Hints and Tips. (continued 3)
It matters not whether you are just having a couple of weeks holidays or extended travel, do keep in mind the load you are carrying must be evenly spread out through the unit. Having everything loaded at the rear or down one side of the vehicle
can affect vehicle handling and stability. We have seen motorhomes where the rear of the vehicle was down at the back whilst the front was obviously pointing up, it is rare for a dealership to warn you about how to load the vehicle but it is your responsibility and you can bet if you have an accident where the cause is down to bad or overloading your Insurance Company will have a get out. Something else to keep in mind is that if you are stopped for a roadside weight check and found to be overloaded, the vehicle can have a notice served on it which means it is off the road until you prove it is legal. That means a trip to a VOSA Station where you pay for the weighing and other legal bits n pieces required. Another little surprise is the Court appearance and being fined, our Dealer told us we were paranoid when we quizzed him about what the GVW was, getting stopped for a weight check just does not happen?.
Extra carrying space such as a top box on the roof will cost you in extra fuel but also consider where it is to be fixed, again it could affect handling and certainly it´s weight comes off the vehicle payload. How much weight can be carried on the roof without causing problems, ask your dealer, we had to get the info from the manufacturer. Many units have a large purpose made box fixed to the rear or to the rear bumper, just keep in mind as well subtracting from your unit's payload, weight behind the rear axle will also subtract from the carrying capacity of the rear axle which also has a fixed legal loading.
(Approximately 2kg for each 1kg. Behind axle.)
Vin plate not something that will be pointed out to you by the dealer, but look
for it as the information on it refers to the total MPTLM (GVW) of the vehicle
on the road and also separately the maximum weight that can be carried by
Add the weight of the two axles together and it should work out the same as the MTPLM.
How do you work out your payload? Simple with a UK built vehicle, 72kg for driver, tank of fuel, half a tank of water and
your gas bottles have been taken into account, so when you purchase a Motorhome the weight of the vehicle before you have anything fitted ie. awning, bike rack etc and before you have loaded in what you need, taken from the MPTLM should give
you the legal payload you can carry.
If the maximum weight on the road is 3,500 kgs MPTLM and with no additions or personal gear on board, vehicle weighs
3,200kgs you have a 300kg payload. Consider one adult (driver is already counted for) and two teenagers you might say a total of 150kgs, you are now left with 150kgs for what you want fitted and for personal gear. Have an awning fitted, bike rack and bikes for four, Satt. system on roof, top box, personal gear, all of a sudden where has your payload gone and your vehicle
is over weight.
If you purchase a non British motorhome be aware that, driver, fuel, water and gas bottles may NOT have been allowed
for so they have to be taken into account when you are looking at how much payload you can carry.
All the above means, weigh everything you put on board the first time it is loaded and take that from your payload, do not forget the weight of your passenger(s). Ask for a current weighbridge ticket from the dealer showing the weight of the vehicle ready for the road but without your gear onboard and before having extras fitted.
If your rear axle has enough weight allowance left you may consider a BakRak as shown in the photo above or even a trailer, both of which are available from Wilmonds Engineering a very good Company to deal with. We bought both of these items
from them and could not have asked for better service.