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Increasing Motorhome payload


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Dear All

I have owned a motorhome for over 15 years now. Recently we purchased a Swift Sundance 590RS 2004 model. Yes I have checked for the dreaded damp floor and all appears ok.

In numerous magazine articles I have recently read about people increasing the payload of the van and it being a simple re-plating exercise.

Could this be explained in full please:

How do I do this?

What do I need to do to the vehicle to enable this upgrade?

What costs are involved?


Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Stuart Wright

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The firm most folk seem to approach over this is S V Tech (Special Vehicle Technology) of Leyland, Lancashire, here: http://tinyurl.com/699mf9 . They are automotive engineers and can generally advise your options if you contact them direct with details of your vehicle. They are likely to need to know the chassis No, or VIN of your vehicle, whether it has any chassis modifications or additions (auxilliary springs, air assisters, tow bracket etc), and exactly what make, type, size, and speed/load rating its tyres are (for example: Michelin Agilis Camping 215/70 R 15 CP 109 R. This is easy, as all the information will be embossed into the tyre side wall.)


Once they know what they are dealing with, they will be able to advise you what your options are, and what costs will be involved. It can be as little as them being able to issue you with a new plate and no further work being necassary, but may involve supplementary springing and changes to tyres.


However, just one word of caution. From your question, it seems you will already have taken your van to a weighbridge and checked its actual, fully laden, weight. The remaining question is whether, at that time, you also obtained the individual axle loads? I ask, because most vans run out of payload on one axle only (usually the rear) well before they exceed their plated MAM.


If that is the case with your van, you will need to advise S V Tech accordingly, because it is a different matter increasing the permissible load on a single axle so as to raise MAM, than it is to merely increase the MAM of the whole vehicle. The latter can usually be accomplished without any increase in permissible axle loads, and so quite cheaply, by merely absorbing some of the "slack" that exists between the sum of the individual axle maxima and the plated MAM. For some vans, it is not possible to increase axle loads at all, and on others it can be prohibitively expensive, so it will probably help S V Tech to help you, if you can tell them what increase you want to achieve. For example, to add 100kg (or whatever) to the rear axle (or whichever) limit. Hope this helps.

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I would agree with all Brian states but i have increased two vans in the last four years and the price is around £300 for the service from SVtech. If you go to their website their is a form to fill in when you have done this they will give you the options. It may vary as to what you can do, my current van has an Alco chassis so the increase of 200kg was just a plateing exercise but no increase to individual axle weights. with the Alco chassis this makes little differance as the weight is more evenly distributed over the longer wheel base. The last van i had done was a Swift Sundance 530lp, 2008. On this i had to add air suspension on the rear and they could increase the individual axle loads by 100kg each, which was needed on the Swift as it was very 'tail heavy'. They are very helpfull and if you telephone them first they can usually give some indication on the phone.
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