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Do French And German Police Weigh Caravans Of Other Countries?


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Please bear with me for a moment as I explain why I'm asking the question.

 

For more than a year I have been trying to increase the payload of my caravan, but I'm hitting a brick wall at the ITV (mot) station, where I'm asking to have a new permit to use my caravan on the road. They require a document from the importers of my german caravan to proof it will be safe at the weight I'm asking for, I have a document from the caravan manufacturer, certifying that a greater weight than I'm asking for is fine. but the ITV station won't accept it. The importers don't want to know, they have my money so who cares, and reading the forums here it seems I'm not the only one with this problem.

 

We are planning a 3 month trip around France and Germany next spring,and murphy law says that if I don't get my bit of paper with the new weight. ....I'll be stopped and weighed

 

I have two weights on my registration documents, one is the weight I'm allowed now and the other is the weight I can increase it to. but only with a document from the importers.

 

Back to my question

 

Do French and German police weigh caravans of other countries?

 

Some info on how the German and French police act towards caravaners from other countries would be welcome.

 

Sorry it's a bit of a story.

Knaus sudwind 500 TL C4 grand Picasso 2. 0 hdi 138 EGS Exclusive

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Surely the German police would be weighing a van from there own country? If you are touring around Germany could you not get it re tagged at the higher weight while there? There must be a dealers somewhere near where you are going?

I refer you to the Rt Hon Member for the 19th Century.....................pictured just to the left of your screen..................

 

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woodie106

the weight on my caravan documents must comply with the country it's registered with,and can only be changed by ITV station. as I said I've got documentation from the german manufacturer, but the powers to be (jobsworth) will only accept a certificate from the importers, who are Spanish. How stupid is that? I wonder, do they think the importers know more than the builders?

 

But back to original question do the police in other countries bother weighing visitors caravans?

Edited by lute

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Lutz may give you a more 'on the ground' insight for Germany.

 

But I think the 'foreign' police are no different to UK police when it comes to their skill at spotting the ones to stop. Provided your rig looks in control, doesn't exceed your authorised speed limit or do anything that will give them reason to pull you over. ..I don't see them treating you any differently to their own caravanners. Besides you rarely see police on any motorways. Can't imagine they just do random caravan weight checks . .you need to attract them. Maybe wrong.

 

I had occasion to have my documentation examined by German police two years ago. They only wanted the insurance docs for both the caravan and the car. Of course it begs the question what your insurance company's view would be?..knowing how they can wriggle at the slightest!

 

Just one other point. As many will know, we were involved in a major crash in Italy this year, when an oncoming car lost control and crossed in front of us. Several days later, the Carabinieri came to the campsite to complete the accident report. I had an A4 display book with hard copies of ALL our personal, car and caravan details. From passports to CRiS.

 

The officer requested details through an interpreter and I duly pulled out on demand the requested hardcopy. After several of these a smile went across his face and he said (according to the interpreter) words to the effect. ..."I have never seen such organised information, makes everything easy".

 

Although he might have really thought 'English pr*t' the fact is it put a smile on his face. Although on this occasion it was a clear cut case, I could imagine helping police by simple organisation, can lubricate a difficult situation.

 

Just a thought.

 

 

French police? Never see them on motorways.

Edited by ericfield
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Interestingly one of the advertisements for the Reich Weight Control showed a policeman with one but I don't think a caravan. In all the years of touring abroad you tend to see very few police around unless there is some sort of event in the area. I have seen one German patrol checking documents in a small town but as we were on foot it was no issue for us!

 

Eric, I had a similar experience with the Carabinieri when I went to report a stolen wallet. The guy was stony faced all the way through filling in the form until the point of providing my address when I pulled out an Able Label from the pouch where my wallet should have been and his broadened in a big smile, he could speak a bit of English.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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I dont know alot about the intricacies of the Spanish ITV system but I suspect your problems are caused because the ITV are responsible for the registration and periodic testing of vehicles. The reason they want details from the importer is that they deal with the company that has a legal entity within Spain. They have no authority outside of Spain. They will be able only to test against the original certification.

So for a possible solution you may need approach the manufacturer. If the vehicle is type approved the manufacturer may have declared a number of different in service masses. If this is the case they should be able to issue a Certificate of conformity and new VIN plates to suit the mass you need. If the ITV work like the UK authority you should then be able apply to re register the vehicle.

 

On a practical level the Vehicles are only marked with the Max Permitted Laden mass, The max vertical force on the coupler and the Max permitted load of each axle. These figures are not to be exceeded and as such they are often quite a bit higher than the Mass in running order + Payload. A roadside stop with a weighbridge (rare as they are) would largely be concerned with these figures, the payload is usually only a consideration if the max permissible mass has been exceeded.

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Certainly in France, in 21 years of caravanning, we've never even been checked for anything, and I've never seen or heard of anyone having a caravan weighed. We do most of our journeys off the toll roads, again rarely see police (except at crossroads, on Stop signs where they are vigilant if you don't absolutely stop) and the only time we've had dealings with the police was once as we were heading on to a short section of toll road near Beziers, where they stopped us so that the vignerons of the Serignan area could hand out a bottle of red and white wine per car. The second time was in a village near Chateauroux, where an enormous wide harvester had broken down and the road was closed. They helped us reverse, and drew a plan of an alternative route on a postcard, marking our turns with sketches of a particular tree, and other features, and wished us Bon Voyage. Very different experiences to some of the scare stories you read in some of the tabloid newspapers, where you might think French police had nothing else to do but stop British caravanners and fine them for anything and everything!

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.

 

I had occasion to have my documentation examined by German police two years ago. They only wanted the insurance docs for both the caravan and the car.

.

Aren't these the same document? It's the car insurance certificate that covers the caravan, there's no requirement to insure the caravan.

 

The only documentation I have showing the weight of my 'van is the NCC certificate of conformity which shows 1586 kgs. I've since had a weight upgrade to 1800 kgs but the manufacturer says I don't need updated paperwork, just the new weight plate.

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I do have a document of conformity as well a a new VIN from the manufacturer. The tecnical inspection document does have, as you say,all the weights, including the upper max weight for the caravan, But I have a second document which is the permit for circulating/use on the road, which only shows the lower weight and this is what the authorities ask for when/if they stop you.

 

I'm thinking it may be worth finding a weightbridge and finding out just how much the van weights with my usual load and I may be able to put my mind at rest or give myself a bigger headache. Either way I'll have a base line to work from.

 

However its good to read from people with real life experience that the police in other countries don't spend time picking on caravaners who act in a responsible manner.

Edited by lute

Knaus sudwind 500 TL C4 grand Picasso 2. 0 hdi 138 EGS Exclusive

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Certainly in France, in 21 years of caravanning, we've never even been checked for anything, and I've never seen or heard of anyone having a caravan weighed.

Maybe one of the reasons so few of us have been stopped by European police is that we don't have separate registration for our caravans, are not required to insure them, are not required to have annual safety checks and are not required (according to Elddis) to possess documents showing the MTPLM. All things considered, there is no paperwork at all for them to check. Emoji_1F46E.png

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We were pulled over on a German autobahn and the caravan weighed about 25 years ago. All caravans were being checked.

 

We didn't have any documents as such so the weight was checked against the info. on the plate on the caravan.

 

Of course I'm sure in France, Germany,ete etc if you were in a serious accident the caravan weight would be checked to make sure it didn't contribute to the cause.

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My original and up to now only VIN plate (that is fitted) is empty of any info. The chassis Nº is stamped on said chassis and other information is in the documentation.

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We were pulled over on a German autobahn and the caravan weighed about 25 years ago. All caravans were being checked.

 

We didn't have any documents as such so the weight was checked against the info. on the plate on the caravan.

 

Of course I'm sure in France, Germany,ete etc if you were in a serious accident the caravan weight would be checked to make sure it didn't contribute to the cause.

 

We were pulled over on a German autobahn and the caravan weighed about 25 years ago. All caravans were being checked.

 

We didn't have any documents as such so the weight was checked against the info. on the plate on the caravan.

 

Of course I'm sure in France, Germany,ete etc if you were in a serious accident the caravan weight would be checked to make sure it didn't contribute to the cause.

same as we were 22 years ago.

cost us 75 marks fine.

every van and motor home were pulled off that day.

been back many times since and seen no police.

we usually use N roads in France.

 

cheers rodders B)

skoda superb hatch 1. 6 tdi towing bailey ranger 380

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rodders68,

 

why you get the fine, overweight, over permited speed ? 22 years ago, was 75 DM a hefty fine?

Edited by lute

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Just like say thanks for the answers that have been posted about/on this thread.

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German police generally take a fairly pragmatic approach and I imagine that they would accept the documentation for the increased MTPLM supplied by the caravan manufacturer so long as it clearly refers to the chassis number in question. What is the difference between the two values? German police do carry out spot checks on the weight of foreign vehicles, but normally only when they suspect it may be overloaded.

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Lutz,

the increase I'll be allowed under the Spanish ITV regulation is only 175 Kgs making my maximum permited weight 1300 Kgs, I believe thats about 300 Kgs less than Knaus will allow on their sudwind 500 range. But of course the specifications for the fittings are different on Spanish/German caravans

Knaus sudwind 500 TL C4 grand Picasso 2. 0 hdi 138 EGS Exclusive

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All current Knaus Südwind 500 models are rated at 1500kg MTPLM, but factory fitted options are available to uprate to 1600, 1700 and 1800kg respectively at a cost of €462.

Edited by Lutz
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