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MGW - how heavy is your motorhome?

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    MGW - how heavy is your motorhome?

    The most common MGW (Maximum Gross Weight) of many panel van conversions and coachbuilts is 3500kg. Some smaller panel vans have a lower MGW. There are various letters in the press asking about this, most people wanting to know how heavy their motorhome will be when loaded up for a holiday. Some people are worried that they will get hauled over by the Police into a weighing machine in a lay-by. So there is some comfort in knowing that it is not overweight when loaded up with stuff.
    You can take your motorhome to a public weighbridge but if you are like me, you don't know where they are, what they cost, and as it turns out it is an unnecessary expense if your vehicle is 3 years old or more and needs an MOT test.
    I took mine for an MOT today and part of the results sheets which relates to the brake testing shows the total vehicle weight with a driver, and separately the front axle weight and the rear axle weight. My 6.5 metre coachbuilt with two full large bottles of gas, spare wheel and all the stuff for a holiday weighed 3086kg leaving over 400kg for doughnuts, beer and so on.
    So if you have an MOT, you don't need to go to a weighbridge.
    It was a lot more fun being 20 in the 70's than being 70 in the 20's

    My 6m long Transit-based Compact is 2600kg dry, 2700kg with me on board which gives 800kg 'head space'. I carry 3x13kg propane tanks plus the clean water, so I reckon that I'm pretty well within limits. That said I've never actually done the weighbridge thing... there's one up at the local quarry so, if the spirit moved, I could probably mosey up there with a 6-pack of ale and I'm sure the lads would oblige.


      The 3,500Kgs MAW is kept at that level by motorhome manufacturers to allow them to be driven by those who have passed their driving tests since 1.1.97 - thus increasing the potential customer base.

      In some cases, this artificially low MAW leaves very little loading allowance which has caught people out. I read of many drivers who have had to have their motorhomes re-plated to a higher MAW to get around this.

      To find a weighbridge local to you, use


        The 3.5 tonne MAW also means you do not need a medical at the age of 70 to retain category C1 on your licence. When a person reaches 70 C1 is removed unless an application is made on form D4 which also requires a medical report. This application should be made 56 days before 70th birthday and has to be renewed annually.
        AGEISM RULES :blank: or is it simply PRUDENCE:wink:

        I have to decide next year.

        Those of us with the little demountables must all be near or over weight - one of the topics recently was Spring Assisters.

        Dirty Diesel Driver - a hypocrite who knows THERE IS NO PLANET B


          Maybe worth a reminder that if you are traveling abroad you should take any documentation with you. I was talking to a young man in Italy who was driving a motorhome which they had had re registered at below the 3.5 tonnes so he could drive it. Pulled over by the police in Liechtenstein of all places they would have been subject to a spot fine without the paperwork.
          Never more than a bicycle ride away from being in a good mood.


            I've just had my newer-than-the-last-one motorhome MOTd which it passed fine with no advisories. With a full 100 litre water tank (which would weigh 100kg) and a as-full-as-I-can-afford-it fuel tank (presulably another 90kg), a full spare wheel (which weighs 'I-can't-lift-it' kg), outside table and chairs, chocks, hose and EHU cables, tool kit, lots of provisions in the kitchen cupboards, an overflowing operating-theatre-full of snake oil condiments for Mrs Fragrant, maps, essential hi-fi loudspeakers for Mr Unfragrant, Umpteen pairs of shoes for Mrs Fragrant and the essential two pairs for me, lots of towels and a wardrobe full of clothes and the MOT tester it weighs 3,346kg. It's a properly built (i.e. solid wood furniture that doesn't wobble or rattle) coachbuilt with 13 cupboards at roof level and lots more lower down.
            The MOT certificate reveals the following information:
            Total weight 3346kg, Service Brake 2027kgf (efficiency 60%), parking brake force 886kgf (efficiency 26%) and a maximum brake imbalance of 14%, no ovality in discs.
            Front axle weight 1460kg
            Rear axle weight 1886kg.

            This explains why the manufacturer's tyre pressures are greater for the rear wheels than the front. So the rears are at 70psi and the front at 56psi (so far as I recall). I used to think that as the engine is at the front, that would be heavier than the back, but it is not so.

            Printed MOT certificate with these specs are now going in the glove box for the upcoming trip to abroadland, thanks for the reminder jondxxx
            It was a lot more fun being 20 in the 70's than being 70 in the 20's


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