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TOPIC: Do I need to take a towing test

Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465149

  • MarkWrd1
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Hi All,

So, very new to the world of Caravanning. We are inheriting a Bailey pageant bordeux 2005 and before I go off pulling it down the road I want to get clarification on the ‘towing license’

I feel that, reading in the DVLA website the terminology is somewhat down to ‘interpretation‘ but I bet the law won’t see it that way.
So, to the experienced people here can I tow?

I have a standard B license and passed my test in 2006

My car is an smax 2.5T petrol 2008.

The parkers website specs the car weight as 1905kg but I don’t know if this includes fuel, I’m guessing not?

The weightplate stats are as follows

2420kg - Gross vehicle weight
4120kg - Gross train weight
1210kg - front axel
1265kg - rear axel

The caravan is a bailey pageant bordeux 2005 4 berth. The weights taken from the book are:

1336kg - Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass
1150kg - M.R.O

I’m interested in how this is all worked out as I’ve spent about 30 mins reading on the dvla website which makes it even more confusing in my opinion.

Any additional weight advice greatly received

Thanks in advance, can’t wait to take the family away for the first time

Mark
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465150

  • otherclive
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Your GVW +MTPLM exceeds 3500kg which is the limit of your licence. It doesn’t matter if you kept the car and caravan light by not loading them to the maximum. It is the plated weight that governs what outfit you can drive on your present licence.

Best you go for the test and gain your BE licence.
Subaru Forester XT 240 bhp, carrying two Springers and towing a Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by otherclive.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465153

  • MarkWrd1
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Thanks for the quick and clear response. Looks like I’ll be parting with some money in the coming weeks. Can’t complain though in the grand scheme of things.

For a newby, they don’t make it clear at all. It’s very confusing
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465154

  • MarkWrd1
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Would I be correct in saying GVW +MTPLM=MAM?
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465155

  • otherclive
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MarkWrd1 wrote:
Would I be correct in saying GVW +MTPLM=MAM?

This explains it.

www.gov.uk/vehicle-weights-explained
Subaru Forester XT 240 bhp, carrying two Springers and towing a Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465162

  • ProfJohnL
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MarkWrd1 wrote:
Would I be correct in saying GVW +MTPLM=MAM?

Hello Mark,
Welcome to the wonderful world of towing weights masses, and limits. The devil is in the detail, which the Government internet portal doesn't always make clear.

I do agree on first contact with towing weights and limits it can be very confusing. Its made even more difficult because the same criteria can be described by several different acronyms, and the differences between limits and measured values are not always immediately clear and understood.

There are some acronyms that might appear to have very similar definitions, yet one may refer to a measured value whilst the other may be a limit, and it doesn't help that a large proportion of the population do not appreciate the difference between mass and weight and force.

But despite its apparent complexity there is logic behind it, is a matter of working through it step by step.

However back to your question. Tow vehicles and trailers have separate Maximum Authorised Mass's or MAM's.
In your example the GVW is the same as the MAM for the car, and the MTPLM is the MAM for the caravan.

The wording of the licences B entitlement allows you to drive a vehicle whose MAM does not exceed 3500kg but it also allows you to drive a vehicle towing a braked trailer provided the combined MAM (GVW +MTPLM) does not exceed 3500kg. The important word is "combined". As Clive has pointed out you cannot circumvent the regulation by only part loading the car or its trailer as its based on maximum limits not measured weights.
Going for the E extension test removes virtually all restrictions and you can tow any trailer within the stated capability of the tow vehicle.

The law does not differentiate caravans from any other sort of trailer, but the caravan industry does offer guidance and suggests the novices should aim to have a caravan with a n MTPLM of no greater than 85% of the tow vehicles kerb weight, provided its within the vehicles towing specification. Only as experience is gained should larger percentages be tried topping out at 100%

I do not know which version of the DVLA advice you have read, but this is one area of the Governments portal which has been changed several times, and it it often fails to include important details that are particularly important to caravanners.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465174

  • CustardAvenger
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Mark,

Not going to re-tread the excellent responses from Clive & Prof, but just be aware that you can tow a caravan/trailer with a B licence. In your example you would be limited to an MTLPM of 1080KG, I highlighted this as in my formative caravaning years, I was told by a sales representative of a lightweight caravan manufacturer that I could only tow one of their sub 750kg caravans on a B Licence, despite being able to safely tow a 1200KG caravan* :angry:

if you do decide to obtain the 'BE' Category (also known as B+E), as I did, you can find some Course Providers here. I took a few hours of training with a local instructor who replicated the reversing test course. I used their car & trailer for the test. I had about 5 years of towing experience prior to the test; but I'd recommend training. More info here. It was about £115 for a weekday test (2017) not including the instructor fees.

Edit: * with my car at the time.
Paul
Volvo XC60 D4 AWD & Swift Sprite Major 4SB
Last Edit: 8 months 3 weeks ago by CustardAvenger. Reason: Correcting ambiguity.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465176

  • ProfJohnL
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CustardAvenger wrote:
Mark,

Not going to re-tread the excellent responses from Clive & Prof, but just be aware that you can tow a caravan/trailer with a B licence. In your example you would be limited to an MTLPM of 1080KG, I highlighted this as in my formative caravaning years, I was told by a sales representative of a lightweight caravan manufacturer that I could only tow one of their sub 750kg caravans on a B Licence, despite being able to safely tow a 1200KG caravan :angry: .

Custard Avengers comment is quite right, but to avoid confusion, just for clarity when he writes he could safely tow a 1200kg caravan its determined by the difference between the Licence limit of 3500kg, and the MAM of the tow vehicle, the balance is the available limit for the trailers MTPLM.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465189

  • Buckman
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In simple terms the maximum weight that could be towed on a B licence is 1080kg which is exceeded by the MIRO of the caravan. Definitely B+E licence time to tow that combination.
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Do I need to take a towing test 8 months 3 weeks ago #465211

  • ProfJohnL
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Buckman wrote:
In simple terms the maximum weight that could be towed on a B licence is 1080kg which is exceeded by the MIRO of the caravan. Definitely B+E licence time to tow that combination.

I have to assume Buckman you are referring to a specific tow vehicle (Which is not clear from your posting) as there is no universal figure for the maximum trailer MTPLM
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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