How do you weigh your caravan? We visit a weighbridge to find out!
Have you ever wondered what your laden caravan actually weighs? Do you know your M.T.P.L.M (Maximum Technically Permissable Laden Mass) or where to find this information? In this blog we will answer your questions and show you what we discovered when we took our Adria to a weighbridge!
We have owned our Adria for almost two years and never weighed it. We have always presumed we could estimate our weight based on what we put in it. So we decided to visit a weighbridge to find out how much we actually weigh. The result may surprise you.
How much should my caravan weigh?
All caravans have different weights, it is important to know what yours should weigh. To find out this information you will find a manufacturers plate near to your caravan door. On here you will find several figures, the top number is your MTPLM. This is the important number, the maximum technically permissible laden mass. Your caravan should not weigh more than this, it is the maximum including your payload. The plate should also show your MIRO (mass in running order), you subtract that from your MTPLM to find our payload. These figures should also be available from your caravan manufacturer. It may be on any paperwork you possess. Our MTPLM is 1750kg on the Adria and our MIRO is 1591kg, this gives us a payload of 159kg.
On the plate will be a higher figure, this is the maximum weight the manufacturer recommends is suitable for the axle. You can “up-plate” your caravan through your dealer to increase your MTPLM to this, we will come to this later.
What’s included in your payload?
Each manufacturer includes different items within their MIRO. In 2015 the criteria changed so check your specific manufacturer for items like gas bottles, battery, electric cables, water and tv aerials.
Items that wont be included are motor movers, additional solar panels, air conditioning units and bike racks.
How do I weigh my caravan?
The easiest way to do this is find a weighbridge local to you, this link will point you in the right direction. We chose a Trading Standards weighbridge as this is calibrated and accurate. It is advisable to call ahead to make sure they can accept you.
Tow your caravan, with all its usual contents that you would tow with, to the weighbridge. The one we visited had a Stop line where we waited whilst we went inside to give our details and pay the £10 fee. You will be invited to drive on to the weighbridge plates, which are flat. Make sure that your wheels and jockey wheel are all on one weigh plate. You then unhitch and drive off the plates. The operator will take the reading and provide you with a print out of the weight. You then hitch up again and you’re on your way in a matter of minutes.
What does the result mean?
Your print out will show the weight of your caravan, a weighbridge may weigh in increments of 20kg so check with the staff there. The reading may be rounded up to the nearest 5, 10 or 20kg.
As long as you are under your MTPLM you don’t need to anything as it means you are within your permissible laden mass.
If you are over then you need to remove items from your caravan to lower the payload. Such items may be your awning, clothes, food, bedding or camping chairs. You can place these items in your tow car.
If you feel you need more payload you can ask your dealer, or manufacturer, about “up-plating” your caravan to that higher figure. This may cost you around £50 and you will receive a new plate to a-fix over the present one. You will receive new documentation to confirm the upgrade. It is worth remembering this will effect the tow car match on the 85% recommendation as you now have a higher MTPLM.
What did our Adria weigh?
If you want to find out more you can watch our vlog of the visit to the weighbridge.
We were very shocked to find our caravan, with an MTPLM of 1750kg, weighed 1800kg. This meant we were over weight, we immediately removed several items that brought us down to 1750kg. We removed our awning, awning carpet, two large camping chairs, hose pipe and cleaning / toilet chemicals.
Taking in to account the 20kg increments we were still at least weighing 1781kg.
We are now considering up-plating our caravan to our maximum of 1800kg.
Why don’t you consider visiting a weighbridge, you may be surprised too. This is a valuable exercise in towing safety and now we have the peace of mind knowing exactly what we weigh.