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Subject Topic: calculating towing weights.
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Message posted by mike and lorna on 25/4/2011 at 5:45pm
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hi guys, and girls!

we have just registered and have a couple of questions that need answering!

first off we are unsure on how to work out our towing weight. we know how to work out the 85% towing limit but we'd like to know how we work out what weights are used with regard the vehicle weights.

my partner passed her test in 1991, so she has no problems, but as i passed my test after jan 1st 1997 im limited to 3500kg all up. now, we are looking at a new ford galaxy 2.0 tdci. its kerb weight is 1733, max tow weight is 1800kg and its gross weight is 2505kg. the caravan we are looking at is a sprite quattro es, with an mtplm of 1575kg. i know the galaxy will tow it (its about 87%) but which weight do the police calculate the weights from? is it the kerb weight or gross weight?

obviously we dont want to fall foul of the law so any advice thats 100% accurate would be greatly recieved

also,

anybody else own a sprite? what are peoples opinions etc? we need a big 6 berth but would prefer a double axle. we have around 10k to spend.

 

many thanks people, happy vanning!

mike and lorna


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Message posted by neil and lena on 25/4/2011 at 6:46pm
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The vehicle Gross weight of your car + MPTLM of the van is how it's calculated so in your case 2505kg+1575kg = 4080kg which would put you above the limit

Message posted by rhsc01 on 25/4/2011 at 10:01pm
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Hi

Not sure that this is 100% correct bit I'm sure someone will correct me.

There are a few wieghts you need to be aware of. 

1)The kerb weight is used to measure against the caravan MTPLM to see where you are with the 85% "Guideline".

2)The MTPLM as you probably know is the 'Maximum' wieght the caravan can ever be including all your gear and this is weight is stamped on plate located on the caravan.

3)The Gross weight of the car is the 'Maximum' weight the car can ever be including passingers and luggage etc. 

4)The Nose weight is the wieght the hitch of the caravan can be when attached to the car.  (Can be measured using a set of bathroom scalles and and lump of wood)

4)The Train weight is the 'Maximum' weight the complete car and caravan can be including all people, luggage, gear, etc.  This can be found on the VIN plate of the car and must not be exceeded.

The train weight is probably one of the most important and most forgotten of all the weights.  Example ()- my car can tow up to 1400Kg legally according to the manufacturer.  The Gross wieght of the car is 1840Kg. The MTPLM of the caravan is 1300Kg.

Gross weight of car + MTPLM of caravan = 1840+1300 =3140Kg

The Train weight stamped on the VIN plate of my car is 3040kg.  So as you can see if I go to the manufacturers max weight of car and caravan I will exceeed the Train weight and thus break the law.

In my example it is only 100Kg over but in other example I have seen it a lot higher.

Sorry for waffling on but it can be a complicated issue and I hope my long winded explanation makes sense.

Ps  I know it is on a single axel but I have the Adria Altea 542DK which is a 6 beth and it is fab for me and my 2 boys.

Cheers

Richard

 



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May       - Aveniemore
Summer    - South West London (theme parks all Around)
September - Not Sure
October   - Blackpool (Yet more Theme parks and attractions
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Message posted by Grampian91 on 25/4/2011 at 10:20pm
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mike and lorna. Cars gross weight = 2505 so for your partner to tow it your looking at a caravan with a MAX GROSS loaded weight of 995kg.
So that rules out most full sized caravans, Leaving smaller caravans or older basic type caravans.

You said you want a twin axle you need to be careful as 1800kg max tow may not be enough for your car. You dont say what the cars gross train weight is. But you may find its less than the combined max laden weight and the max tow weight added together.

Also see below...


rhsc01

I have a mondeo estate with a kerbweight of 1547, Max tow 1800kg, Gross train weight 3725kg.

So if i loaded my car to the MAX the maximum i could tow is 1560kg.

Your outfit looks illegal from the figures i found. Cars max tow 1200kg caravans gross weight 1300kg. If you get stopped or have an accident it wont be pretty.

Looks like you need a smaller van or bigger car.





-------------
Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by mike and lorna on 25/4/2011 at 10:34pm
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thanks for the advice guys and girls. gross train weight according to ford is 4305kg so it will be comfortably within its limit. van and car is 4080kg. 

looks like its a trailor test for me then

 

 


Message posted by rhsc01 on 26/4/2011 at 7:48pm
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Hi Grampian91

"Your outfit looks illegal from the figures i found. Cars max tow 1200kg caravans gross weight 1300kg. If you get stopped or have an accident it wont be pretty."

Not sure what model you were looking at but I have a Kia Cerato 1.6 CRDI 2006 (tow car of the year 2006) which has a towing limit of 1400Kg and therefore Legal. 

Cheers

Richard



-------------
If you Don't ask, you Don't get..............
Easter    - Alton Towers
May       - Aveniemore
Summer    - South West London (theme parks all Around)
September - Not Sure
October   - Blackpool (Yet more Theme parks and attractions
Life is a Roller coaster and we will be on loads this year...

Message posted by Greendemon315 on 26/4/2011 at 8:23pm
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But the caravan is 1575, which is more than 1400...

Jim


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Message posted by 888dee on 26/4/2011 at 8:48pm
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I understand what's being said about 'plated' weights here but surely the law and therefore the police must deal in actuals?

I mean if you were to be stopped surely the police would have to prove you had exceeded the weight allowed by your licence? ie take you to a weigh bridge and show the weight to be over 3500kg because otherwise it's a "well we're pretty sure you're breaking the law"....

or am I barking up the wrong tree?

Message posted by Grampian91 on 26/4/2011 at 8:53pm
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Even at 1400kg your still 175kg over your legal limit..

And no it doesnt matter if you load it lightly. The gross weight if the legal figure. Well over 100% match.

Sadly it's an accident waiting to happen...



-------------
Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by Zafiral on 27/4/2011 at 7:43am
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Quote: Originally posted by Grampian91 on 26/4/2011
Even at 1400kg your still 175kg over your legal limit..

And no it doesnt matter if you load it lightly. The gross weight if the legal figure. Well over 100% match.

Sadly it's an accident waiting to happen...


Sorry I beg to differ.

If you passed your driving licence before 1997, then it is the actual weight that is taken into account (assuming that you are within the gross train weight for your car).

If you passed after 1997 then (and have not upgraded to a B+E licence) both the plated & the actual weight of the trailer have to be within the limits of your licence.  The MTPLM of the caravan has to be lower than the kerb weight of your towcar, and the combined gross weights of the car & the van need to be below 3500kg regardless of how heavily either is loaded.



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Message posted by Greendemon315 on 27/4/2011 at 9:31am
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I have always believed that it's the gross figures that are taken into account. In other words, it matters what it can weigh, not what it does weigh.

I do seem to remember a different rule as far as licences are concerned.  Whoever made these laws up should learn to write clearly.

Phil, where are you when we need you?  It would be good to get a definitive answer.

Jim


Message posted by rhsc01 on 27/4/2011 at 10:57am
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Quote: Originally posted by Grampian91 on 26/4/2011
Even at 1400kg your still 175kg over your legal limit..

And no it doesnt matter if you load it lightly. The gross weight if the legal figure. Well over 100% match.

Sadly it's an accident waiting to happen...


Hi Grampian91

Not sure what you are talking about!!  The 100% rule that is used is based on the kerb weight and not the gross wieght.  Therefore as I said earlier my car is legally able to tow 1400kg and my caravan is 1300kg, my cars kerb weight is 1362 which makes the match 95% (allthough whattowcar shows 93%)which is below the 100%.

When both car and van are loaded to below the train weight the actual match is 75% (whilst I know this is not what they look at).

If you look at the whattowcar web site you will see that is is not a good match but it is legal.  I have had issues towing in my first few trips out but I have played around with location of payload and it tows like a dream now

Sorry Mike and Lorna for having a discussion inside yours...

Cheers

Richard



-------------
If you Don't ask, you Don't get..............
Easter    - Alton Towers
May       - Aveniemore
Summer    - South West London (theme parks all Around)
September - Not Sure
October   - Blackpool (Yet more Theme parks and attractions
Life is a Roller coaster and we will be on loads this year...

Message posted by Grampian91 on 27/4/2011 at 11:41am
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Quote:

Sorry I beg to differ.

If you passed your driving licence before 1997, then it is the actual weight that is taken into account (assuming that you are within the gross train weight for your car).

If you passed after 1997 then (and have not upgraded to a B+E licence) both the plated & the actual weight of the trailer have to be within the limits of your licence.  The MTPLM of the caravan has to be lower than the kerb weight of your towcar, and the combined gross weights of the car & the van need to be below 3500kg regardless of how heavily either is loaded.




I read it as the gross weight that counts. The old licence holders can drive a 7.5t max gross weight vehicle but cannot drive the same vehicle if its plated at 8 tons.

Same as new licence holders cannot drive a vehicle over 3.5tons gross weight. Not 3.5 tons as weighed.

Personally i wouldnt want to be in a position to find out either way.





-------------
Post 1997 licence holder?

Max tow weight = Cars gross laden weight + Caravans gross laden weight.

These 2 figures must not exceed 3500kg. And the Caravans gross laden weight must not exceed the cars UNLADEN weight.

Unless the manufacturer has set a lower limit.

Message posted by Greendemon315 on 27/4/2011 at 11:59am
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Agreed.  You might as well say you can drive an artic on a car licence, just because it isn't loaded.  If, for example, you went to hire a car trailer, they would look at the maximum weights before they agreed to let you have it, irrespective of what you said you would load it with.

Jim


Message posted by Zafiral on 27/4/2011 at 12:55pm
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May I first state that these comments only relate to pre 1997 licence holders or post 1997 licence holders who have the B+E upgrade.

Appologies, I did not make my self very clear. I agree you cannot tow anything that has a combined plated weight of greater than 8250kg (7500kg + 750kg trailer).  I stand corrected that I should have mentioned that the plated weights are relavant to the class of vehicle that you are legally able to drive.

I was assuming we were only talking about cars & caravans here.

I was meaning that with a B+E licence you could tow a 1650 kg MTPLM caravan with a car with a max tow weight of 1500 kg as long as the caravan axle weight does not exceed 1500kg. If you have 80 kg nose weight that means the caravan unattached to the car could weigh 1580kg.

To my knowledge the restrictive weights are the gross vehicle weight and the gross train weight (along with axle weights & drawbar load). They are the only stamped weights on my car.

If a car is not homogulated for towing it will have no GTW stamped and therefore cannot tow at all.



-------------
Mar Bearsted CC
Easter Orchards IoW, Seacroft CC
Jun Bearsted CC
Aug Park Coppice Coniston CC
Oct Sandy Balls
Nov Daleacres CC

Message posted by 888dee on 27/4/2011 at 6:12pm
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wow, this is all seriously confusing, finally not being a 20 something has a benefit

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