Weighty Question

Submitted: Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 08:37
ThreadID: 121628 Views:4031 Replies:7 FollowUps:3
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Being relatively new to all this caravan stuff, (We did have a 23 fter 30years ago)
I have come across some "weighty" problems.

Our friends, took delivery of their new 20 ft. BT a few weeks ago.
They are towing it with a 100 ser deisel 'cruiser. Spring upgrade etc.
rated 3,500 kg towing capac. and 350kg on the ball.
All normal stuff.
Dave had asked Steve about the legals of the tojo when ordering and Steve says It'll be fine.
Tare weight on the van plate is 2,680 kg
Sounds OK
Dave asked on leaving the factory does that include water in his 5 x80 L tanks.
Not sure who it was (not Steve) says, "Yeah, No worry's mate, See Ya."

So Dave puts their gear in (to live full time) (Not much by anyones standard)
and being a thorough bloke, puts it on a weigh bridge.
Gross Vehicle Mass------------ 3,780 kgs.

WHAT??????? says Dave HOW?????? says Dave.

So they ask me????
We finally worked it out between us.

The tare weight of the van does not include water. (That was a bit sus to start with).
BUT, It does not include , Spare wheels, Gas Bottles, Solar Panels (3) and Batteries. And probably the annexe. Pretty standard extras aren't they???

Now this is a bit of a worry to me who is going to buy a BT soon to live in full time and a new Tojo Troopy to tow it. The troopy has the same specs. as the 100 ser.
It'll be a 20 ft. with the usual, just like Dave's but maybe only 4 tanks.(That's only less 80 kg.)
What can we put in in personal gear????
Dave's down to 2 shorts , 2 shirts and a spare pair of thongs.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see a major problem here.

Has any one else checked their GVM when loaded?
I see about half the tow vehicles are Tojos or similar so how do you get around this for a trip or living full time?

There is also the 3,500 kg limit on the standard BT hitch.????

And don't tell me to buy an F250.
We do want to be able to go "real bush" without the van when necessary.

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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 09:25

Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 09:25
Something seems a bit fishy here - I have the 18'6" and took it over the weighbridge when we transferred rego to NSW - unladen, but including all the usuals such as fridge, batteries, solar panels, etc.(but with empty water tanks, of coruse) Ours was around 2250kg, fairly consistent with the Compliance Plate.

Can't see any obvious reason why Dave's would be so heavy - place to start is to empty all the gear out and check if unladen weight is consitent with Plate, but around the 2600kg would be what you would expect and , if anything, is possibly even a little heavier than other 20' models.

Suspicion then turns to what Dave is carrying? There is an old saying that after you pack the van, take everything out again, and get rid of half of it?


PS: We use to take holidays with 3 kids in a little Jayco camper, so we are quite comfortable travelling with only the bare essentials.
AnswerID: 565468

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 17:35

Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 17:35
G'day Caveman,

First thing I'd do is check at another weighbridge with van connected and then again with it disconnected. Our 18 footer (18'10" window to window) was 2650 dry and 3050 with gear and two tanks full. We had an LC100 diesel (99) with DTS Dynamic Turbo added. (Not intercooled). That vehicle struggled too, but could maintain 80km/h on the freeway grades (up to 7%). My brother had a Diesel without the turbo and it was hopeless with a loaded box trailer weighing about 1500kg. If you don't have a turbo on the LC100 or The Troopy with the same motor, then you're not going to enjoy your BT travels. Even on 5% upgrade it will be 60km/h in 3rd, let alone getting into the steep stuff such as the 20% grades going up to Bunya Mountain Nat. Park.

I'd suggest getting an intercooled turbo added, plus a "Plug-in Power Up-Module" such as the one they provide at Berrima Diesel.....www.hinet.net.au/~diesel or phone (02) 4877 1256.

You could also try Out of Town 4WD at Barnsley (Newcastle) ....oot4wd@hunterlink.net.au Phone 0407 000 276 - I think they do the Schwitzer Turbos which I had on My 80 series and it was better than the DTS.
Another option is Lynquip at Gympie, Qld Ph. (07) 5486 7900 and there is another crowd in Bunbury, WA. There are probably others who can do similar jobs and no doubt someone on the site can help.

good luck...........cheerio......Rob.
AnswerID: 565469

Reply By: dagsy - Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 19:40

Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 19:40
Tellem Bugrem I think Cavemans real concern is the towing weight is above the LC 3500 capacity and therefore not legal.Nothing was said about the power of the LC it could be a factory Turbo which would do the job with not much trouble.

AnswerID: 565470

Reply By: Noosa Fox - Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 22:59

Friday, Dec 03, 2004 at 22:59
Our 3.5 year old 21ft Shower van with 3 water tanks and 3 batteries and 3 solar panels only weight 2480kg. Our van only has the 100 x 50 chassis so the later ones with 150 x 50 are about 100 to 120 kg heavier. We now have 4 batteries and 5 water tanks and when I last checked with full water tanks and all our travelling gear we were still only around the 3300kg.

Before BTi have the van registered they tow it to a weigh bridge and then attached that weigh bridge ticket to the registration documents, so the Tare weight on the compliance plate should be correct.

I think I would be having it checked on another weigh bridge, where you can also check the weight of the Landcruiser, which from memory is about 2600kg (it is in the service book anyway) and make sure that the scales are accurate.

With a tare of 2680kg plus 400 litres of water = 400kg that would give 3080kg. What on earth has he got in the van that could weigh 700kg.

I changed from a Landcruiser to an F250 because it is a far better tow vehicle than a Landcruiser, and the twin cab ute is much more practical for touring with than a station wagon.

I cannot understand how you can make the comment

"And don't tell me to buy an F250.
We do want to be able to go "real bush" without the van when necessary. "

The only thing that I have found that the Landcruisers have an advantage over the long wheel base F250, is the ramp over angle. In every other respect they can perform as well as a Landcruiser, or where lots of torque is required better than a Landcruiser.


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Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Thursday, Dec 16, 2004 at 18:08

Thursday, Dec 16, 2004 at 18:08
Hello Brian,
Steven Gibbs here,

We really do appreciate your positive feedback and good information and help on the BOG site. So, don't let this ruffle your feathers any, just a bit of ongoing information. In the older large vans that had the 100 x 50 A-Frame all the way back to the chassis, it was 4mm thick...
The truth is that the new ones that are 150 x 50 are only 3mm thick, and due to the larger vertical wall and are just as strong, and they weigh the same!! You can calculate it and it is true, they are the same weight in 100 x 50 x 4mm as 150 x 50 x 3mm. Now the only time it is a bit heavier is if the larger vans order an extended a-frame for heavy cargo, then yes when we do you to 4mm the 150 x 50 is heavier. But that is the exception, overall, a new van such as yours, will come out the same weight with the 150 x 50 a-frame. Possibly a 5 - 10 kg difference in surface area of galvanizing, but that is about all. We did it for cosmetic reasons, and the fact that a so called Competitor was saying his was stronger "see look" when in fact it was not, just thinner material with a bigger box section.

Kind Regards to you and Margaret, and have a nice Holiday time...
FollowupID: 844133

Reply By: Deleted User - Sunday, Dec 05, 2004 at 07:21

Sunday, Dec 05, 2004 at 07:21
Thanks all for your comments,
One thing seems to be consistent and that is , you are all saying that your tare weights as on the van plate is roughly "from the factory delivery weight" OK.
One at a time,
Flipp'nlorry, from the above observation, the question does beg, What has Dave in his Van?
I can't say I looked in every cupboard, but they did lose 100kg in the repack and they are first timers so It is a possibility.

Tellem Buggrem, Yes as dagsy says, power of the 100 ser. isn't really the problem, It's a non-turbo and Dave say's he's in no hurry, but he may find many others who are. Personally I'm inclined to agree with your points on power.

dagsy, yes , the big problem is being over legal weight, (specially insurance wise)

Noosa Bushtrackers, Another weighbridge, that's interesting, This was not at a Guvment one but a Scrap steel yard. Hmmmmmm..
I agree with your calculations. Seems reasonable. It may very well be back to Flipp'nlorry's question.

On the F250 angle . I thought my comment should raise a few hackles.
Maybe I should have said I owned a F100 many years ago and sold it (in favour of a Tojo) mainly cos I had so much trouble off road due to the width.
I don't know the width of the F100 now but I do know the F250 is 380mm wider than a Troopy, centre to centre of the back tyres.(my 1985 model Troopy)
(I actually happened to measure them just last week)
As I found with the F100, that puts one set of wheels on one side ,"out in the sticks" literally on most Oz tracks , being made predominately by Landrovers, Tojos and Nissans.
To the tune of 4 staked tyres a day on the Nullabor and as well as No Fittem in heavy timber country.
I maintain my position. (with respect)

Unfortunately Dave & Chris have headed south (with only 2 part tanks of water) and I haven't heard from them since of any further developments. I do believe they will go back to BT Steve.
This isn't the end of the weighty problem as there is another person up this way with a serious BT weight problem.
But as he is taking another course of action I'm not at liberty to say any more except , " Watch out for the smoke signals"

Thanks again for your input. I am a bit less concerned now but "Mine eyes have been opened"
AnswerID: 565472

Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Friday, Dec 10, 2004 at 17:30

Friday, Dec 10, 2004 at 17:30
Hey Caveman,

Maybe the 75 rocks on the other end of the tree beam were the 50kilo ones rather than the 40's.


Have you read BTi Steve's post?
AnswerID: 565473

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Saturday, Dec 11, 2004 at 00:50

Saturday, Dec 11, 2004 at 00:50
Hello all,
Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker
We need to set the record straight when we encounter this kind of disinformation that is not helpful for anyone... Not sure I am putting this in the right place after "Caveman"s "Weighty Concerns", but there were what 270 viewings of this Weighty Concerns and it is grossly misleading. I did post this as a separate item, but it need to be addressed in this thread, and I am not to sure how to do it, so here is the experiment....

1) Tare is the dry weight of the caravan as Ordered and Delivered. This does not include water in the tanks, we do not make the rules. "Caveman" saying that the tare without tanks full was "a bit sus to us" just needed the correct information.

2) Anyone that said the Tare included water in the tanks as this posting claims, would not work here at Bushtracker. This is just a plain misquote or misunderstanding.. And no one would be that silly here at Bushtracker.

3) We weigh the vans with all of the gear the people Order on board. To claim as this person does, that we weigh the vans without the spare tyres, solar panels, batteries, and such gear on board is incorrect and irresponsible and just plain an untruth.... I will tell you that we even weigh them with all the flat screen TVs, stereo equipment, speakers, DVD players, satellite decoders, and all the other personal electronic equipment that people have another Company like "Sound in Motion" install... That gear is not even provided or sold by us, but usually fully installed by the time we weigh the van a day or two just before Delivery. Our Tare is more than fair and correct, we even weigh them with the other Company's gear the Customer has ordered on board, even though it is not part of our gear list or Contract Delivery. To have claimed otherwise on this forum is irresponsible and misleading to other Readers, and not fair: "Caveman" no offense, but you stand corrected.

4) Any discrepancy between Tare and Delivered weight will be the water in the water heater, about two inches of water in the tanks as they will not drain all the way out because of the suction in the loops of the vents, and water in the plumbing and pumps as we do not water test them until after the Registration Weigh in Tare.

Also in my posting, I did not mention that we fill the gas bottles, and that 18kg of gas is not in at the time of Tare either... But other than that we give a real Tare in the best interest of taking care of the Customer. We cannot speak for what other manufacturers do...

5) As to total ATM (Aggragate Trailer Mass) the fully laden weight, we have no control over how much people put on board. The weight that this posting has on it would be extreme indeed and suspect. Would suggest an immediate trip to a proper weighbridge, and assesment of the hitch which if is our regular hitch is now illegal... However, I doubt the claimed weight, it would really be an effort to load on over a tonne. Either way, everyone needs to be mindful of how much they put on board. If their requirements exceeds the hitch, it can be upgraded.. If their requirements exceed the suspension limits, it can also be upgraded.

Open note to all Readers from Directors at Bushtracker: Please check with us on serious concerns like this open posting on "Weighty Concerns" Or, please let us know if there are any postings like this that raise serious concerns. We may not have the time to visit this Forum but every week or two. Now a personal opinion and well meaning wish for the future: "Caveman" should have at least ask us the facts before alarming people with misinformation that is grossly misleading, and has scared some people unnecessarily...

Kind Regards to all, stg

FollowupID: 844134

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Monday, Dec 13, 2004 at 00:07

Monday, Dec 13, 2004 at 00:07
I agree steve,
saying that the tare without tanks full was "a bit sus to us"
WATER is obviously a LOAD and should not be included in the UNLADEN wieght of the van.

Our van with 400litres of water in 5 tanks (400kg) and what I would consider a lot of gear in the van including stuff that might be used, and we carry it because we can and have room, still only makes our gross between 700 and 800 kgs above the tare.
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Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Dec 13, 2004 at 02:19

Monday, Dec 13, 2004 at 02:19
Well, That certainly got some replies.
Good to see Steve's input there and his facts of the matters from his side of the fence.
To tell the truth I am now very mystified about Daves "weighty problem".

If all is as said by BT owners and Steve , then Either the weighbridge was Way out, (00h,that's a good one) or
Dave's got an awful lot of fishing sinkers on board.

I haven't heard from them since they left but I do believe they were going to BTI at some stage so maybe when they do, Steve, you will give us all an answer to Dave's problem.
it would be in everyone's best interests.
AnswerID: 565474

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