How to calculate your motorhome’s safe weight limits

Published in Motorhoming Top Tips on   - 16 Comments

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  1. Debbie Lumley says:

    Great article and comments. Our CAMC Centre has invested in portable weighting machines (which vehicle drives onto) to obtain indicative weight of each axle….they’ve thrown up some surprising results for some of our members.

    Would we be able to share this article in our quarterly Centre newsletter please?

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Debbie.

      Thanks for the comment. Yes as long as you credit us and display a link to the article we’d be more than happy for the article to be shared.

      Kind regards
      Caravan Guard

  2. Ray lewis says:

    Why can’t motorhome manufacturers quote the weight on each axle when the van is unladen. With a lot of coach built vans that have a long overhang the load on the rear axle is fairly high. Add a tow bar and a couple of electric bikes ther is’nt a lot left. I have asked several several suppliers but they only quote the max laden weight and the max weight allowed on each axle.

  3. Martyn says:

    Hi Craig, great article. I’ve weighed my van on the local weigh bridge and am within the limits for MTPLM which is 3400kg. can I increase this to 3500 kg and how do I go about it? Thanks for your help.

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      All motorhomes have a weight plate which gives the MPTLM. If that’s not giving you enough payload it is sometimes possible to simply have the motorhome ‘replated’ as long as it’s officially documented. Sometimes increasing payload involves more major physical modifications to your vehicle. We did find this website useful, although we’re sure there are many other companies that offer these services around the country. Try searching for ‘replating a motorhome’ in Google.
      Hope this helps,

  4. Mike Gadd says:

    I have just come across this article and believe it is incorrect or at least out of date.
    On reaching 70 years of age driving licences have to be renewed and automatically reduce the entitlement to a maximum of 3500kg regardless of your entitlement prior to your 70th birthday. The entitlement can be increased by taking a medical test and effectively holding an HGV licence.
    If at 70+ only the 3500kg entitlement is held then it is not legal to tow a trailer with a 3500kg motorhome as mounting a trailer (regardless of its weight) will invoke the Train Weight of the vehicle which will be in excess of 3500kg.

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for the comment Mike. I have added a comment to validate what you have said.

  5. alan robshaw says:

    A very helpful article. The weight issue with motorhomes had previously been very confusing,

  6. J Bugler says:

    My dad is over 70 and wants to buy a motor caravan with a MAM of 3500, he wants to tow a trailer and motorbike , the bike weighs at least 200Kg.
    Is this over the limit please?

    • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

      J Bugler
      Sorry for the delay. We’re looking into this for you.

    • Lucie @ Caravan Guard says:

      Hi Julie,

      We’ve heard back from our towing expert, Stephen from Silver Fox Driver Training and can confirm that provided that the proposed trailer’s MAM is within the towing capacity of the vehicle (check the motor caravan’s VIN plate, handbook or registration documents), the only other restriction will be in regards to your Dad’s licence. Presuming that he passed his test prior to 1997 and therefore has a B+E qualification, then he is licenced to tow a trailer with a MAM of 3500kgs. On a Cat B licence the max trailer size will be 750kgs for the motor caravan in this instance. Age, incidently, has no bearing on the legalities.

      We hope this helps.
      Caravan Guard

      • Craig @ Caravan Guard says:

        Hi all
        Mike Gadd is correct that the advice has changed here.
        Please note the line in Lucie’s response: ‘Age, incidentally has no bearing on the legalities’ is now incorrect.
        Once a driver reaches 70 their existing licence is replaced with one that has a limit of 3500kg. If you want to drive drive motorhomes towing a trailer with a MAM of over 3500kg (up to 8250kg) again, you will need to apply for the licence to do this and submit a medical examination report. Please see this link DVLA towing guidance.
        Kind regards
        Caravan Guard

  7. r.stapleton says:

    can I drive a 3850 mtplm weighted motorhome providing I keep the weight down to 3500mtplm as I am over 70 ?

  8. John says:

    Great tips and helpful advice! So now it gives me an idea on how to calculate the safety limits of a motorhome. Thanks.

  9. J Gaskell says:

    A very useful article but would like to add the following comments:-

    1) Finding a weighbridge is not easy in my area,the only ones seem to be at scrapyards or similar where the access roads are littered with scrap and debris that can ruin tyres.Does anyone have a list of weighbridges for UK or in particular the Wirral area.
    2) This features focuses on not overloading the rear axle and tyres.However it gives no guidance on when the loading on the front tyres could be reduced to create a dangerous situation (loss of grip of front tyres).This does concern me since my Hymer Van based on a front wheel drive Transit chassis is very light on the front even when empty and easily wheel spins in the wet when pulling away (especially on gradients) even when controlling the clutch very carefully.I wonder if other owners of Hymer Vans have similar problems and if not what tyres they are using (mine are Continental Vanco as fitted when new).

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