What the heck am I allowed to drive? | MotorhomeFun | The Motorhome Support and Social Network

What the heck am I allowed to drive?

Lyle

Free Member
Oct 6, 2017
5
0
Staffordshire
Funster No
50,855
Hi all,

I'm just working up to buying a van to self convert into a day/weekend camper.
My biggest concern (so far) is my pathetic licence. I passed my test a matter of weeks after they changed the rules so the max curb weight I can drive is 3500kg.
I'm trying to work out what that really means. If I buy for example a Sprinter LWB with the high top. I think that weighs in at 3500kg, that means I can drive that but what about the additional weight of the conversion like the bed frame, additional seating and kitchen. Is that okay or not?

I truthfully have no idea. Could someone clear this up for me?

I've taken a screen shoot of the Merc page with all the weights and whatnot on, I'll upload that. I got it here
 

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Jim

Ringleader
Jul 19, 2007
30,305
62,857
Sutton on Sea
Funster No
1
MH
C Class Diesel RV
Exp
Since 1990
Hi Lyle, you are not being ignored. All first posts with links in them need to be manually approved (to stop spammers). your post has only just gone live, so expect some answers soon (y)
 
Aug 6, 2013
8,578
7,707
Kendal, Cumbria
Funster No
27,352
MH
A Class
Exp
since 1999
The Sprinter LWB appears to have a payload of over a tonne.

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pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
37,756
28,157
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
You mention a kerb weight of 3500kg.
That is not correct, 3500kg is the absolute max weight of the van and any load its carrying.
This weight CANNOT be exceeded under any circumstances.
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,315
4,578
J10 M40
Funster No
4,247
MH
Bucher Duro 6x6 motorhome
Exp
since 1968
The weight you can drive is 3500GVW so that is the weight you need to work to The ULW of the vehicles you are interested in will when taken from the GVW will tell you what latitude you have for the conversion . The majority of campervans /mohos are built in this category .

the first vehicle listed on your pic is the only one you can drive/work with .
 
OP
Lyle

Lyle

Free Member
Oct 6, 2017
5
0
Staffordshire
Funster No
50,855
Sorry, still not 100% sure.
So basically I cannot drive the LWB sprinter?

All these acronyms mean very little to me. Apologies if I'm being stupid.

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CWH

LIFE MEMBER
Jan 29, 2014
4,596
54,947
under a wand'rin' star
Funster No
29,909
MH
WildAx PVC
Exp
From November 2013
No not stupid, there are more and more lists of letters and they get more and more confusing!

But as Pappajohn and tacr2man have said, no you CAN'T drive anything that is over 3500 IN TOTAL - INCLUDING your base vehicle, conversion, driver and passengers, fuel, water, gas, clothes, food etc.

Don't forget you have the option of taking tests and adding to the categories (eg weight) you can drive.
 

pappajohn

LIFE MEMBER
Aug 26, 2007
37,756
28,157
Dark side of the moon
Funster No
172
Exp
Since 2005
That sprinter, in its lightest form, can weight a MAXIMUM of 3500kg.
That includes EVERYTHING from the ground up.....chassis, all (any) bodywork, anything being fitted to it or carried in/on it including chairs, kitchen sink, shower etc, food, bedding, you and any passengers, fuel, water.....the list is endless.
So, providing the total weight of the converted van and any extra load is NOT OVER 3500kg you are licenced to drive it.
When the van left the factory it had a load carrying capacity of just over 1100kg minus the weight any fitted aftermarket items, towbar etc.
More than enough to fit it out as a motorhome.
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,315
4,578
J10 M40
Funster No
4,247
MH
Bucher Duro 6x6 motorhome
Exp
since 1968
sorry for using abbreviations ,
The vehicles you can drive must have a maximum vehicle weight on the plate of no more than 3500KG . It is for you to chose the vehicle in this category that you convert with sufficient payload (the difference between the unladen weight and the 3500kg GVW)
to accommodate all the additions of the conversion inc fuel, water passengers etc

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OP
Lyle

Lyle

Free Member
Oct 6, 2017
5
0
Staffordshire
Funster No
50,855
Thanks for that. So the numbers 2371 - 2465 is what I'm looking at?
So that would mean I have ~ 1000kg to play with?

Sorry for probably asking obvious questions.

Thanks for your help
 
Oct 2, 2008
3,315
4,578
J10 M40
Funster No
4,247
MH
Bucher Duro 6x6 motorhome
Exp
since 1968
Thats about it ,also I would advise you to become a "financial" member
to ensure your ability to future posts , and all the future help you might need :)
 
Feb 24, 2013
11,253
49,922
Bolsover, Derbyshire
Funster No
24,833
MH
Hymer S800
Exp
not long enough
yes that's right, don't forget that 1000kg or just over has to include fuel, water and passengers, not a lot to play with

it might be worth researching which (if any) converted MH's use the LWB Sprinter as a base vehicle (y)

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DJA

Mar 5, 2011
547
493
Funster No
15,533
MH
A
Exp
Since 2008
Hi Lyle.

You are able to drive the first vehicle on the list i.e. the Long 3.5T.

The Kerb Weight figures are what it weighs sat empty, except some fuel, water and maybe even an allowance for a driver but not weighing as much as I do.

The payload figures quoted are what you can put in the van and still be on or below the maximum allowed overall weight of 3500KG.

So if your conversion involved installing 400kgs of Bed, toilet, Fridge etc you would have about 600 KG you could put in the van such as a passengers, Full Tank, Drinking water, Full Toilet Unit, Clothes, Food, bicycles, Towbar etc etc.

So you have to work out how much you think converting it will add to the basic weight of the van and then how much that will leave for you to be able to load into it, including yourself and passengers, to take with you on your trips. What ever happens the max the converted van fully loaded and with all people on board etc etc can weigh if put in a Weigh Bridge is 3500KG.

Doug
 
Sep 16, 2016
3,433
6,714
Near the junction of the A14 and A1, Cambs
Funster No
45,145
MH
Elddis Autoquest 175
Exp
Since 2010
Hi Lyle, welcome aboard.

To give you a bit of an idea, we have a home build PVC (panel van conversion) based on a long wheelbase Fiat Ducato Maxi coming in at a tad under 6 metres long.
The weight information plate on the bonnet slam gives you information for you to work with.

weight tag.jpg

The 3500 KG is your gross vehicle weight which is the max this vehicle can weigh all up and the max you can drive on your current licence.
The 5500 KG is the train weight which is the max gross vehicle weight plus what you tow including the weight of the trailer, but your current licence probably restricts you towing.
The 1850 KG is the max front axle weight and the 2120 KG is your max rear axle weight. Now those two added together add up to 3970 KG which is well over the 3500 KG gross vehicle weight that means that if your load up your rear axle to 2120 KG the you can only have a max of 1380 KG on your front axle, so this give you scope for placement of equipment when you build you van to balance the load on each axle.

To give you an idea, our van carries a 10 Ltr water heater, 3 way fridge (gas, 12v and 240v) of about 90Ltr capacity, 4 burner cooker with grill and oven, sink, wash room with loo, shower and wash basin, 190 Ah battery habitation battery,Truma blown air heater for the rear area, 11 Kg LPG gas cylinder, 60 Ltr fresh water tank, 40 Ltr waste water tank, a 3 metre wind out awning, roof box and other odd and sods to add to the weight. I weighed the van fully loaded with water, fuel, food, bedding, clothes and all our gubbins before we headed of through France and Spain a few weeks ago and the total weight of the van was 3445 KG.

You can cut a lot of the weight down when you build by using lightweight boards and materials but these come at a cost.

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OP
Lyle

Lyle

Free Member
Oct 6, 2017
5
0
Staffordshire
Funster No
50,855
I didn't realise there was a membership.

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