#134097  by rayandmargaret
 Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:54 am
Hi there, we are currently thinking of maybe replacing our Motorhome, currently a 9metre bus, and are looking at our options. Something with slide outs to give a bit more living space appeals and I also like the idea of running on a wof rather than a cof. This probably means a large caravan or light fifth wheel. However from what I can see, and after reading Fred Fellows article in the last Motor Caravaner, none of these vehicles seem to have much leeway between tare weight and GMV. Once you fill your water tanks there is not much left for everything else needed for full time living on the road.

I know a lot of people do this however so some must be quite overweight. People I have talked to and asked about weight generally don't want to think about it.

Would be interested in hearing any comments/advice from anyone with caravans/light fifth wheels.
 #134098  by mattn
 Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:41 am
Your concerns are valid and the problem is probably significantly under estimated in New Zealand. For light trailers, unlike UK and Aussie, we do not have any law that explicitly says its illegal to tow a trailer heavier than the rated tow weight of the tug. You also have no laws explicitly saying a light trailer may not be loaded above its plated weight (if it even has one). You may be ticketed for overloading, and may find you insurance invalid, however unlike UK and Aussie, here the Police do not routinely (ever?) stop cars towing caravans (and boats etc) and put them over a weigh bridge. The only instance I have ever heard of of a driver stopped and ticketed was something like a Daihatsu Charade seen towing a 22ft trailer sailor in North Canterbury. i.e. you have to be grossly overloaded before the cops bother, so few people care.

If you read this work by Collyn Rivers and follow the links, you will get well informed.
I also refer you to The truth about 3500kg towing

The other consideration is the 6000kg GCM limit on car licenses, its legal for me to sling a 3499kg caravan behind a 2500kg ute, but if I upgrade the ute to a much safer 3500kg truck it would be illegal for me to drive it. The buying decision (if not explicit, implicitly made by the caravan manufacturer) is probably based on keeping the weight, on paper, of a typical tug and caravan below the magic 6000kg. Also the lighter the weight of the caravan (on paper) the more tugs can be used to tow it (on paper). A seller is far more likely to secure the transaction if the buyer already has a suitable (on paper) tug. The end result is a) A pissing completion among 'tug' manufacturers over maximum tow weight and b) A second pissing completion among caravan manufacturers to sell the biggest (everyone these days seems to want a bigger caravan), lightest (on paper) caravan.

I suspect this might be much of the motivation behind people choosing small tugs and big caravans with low payloads.
 #134100  by Nut17
 Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:03 pm
Hi Ray & Margaret. We have a 25' Jayco Silverline Outback with a tare of just 3000kg and ATM of 3499kg. Our fresh water capacity is 250lt leaving 250 Kg for clothes, food, fishing gear, bikes, tools etc. We have become fairly ruthless and carry a lot less extraneous matter than we used to. Our van has a 4.0 metre X 600 mm slideout which really opens up the interior. Most importantly is an appropriate and competent tow vehicle which is rated to 350 Kg ball weight and 3500 Kg towing capacity. Be sure to check that the tow vehicle also has a Gross Combined Mass up to the job. Most of the current crop of double cab utes are limited to 6000kg - Loaded ute plus loaded caravan. This has been a bit of a trap for some as they purchase a ute for the load carrying ability only to find that they can only put 200 kg or so on the ute and still stay legal. In our case the Jeep with our gear, a full tank and two up is around 2800kg and the van is pretty much right on 3500 kg - total 6300 kg. The Jeep does have a 6600 kg GCM.
I see mattn has posted while I type this and we have overlapped in some advice, but it does help to emphasise the potential pitfalls

 #134107  by DerekB
 Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:45 pm

You say your all up is 6300kg. That would put you into a Class 2 drivers licence. Does that mean you have to keep a log book?

 #134109  by Nut17
 Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:19 pm
Class 2 driving license but log book not required. Private and not commercial.

Cheers Chris
 #134159  by rayandmargaret
 Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:28 pm
However if it's over 6000kg would it not be classed a heavy vehicle, require a hubometer and need to run on a COF?
 #134160  by Nut17
 Tue Oct 31, 2017 1:42 pm
No. The individual components are under the 3500kg COF / Hubometer threshold. The class 2 licence is required though.

 #134261  by NeilV
 Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:14 pm
Hi Ray,

As your 9m presumably means you already have a class 2, I think Nut has shown you the perfect solution. As long as your combined weight is within your legal Class2 limit, your vehicles can EACH be up to 6 tons and be WOF’d instead of COF’d. This gives you the options to pick a good Tug as MattN suggests and still happily load up the trailer and tug as Nut does without any issues as long as each vehicle and their connecting hitch are all within their design limits. :TU
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