Parts & Accessories

Caravan weight plate upgrade

17th December 2019 | Dan Trudgian
If you are a caravanner new or old, you may have come across the term ‘Weight plate upgrade’. If you haven’t heard of this before or you are curious about what is involved, this article maybe of interest to you.

 

A weight plate upgrade is a process in which a caravans payload can be increased. But before we dive into the technicalities of this process, lets discuss the weight plate and the payload limitations.

On the side of every caravan sold in the UK is a weight plate. It is usually by the door and in the past was a metal plate riveted to the body of the caravan. The weight plate carries important information, by legislation it must clearly display 2 weights of the caravan but, today the weight plate also carries further useful information such as the wheel torque, tyre size and tyre pressure.

The two weight values the plate must include are the MRO and the MTPLM

MRO

The Mass in Running Order (MRO) is the weight of the standard caravan with no possessions on board. But does include the weight of an EHU cable and the weight of a full gas bottle.

The Payload

The Payload will not be displayed on the weight plate, but you can calculate your Payload like this:

MTPLM – MRO = PAYLOAD

To ensure your payload is within your allowance, it’s a good idea to weigh everything that goes into the caravan. You can do this by using a set of bathroom scales. Simply weigh yourself and then yourself again with the items you wish to stow away in the caravan.

Before we move onto the weight plate upgrade, there is a final complication. Caravan accessories such as motor movers, aftermarket solar panelsaxle jacking points and air conditioning units, take their weight out of the Payload value. These are add-on items that were not fitted as part of the core product when the caravan left the factory.

(n.b. – this does not include retailer specials – Please consult the retailer about available payloads on retailer special caravans)

To give you an idea, let’s look at the following caravan with some accessories added onto it:

MRO 1,245Kg

MTPLM 1,400Kg

Payload 155Kg

 

Motor mover 35Kg

Solar Panel 7Kg

Air Conditioning 30Kg

Total 72Kg

This means that before anything is loaded into the caravan, nearly half the payload has been lost with 3 popular accessories. And if you tow with the awning in the caravan, that’s another 30Kg taken from the payload. This is where weight upgrading can help.

Most caravans can have their weight plates modified by the manufacturer and can increase the available payload. This isn’t a rule, some caravans cannot be upgraded, and some used caravans may have already had this procedure carried out. The process is very simple to complete.

How is it done?

No physical work is carried out on the caravan. There are no additional parts or swapping of equipment, its simply an administrate task carried out by the manufacturer and Cris.

If you own a Bailey, you can contact Prima Leisure, either online or in store and order a new weight plate. If you have purchased a retailer special caravan, contact the retailer that the caravan was purchased from. In all cases, you will need to pay a fee (usually £60) which will go towards a new certificate and replacement weight plate for your caravan.

As a customer, all you need to do is remove the old weight plate (usually a sticker) and replace with the new one. If you have ordered a brand new caravan, you can ask your retailer to add the new plate for you before you collect the caravan.

Why are not all caravans at the maximum weight already?

Caravan manufacturers set the weight as low as they can to make them more accessible to those with restrictions on their Driving Licences. Also, in many circumstances, 155Kg is considered enough of a payload for a family to use a caravan for a couple of weeks.

Upgrading a weight plate on a caravan really only needs to be considered if you have a few heavy accessories added onto the caravan like those mentioned above or if you anticipate carrying a heavy payload. Plating a caravan for a higher weight, will limit those who passed their driving test after January 1st 1997 and can only tow with a combined weight for 3,500Kg. But like anything, it can be undone.

For more information about the available payload a caravan could carry, contact your local Bailey dealership.

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