mtplm weight disadvantages in europe

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by janmick, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. janmick

    janmick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    norfolk
    hi, can anyone advise me, am in the process of buying our first motorhome. its mtplm is currently rated at 4000kg. we are thinking of travelling to europe sometime in the future, and I've read somewhere that this weight would bring certain restrictions as to routes allowed.
    our dealer is willing to replate the m/h to 3500kg. can anyone throw some light on this subject.:Wink:
     
  2. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2011
    Messages:
    7,224
    Likes Received:
    9,612
    Location:
    Dorset
    dont rush to downplate as you will be losing your payload. this quickly disappears when you start loading for a trip away plus passengers

    the toll roads are going to cost a bit more if they know youre over 3500kg and there is some confusion about commercial vehicles over 3.5t not being allowed on some roads. this relates to lorries and commercial vans not to motorhomes from what ive heard and read

    they wont ban big motorhomes from the roads as they rely on the tourist income and theres plenty about over the 3500kg mark
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,478
    Likes Received:
    16,963
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    beware downplating.

    If the van left the converters premises at 4000kg it was uprated for a reason....usually because it was too heavy at the standard 3500kg rating.
    Almost all motorhome base vehicles leave the factory at 3500kg for european driver licence purposes.

    Worth a visit to a public weighbridge to see how much it weighs now.....downplating might not leave much/any payload allowance.

    I dont think routes are affected but lower speeds certainly are.

     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    15,458
    Likes Received:
    8,598
    Location:
    Ilfracombe, Devon
    Over 3,500kgs you have different speed restrictions and these must be displayed on the rear of the van (3 stickers). Some villages are restricted to 3.500kg so you have to stick to the toll roads if there is no alternative. Tolls are dearer for the heavier vehicles as well. However if you downrate to 3500kgs you may find you have insufficient payload for a full tank of fuel and the wife, let alone a tank of water, food or bedding. So before you downrate get it to a weigh bridge and have it weighed with two of you in and see how much payload you are left with. Vans are being weighed in the UK and in France at the roadside so beware being overweight the van that is, hee hee. There are some new rules in France regarding vehicles over 3500kg but they only apply to commercials.
     
  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    Messages:
    29,478
    Likes Received:
    16,963
    Location:
    YO11 2BD
    no requirement for speed stickers on a motorhome of any weight Roger.
    It only applies to commercial vehicles.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  6. janmick

    janmick Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    norfolk
    mtplm restrictions in europe

    thanks for your comments, if i were to replate at 3500kg. it would leave me with 465kg. payload. would this be enough for 2 people.
     
  7. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,407
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    In a word....No.
     
  8. webby1

    webby1 Funster

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2012
    Messages:
    306
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Lancashire
    Motorhome weight

    I second the view to have as much payload as possible...............we had to have our van up-plated to 3850 or we could not both go on the same trip .................you'll learn about this rip off manufacturers con..................... how can a van have four berths but only carry 2 people..... it really is a trading standards issue.

    However to all intents we are still a 3500 van...................if they ask for the paperwork for tolls etc Switzerland/Austria ............ well we still have a copy of the original 3500 V5................oh sorry did I give you the old documentation.................if it's a weight issue then we are legally plated at 3850
     
  9. FULL TIMER

    FULL TIMER Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    May 31, 2012
    Messages:
    796
    Likes Received:
    712
    Location:
    NORWICH
    Are your last figures based on what the manufacturer tells you, if so take no notice there is a pretty good chance the figures are pretty inaccurate. If you have actually weighed the van and also considered axle weights then your 465kg payload would still be very tight, by the time you take body weights, water at a kilo per litre, gas bottles, leisure batteries etc you'll be surprised how quickly it all adds up.
     
  10. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    1,782
    Location:
    South Staffs
    That depends on how you came to the figure of a 465kg payload, if that was with driver, passenger and fuel i would say that is plenty. :Smile:
     
  11. Minxy Girl

    Minxy Girl Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    8,587
    Likes Received:
    9,971
    Location:
    E Yorks
    First things first:
    • If you passed your driving test after 1 January 1997 check what categories your driving licence allows you to drive as it is normal for you NOT to be able to drive anything over 3500kg
    • Also, do you have any medical conditions which will restrict what weight of vehicle you can drive?
    Some info here:

    https://www.gov.uk/driving-licence-categories

    https://www.gov.uk/vehicles-you-can-drive/

    https://www.gov.uk/driving-motorhome

    As for the MH itself, 465kg might be okay but it really depends on how much payload you actually need. For example our current campervan has a payload of just over 500kg and is sufficient for us 2, 3 dogs, 2 folding bikes, 2 inflatable canoes, plus enough clobber/kit for up to 7 weeks away, however our fresh water tank is only 66 litres, whereas on bigger MHs they tend to be nearer double that.
    • You need to get the MH weighed empty, both axles individually, no water, no driver, nothing, then you will know the MAXIMUM payload available - it will have some fuel in it but if you assume it is '0' that would be the safest thing. Then you can work out what you want to take away with you is likely to weigh, how much a full water tank would hold, fuel, gas, all of the passengers, food, pots, pans, etc, etc, etc. Only THEN will you know whether downplating is a realistic option.
    • Accessories - if there is ANYTHING that you would want to add to the MH, such as an awning, bike rack etc, this needs to be deducted from the payload - some of these things can weigh a lot!
    • Some breakdown/recovery cover will have more restrictions/limitations on it, for example we had a larger MH and were considering uprating it as the payload was a bit tight, but found that even though we were able to get recovery for it the 'compensation/support' from them was different, no free car, no free hotel etc whilst it was being repaired etc, which you got with MHs under 3500kg, so that's something to watch out for.
    • There are 3500kg restrictions on some UK and foreign roads which will prevent you from going down them, which could be a real pain! This is one reason we didn't uprate and instead changed MHs as we like going down little roads etc and didn't want to accept this restriction.
    Personally, it sounds like the dealer is just looking to get a sale as MHs over 3500kg are not as easy to sell as those 3500kg and below. Think long and hard if this is definitely the ONLY van that meets your needs and if you are willing to put up with any compromises from owning it.

    Out of interest, what MH is it????
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2014
    • Like Like x 2
  12. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    1,782
    Location:
    South Staffs
    Get it weighed with full fuel tank, full gas bottles, driver, passenger and any pets, then you will know what payload you have got to play with. :Smile:
     
  13. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,044
    Likes Received:
    4,114
    Location:
    Cotes d'armor, France
    My vans payload was stated at 315 kg. that sounds low, but the vans weight included all normal engine fluids, a driver, 80% fuel and 80% water and gas.
    I put it on a weighbridge with minimal loading about half a tank of fuel and a full tank of water (100+ litres). I got out to look at the scales and the van was 80kg heavier than it should be with me in it!
    We had it replated to 3700kg, it's now taxed as a private HGV with annual road tax of £165 instead go £220 as it was, and that gives us enough payload for the 2 of us and 2 dogs.

    Allan
     
  14. Snowbird

    Snowbird Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2009
    Messages:
    10,141
    Likes Received:
    16,407
    Location:
    Liverpool.
    Do you know of any 4000kg motorhome that could be downrated to 3500kgs and still have a 465kg payload with driver and passenger on board with a full tank of fuel. Even considering the fresh water tank, waste water tank, toilet tank, fridge, gas bottles, etc were empty. That motorhome would not be fit for purpose in my book as it would have to be made from balsa wood :Smile:.
     
  15. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1,242
    Likes Received:
    1,782
    Location:
    South Staffs
    No i don't, i was just interested how that 465kg payload was worked out.:Smile:
     
  16. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    2,972
    Likes Received:
    3,328
    Location:
    walthamstow east london
    sounds like dealer bs to me, that means the van originally had almost a ton of capacity
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. bernardfeay

    bernardfeay Read Only Funster

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2009
    Messages:
    575
    Likes Received:
    825
    Location:
    Bolton
    My camper has a plate on display that shows more than 3500 kg and some more numbers that I'm sure relate to axle weights. I do come across road signs that say 3500 kg not allowed. I have often ignored them and never had a problem. When we get back to Calais we are invariably loaded up with at least 20 trays of beer (half litre tins and 24 to a tray). Nobody has ever taken any notice of us. Maybe one day someone will stop us but I take a rather relaxed approach. We do at least 15,000 miles in Europe each year. I do take very serious note of height limits.... oops, was that the aerial?
     
  18. grasscutter

    grasscutter Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,358
    Likes Received:
    2,244
    Location:
    East Wittering. West Sussex.
    I know the tolls in France etc. state that over 3500kgs are a higher class but we are 3850kgs and are always classed as class 2.
     
  19. JockandRita

    JockandRita Funster Life Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    5,663
    Likes Received:
    6,838
    Location:
    Lincs/Cambs border
    Good advice we were given by other owners of large MHs, with regards to the French tolls, is to go to the unmanned toll booths, and if the category comes up as anything more than Class 2, then operate the call button, and say "Bonjour, je suis un camping-car s'il vous plaît", ie, "Hello, I am a camping car please", It works every time. :thumb: Oh yes, and ignore any French horn tooting from behind, during the process. :Wink:

    At 5 Tonnes, I can't comment on Austrian or Swiss toll roads, as we stuck to their non toll roads, whilst bordering Germany and France, but from what I gather from others, I don't think we'll be using them. :Sad:
    Re weight limits, I cannot recall coming across a 3.5T weight limit here in the UK, and of the odd one or two I came across in France, I had to ignore, as that was the only route to the camp site or Aire.

    Like others advise above, don't be too hasty to down plate. You may well regret it. :Sad:

    Regards,

    Jock.
     
    • Like Like x 2
Loading...

Share This Page