Bizarre Problem!

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Bizarre Problem!

Postby MizRaff » 13 Apr 2015 09:35

Hi everyone!

well, this is weird.
Big Beth the F250 was imported to the UK in 2004 complete with camper, and was MOTd from 2004-2008 as a Class IV.
Then (I'm guessing) the changes to the system regarding dual-purpose vehicles came into effect, and it was MOTd from then on as a Class VII.
So far so fine 'n' dandy. But I take it to get MOTd last week, and the guy turns round and says "but this door sticker says it has a GVWR of 3991kg - that's not a Class VII, that's HGV weight - take it away and call VOSA and ask them to down-rate it!"
VOSA said, "Well, yes, it IS too heavy to be a Class VII, but it's not plated as an HGV in this country, and it never has been, so we can't down-rate it. Try getting it weighed at a weighbridge, then calling Ford and getting them to downrate it and issue a new manufacturer's sticker!"
I got it weighed at a public weighbridge, and will be heading off to get it downrated to 3491kg if nothing else suggests itself.

Has anybody else had this problem? And how about a solution?

An additional problem is that if the pickup is downrated to a GVWR of 3491kg, the camper may be too heavy for us to carry legally. The unladen weight of the pickup is 2560kg (the unladen weight on the V5 is 2045kg, but that was prior to the LPG system being added).
Ideas? :shock:
Last edited by MizRaff on 31 May 2015 21:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby saDgit » 13 Apr 2015 10:00

Triiicky! I wonder of you took it for MOT with the camper on if they (somewhere other than where you've already been) would simply do it as a 'motorhome', i.e. as Class IV. When we ran our American C-class on an E350 chassis it was always MOT'd as Class IV even though it was registered as Private HGV. Unless the rules have changed, it might be worth a go. It would save a lot of hassle.
Martin
http://truckcamperbuilder.com

Previous demountables: Island Plastics 'Suntrekker' on P100, S.Karosser 'EC8L' on Ranger supercab
Current demountables: Rhino 'Safari' hardside and self-built pop-top on Ranger double cab
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby zildjian » 13 Apr 2015 11:13

So have I read that as a different MOT station to last time?
I would be inclined to ask around & use another one, possibly ring local motorhome retailer ask who they use locally,

later today I'm going to see my mate who just tested my car and ask him, it sounds to me like someone got a bit officious and probably would go looking for problems anyway
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby MizRaff » 13 Apr 2015 11:42

Yes, Richard, you've got it - new MOT station!
It's the first time we've MOT'd it. Obviously the last place was down south where it lived before.
Unfortunately he's right (kind of) as far as I can find out - it can't be tested as a Class VII because it has a GVWR of 3991kgs - almost 4 tonnes!
Alas for just taking it to another station, we're on the radar now - the guy who was supposed to MOT it last Monday unfortunately booked it into the system before he realised it wasn't a Class IV, and it's listed on the MOT system as having an aborted Class IV test.
I think trying to get it re-stickered to 3500kgs GVWR is my best bet.

We've done a bit of arithmetickling, and actually the camper weight issue shouldn't be an issue for long. We're removing the ginormous Coleman air con unit from the roof shortly, so that'll whip off quite a few kilos in one fell swoop. Anybody know how much those things weigh? It's a 1993 Coleman Mini Mach.

:roll:
Last edited by MizRaff on 31 May 2015 21:56, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby zildjian » 13 Apr 2015 14:16

OK then
MOT man says; either "take it back to whoever did it last time and ask them if they's rather have it as 'camper' or pickup"
or
"find nearest american car importers and ask them where they go, and go there"

anyone else are likely to either just get on and test it, or scratch their heads and offer the default
'sorry it won't go on our ramp'
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby zildjian » 13 Apr 2015 14:18

just seen you post, AFAIK 'on the radar' is not a concern,
I've tested a car in one garage, had a slanging match over something similar and gone elsewhere for retest

without undue effect
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby MizRaff » 13 Apr 2015 17:30

Solution pending...
We may have been over-thinking this.
;)
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby zildjian » 13 Apr 2015 18:40

Yep, often the easiest to overlook, and probably be what I'd do too

Heart don't grieve and all that
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby SteveG » 15 Apr 2015 01:05

That's the problem with unusual vehicles, regulations that they don't fit in to and so tricky problems. My F250 is registered as a Motor Caravan TAX class PLG on the V5 (no weight recorded on V5) so can be MOT'd class IV , so far when I take it for MOT I don't have the camper on and the guy MOT's it as a multi-purpose vehicle because its a 4x4 (still class IV), he does keep saying that the rules are going to change, but they keep putting it off, and if they do change the multi-purpose part, I would have to take it with the camper fitted for a class IV MOT, or another option (maybe) would be class VII without camper on as my F250 is around 3100kg without camper fitted but then is around 4500kg with it on so........not sure on that one. They have a ramp that it just fits on and is rated @5000kg also because it has a LSD fitted it cannot go on the rollers for the brake test so he does it the old fashioned way with the brake meter in the cab up the road, they are used to older & unusual types and try to be helpful.
Not sure where your area is but I would suggest you look for an MOT place that is used to doing unusual and/or American vehicles or motorhomes and not the run of the mill place,as they don't seem very helpful.
What is it yours registered as on your V5 ? would be easier if it was (or could be) as a motor caravan, you could probably get it changed and then wouldn't have to de-rate it. You would probably be struggling to keep the weigh below 3500kg even if you could get it de-rated (I'm not sure you would have any luck with Ford USA on that one) by the time you load all your other stuff in + people etc.
By the way my air-con weighed 50kg when I took it off also got rid of the American fridge 67kg, replaced that with an Italian marine 12/24volt fridge with remote compressor @27kg and just about same volume but is only 2/3rds the size.
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Re: Bizarre Problem!

Postby MizRaff » 17 Apr 2015 10:31

Thank you very much SteveG, SaDgit and Richard - immensely useful info!

We have been round in so many circles with this that we're getting motion sickness, but the upshot after consulting with Stephen Whitehart, Heavy Vehicles Process Manager at VOSA Testing and Support Services, is this:

The F250 was never properly classified when it was imported, and as it stands shouldn't even be on the road. It should never have been tested in Class 7, as its GVWR is 3991kg, way over the max for that class. It can't shimmy into Class 4 either because it's not solely a passenger vehicle and does not have 4-wheel drive (so bye-bye to dual purpose or multi-purpose vehicle classification as well).
The fact that it is over ten years old means that we can't use the Individual Vehicle Approval route to change it to an M1 passenger vehicle, which would have dropped it into Class 4. This route, to quote Steve Whitehart, would in any case have been long-winded, expensive and infuriating as it would have apparently brought us into the orbit of many, many nit-pickers who would have delighted in pulling the vehicle metaphorically to pieces to fail it, particularly as US vehicle manufacturers have never produced vehicles that necessarily fit with all the European vehicle regs and standards, and of course this would probably apply even more so to older vehicles like ours.

What we have been advised to do instead is to either email VOSA Technical Officers with all the information, plus pictures, and throw ourselves on their mercy to see what they class the vehicle as - the supervisor I originally spoke to did say that in his opinion and from his long-time instincts, because its load bed was "not used to carry goods or load" but only for our own possessions and equipment (hello demountable camper), it would fit as a Class 4, which has no upper weight limit, but he couldn't guarantee that the Technical Officers would agree with him on that. This process could take quite a long time.

Stephen Whitehart, the Heavy Vehicles Process Manager, on the other hand, said that the vehicle can't legally be on the road with its current GVWR because it's not testable as it's not in any known class at the moment. He also pointed out that the Revenue weight listed on the V5C, which is 2045KG (UNLADEN) is nonsense - the Revenue weight should be the GVWR, ie vehicle weight plus maximum permitted load, which is the weight whereby HMRC calculate how much wear and tear you're going to be putting on the nation's road network and therefore how much tax they should whack on you. This figure should be written on the V5C as "XXXXkg GROSS".

He advised us to voluntarily down-rate the vehicle ourselves. He said DVLA would be loath to approve the change without a Design Weight Certificate, and told us how to get one from him.

We can either get a new door pillar sticker made up, or make one ourselves, with the GVWR reduced from 3991kg to 3500kg, email him a photo of that sticker in situ on the door pillar, along with the VOSA form VTG10 (Application for Design Weight Certificate) which costs £15, and he will issue us with a Design Weight Certificate showing 3500kg as the GVWR. We then send this certificate with our V5C to the DVLA, who will issue a new V5C showing "3500kg GROSS" as the amended Revenue weight. The pickup can then be tested as a Class 7. Oh happy day.

Hopefully this will be helpful to some other bewildered and bothered owners of large Yank Tanks.

Of course, this leads to a whole other set of problems with removing weight from the camper, but with the air-con, fridge and cooker all being swapped out for lightweight units, I think we'll win with that one fairly easily. Another day, another thread....

:mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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