Many Auto Trails are 3500/3560 kg rating payload - indicating the maximum weight of the vehicle when fully loaded. Using http://www.auto-trail.co.uk/weight-calculator you can calculate your personal content capacity based on either of these two ratings.
A payload of 3500 kg leaves little capacity for touring, so you may wish to upgrade your payload to the 3650 kg level.
How it works
Every Fiat base vehicle leaves the Fiat factory with a metal VIN plate mounted at the front of the engine compartment. It reveals the information about the base Fiat vehicle before conversion. It shows the maximum permitted weights for:
this type of chassis;
A combined vehicle and towing weight
Separate figures for each axle.
The Fiat Ducato X250 35 'Light' chassis’ was originally homologated by Fiat with a Maximum Authorised Weight of 3650 kg (as shown on the Fiat VIN plate under the bonnet).
At conversion –as multi stage body builder, Auto Trail have ‘Type Approved’ many of their models built on this chassis to both 3500kg and 3650kg. This permits Auto Trail to give their customers a choice of payload, (important as drivers who passed their car test since 1997 are restricted to 3500 kg and those over 70 years of age without a C1 Licence).
Auto Trail simply attach their secondary weight label to every vehicle that leaves their factory showing the specified gross weight – usually 3500 kg by default.
Because the model is type approved to either gross weight, it is a simple task to change – either up to 3650 kg or down to 3500 kg – without making any technical alteration to your motorhome.
The vehicle remains ‘Class 4 for MOT purposes, the difference in Maximum Authorised Weight changes the vehicle category from Private Light Goods (PLG) to Private Heavy Goods with some minor speed restrictions, or French toll charges (if they check). Road tax rates change slightly, but importantly, if you have passed your test after 01/01/1997 you will need to upgrade your licence. For those reaching 70 years of age, you will need to provide a completed medical report indicating your fitness to drive an HGV
How to increase your payload
There are six steps to increase your payload from 3500 to 3650, or by reverse, to reduce your payload allowance.
Go to ‘contact us’ on the Auto Trail web site http://www.auto-trail.co.uk/contact-us and send a message to the Technical and Quality Manager, as follows:
“I am (your full name name) the registered keeper of the Auto Trail (model) specified below, currently with a Maximum Authorised Weight of 3500 kg. I seek a letter of confirmation, re-issued Certificate of Conformity and new secondary weight label so that I can re-register the vehicle at 3650 kg.
Vehicle: Auto Trail motorhome
Base vehicle: Fiat Ducato
Chassis no: xxxxxxxxxxxx
Reg. no: xx xx xxx
1st reg: xx/xx/xxxx
Specification: factory standard
Auto Trail will then send you a letter, together with the other documents requested. Photocopy the new secondary weight adhesive label, then affix it over Auto Trail’s original label on your motorhome.
Download, print and complete DVLA form 70 (if currently taxed) or form 85 if not currently taxed using these links:
Complete box 7 of your vehicle’s UK Registration Certificate (log book) specifying the new authorised revenue weight, and change from Private Light Goods (PLG) to Private HGV or vice versa, sign and date.
Keep photocopies, and send to: DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BA
Form V70 or V85 (completed)
UK Registration Certificate (log book) completed at box 7 & 8
Letter of Confirmation
Certificate of Conformity
Photocopy of secondary weight label
Within a few days the DVLA will send you a new UK Registration Certificate and your Certificate of Conformity.
Check the document shows the new revenue weight.
Don’t forget to tell your insurance company of the changes made.
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