Minefield to Weight Upgrade (1 Viewer)

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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We bought our Autotrail Cheyenne 740SE in late 2009. It had been up for sale for six months, which is unusual. We were told it was because it had been upgraded via SVTech from 3500kg to 3900kg so restricted it to C1 license, which they said was good for us as it allowed extra carrying weight. What they didn't tell us was that even with the upgrade the motorhome weighed 3850kg with none of our equipment in it. This obviously meant it was always overweight from new. As we then went into lock-down with Covid it was over two years before it got weighed to find this out. It had bothered me since then because it meant I had to be overweight every time I went out. Last month we decided we had to do something positive about it.
I looked at the only two companies that did the upgrades, SVTech and Van Weight Engineering. As SVTech did not do such a good job of upgrading (more on that later) I went with Van Weight Engineering. Wow, what a super efficient, helpful and quick in replying company they turned out to be. Operated by Dee and Claire their knowledge of what I personally needed to do saved me a fortune (more on that too later).
Lots of photographs and measurements later they had almost all the information they needed.
Now, this is where SVTech seem to have messed up as their plate under the bonnet showed no Gross Train Weight, which meant that I had no towing allowance. That meant for the last three years we had towed a 980kg car illegally unknowingly.
VWE requested a Certificate of Conformity to get me back my towing allowance. I looked around how to get it as I did not have one and to get a copy was around £120 from several sources. I spoke to VWE and they said contact Autotrail. Autotrail said there never was one as it did not become law until 2012 to supply one; our motorhome is a 2019. VWE said they would accept a statement of weight from Autotrail as evidence. Autotrail were brilliant too and supplied the statement to VWE in a few hours of requesting. Hence VWE had saved me £120 and, I would have got a negative result.
I was sent the computer printout which showed Green Highlights that it could be legally upgraded to 4400kg plus 1040kg towing limit making a total of 5440kg total weight. The process to this point had taken just five days.
Eight days after the start of the process I received the five page Engineer Report and the Design Weight Certificate, both of which are winging their way off to DVLA this morning, The engraved Weight Plate for the vehicle has been ordered and will be here within around ten days. Now that is what I call outstanding personal service. I did not feel any pressure whatsoever, though greatly relieved when the upgrade was approved. Even SWMBO will never exceed that with her clothes and Cosmetics, lol.
As part of the process we changed the two back tyres to match the front to take the extra weight with Maxxis All Seasons 10 ply 225/75/R16 rated at 121
Learning points....
Check that the Motorhome Makers plate matches their online weight limits and you don't just have the Vehicle Makers plate on it.
Check that there is MTW figure from the Motorhome Makers, not just the Vehicle Maker. As the Autotrail had a two metre extension on the chassis the weight figures obviously change.
Total Cost was £276...a bargain in my opinion.
 
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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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We bought our Autotrail Cheyenne 740SE in late 2019. It had been up for sale for six months, which is unusual. We were told it was because it had been upgraded via SVTech from 3500kg to 3900kg so restricted it to C1 license, which they said was good for us as it allowed extra carrying weight. What they didn't tell us was that even with the upgrade the motorhome weighed 3850kg with none of our equipment in it. This obviously meant it was always overweight from new. As we then went into lock-down with Covid it was over two years before it got weighed to find this out. It had bothered me since then because it meant I had to be overweight every time I went out. Last month we decided we had to do something positive about it.
I looked at the only two companies that did the upgrades, SVTech and Van Weight Engineering. As SVTech did not do such a good job of upgrading (more on that later) I went with Van Weight Engineering. Wow, what a super efficient, helpful and quick in replying company they turned out to be. Operated by Dee and Claire their knowledge of what I personally needed to do saved me a fortune (more on that too later).
Lots of photographs and measurements later they had almost all the information they needed.
Now, this is where SVTech seem to have messed up as their plate under the bonnet showed no Gross Train Weight, which meant that I had no towing allowance. That meant for the last three years we had towed a 980kg car illegally unknowingly.
VWE requested a Certificate of Conformity to get me back my towing allowance. I looked around how to get it as I did not have one and to get a copy was around £120 from several sources. I spoke to VWE and they said contact Autotrail. Autotrail said there never was one as it did not become law until 2012 to supply one; our motorhome is a 2009. VWE said they would accept a statement of weight from Autotrail as evidence. Autotrail were brilliant too and supplied the statement to VWE in a few hours of requesting. Hence VWE had saved me £120 and, I would have got a negative result.
I was sent the computer printout which showed Green Highlights that it could be legally upgraded to 4400kg plus 1040kg towing limit making a total of 5440kg total weight. The process to this point had taken just five days.
Eight days after the start of the process I received the five page Engineer Report and the Design Weight Certificate, both of which are winging their way off to DVLA this morning, The engraved Weight Plate for the vehicle has been ordered and will be here within around ten days. Now that is what I call outstanding personal service. I did not feel any pressure whatsoever, though greatly relieved when the upgrade was approved. Even SWMBO will never exceed that with her clothes and Cosmetics, lol.
As part of the process we changed the two back tyres to match the front to take the extra weight with Maxxis All Seasons 10 ply 225/75/R16 rated at 121
Learning points....
Check that the Motorhome Makers plate matches their online weight limits and you don't just have the Vehicle Makers plate on it.
Check that there is MTW figure from the Motorhome Makers, not just the Vehicle Maker. As the Autotrail had a two metre extension on the chassis the weight figures obviously change.
Total Cost was £276...a bargain in my opinion.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Pleased for you.(y)
I understand how you managed to get your overall train weight recorded on the weight plate which had previously been missing with the statement from Autotrail etc.
Can you tell your axel weights now with upgrade, most of us that have had the weight upgrade done to 3850Kgs, raised the rear axel weight from 2000Kgs, to 2250Kgs by increasing the Tyre size to 225x75 on R16 118/121 load ratings, with the addition of air assisted rear suspension.
If your van already weighed in at 3850Kgs, empty, then you were already at the max for most according to SV tech:unsure:, even with the mods I just mentioned, so how did you manage to get it up to 4400Kg's without further mods like bigger brakes and a brake test doc?What is your rear axel weight allowance now with the upgrade?
Sorry if I have misunderstood your description, which I must have, on what your now MIRA(unloaded) weight is and what your max weight loaded up is now on the rear axel especially.
Thanks.
LES
 
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busbuddy

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Now, this is where SVTech seem to have messed up as their plate under the bonnet showed no Gross Train Weight, which meant that I had no towing allowance.
If I remember right on the svtech form there is a box to tick if you have a towbar/intend to tow.....if you dont tick it then I guess you get no towing weight on plate
 
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Minxy

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I assume it's on the Fiat heavy chassis, I've just had a quick shuftie at some which are for sale and checked their details of DVLA and they are 4000kg or more.

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Apr 3, 2018
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If I remember right on the svtech form there is a box to tick if you have a towbar/intend to tow.....if you dont tick it then I guess you get no towing weight on plate
Don't remember a box for towing,, however I don't have a tow bar and have no Intension to tow so would almost definitely tick no in said box and yet I have got a "Gross Train Weight".👍
 
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Oct 29, 2016
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Its the rear axel weight thats confusing, is it uprated to 2250Kg's or even higher than that?, if so how?, even air assist and bigger wheels/tyres.
Maybe on the heavy chassis the rear axel weight is rated above 2250Kgs as standard, which is the only answer I can think of?
Les
 
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busbuddy

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Don't remember a box for towing,, however I don't have a tow bar and have no Intension to tow so would almost definitely tick no in said box and yet I have got a "Gross Train Weight".👍
Just checked, definitely a box for towbar fitted or not but as you say it didnt affect yours so it seems a lottery on whether you get gtw or not.......not very professional 🤔
 
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JaG

JaG

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Pleased for you.(y)
I understand how you managed to get your overall train weight recorded on the weight plate which had previously been missing with the statement from Autotrail etc.
Can you tell your axel weights now with upgrade, most of us that have had the weight upgrade done to 3850Kgs, raised the rear axel weight from 2000Kgs, to 2250Kgs by increasing the Tyre size to 225x75 on R16 118/121 load ratings, with the addition of air assisted rear suspension.
If your van already weighed in at 3850Kgs, empty, then you were already at the max for most according to SV tech:unsure:, even with the mods I just mentioned, so how did you manage to get it up to 4400Kg's without further mods like bigger brakes and a brake test doc?What is your rear axel weight allowance now with the upgrade?
Sorry if I have misunderstood your description, which I must have, on what your now MIRA(unloaded) weight is and what your max weight loaded up is now on the rear axel especially.
Thanks.
LES
Hi Les,
The front
Pleased for you.(y)
I understand how you managed to get your overall train weight recorded on the weight plate which had previously been missing with the statement from Autotrail etc.
Can you tell your axel weights now with upgrade, most of us that have had the weight upgrade done to 3850Kgs, raised the rear axel weight from 2000Kgs, to 2250Kgs by increasing the Tyre size to 225x75 on R16 118/121 load ratings, with the addition of air assisted rear suspension.
If your van already weighed in at 3850Kgs, empty, then you were already at the max for most according to SV tech:unsure:, even with the mods I just mentioned, so how did you manage to get it up to 4400Kg's without further mods like bigger brakes and a brake test doc?What is your rear axel weight allowance now with the upgrade?
Sorry if I have misunderstood your description, which I must have, on what your now MIRA(unloaded) weight is and what your max weight loaded up is now on the rear axel especially.
Thanks.
LES
Hi Les,
This is the graph used. It seems STech did not take it to the maximum for some reason and, did not add the towing limit either. I am led to believe that the Maximum can be the front and rear axle added together, though not an expert in these matters. Like you my tyres are the same as yours.

Graph.jpg
 
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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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Pleased for you.(y)
I understand how you managed to get your overall train weight recorded on the weight plate which had previously been missing with the statement from Autotrail etc.
Can you tell your axel weights now with upgrade, most of us that have had the weight upgrade done to 3850Kgs, raised the rear axel weight from 2000Kgs, to 2250Kgs by increasing the Tyre size to 225x75 on R16 118/121 load ratings, with the addition of air assisted rear suspension.
If your van already weighed in at 3850Kgs, empty, then you were already at the max for most according to SV tech:unsure:, even with the mods I just mentioned, so how did you manage to get it up to 4400Kg's without further mods like bigger brakes and a brake test doc?What is your rear axel weight allowance now with the upgrade?
Sorry if I have misunderstood your description, which I must have, on what your now MIRA(unloaded) weight is and what your max weight loaded up is now on the rear axel especially.
Thanks.
LES
Hi Les,
The front
I assume it's on the Fiat heavy chassis, I've just had a quick shuftie at some which are for sale and checked their details of DVLA and they are 4000kg or more.
Yes it is the heavy chassis. The Maxi I think it is named as, though not certain.

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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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Just checked, definitely a box for towbar fitted or not but as you say it didnt affect yours so it seems a lottery on whether you get gtw or not.......not very professional 🤔
Indeed not. You would have thought it compulsory to have a GTW on the plate. Clearly this one did not.

SV Tech Weight Plate-2.jpg
 
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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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Its the rear axel weight thats confusing, is it uprated to 2250Kg's or even higher than that?, if so how?, even air assist and bigger wheels/tyres.
Maybe on the heavy chassis the rear axel weight is rated above 2250Kgs as standard, which is the only answer I can think of?
Les
On the graph below it shows 2400kg so assume it must be the heavy chassis that does it. That is with bigger tyres, They used to be 215/75/R16. They are now 225/75/R16 with 121 rating instead of 116. Just guessing of course on assumption.
 

Minxy

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Its the rear axel weight thats confusing, is it uprated to 2250Kg's or even higher than that?, if so how?, even air assist and bigger wheels/tyres.
Maybe on the heavy chassis the rear axel weight is rated above 2250Kgs as standard, which is the only answer I can think of?
Les
Hi Les,
The front

Yes it is the heavy chassis. The Maxi I think it is named as, though not certain.
The Fiat Maxi can go up to 4500kg (2100kg & 2400kg so total of both axles) without any mods so long as the correct tyres are fitted for the extra capacity.
 
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JaG

JaG

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The Fiat Maxi can go up to 4500kg (2100kg & 2400kg so total of both axles) without any mods so long as the correct tyres are fitted for the extra capacity.
Thanks for that Minxy, that explains the figures they got. Still no idea why SVTech never put those figures on instead of 3900kg.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Ah I see now, your rear axel was already rated at 2400KG's for the Maxi Chassis.
Dealers should not be allowed to sell that van plated at 3850KG's weighing that empty, surely its their responsibility to check these things as clearly many punters, especially 1st timers, should not be expected to believe the van is anything other than good to go and therefore sold as such.
This has being going on too long, the law has to change to protect purchasers, by both the manufacturers and the dealers.
LES

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JaG

JaG

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Ah I see now, your rear axel was already rated at 2400KG's for the Maxi Chassis.
Dealers should not be allowed to sell that van plated at 3850KG's weighing that empty, surely its their responsibility to check these things as clearly many punters, especially 1st timers, should not be expected to believe the van is anything other than good to go and therefore sold as such.
This has being going on too long, the law has to change to protect purchasers, by both the manufacturers and the dealers.
LES
Totally agree Les. We were 1st time big motorhome buyers. They should me made to supply Weighbridge tickets for every motorhome sold, along with exactly what can and cannot go into it, and of course, where, either front or back which is also important.
 

Minxy

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Thanks for that Minxy, that explains the figures they got. Still no idea why SVTech never put those figures on instead of 3900kg.
SVTech have always been 'reluctant' to plate them at 4500kg for some reason. It's no different to their certifying a light chassis which has 1850kg and 2000kg axles plated to 3850kg which they will do.
 
Apr 15, 2015
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Just had mine uprated by SV Tech. It was 5000kg tag axle Alko. With VB Comfort springs on the front and VB semi air on the back, now uprated to 5500kg.

All done within 6 days, including receiving the new plate, with a train weight included. No complaints re SV Tech.
The delay now is DVLA. Sent V5 off over two weeks ago. Not heard anything yet and still not uprated on vehicle enquiry website.
 
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JaG

JaG

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Just had mine uprated by SV Tech. It was 5000kg tag axle Alko. With VB Comfort springs on the front and VB semi air on the back, now uprated to 5500kg.

All done within 6 days, including receiving the new plate, with a train weight included. No complaints re SV Tech.
The delay now is DVLA. Sent V5 off over two weeks ago. Not heard anything yet and still not uprated on vehicle enquiry website.
Apparently, DVLA are taking between 30 and 40 days to do the new V5.
 
Oct 29, 2016
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Apparently, DVLA are taking between 30 and 40 days to do the new V5.
Skeleton crew, still working from home I guess.:rolleyes:
Stand by for more better pay deal strikes, or work to rule...slowly.
LES

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BikerGraham

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Missing gross train weight etc is probably more common than we think.

I posted a while ago about it being missing from the up plated plate that SV Tech provided for my van when raising it to 3850 Kg.

This had been due to the fact that, while the Peugeot and Alko plates both had a GTW on them, Bailey's plate did not. So as that was the last one on SV tech had to go with that.

This was corrected though as Bailey technical data state it as having a GTW and can tow up to 2000Kg and a new plate issued.

However, I wonder just how many people are towing without the latest plate having a GTW on it ?
 
Feb 5, 2014
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We bought our Autotrail Cheyenne 740SE in late 2009. .... This obviously meant it was always overweight from new. As we then went into lock-down with Covid it was over two years before it got weighed to find this out. It had bothered me since then because it meant I had to be overweight every time I went out.
Hopefully this will be a good message to any newcomers: get your van weighed ASAP, preferably before you buy it!

Your comment about "going into lockdown" is not the reason it took so long to get it weighed! You'd had 10 years prior to that. What caused you to do it in 2021?

Gordon
 
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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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Missing gross train weight etc is probably more common than we think.

I posted a while ago about it being missing from the up plated plate that SV Tech provided for my van when raising it to 3850 Kg.

This had been due to the fact that, while the Peugeot and Alko plates both had a GTW on them, Bailey's plate did not. So as that was the last one on SV tech had to go with that.

This was corrected though as Bailey technical data state it as having a GTW and can tow up to 2000Kg and a new plate issued.

However, I wonder just how many people are towing without the latest plate having a GTW on it ?
Well worth checking. If you ever had an insurance claim, were towing a car and it was missing you can bet they would not pay out. Unlikely, but possible.
 
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JaG

JaG

Oct 30, 2008
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Hopefully this will be a good message to any newcomers: get your van weighed ASAP, preferably before you buy it!

Your comment about "going into lockdown" is not the reason it took so long to get it weighed! You'd had 10 years prior to that. What caused you to do it in 2021?

Gordon
I had to put the post on twice as I bought it in late 2019, not 2009. The second post was corrected as I cannot edit it.
 

Minxy

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Hopefully this will be a good message to any newcomers: get your van weighed ASAP, preferably before you buy it!

Your comment about "going into lockdown" is not the reason it took so long to get it weighed! You'd had 10 years prior to that. What caused you to do it in 2021?

Gordon
That's a bit unfair, even I realised it should have said 2019, not 2009.

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busbuddy

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The thing I find scary is the van was originally a 3500kg van that appears to have rolled out of the factory weighing 3850kg
We are used to minimal or unworkable payloads but to have a brand new van roll off the production line already weighing over its registered gross weight is a whole new story
 
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JaG

JaG

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The thing I find scary is the van was originally a 3500kg van that appears to have rolled out of the factory weighing 3850kg
We are used to minimal or unworkable payloads but to have a brand new van roll off the production line already weighing over its registered gross weight is a whole new story
The original plate when manufactured is correct. Autotrail never put one in when they made the motorhome bit of it so, it probably was well over 3500kg when rolling out their workshop, which means the first owners were over the limit if they did not have 'grandfather rights' of C1.
 
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JaG

JaG

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That's a bit unfair, even I realised it should have said 2019, not 2009.
Gordon obviously did not read the revised post and, did not relate to:
We bought our Autotrail Cheyenne 740SE in late 2009...As we then went into lock-down with Covid it was over two years before it got weighed to find this out. ;)
 
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You would have thought it compulsory to have a GTW on the plate.
No, there are plenty of vehicles ,including small cars , that legally cannot tow. if it is inadvertently left off the result is the same . you cannot tow if there is no weight shown.

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