GVM Upgrade

BritzSprinter

Ex Britz 313CDI Motorhome
Hi all, hope you are staying safe out there.

On our trip over Christmas I put my 2014 313 LWB over the weighbridge at Broadford Vic.
Fully loaded with bikes on the bike rack, fresh water, fuel, food, booze & 2 people we came in at 3840kg.
Legally we are allowed 3550kg.
Being an ex Britz motorhome its fairly well kitted out (shower/toilet, cooker/fridge etc) and the cabinetry is made with strong heavy material.
As the rear sags a little (no wonder), I was looking at upgrading to the ambulance rear twin leaf springs. At a few of the wreckers I found most of the ambulances have a compliance plate stating 3880kg.
I rang a VASS engineer friend of mine re doing a GVM upgrade using ambulance suspension, no problem he said, but it needs everything from the ambulance and I need to prove it's only suspension not brakes or diff etc.
Does anyone know exactly what components make it 3880?
Are there any 3880kg ambulances wrecking in Vic? Most I have enquired about the wrecker doesn't want to remove the suspension as then it doesn't roll.

Thanks Chris
 
Hi Chris

Since your last thread on this subject in June last year, I found the front struts from my 318 3880kg ambulance with single rear leaf spring, has a different part number to the struts on my old 315 3550kg with twin rear leaf springs.

The front brakes on the 318 & 315 are the same.

Your lucky to have a VASS engineer friend.

Anyone wrecking a vehicle would be reluctant to remove the suspension as then it doesn't roll, unless it was change over arrangement.
 

Cheyenne

UK 2004 T1N 313CDi
Chris,

Next time you visit the wreckers yard make a note of the VIN of a 3,880 kg ambulance then compare the Data Card for it against your 3,550 kg MH.

You should be able to identify build groups which differ between the two, eg my 3,800 kg UK registered MH has these codes which imply uprating over the standard codes:

A50 Front axle with increased load capacity
C33 Rear springs harder
C43 Stabilizer rear axle reinforced under frame
C45 Stabilizer reinforced at front axle
CE6 Stabilization adjust. for chassis with camper body


Keith.
 
I recently went through the farce of inspection, and ultimate registration as a " MOBCVN ".
Part of the procedure, is to provide a weighbridge certificate. The certificate must show, front and rear axle weights.
Front axle : 1400kg. ( max. 1600kg )
Rear axle : 1240kg ( max. 2240 )
Total : 2640kg.
Total GVM : 3550kg ( therefore, 910kg available for passengers, clothes, food, fluids and toys etc.)
Assuming the figures are accurate, I was somewhat surprised at the front axle figure.
I weigh about 100kg. If I had a passenger, of similar weight, the front axle weight limit would be reached !
Contributing factors may be : Alloy bullbar is 45 kg ( minus the weight of the original bumper )
Diesel heater under the passenger seat, 70kg of AGM batteries behind the drivers seat, rear aircon. evaporator located on cab roof, just above seats. The associated condenser is under the floor next to the drivers side sliding door.
Not a lot I can do to reduce the front axle weight, apart from replacing the AGM's with my new 26kg Lithium.
My overall build is pretty minimalist. So, I don't have a problem with the overall weight. I am currently planning to increase my water storage towards the rear end, to " leverage" some weight off the front end.
 

BritzSprinter

Ex Britz 313CDI Motorhome
I recently went through the farce of inspection, and ultimate registration as a " MOBCVN ".
Part of the procedure, is to provide a weighbridge certificate. The certificate must show, front and rear axle weights.
Front axle : 1400kg. ( max. 1600kg )
Rear axle : 1240kg ( max. 2240 )
Total : 2640kg.
Total GVM : 3550kg ( therefore, 910kg available for passengers, clothes, food, fluids and toys etc.)
Assuming the figures are accurate, I was somewhat surprised at the front axle figure.
I weigh about 100kg. If I had a passenger, of similar weight, the front axle weight limit would be reached !
Contributing factors may be : Alloy bullbar is 45 kg ( minus the weight of the original bumper )
Diesel heater under the passenger seat, 70kg of AGM batteries behind the drivers seat, rear aircon. evaporator located on cab roof, just above seats. The associated condenser is under the floor next to the drivers side sliding door.
Not a lot I can do to reduce the front axle weight, apart from replacing the AGM's with my new 26kg Lithium.
My overall build is pretty minimalist. So, I don't have a problem with the overall weight. I am currently planning to increase my water storage towards the rear end, to " leverage" some weight off the front end.
Interesting Front & Rear weights.
Here were mine;

Front - 1680kg (inc myself & wife @ 70kg each, full fuel tank @ 80 odd kg and full water tank @ 100 odd kg, no bulbar or any other front extras)
Rear - 2160kg

Total 3840kg

Cheers Chris
 
Interesting Front & Rear weights.
Here were mine;

Front - 1680kg (inc myself & wife @ 70kg each, full fuel tank @ 80 odd kg and full water tank @ 100 odd kg, no bulbar or any other front extras)
Rear - 2160kg

Total 3840kg

Cheers Chris
Hmm, interesting also.
Would appear that there is not a lot of weight to spare in the front, once fuel and 2 persons are included.
I would assume that most of the RVs with the fibreglass luton bodies over the cab, must be overweight, unless the front end came purposely beefed up from the factory.
 

BritzSprinter

Ex Britz 313CDI Motorhome
Hmm, interesting also.
Would appear that there is not a lot of weight to spare in the front, once fuel and 2 persons are included.
I would assume that most of the RVs with the fibreglass luton bodies over the cab, must be overweight, unless the front end came purposely beefed up from the factory.
True, not a lot of room for movement.
Ours isn't the big box type MH, just the normal van type conversion.
I'll be heading over the weighbridge again fairly empty for a comparison soon.
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Its pretty common for the cab-over extension on RVs to put another 200kg on the front axle. The suspension is plenty strong for it, but the spring isn't stiff enough. One option is to increase preload with an extra thick rubber spacer under the spring. In the USA several companies sell a super heavy steel spring from the front of these vehicles.
 

Banjo48

Member
I recently went through the farce of inspection, and ultimate registration as a " MOBCVN ".
Part of the procedure, is to provide a weighbridge certificate. The certificate must show, front and rear axle weights.
Front axle : 1400kg. ( max. 1600kg )
Rear axle : 1240kg ( max. 2240 )
Total : 2640kg.
Total GVM : 3550kg ( therefore, 910kg available for passengers, clothes, food, fluids and toys etc.)
Assuming the figures are accurate, I was somewhat surprised at the front axle figure.
I weigh about 100kg. If I had a passenger, of similar weight, the front axle weight limit would be reached !
Contributing factors may be : Alloy bullbar is 45 kg ( minus the weight of the original bumper )
Diesel heater under the passenger seat, 70kg of AGM batteries behind the drivers seat, rear aircon. evaporator located on cab roof, just above seats. The associated condenser is under the floor next to the drivers side sliding door.
Not a lot I can do to reduce the front axle weight, apart from replacing the AGM's with my new 26kg Lithium.
My overall build is pretty minimalist. So, I don't have a problem with the overall weight. I am currently planning to increase my water storage towards the rear end, to " leverage" some weight off the front end.
Can you give me any more info on the inspection proceedure here in WA. I'm in Mandurah and was looking at having my rego changed too.

Does it make much difference to the rego costs ? All info greatly received. Such as documentation required.
 
Can you give me any more info on the inspection proceedure here in WA. I'm in Mandurah and was looking at having my rego changed too.

Does it make much difference to the rego costs ? All info greatly received. Such as documentation required.
Was gunna PM you, but then thought, others may be interested also. So, my apologies if I have hijacked this thread.
'Tis a somewhat painfull experience, but the end result was very worthwile.
I had just renewed my rego, a few weeks before the change over. I received a very prompt refund cheque in the mail, approx. $230 !!!.
Costs were:
$25.00 Weighbridge certificate
$130.90 Inspection fee
$71.80 Vehicle Modification Permit Fee.

Initially, the hardest part for me, was determining, what attrubutes are required to qualify as a Campervan / Motorhome. I eventually found the attached PDF. Section LH11 will be of interest to most of us.

Read, then, re- read, the document a few times, to get your head around it.
Take note of things like ..... the fire extinguisher must have a hose.
Go thru and tick off all the items as you comply with them.
When all done, ring your chosen inspection place, and book an appointment. ( take the weighbridge cert. )
I live in the country, so had to do a 100km round trip to the nearest facility. Not sure if it's a good thing or not, but the guy there ( a one man show ) had not done this particular type of inspection before.
All up, it took 3 hours, including me having to go to the Council office, when it was deemed that I needed a Vehicle Modification Certificate. ( still don't know why I needed it, but the inspection guy signed it off. )
I had assumed that a full vehicle inspection would take place. Did not happen. Still don't know if this is normal or not. I actually almost felt dissapointed, 'cos I had spent a lot of time, making sure everything was up to scratch. To be honest, the only things, that were inspected, was the Vin plate. Number of seats, and tyre size.
If everything matches the Vin plate, then all is good. Most of the 3 hour inspection time wasted was, ' cos my inspector kept having to maually phone the heirarchy, and ask questions. Anyhow, eventually the computer spat out a pass, as a Mobile Caravan. Had never heard of that term before.
Next step, was an online valuation certificate. Very easy, and cost $125.
The certificate was accepted by a major Motorhome insurer, that requires membership to a certain Motorhome club. They were good to deal with, and I am now insured for $35k plus $4k personal items, Sat phone etc. Sure beats the hell out of the $13k that my previous insurer had agreed to. Best of luck to you !

Edit: I do not have any gas or 240V installed. If you have this, then the appropriate certificates will need to be provided to the Inspection Centre.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

BritzSprinter

Ex Britz 313CDI Motorhome
Its pretty common for the cab-over extension on RVs to put another 200kg on the front axle. The suspension is plenty strong for it, but the spring isn't stiff enough. One option is to increase preload with an extra thick rubber spacer under the spring. In the USA several companies sell a super heavy steel spring from the front of these vehicles.
Cheers for that, luckily ours is just a van, not a box style conversion.
Will investigate the upgraded front spring though.
Cheers Chris
 

PeterInSa

Member
Chris our Long Wheel Base High Roof 313 Sprinter Campervan has a Max 1600 on the front and 2200 on the rear, I think I could get my certified engineer to upgrade to the GVM to 3800Kg and do a similar test out to what he did with my Landcruiser upgrade ie load up with 20Kg bags of sand for the additional weight and do hi speed braking and swerving tests on a rented rural airport.

However I cannot see with the layout of our campervan how I can transfer more weight to the front unless I relocate my water tank 88Lt/88Kg, rarely will the front be loaded up with more than 1400KG. so an upgrade to 1600Kg is not worth the effort.

Note have read somewhere that the rear can be upgraded to 2400Kg max, but cannot find the info to confirm or the method.
 

blackjackmac

New member
Hi Chris. My Maui motorhome the same as yours has sticker next to factory plate stating THL MERCEDES-BENZ NCV3 CAMPERVAN. GROSS AXLE LOAD RATING. FRONT=1800KG REAR= 2250KG. I would think your motorhome will be the same. The front end must be beefed up and engineered . Mine is KEA 2+1 313 lwb hi top. The front strut no is A906 323 04 00. My phone no 0429320380. If you send me your no i will send you photos. Regards Jack.
 

PeterInSa

Member
BJM Do you have any paperwork re the THL Upgrade?

Why I ask is that when I had the GVM of our Landcruiser upgraded and as well as the sticker I had to carry the Engineers approval Numbered Report with me in the Car at all times.
 

blackjackmac

New member
No Pete. I have only had it six months and never worried about weight. We have learned to travel lightly over many years. I will look at all the paperwork but i don't think it is there. When i had Hino motorhome i made an A Frame to tow Suzuki sierra and had it engineered, had to carry papers with me. It all went with new owner when sold. I will take to weighbridge and see. We cant trust manufacturers to be honest.
 

PeterInSa

Member
Hi Again BJM, Not for me and probably you could not publish anyway, but is it something that you could ask THL along the lines of your Campervan has had the GVM upgarded by THL for Reg No. and Vin No, and that you understand that in Australia its necessary to carry the upgrade details with you in the vehicle, and is it possible for THL to send you the Upgrade documentation.
 

blackjackmac

New member
What i have found is THL being second stage manufacturer does upgrade and then goes through Federal compliance before first registration. They then fix second stage compliance plate and then another plate with tyre info and uprated axle loads. This upgrade is legal in all states and territories, If vehicle is uprated after first rego by after market kit it is legal only in state it was registered in and does not tranfer to a change of state. The way i read it both Chris and i are legally uprated by second stage compliance. If vehicle was built privately it would have to have Signatory of that state to do full compliance inspection and would have to carry papers. They still write the original GVM on all the plates to confuse us all the more
 
Our first 2001 316 exambo is registered in Vic as a Type 11 Ambo. It is registered to carry 4 people even though it was gutted out when we bought from from Pickles as a registered vehicle. The insurance company had no pull down menu description of a 5 cylinder 316 in 2001, they only had 4 cylinder Sprinters available in 2001. Vicroads also had no records of 5 cylinder sprintshift Sprinter models in 2001.The reason for this problem was that Mader International imported this model themselves, and complianced it themselves as a Type 11 ambo. Mercedes Aus did not have this model available in 2001.
 

Top Bottom