It’s all too easy to think of the big amount of space within your motorhome as unlimited storage for all of your lovely home comforts, but there are seriously strict weight limits on what you can and can’t carry.
As some motorhomes are designed primarily to tow cars, along with motorbikes, it’s crucial to appreciate the various factors that should be considered when understanding the weight relationship between motorhome and towed vehicle. This will guarantee that you are within the legal and safe limits when towing.
How to Weigh Your Motorhome
The most precise method to weigh your vehicle is to visit a public weighbridge, and you can find details of your local weighbridge easily online.
Once a weight check has been done, it’s essential to ask for a copy of the paperwork including the date, weight details and vehicle registration number.
Usually referred to as the MIRO, the Mass in Running Order is the manufacturer’s weight of the motorhome, equipped to its standard specification. This figure excludes extras such as gas bottles, but may include a full fuel tank and the driver itself (up to a weight of 75kg).
The front and rear axle also has a maximum weight. To calculate this weight, the motorhome must be positioned on the weighing plates at the weighbridge with just the rear wheels on the plates, and the opposite for the front axle. This number must not be more than what is known as the MAW, Maximum Axle Weight, in the owner’s handbook or on the data plates.
Preparing Your Motorhome
Before heading out, remember to load the motorhome with everything you believe you need, and make sure you’ve checked-off your maintenance list before visiting a local weighbridge. This will establish the ALW or Actual Laden Weight of your vehicle.
The Actual Laden Weight cannot exceed what is known as the MTPLM. This is the absolute weight limit, or Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass in full, usually found on a plate inside the van door.
It’s crucial to note that even though there is space available in your motorhome, it can’t necessarily ALL be used as storage space. If you are not able to get to a weighbridge, your payload allowance can be measured by working out the difference between the MTPLM and the Mass In Running Order.
The GTW, or Gross Train Weight, is the total weight of the motorhome and the vehicle being towed. It is illegal to surpass this weight limit, so be certain to get this checked at a weighbridge.