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I have sinned. I drove an overweight Bourton

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I have sinned. I drove an overweight Bourton Empty I have sinned. I drove an overweight Bourton

Post by gassygassy Tue Sep 05, 2023 3:28 pm

Warwickshire county council tip in Rugby has a public weighbridge. I have had literally over a dozen motorhomes and never before taken one for a weigh-in but I knew my new-to-me Bourton being downplated to 3500kg would be very close. I loaded it up with all the stuff from our last camper, filled the water tank (which is only 67litres), plus 3/4 full fuel tank plus wifey  snigger  and took it to be weighed. I am very impressed that Warwickshire council opens its weighbridge to the public, to me it seems like a public service, encouraging scumbags like me who deep down would like to be legal to go and get checked.
As I said I have never done this before and I was expecting to pay £15 and then reduce the weight and then another £15 and repeat, till I got it under 3500. The guy at the weighbridge was ever so nice and told me it was 3610 with both of us on board. He was very familiar with the routine, what one should do, and he told me that if I am abroad I would need a weighbridge certificate with me if I am stopped. I didn't know that. He advised to run with half a tank of water, which I agree with but half a 67 litre tank is going to gain me 33kg. I need to lose over 100.
So, thinking of risk versus benefit, the spare wheel is going to have to go, and the satellite dish though I'm not confident it weighs a lot. The microwave is something we would never use and they weigh a bit so that will be out as well, and the rear corner steadies.
I might add that the Bourton has a Ma-Ve hydraulic levelling system which weighs 80kg but as I rate that as much more desirable than a spare wheel, although the spare wheel doesn't weigh that much at all, it is the spare wheel that will be going, not the levelling. There's a bike rack and a possibility that we might use it so that should stay.
Out go the boules, more than one book per week away, hifi loudspeakers, mattresses off the luton overcab bed: think hard, what else weighs something worth ditching?
And maybe I will have to restrict filling the fuel tank more than half full.
Has anyone got any other suggestions?
Lettuce diet for a month?
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Post by rogerblack Tue Sep 05, 2023 6:01 pm

Something I know we have excess of is crockery and cutlery. Despite it only being the two of us these days we continue to carry enough to feed a small army and it's on my list to reduce before our next trip. We're not very sociable so seldom entertain on site but if we did, folk could just bring their own, same as they do with chairs.

We also seem to carry loads of tinned foods 'just in case', to the extent that last year I found several behind the saucepans right at the back of the cupboard under the oven which had clearly been there since before 'lockdown' - we had a few interesting meals at home for a few days just to use them up.

We could probably get away with removing the rear steadies since we seldom use these now. 

Not sure I'd be comfortable ditching the spare though, as we have had punctures in the past - how do you intend dealing with that?

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Post by inspiredron Tue Sep 05, 2023 9:44 pm

Both the Broadway and the Button (which is essentially a Broadway on Merc) do have a limited payload compared with, say, a Nuevo. With the hydraulic levelling you can certainly remove the corner steadies but don't jettison the spare.

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Post by Bilbobaggins Wed Sep 06, 2023 8:09 am

Gives an idea how easy it is to take a moho above plated weight, I wonder what proportion of vans are driven overweight particularly given manufacturers striving to keep vans within class b licence limits. Four Berth pvc's in particular must have such limited payload after driver and three passengers are on board that they must travel with just a tooth brush and one change of underwear. Also seen a good few VW campers this year with rear suspension so low it looked like they had been lowered.

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Post by gassygassy Wed Sep 06, 2023 10:06 am

It seems quite clear that if you read or watch some video reviews of new motorhomes, that as Bilbobaggins says, it's all very well manufacturing a 4 berth, 4 seat belt motorhome and calling it a 3500mgw, that as soon as you put two kids in the back you are overloaded. Never mind their underwear or toothbrushes.

I read somewhere that motorhomes are a prime target for weighbridge jobsworths though I do wonder if hopefully the Police have more presing duties than standing at the roadside waving people into a weighbridge. . . . . thinks . . . I wonder if you can enter 'weighbridge' into a sat nav so you avoid those roads? Unless you have sagging suspenders I doubt that they are going to escort you to a weighbridge.

Anyway by lunchtime today I will have removed spare wheel and carrier, rear corner steadies, boules, bike rack, four pairs of shoes and the carpets. So far I have weighed 64kg of those items. The water tank is now empty so that will be another 65kg gone.  Though of course I would have to refill it in actual use so for every item I look at to remove, I consider if I would rather have that weight in water, or the item. I am a bit upset though because I had hoped to fit a second LB I've got in the garage, a lead one, so that idea sounds as if it is out of the window. Ill see about the Satellite dish. For one thing I would rather have whatever the dish weighs in water rather than a pointless protrusion on the roof. I can't remove the ceiling air con unit though I don't suppose. I wonder what that weighs? In order to use it we would need 230v, and that implies having to be on a camp site which costs unnecessary amounts of money.
Update to come later today . . . .


Further thought: as it would inevitably be overloaded if I took another passenger, I expect that removing the rear seat belt mounting framework would lower the weight quite a bit.
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Post by Paulmold Wed Sep 06, 2023 11:00 am

Why can't you remove the air con? They use a standard 40x40 hole so put another rooflight in its place, depending on model they weigh around 25kg .
With regards water, if you fill up on arrival at a site, are you going to empty it every time you drive off site?

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Post by Tinwheeler Wed Sep 06, 2023 1:16 pm

I’d think removing the seat belt will necessitate amending the V5 to avoid a possible MOT failure.
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Post by gbrchill Thu Sep 07, 2023 3:10 pm

I am perpetually amazed that they sell 6 berth coachbuilt motorhomes on a 3.5T class B plate. Unless the coach builders are using advanced composite materials they must really struggle to make something that is road legal once the driver sits in it and puts water in the windscreen wiper washer bottle and just enough diesel to get off the dealer's site.
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Post by gassygassy Thu Sep 07, 2023 4:43 pm

Tinwheeler wrote:I’d think removing the seat belt will necessitate amending the V5 to avoid a possible MOT failure.
You are right. It will also necessitate lots of literally blood sweat and tears. My arms and hands are already multicoloured and multi bruised. No, that's a pointless exercise indeed.
I have now got it down to 3380 and a certificate to prove it! allthumbz

I took it to the weighbridge and a very nice young chap was very keen, he likes motorhomes and understood exactly why I wanted it weighed. It came out at 36something or other, I forget. that's with me the driver and presumably 80kg wifey. So that lot's 160kg. He said he doubted that I wanted a printed certificate at that rate, he knew it should ideally be 3500. He said if I was stopped in Europe with a sub-3500 weighbridge certificate they wouldn't weigh it, they would just wave me on. However if I didn't have a certificate they would weigh it and then when it weighed 3600 they would throw me in the cooler. He said I won't charge you if you don't want a certificate, can you get it below 3500 and bring it back tomorrow? I said yes, it has a full tank of water, spare wheel and 3/4 tank of fuel. I'll go home and strip it.
I removed the spare wheel and carrier, the rear corner steadies, heavy bottle jack, rear bike carrier (which I found to my astonishment how easy it is to remove in two minutes, complete with valuable bikes). I emptied the water tank and drove 60 miles which brought the tank down to half. I returned to get it weighed and it was 3460 kg with both of us in it, and 3380kg with just wifey in it so he printed a certificate weighing 3380 and I paid him the princely sum of £12.
My dilemma now is do I refit the spare wheel? I don't think I need the heavy duty bottle jack and certainly not the corner steadies.
I think I'll remove the satellite dish, whatever it weighs I won't be using it and I could fit a larger solar panel in its place.
Or I could be a naughty boy and knowing I would be overweight if caught, refit the spare wheel. As it is new (as in 'never fitted and pristine') I suppose I could claim I had it fitted since the weighbridge and didn't think it would weigh that much.

Now I am wondering if the MOT test will reveal it is over weight: though I did buy it with a new MOT with all its encumberances (although now I think about it, no water, little fuel and no tins of beans or eggs and bacon or clothing) and it was just a plain MOT certificate, no brake test results or axle weights. The place I take cars to prints out the front axle weight and the rear axle weight and brake efficiencies. If you are a teenager with a phone you could add the two weights together and read the sum on the screen.
I'll have to try to remember to gut it before the next MOT in case it convulses at the weight.
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