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mgw bessacarr e710
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userrichard
Posted: 22 January 2005 3:08 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


I have a 2003 bessacarr e710 motorhome with amgw of 3400 kgs.Iwould like to upgrade to 3850kgs if possible but the swift group are unable to help me .My vehicle has an alko chassis and they have told me it is technically feasible.Anyone got any ideas about my next move .Dealers are a dead loss on this subject !
userBrian Ramsden
Posted: 22 January 2005 3:55 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Try SvTech Ltd, in Leyland, Lancs.
Tel: 01772 621800
Web site www.svtech.co.uk

Many people have recommended them for this sort of work, and they did a very good job uprating my Peugeot MWB chassis from 3200kgs to 3500kgs.
userBrian Ramsden
Posted: 22 January 2005 4:08 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Correction to the above - things have changed since I last contacted them. Try www.tvac.co.uk.

When I had my work done the company was Drinkwater Engineering. It looks as if they have now split up and the uprating work is done by TVAC.
userDavid Powell
Posted: 22 January 2005 7:50 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Good evening Richard...Everthing Brian says above is 'spot on'& people I know who have had upgraded axles done by them were very pleased. To give you another option [nothing like a choice to confuse the issue] a friend of mine who has used TVAC on previous 'vans, had 'Air-Ride' fitted on his latest 'van, along with higher rated tyres on the back axle to take the heavier weight, and it was very successful and a lot less expence than changing the whole back axle. I don't know if they can raise it to 3850Kgs as would like, But it may be worth your while making enquiries...Just another idea to kick around, or kick out.
userDocted
Posted: 24 January 2005 11:17 AM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Lest anyone get confused "Air Rides" and higher rated tyres are not an alternative to have an axle upgrade for vehicle re-plating. They do improve the ride but you must still stick with the plate figures for weight on each axle.
Docted
userDavid Powell
Posted: 25 January 2005 12:33 AM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Yes Docted, I went back to him on that, he admits the 'van has not been re-plated, but after adding a top box & big back box, the 'Air-rides' brought the van up level again. It makes me wonder if his back axle is now overloaded?? One so often hears of owners having a back tyre blow. You may have opened a can of worms here, that some may have been trying to keep the lid on, and some genuinely don't realise there can be a problem unless great care is taken when adding weight behind the back axle. Mel Eastburn's artical in MMM August 2004 is most informative, "It ain't heavy-it's my motorhome!"
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 25 January 2005 8:06 AM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


I note that the 2004 model-year Bessacarr E710 was available with a 'gross weight' of 3400kg as standard or 3850kg as an option and this was probably true for 2003 vehicles.

You are probably aware that (mostly due to financial considerations) a 3400kg E710 will have been constructed on a Fiat Ducato 15 chassis, whereas the 3850kg version will have employed the more expensive Ducato 18 'Maxi' chassis. The normal give-away is that Ducato 15 chassis have 15" steel wheels as standard while Ducato 18s have 16". However, the difference doesn't stop there.

Some time ago, when I was considering buying a Rapido A-Class that came in either Ducato 15 or 18 Al-Ko formats, I wanted to ascertain what differences there were between the two chassis to justify the £1000-or-so extra cost of the Maxi. This was not easy - bigger wheels/tyres and a greater maximum gross weight were obvious variations but, beyond that, neither the Rapido dealers, nor Al-Ko, were able to go. Thinking laterally, I asked Swift (who build on both chassis) and was sent a copy of the relevant sections of Fiat's technical manual. This revealed that, besides the obvious (wheel/tyre sizes and the mgw), there were differences in front brakes (significantly larger disks), springs and other suspension components.

Richard, I think you are too hard on motorhome dealers and the Swift Group. Uprating a motorhome chassis' load-carrying capability is a tricky technical exercise with serious safety implications. It's quite possible that dealer and Swift will both think that, for safety and simplicity reasons, you should stay within the original chassis' design limits. Either that or they may feel the payload question should have been addressed more carefully before the vehicle was acquired, but are too diplomatic to say so. Do you think this last observation harsh? Yet a cursory glance at the Bessacarr brochure reveals a stated payload for a 3400kg E710 of a mere 265kg (the lowest for any model in the range) and (worryingly) there is no clue whether this takes into account fresh-water, gas-bottles, etc. It might be argued that a motorhome converter should not be marketing a largish vehicle with so little payload, but that's another matter. (I'm sure there's a fine line between customer-care and Buyer Beware, but I'm not going to walk it!)

Regarding suggestions in earlier postings, you won't be able to go down the Air-Ride 'air-spring' route as the Al-Ko chassis doesn't allow this. (Al-Ko does offer its own rear suspension air-assistance system, but I believe retro-fitting is impossible.) I don't know whether the Al-Ko rear axle differs between 3400kg and 3850kg chassis, but it seems likely that changes might be needed to torsion-bar settings, shock absorbers, etc. to cope with the higher mgw. Al-Ko should be able to advise on this.

Your E710's tyres are likely to be Michelin's 215/70 R15C XC Camping pattern. Designed with overload in mind its possible that, even with a 450kg mgw upgrade, this tyre could cope with the extra weight. But this tyre is actually marked with a 109 Load Index indicating a maximum axle-load of 2060kg. So, if a chassis upgrade to 3850kg results in your motorhome's maximum axle-weights (either front or rear) being 're-plated' beyond 2060kg (and it probably will), you've got a potential legality problem. I don't think you can get a heavier duty tyre in 215/70 R15C size, which is another reason why the Ducato 18 chassis has 217/75 R16C tyres with a Load Index of 113 (2300kg maximum axle-weight). Having different load-capacity tyres on a vehicle (as David mentions) is fine until you get a puncture and need to deploy the spare-wheel, or wish to move tyres around to equalise wear.

This is a large upgrade you are contemplating and I think you need to bear in mind that your E710's chassis was originally not designed for it. TVAC should be able to advise you of the best way forward and (as was emphasised in Mel Eastburn's MMM article) I also suggest you contact your insurance company before going ahead.
userBrian Ramsden
Posted: 26 January 2005 7:13 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Another possibility, if the uprating is possible, is to investigate whether it is possible to fit a larger size tyre - with or even possibly without changing the rims.
userDocted
Posted: 26 January 2005 9:42 PM
Subject: mgw bessacarr e710
 


Brian
The whole concept of self changing the load carrying ability of a motorhome is not allowed.
As Derek has explained in depth other changes may also be involved. You can put on a larger tyre on the same rim, and I have done so in the past, but it does not allow the vehicle to weigh more than than the Maximum Permitted Weight. The tyre may carry more but the vehicle cannot.
Docted
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