3500kg, just! Uprate? Pros and cons. (1 Viewer)

Jun 11, 2014
294
463
Maidstone Kent
Funster No
31,932
MH
Self Build Ducato L4H3
Exp
Since 1987
I have a self build Fiat Ducato maxi L4H3 which I have converted to a 4 berth with 4 full length beds. A UK king size double and two full length bunks for the boys. 200 ltr fridge freezer 300 Amp/hr batteries, 300W solar panels, 38ltr underslung gas tank etc etc
Now, if I pack carefully and only partially fill the water tank, I can just about manage to stay at 3500kg. I carry no spare wheel, just a reinflation kit.
The van is the Maxi spec and so has 16" wheels and can be easily uprated to around 4000kg just as a simple paper exercise with SV tech. I am 53 and my wife is 47 so licences are not an issue.

I would quite like to uprate and just pack as I wish, including a spare wheel.

What are the downsides?

I believe that I would have to go heavy vehicle in Switzerland, what happens elsewhere? Do I suddenly pay class 3 peage in France if I uprate? What are other peoples experiences?

I see two choices:

Uprate and pay the costs and added tolls etc.

Or:

Take a chance.

The van can easily go to 4000kg without any safety issues. It has the 16" wheels with the correct load bearing tyres and, if I stick air suspension on the back, I can make the van sit like it is empty.
What are the risks?
If the authorities are looking to weigh campervans then they will be looking for the 15" wheel variants with the tyres almost touching the bodywork won't they? I am amazed at the number of "professionally made" vans that are on 3500kg, 15" wheel chassis with very little leeway to uprate.

Lets face it, there are a huge number of campervans out there rolling along at way over the safe weight and they are not difficult to spot. I am looking at being slightly over the weight my paperwork says, but still well within the capacities of the suspension, brakes, vehicle and tyres.

Are there any of you who drive an uprated camper who wish they could get it back to 3500kg? I would repeat that licence issues are not applicable to us (At this moment in time, and god willing).

I would happily uprate, but not if it is then going to cost me a fortune in tolls etc.

Over to you fellas who have been there,

Thanks

David.
 

Techno

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 28, 2010
15,474
19,656
Leeds the one up North
Funster No
12,905
MH
Rapido 7090F 3 litre 160
Exp
May 2010
Once a vehicle is bigger than regular parking spaces all the negatives are on the shoulders of being 3500 or less. I imagine it is very hard work to live with.
 
Sep 26, 2013
3,419
3,757
Market Rasen
Funster No
28,295
MH
Self Build
Exp
Since 2003
It won't affect the tolls unless you are above 3m high. If you don't upgrade then your insurance would be invalid ( must weigh my van sometime) so I don't believe that you have much of a choice.

Mike

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Minxy

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 22, 2007
28,319
50,995
E Yorks
Funster No
149
MH
Carthago Compactline
Exp
Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
You won't be officially allowed to travel into some towns/villages which have a 3500kg limit on some roads and more importantly you will probably have to sort out alternative vehicle recovery as you will then not meet the standard 3500kg criteria most of them cover.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Bertie Bassett

Free Member
Jul 25, 2014
2,743
8,702
Funster No
32,543
MH
C Class
Exp
since 1988
Don't go to Norway then:eek:

or Austria or parts of Poland etc etc... The list of countries that raise large amounts of tax on vehicles between 3500 and 7500 grows daily. But insurers are the weasels of the world so if you're at 3507kgs when you have a problem they'll wriggle...................outwards!;)
 

Tootles

Funster
Deceased RIP
Sep 14, 2013
9,511
34,801
Lancaster
Funster No
28,093
MH
Coachbuilt
Exp
Was a newbie, now a Middie.
Don't go over the water.....They dont give a monkeys here unless your van looks like Fireball XL5 taking off, or says 'BLOGS AND SON' on the side.
 

Techno

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 28, 2010
15,474
19,656
Leeds the one up North
Funster No
12,905
MH
Rapido 7090F 3 litre 160
Exp
May 2010
You won't be officially allowed to travel into some towns/villages which have a 3500kg limit on some roads and more importantly you will probably have to sort out alternative vehicle recovery as you will then not meet the standard 3500kg criteria most of them cover.
If you mean France? I have been told that the 3.5T limits signs are specific to commercial vehicles in towns

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Scout

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 4, 2009
4,004
75,854
South Yorkshire
Funster No
6,145
MH
chic c line
Exp
12 years motorhoming, a lifetime of living
Im 3850k, single axle, 3.05m high, When I use tolls in France Im pretty sute I only ever been class 2
 

Mel

Free Member
Oct 6, 2012
2,132
2,938
De Haan Belgium
Funster No
23,175
MH
Caravan LMC
Exp
Since 2010 Caravan since 1995
Andy
My understanding of most mainland European countries is the 3.5 ton limit is for all vehicles except busses.
but I could be wrong and often am(my wife told me)

where is Mel (Heyuplove) when you need him

Mel

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Techno

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 28, 2010
15,474
19,656
Leeds the one up North
Funster No
12,905
MH
Rapido 7090F 3 litre 160
Exp
May 2010
You may well be correct Mel. It is just something I was told and it suited me to believe it. I have been to at least one aire that required driving through a 3.5t zone so it made sense to me at the time.
I do it anyway because anyone including plod looking at my van just sees it as another 3500kg especially as it is French built.

EDIT also my 4250kg is not a problem according to Safeguard
 

scotjimland

Free Member
Jul 25, 2007
0
7
.
Funster No
15
MH
.
Exp
.
You won't be officially allowed to travel into some towns/villages which have a 3500kg limit on some roads

are we talking about the UK or France ?

Hmm.. unsure on this, but I thought the same as Andy.. it only applied to commercial vans and trucks to keep them out of villages etc..

In France I've driven the RV though many 3.5t zones and not been stopped.. one I recall in particular was in Plougonvelin .. in Brittany, I was following TomTom to an aire..saw the sign and pulled into a lay by.. then a coach passed me so I followed it into the village and we went onto the aire.. so I assumed it was just for trucks.

I wouldn't worry.. if you are stopped just act like a silly tourist who is lost ... shouldn't be too hard :LOL:
 
Feb 16, 2013
16,928
36,408
uttoxeter
Funster No
24,713
MH
ambulance conversion
Exp
50 years
I might be thick but what's the size of the wheels got to with it, iv got a tranny on 14s
 

Allegro83

Free Member
Jul 20, 2010
67
44
Balfron, Stirling
Funster No
12,725
MH
East Neuk Fifer L
Exp
15 years
Our previous Mhome was uprated to 3850kg and we never had any problem in France or Spain always Class 2. It was also comforting to know we were within weights when the Police were pulling Mhomes, 4x4 pulling trailers and white van man over to be weighed at the Tolls near Biarritz. We changed to a 3500kg as my husband was approaching 73 and didn't want the hassle of medicals again and this is not a worry for you.
 

GWAYGWAY

Free Member
Sep 6, 2014
4,215
3,303
Dover
Funster No
33,216
MH
Hymer ML I 580
Exp
4 years
One advantage is your road fund licence drops to £160 as a private HGV running special exhaust and probably an Adblue system but keep out of London unless it is EURO IV soon to be Euro V.
£ 1000 is a BIG penalty as I found out after I went in when the Bridge at Dartford was blocked off,, had it been kept as 3500 kg Transit then it would be exempt the LEZ scam as a a EURO 3.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jan 16, 2014
789
2,723
Harleston, Harleston, Norfolk, UK
Funster No
29,717
MH
C Class, Autotrail Scout
Exp
Oct, 2013
We upgraded our MH to 4000kg this year via SV tech, who on completion sent us a new self adhesive plate,
which we have stuck just inside the drivers door on the pillar. So how would anyone really know that we have upgraded unless we tell them? (Yes, we have told our insurers etc, but as said, they only know because we told them). Certainly not a toll booth.
 

Techno

LIFE MEMBER
Jul 28, 2010
15,474
19,656
Leeds the one up North
Funster No
12,905
MH
Rapido 7090F 3 litre 160
Exp
May 2010
The reduction to £165 (correct amount) isn't really a consideration since it will take a good few years to recover the SVtech fee. The weight upgrade in payload is the name of the game.
 

vwalan

Funster
Sep 23, 2008
8,827
5,769
roche cornwall
Funster No
4,148
MH
lynton5th wheel
Exp
since a child
you can do it your self if you like . though sv tec are very helpfull.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 
Jan 16, 2014
789
2,723
Harleston, Harleston, Norfolk, UK
Funster No
29,717
MH
C Class, Autotrail Scout
Exp
Oct, 2013
you can do it your self if you like . though sv tec are very helpfull.

Roughly £50 DIY, £300 SVtech. We used SVtech, took 1 week and no hassle.
smiley-winks-emoticon.gif
 

Scout

LIFE MEMBER
Apr 4, 2009
4,004
75,854
South Yorkshire
Funster No
6,145
MH
chic c line
Exp
12 years motorhoming, a lifetime of living
Roughly £50 DIY, £300 SVtech. We used SVtech, took 1 week and no hassle.
smiley-winks-emoticon.gif

whats you wieght now, (not a rude question)

as yours is a merc and im not sure what it was, what was it before as well please
 
Aug 6, 2013
11,160
14,574
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
A point worth noting is that several UK motorways now have weighing devices that operate as vehicles pass over them. I know they aren't there to catch out mildly-overweight motorhomes but they can and, at some point, they will.

Subscribers  do not see these advertisements

 

Funsters who are viewing this thread

Top