed the MTPLM of the caravan, the MAM of the car, the Train weight and individual axle weights.

 

Lutz's earlier comment that the cert of conformity should not differ from the plated weights is true as far as it goes, but the manufacturers towing limit is not stated on the cars weight plate, only the Max Train Weight.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Wildwood said:

I agree with the above but would add that if the car manufacturer states a towing limit of 1500 kg then it is foolish to exceed this. In practice it will be the maximum weight the car can restart five times on a 12% hill but exceeding it would breach the warranty, assuming it is still in force and could be used by enforcement officers as a basis for preventing you driving on if you were stopped. 

Not sure how you would ascertain you were only loaded to 1500 kg, but in most cases this would leave you with an impractically low loading allowance so would not work. 

This test you describe was a very crude driver's test used by the likes of the Caravan Club when road testing to see whether the clutch overheats (and some did in the old days), etc.  

I can assure you that all component and vehicle manufacturers use rather more scientific methods of design to determine the safe and reliable limits for components, assemblies, and whole vehicles. It is all done scientifically so that unaffordable risks are eliminated from design projects. There are numerous verifications before each stage sign off.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Ern said:

This test you describe was a very crude driver's test used by the likes of the Caravan Club when road testing to see whether the clutch overheats (and some did in the old days), etc.  

I can assure you that all component and vehicle manufacturers use rather more scientific methods of design to determine the safe and reliable limits for components, assemblies, and whole vehicles. It is all done scientifically so that unaffordable risks are eliminated from design projects. There are numerous verifications before each stage sign off.  

 

Agreed Ern.

 

The 12% hill start thing has gained currency because manufacturers tend to quote towing limits at 12% and some also at 8%. That doesn't mean that starting off on a 12% or 8% hill are the only tests involved, just that those are the limits the company is happy with at that grade of hill with that vehicle.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

18 hours ago, Ern said:

This test you describe was a very crude driver's test used by the likes of the Caravan Club when road testing to see whether the clutch overheats (and some did in the old days), etc.  

I can assure you that all component and vehicle manufacturers use rather more scientific methods of design to determine the safe and reliable limits for components, assemblies, and whole vehicles. It is all done scientifically so that unaffordable risks are eliminated from design projects. There are numerous verifications before each stage sign off.  

Sorry, but the figure I gave for how the towing limit is determined is correct. The CC did do a hill start test at one time, to check both that the hand brake held on the hill and how the car managed the restart but that was not the basis of my figure. The restart on a 12% hill is the standard used for the towing limit and several manufacturers do include this point in their data, and some even quote another figure for even steeper hill starts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may be one of the factors but these days cooling systems, drive shaft strength, gearbox strength etc also play a part as does how much car payload is used up by Hybrid battery weight. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems clear that the weights are a bit tight.  When we have to consider the weight of 2 adults and the dog and leave the carpets at home,  then clearly we are clutching at straws.  Maybe worth considering a change of car.  

    John.

Link to comment
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.

 Share


×
×
  • Create New...