Caravan Gross Laden Weights - martinscane
Hi there

I'm new to this site but hope that someone can provide an answer
to a problem. I was recently stopped by the police whilst towing my caravan during a routine check.
My rig was weighed on the public weighbridge at Deptford on the A36/A303 west of Salisbury.
This weighbridge takes readings of each axle.
According to calculations my caravan was some 17.5% over its stated gross laden weight and as such I have been summonsed to appear in court.
The weighings for each axle were taken with caravan attached to car and with stabiliser in place and with passengers still present in the car.
Is this the correct procedure for calculating weights as I would have thought that actual laden weight of the van should be calculated by removing van from car and weighing seperately.
Can anyone point me towards any regulations or laws which specify correct procedures ?
Incidentally, at a third weighing after I had removed gas bottles, battery, stored water, bedding, drinks and clothes, my caravan was still some 10% over weight according to police calculations !


Martin Scane
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - Dwight Van Driver
I would presume that it was the Police that stopped you and the actual weight check was carried out by Trading Standards Officers who seem to have taken over spot weight checks and have this down to a fine art.

Gross weight is defined under Regulation 3(2) Motor Vehicles (Con and Use) Regulations 1986 for trailers- the sum of the weights transmitted to the road surface by all its wheels and of any weight of the trailer which is imposed on the drawing vehicle. Seems they have carried out the correct procedure.

Maximum permitted weights are outlined at Part IV (Reg 75 onwards) of the same regulations which are too detailed to enter here. Try your local reference Library to see if they have a copy of the regulation.

Also see

for Road Traffic Act 1988 and see section 41 B


Caravan Gross Laden Weights - Dwight Van Driver
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - Dwight Van Driver
DD please remove the above.

Should read


Done. DD.
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - stator
Try caravan club @ east grinsted
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - RogerL
"Banged to rights" is the phrase which springs to mind.

A modern caravan has a payload (difference between MTPLM {Maximum Technically Permitted Laden Mass} and MIRO {Mass In Running Order}) of about 200 kg. If your caravan was 17.5% over MTPLM, you've exceeded your payload by about 100%. In other words, you've put twice as much into the caravan as you should.

It's very easy to overload any caravan because the payloads are so meagre, but an overloaded caravan is still a danger to other road users, whatever the reason.

Plead guilty, pay up and load differently next time.
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - PhilW
What on earth did you have in it so that it was still 10% over when you had removed all the heavy stuff? Or are you a deep sea diver with 6 extra pairs of lead boots????!!
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - DavidHM
Maybe I'm wrong but I thought they were assessing the train weight, i.e., the van is too heavy for the car to pull when the car is also loaded.
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - PhilW
So what was the model of car and what was model of the van?
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - martinscane
Car wis Nissan Primera 2.0 and van is Elddis Mistral XL (1991 Model).
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - Dwight Van Driver
Train weight, IIRC and without research applies only to goods vehicles and trailers. There is no Manufacturers/ VI plate on a car.

Caravan Gross Laden Weights - RogerL
Dwight Van Driver obviously hasn't lifted the bonnet of a modern car! Maximum Gross Train Weight applies to all cars just as much as commercials. The VIN plate, of all cars, will be stamped with Max Front Axle Load, Max Rear Axle Load and Max Gross Train Weight. Successful prosecution is likely if any of these figures are exceeded when checked.

Cars on their own are very rarely checked for weights but each summer, certain police forces target cars with caravans for checking.
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - PhilW
Yes, but according to the original post it was the VAN that was over its max laden weight, not the "train".
The combination doesn't sound a bad one though I don't have the precise weights, but I still don't understand why the van was still over its limit when gas bottles, bedding, clothes, battery etc had been removed. Most vans I would have thought would have a "payload" of about 200 kilos so what was in the van that weighed 200 kg plus the 10% it was over limit?? - I think Martin needs to check the kerbweight of his van and the max laden weight and get himself to another weighbridge (or weigh all the "extras" he puts in - though whether bedding, gas and clothes are "extras" is another matter) Were the police using the correct figures for the correct model of van?
Caravan Gross Laden Weights - Dwight Van Driver
As I see it:

Reg 67 MV (Con & Use) Regs, 1986 states that vehicles subject to Type Approval Scheme (virtually all
in UK) have to have what we commonly know as a VIN Plate. Details to be included on this plate are only stipulated as

(1) Vehicle I.D. Number,
2) Name of Maker,
3) Type Approval reference.

No train weight etc is stipulated.

But under Reg 66 Goods vehicles, trailers and buses have to have what we know as a Manufacturers Plate and this to contain details as mentioned in Schedule 8 Part I which includes axle, gross and train weights.
Contravention of these weights is an offence under Sect 41(b), Road Traffic Act, 1988.

Details and legality of this Plate is superseded under the annual test under the Plating and Testing Regs
when what we know as a Ministry Plate is issued.

Looked at my XR3i (1989), which has a VIN plate with no Train weight mentioned. Neither is there any reference to this in the handbook.

If I recall correctly dealing with private vehicles heavily laden then use was made of the Reg under Con and Use that vehicles had not to be so laden that danger was likely to be caused or use a vehicle for a purpose unsuitable. That of the trailer for exceeding the permitted weight under the Regs.

Caravan Gross Laden Weights - jud
I would suspect that many caravans are overloaded, my own included, it is very time consuming to weigh every thing before loading, also the weights on the van name plates are not guaranteed, 5% tolerance is often quoted, i wonder why you had water on board seems odd carry something that is always available on site. I think the method of weighting was in your favour some of the van weight is taken on the cars tow bar (nose weight)If you have room carry the drinks in the car, on a 2 week trip we carry 14 bottles, and that's just for two, with a family to cater for keeping the weight down is a real problem, some vans have a much higher loading margin than others consider changing the van. Re the car/van match its not possible to say without the weights available, but having towed with the primera and having a rough idea of various van makes it could be that you was also way over the 85% margin, which may have provoked the powers that be to prosecute on whatever ground they could find?.
Every week it seems a road is closed due to a overturned van, i often wonder what the reasons are for so many accidents.


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