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Hymer MLI 580: Removal of Drop-Down Bed And Replacement Lockers.


Frank McAuley

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Re above, I can re all reading in MMM of a subscriber who owns a Hymer MLI 580 attending the Hymer factory in Germany to have the drop down bed removed and replaced with lockers; he was then able to install self levelling suspension and retain his running weight of 3.5 tons.

I would be very interested to know more about this procedure and especially if there were any photographs available of the replacement with the lockers/cupboards in situ! Any other info re weights, costing etc would be most useful. Here's hoping he's not the only one to have had tthis work carried out or he might even read this? Here's hoping!!
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hi, peter hambleton the hymer specialist in preston used to do this type of conversion? maybe he would have some info?

 

I took my own pull down bed out of my a class and just made a flat load space the same size 40 x 40 frame and covered with plywood both sides, carpet on top side, white vinyl on underside from dunelm, the framing depth also makes good hiding holes?

 

good luck

snail

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Frank

 

The Hymer ML-I range was introduced quite recently (2015?) and I don’t recall reading anything in MMM Magazine since then about a ML-I 580 owner having the tasks you’ve described carried out.

 

It’s certainly possible for a buyer of a new Hymer A-class to specify that there be high-level lockers in the cab area instead of the standard drop-down bed (I believe Brian Kirby did this) so it ought to be practicable - though probably eye-wateringly expensive - to have the work done retrospectively.

 

(Are you certain the article was in MMM?)

 

 

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It certainly was a (no cost) option with new A Class Hymers to have extra front lockers instead of a pull down double bed but for purposes of resale value I felt the bed was preferable - and with plenty of other storage in the MH I didn't think we needed more lockers.  There will always be some people who would prefer more lockers to a bed they won't use but I still felt that for resale purposes a missing front bed would count against.

 

As has been mentioned already Peter Hambildon did a lot of conversions, both to and from double beds to lockers, so he may still have sets of  lockers up his sleeve and that might save on cost compared with going to an official Hymer dealer.

 

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Thank you .I have done that already but ,when loaded, still over weight and that is simply because of fitting sat dish, awning and proper spare wheel! Hymer is slightly disingenuous when it comes to weight and unfortunately I just didn't see the weight issues when fitting - what I thought were necessary- accessories!

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As I see it the biggest problem with fitting lockers is - err - the weight!

 

Plus whatever extra 'essential' clutter we put in them over time!

 

I'll just mention upgrading the MAM/GVW to gain more payload, but I suspect you may have already discounted that idea?

 

 

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Frank McAuley - 2017-08-19 2:01 PMThank you .I have done that already but ,when loaded, still over weight and that is simply because of fitting sat dish, awning and proper spare wheel! Hymer is slightly disingenuous when it comes to weight and unfortunately I just didn't see the weight issues when fitting - what I thought were necessary- accessories!
Apologies: this is in reply to your advice!

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Frank McAuley - 2017-08-19 2:13 PM

 

Rich re the upgrade MAM/GVW I am considering that but haven't a clue how to go about it- I think the Merc chassis is the 3.8 ton version and it has the recent suspension upgrades fitted !

 

If you want to up the MAM to gain more payload then contact SVTech to see what they can advise.

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Frank. I don't agree with your comment about Hymer because its Price List brochure makes it clear what is included in the weight calculations and the weight of additional accessories it fits. I might not be able to say the same about your dealer and those who fitted the accessories.

 

When I uprated my Hymer, I used SVTech. It's website is worth a look. There is at least one other who is known to do this for motorhomers but I can't remember his name. Have a look on Motorhome Fun. Mel B says she did it herself:

 

http://forums.outandaboutlive.co.uk/forums/Motorhomes/Motorhome-Matters/Uprating-vehicle-weight-yourself/38746/

 

 

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colin - 2017-08-19 2:51 PM

 

Frank McAuley - 2017-08-19 2:13 PM

 

Rich re the upgrade MAM/GVW I am considering that but haven't a clue how to go about it- I think the Merc chassis is the 3.8 ton version and it has the recent suspension upgrades fitted !

 

If you want to up the MAM to gain more payload then contact SVTech to see what they can advise.

 

I had similar problems with an Autotrail Cheyenne a few years ago and after talking to SVTech I fitted upgraded tyres and supplementary air suspension to replace the rubber bump stops on the rear axle which upgraded the GVW to 3800 kgs and gave me enough payload.

Don't know how fit you are but the Dunlop air suspension bought from Marcle Leisure was a doddle to fit and made no difference to the ride or handling when kept at a low pressure.

Also the VED was lower and I got a refund from the DVLA!

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Yes John I accept your point in your initial para and I suppose I have only myself to blame but unfortunately I didn't see the document and nobody enlightened me. A learning and I do feel the factors you highlight still should have been pointed out to me but I wonder how many Motorhome owners ever consider the weight issue? I know my contract is with the dealer but surely Hymer have some sort of vicarious responsibility as to what is fitted to their new vehicles by their nominated dealers? Nevertheless thank you for the info and link which I shall investigate!
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Thanks Rich. I had air assisted suspension fitted from new but not sure if bump stops were removed- maybe the stops need to be removed to fit the air suspension? ( various contributors to this site had advised to fit air suspension to MLI vets due to low slung grey tank) Perhaps SVTech will advise here!
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The OP's van is 7m long with a payload of 450Kg before accessories added and also passenger/s.

 

Because of the general configuration of the van ie. garage at the rear and probably water tanks too, most of the weight will be concentrated towards the rear axle.

 

Reducing weight off the front axle will have little effect as the front axle is generally relatively lightly loaded anyway, especially with this configuration. In fact, the OP should probably be putting more weight on the front axle to balance the front/rear maximum axle loadings, otherwise the overall payload will be reduced.

 

Suggest the OP takes his van to a weighbridge and determine the spare capacity on each axle, in full touring condition, before contemplating any further action. The maximum load on each axle is shown on the Hymer VIN plate.

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Frank McAuley - 2017-08-19 3:49 PM

 

Thanks Rich. I had air assisted suspension fitted from new but not sure if bump stops were removed- maybe the stops need to be removed to fit the air suspension? ( various contributors to this site had advised to fit air suspension to MLI vets due to low slung grey tank) Perhaps SVTech will advise here!

Frank, what/where, exactly, is the problem? By removing the drop down bed and replacing with cupboards, as Derek correctly says we ordered for our van, you will save a small amount of weight, almost all of which will be from the front axle. Sledgehammer to crack nut?

 

Is your van over its MAM when fully loaded, or is the overload only on one axle?

 

Do you know what its actual weight, and moreover its actual axle loads, is/are when unladen (by which I mean empty of transient loads (food, drink, water, clothing, yourselves etc), but with all your permanent camping gear (ramps, hook-up, jack and tools etc) on board plus a full fuel tank)?

 

If you haven't weighed the van plus both axles in both states, you (and so we) don't really know the true nature, or location, of the problem.

 

I suspect the MIL-Is are available on various chassis, and with various MAMs. If yours can be specified on the chassis you have with a higher payload at a nominal cost (as ours was) it should be easy to get it re-plated to one of the higher MAMs.

 

But, might that give you problems with your driving licence?

 

If not, if you go through the supplying dealer, you could get the existing Hymer plate replaced by Hymer, who will also update their record of the van accordingly. I did this to down-plate ours to 3,500kg, and it was quite straightforward. Otherwise, as already suggested, SVTech should be able to help.

 

However, if one of the axles is the problem, the whole story changes and things get more complex and costly.

 

Assuming both axle loads are within their limits, I'd prefer the route via the dealer and Hymer, since the van will then present as fully authentic when eventually sold. It should also give you some leverage with the dealer, who seems to have let you down by not advising adequately on payload, to get him to accept the cost of the up-plate as a penance for his laxity and as a service to his client! :-D

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Heavy stuff Robby but I certainly appreciate its originality but Would ask for some clarification! Firstly I have weighed the veh in fully loaded and empty mode and from memory the former was 3976 kg and the latter was 3440 kg with the front axle,in both modes, being within limits but the rear axle in excess in both modes! You are correct that most of the weight is towards the rear and as the mattress had already been removed we are not aware of any influence this would have. The gross running weight of the veh would, in my layman' terms,   be the sum of the weights of both axles so how would displacing weight from the rear to the front ,by for example, replacing the mattress and keeping the pull down bed,alter this? I do accept that it would enhance the veh handling!Basically I deduce from your advice that it would be better to retain the bed as there is no other way,as far as I can see, to increase the weight over the front axle but then that is not reducing the weight over the rear axle but it certainly is increasing the overall weight! I should also point out that I have rationalised the contents of the garage,viz: essentials only! HELP!!
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Thanks Brian. Here we go: please refer to my reply to Robbo which I was compiling when you added your advice and which hopefully answers your initial questions. Please bear in mind these figures are from memory as I'm away from home where the data is. The issue from your comments is that the empty weight did not include normal camping kit and tools but empty except for one 6 Kg  tank of gas,half tank of fuel plus the driver. I think the chassis is either ( to be confirmed) either the 3.8 or 4 ton version. The upgrading from 3.5 to a higher figure is not an age related issue at this time but will be in a couple of years; I recently moved from a 4.25 ton veh to accommodate this 'hoped-for' development! Overall the weight issue seems nearly intractable unless I upgrade but what happens when time takes its toll? How can I keep this Motorhome within its magical 3.5 ton figure without removing the sat dish, awning,solar panel and bike rack? I totally accept the dealer was negligent in failing to advise re weight restrictions when fitting accessories but has Hymer not a vicarious responsibility re this? It seems to me when buying a Hymer( MLI) and with a desire to remain within the bounds of the traffic laws and safety do not fit accessories or be prepared to upgrade the weight limit!

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Are you restricted to 3500, due to licence (Age) ? If not then SV tech will be able to advise you , re uprating,

If you are restricted to 3500, then all you can do is strip down to minimum, the "Stuff" you carry.

In 11 years with our van, we have never been stopped and weighed abroad. We don't use in UK.

We found we where over weight, so did clear loads of "Stuff" and take off the roof air con, which was very heavy. We also leave the mattress from over head bed at home. (has come in useful at home , recently !

 

PJay

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Thank you Pauline. Not restricted by age for a couple of years but this Motorhome was purchased in anticipation of that magical limit! We didn't fit A/C so as to avoid excess weight and we regarded the other fittings as necessary! Like you we only use the Motorhome in mainland Europe and we have never been stopped by the Police but it appears that this is changing and Motorhomes are being increasingly targeted, especially due to excess weight!

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