Payload and towing

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by cellojane, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. cellojane

    cellojane Read Only Funster

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    Hi Folks!
    We're thinking of buying or first motorhome and have been looking at the Chausson flash range (03 and S3). We ususlly camp and tow a trailer with canoes and clobber (twins on board!!) and I'm a little confused about payload and towing. Does the payload just apply to what can be carried on board or does it also relate to what is being towed? If it is only what is on board as I suspect how do I assess how much I can tow with a motorhome or is it just dependant on the trailer spec. Sorry if it's a really stupid question but loading up my old volvo is a bit different to a nearly new motorhome - I don't want to damage it!!!
    Many thanks jane:thumb:
     
  2. david price

    david price Read Only Funster

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    You need to know the running mass of the vehicle.
    Deduct the weight of vehicle fully loaded and then you have your towing weight.
    Someone should be along to confirm or say its wroung later.
    Dave
    ps.welcome to fun:welcome:
     
  3. The Wallace

    The Wallace Read Only Funster

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    You won't damage the motorhome, unless you really try but you may fall foul of the law without realising it.
    On the motorhome there should be a plate with the VIN number on it and then a series of numbers one below the other.
    They refer to your maximum permissable load on the front axle,
    the maximum permissable load on the rear axle,
    the maximum allowable mass (MAM) of the entire loaded van
    and the maximum train weight ie the MAM of the van plus MAM of trailer.
    They may be in a different order on the plate in your van!
    You cannot trade less weight in the van for more in the trailer or vice versa.
    Each component (ie each axle, the van and the trailer) MUST be within the limit set down on that plate.

    Hope this is of help.
     
  4. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hello here is a guide
    1 unladen =vehicle empty
    2 gross vehicle weight =vehicle maximum loaded
    3 gross vehicle train weight = vehicle and trailer loaded max weight.
    just to confuse on the vehicle there should be a metal plate it will also quote front and rear axle weight .they add up to more than the gross v wt. but thats so the load can be to the front or rear. dont overload either but dont overload the gvwt. if you have difficulty give me a pm. i can explain better on phone cheers alan.
     
  5. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Not a stupid question at all - and potentially a bit complicated to be certain you are OK. (I am not a regular tower, so others will correct me I am sure if the following contains any inaccuracies.)

    You should see a weight plate on the MH something like the attached. Reading from the top, the figures relate to the following.
    Maximum Authorised Mass - MAM (or max technically permitted laden mass) 3,800 kg in my case. This is the maximum weight of the loaded MH. The payload is calculated by subtracting the Mass in Running order (MIRO) from this figure. The weight of the trailer does not count in this calculation (BUT see below re: nose weight).

    The next (largest) figure - 5,500 kg as shown is the Maximum Train Weight. i.e. the total maximum of the MH and the fully-loaded trailer. So in my case, the heaviest trailer I can tow would be 5,500 - 3,800 = 1,700 kg. BUT, if a trailer weighs more than 750 kg it must be a 'braked trailer'.

    The next two figures relate to the maximum loading on the front and rear axles respectively. Note that the sum of these two weights is MORE than the MAM of the motorhome. This allows for variable weight distribution within the MH, but the MAM must not be exceeded. Also, neither of these axle loads must be exceeded.

    The downforce on the trailer's towing hitch, or 'nose-weight' DOES count towards both the payload of the MH AND the maximum loading of the rear axle.

    Realistically, unless you are absolutely certain that you are well within the load limits of both the motorhome and the trailer, the only way to be sure is to check the set-up on a weigh-bridge.

    One final point. The claimed payloads specified by makers of some / many motorhomes are wildly optimistic and do not allow for most of the extras that people have fitted. Do your homework very carefully before buying your new motorhome. Ideally, get the dealer to show you a weighbridge certificate of the vehicle in true 'Running Order' i.e. including fresh water, fuel, gas, EHU cable and driver.

    Hope this helps and does not dismay!

    Philip
     
  6. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Make sure the van you are buying has enough spare capacity for your needs. Many don’t and manufacturers have been known to be economical with the truth regards payload. The only way to tell is to visit a weighbridge before purchasing!
    If it is a 3500kg van and on a ford, you will probably (you need to check I am guessing) have a towing capacity of 1000kg. Should be easily enough for a loaded camping trailer . But a family of four (like us) will find it difficult to remain legal as some vans are overweight to begin with. Our EuraMobil is a hightop with double floor (fully winterised) and has a payload of 450kg. We are a family of 4 and just about mange to stay legal but EuraMobil are a light van compared to many.
    Plus the rear axle weight really determines what you can carry. Because if stopped and your weight is within 3500 kg BUT your rear axle is over its designed weight you are in trouble, and can have to unload at the side of the road before you can continue...Now the chances of this happening are slim But if you have an accident and are proved to be overloaded your insurance is probably not valid either..Sorry but this is a minefield and you are better of knowing and getting into this with your eyes open.

    My last words....don’t trust the dealers ask here for advice first!

    Doh! just read Philips post above and he says things probaly better the me......
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  7. cellojane

    cellojane Read Only Funster

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    Thanks guys!

    That's really useful and every bit the mine field I thought it would be! I suspect when we are canoeing and cycling we will need the trailer the carry the extra stuff to keep the weight off the van and in terms of space!
    Many thanks everyone - it's been a very warm welcome to the site!
    Jane
     
  8. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    More worrying still I have just seen over on MHF chausson forum that some of these models were reportadly built on the WRONG chassis. meaning they had hardly NO payload at all when empty.:Eek!:

    Be very carefil!:Sad:
     
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Hi Cellojane,

    If you are completely new to this, can I suggest a couple of books.

    "Go Motorhoming Europe" published by Vicarious Books recounts the experiences of a couple who set out to "full-time" in Europe. But the book is not a travelogue; it is a very practical guide to choosing and using a motorhome, and tells you a lot about travelling abroad. It was our 'bible' when we started looking for a MH just over three years ago.

    Also, John Wickersham's "Motorcaravan Manual" published by Haynes (also available from Vicarious). It is a bit UK-centric and therefore a bit thin on German / French motorhomes, but is a very handy guide to a lot of technical stuff and repairs / specifications.

    Spend a lot of time visiting dealers and shows. The NEC next week is a must for someone getting into motorhoming. We spent about 2 hours going between just two vans, comparing features, at our first visit three years ago (a Dethleffs and a Niesmann + Bischoff as I remember it). That was after a wearying day looking at everything on wheels, when we had narrowed it down to a basic layout. And of course, we did not buy for another 3 months and several second-hand vans later.

    Philip

    "Go Motorhoming Europe"
     
  10. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Philip
    Can I just chuck another spanner in the works...Here in France up to total GW of 550kg is covered by the car insurance (and can be un-braked)........up to 750kg are braked trailers and the trailer has to be insured..........and above 750kg like mine (2000kg) have to be braked, have its own insurance, and have its own log book (Carte Grise) and its own different number on the plate........ Buy hey that is over in France,
    I am not sure but I think other European countries are the same ....... I would not be surprised if the UK is not the by now….as I know there was changes in the pipe line when we left 5 years ago

    Mel
     
  11. cellojane

    cellojane Read Only Funster

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    Wow a minefield!

    Hi again,

    Judgemental where did you find this? I can't find any reference to this in the Chausson area
    thanks
    Jane


    Quote:
    More worrying still I have just seen over on MHF chausson forum that some of these models were reportadly built on the WRONG chassis. meaning they had hardly NO payload at all when empty.:Eek!:

    Be very carefil!:Sad:
     
  12. Judge Mental

    Judge Mental Funster Deceased RIP

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    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  13. Wall-E

    Wall-E Read Only Funster

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    Pay load and Towing/ Driving licence

    Hi,
    Just a thought, Will a driving licence issue come into play with towing??. (depending when the intended driver passed their test?).
    Wall-E.
     
  14. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    you dont say what the base vehicle is but if its a fiat ducato they have a train weight of 5500kg.

    if the van weighs 3500kg loaded you have a towing limit of 2000kg

    if, like mine, its 3850kg then you have a 1650kg limit.

    thats the weight of the trailer plus any load on it.
     
  15. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    we're still on the steamdriven rules Mel.

    up to 750kg unbraked and covered 3rd party on car insurance.
    over 750kg must be braked and insurance as above.

    any load is not insured unless taken out specificly for the load....(goods in transit)

    no seperate registration (yet) and no other compulsory insurance.
     
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