First Time Abroad - weighbridge or not?

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Graham Baines, Jun 19, 2016.

  1. Graham Baines

    Graham Baines Funster

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    Hiya guys
    Just a quick question regarding having the MH weighed before leaving UK. Is it a legal requirement to do so or is it even necessary or recommended by those of you with the experienceI I lack. I have read that having the MH weighed would provide advice if I need to transfer weight either forwards or backwards to "balance" the load etc. Also that I would have a certificate which can be produced if stopped by local authorites/police to show that I am not overloaded (how would a previously issued certificate help, as I could have loaded up with another 500kg or more of extra weight after the MH was weighed and certified -especially as I am thinking of taking along some bottled real ales to keep me going)

    Any advice appreciated as we are getting close to our sailing on the 28th, so if it is legally required I dont have much time to arrange this. Thanks in advance
    Graham
     
  2. Xabia

    Xabia Funster

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    Hi Graham,

    It is certainly not a legal requirement to have your motorhome weighed before you leave but it's not a bad idea to do it so that you know whether or not you are actually overloaded. That could have serious consequences in the event of an accident.

    I had mine weighed some years ago and contacted the tyre manufacturer who then advised me what pressures to put in the tyres.

    As you presume, any weight ticket is only valid at the time as you could subsequently load yourself with wine etc when abroad. However, it allows to to compare the loaded weight with the permissible one and you then know what extras you can load on your travels.

    Mike
     
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  3. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Not legally required but illegal to run overweight.

    The decision is up to you, I suspect very few MHs ever see a weighbridge but by all means get it weighed, I did mine and got a shock!

    You need the total weight in "battle trim" that is water, fuel, two passengers and all your personal gear, BBQ, bikes etc.* Then get at least another reading for say just the front axle but ideally a third for the back.

    Check the cost before you get weighed, most are free but some charge a rip off fee, we heard about one recently.

    You then need to check the figures against the converter's plate, if there is one, otherwise the original manufacturer's plate.

    *The definition of mass in running order does vary and some manufacturers cheat and say it should be with only say a 20% full fresh water tank, which is unrealistic in my view but they do it anyway.
     
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  4. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    Let me answer your question with a question.

    You have loaded the 'van up for your holidays. Do YOU know what it weighs? If the answer to that is NO. (and I've asked the same thing myself) then go to the weighbridge.

    It may come as a surprise, pleasant or scarey.

    When we did it, with spouse but without full tanks of water or fuel, we were 20Kgs over the Max. That created the need to do something about it. In our case to uprate the Max weight.

    As for taking the Cert if it shows under, whilst it's proof of nothing, sometimes, just sometimes, it may get you out of going on the mobile weighbridge but, as you say, it proves nothing.
     
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  5. Clarky

    Clarky Funster

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    It isn't a legal requirement to carry a certificate of any sort but it is a legal requirement to not be over weight. There could be all sorts of repercussions if involved in an accident and were found to be over the legal weight limit for your vehicle.
    It is though, good practice to get your van weighed when fully loaded for a trip so that you know how you stand.
    We are fortunate in having a handy weigh bridge not far from home and on our route towards the channel, so I have loaded our van to the gunnels for a long trip and weighed it en-route.
    Fortunately we were well under weight although the rear was fairly close to its limit.
    For the sake of a few minutes and a few quid I would get it done, preferably before you go away, so that you can have time to reassess your load beforehand.

    Richard.
     
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  6. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    Our local weighbridge charges €3 per weigh-in (up to 20 tonnes) - is that roughly par for the course pls?
     
  7. Dave and Ginny

    Dave and Ginny Funster

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    I never bothered for the first 3 years of ownership of our current MH...but it was always on my mind. When eventually I did it came in almost 300kg underweight! Good to know, except now Ginny thinks we can carry even more stuff!

    Do it...better to know one way or the other!
     
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  8. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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    If you're over the maximum weight allowed for your vehicle:
    • you could be weighed by 'the authorities' (in UK as well as abroad) and fined
    • you could cause an accident due to instability or whatever
    • if you're involved in an accident, you could find your insurance won't pay out
    Not worth not doing. We found we were 100k UNDER so a nice surprise.
     
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  9. CWH

    CWH Funster Life Member

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  10. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    thank you for this though not sure I would have much choice even if I thought the charge excessive.
     
  11. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    Bargain.
    Only trouble is it would cost us about £100 plus ferry to get there.!!!
     
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  12. Lot lover

    Lot lover Funster

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    You're not from Yorkshire then
     
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  13. Dorset Diver

    Dorset Diver Funster

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    Best do it. Did ours recently and we were a bit close to the mark; less than 100kgs to spare with full water.
     
  14. emmitdb

    emmitdb Funster

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    HOW MUCH!!! do you know about me?
     
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  15. Meki

    Meki Funster

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    Get it weighed, best to actually know rather than guess and be way out and illegal
     
  16. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Never ever, ever, ever take ANY notice of me what so ever but...

    I have been motorhoming in one form or another for over 45 years and have lived in a van/motorhome for over 25 of them, and I have never ever, ever weighed my van, nor have I ever had my van checked for weight by any authority anywhere, despite travelling all over Europe for years and years and years.

    Just saying...

    JJ :cool:
     
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  17. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    I would suggest that weighing your van before would enable you demonstrate responsible behaviour compared to those who have never ever weighed their van and regularly travel overweight and better enable you argue away a small amount over as an inadvertent oversight. There again it depends on the person doing the checking and out of which side of their bed they got out of in the morning!
     
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  18. Margaritaman

    Margaritaman Funster

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    Important to get the weight of your front and rear axles separately recorded too. Ask weighbridge operator to note weight of just your motorhome's front wheels on the weighbridge, your total weight, and just your rear wheels on the weighbridge.

    The reasoning behind this is that your total weight could be under your maximum permitted BUT you could still be "overloaded" if the weight of one of your axles is over the maximum permitted on your weight plate on the vehicle.

    Hope this helps and doesn't confuse
     
  19. Ed Excel

    Ed Excel Funster

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    It's worth asking your local builder's merchant if you can use their bulk material scales. It's possible they might not charge, especially if you buy gas from them!
     
  20. Stealaway

    Stealaway Funster

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    I needed to know just for peace of mind. It could make the difference between running with the water tank full or empty.
     
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