Updated Payload Definitions

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The terms below apply to all touring caravans from 2011 models onwards.


The masses defined below are in accordance with European Standards and will usually be given in a caravan’s Owner’s Manual. (Alternative/previous names of terms are shown in italics).

Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM)
(Maximum Authorised Mass)
As stated by the caravan manufacturer on the caravan weight plate (usually mounted close to the entrance door) – the absolute maximum weight that the caravan must not exceed to be legal on the road. It includes the allowances for the user payload – all fluids (water etc) and personal belongings that you may wish to carry (clothes, food etc).

Mass in Running Order (MRO)
(Ex works weight inclusive of the manufacturer’s tolerances, Unladen Weight)
Mass of the caravan equipped to the manufacturer’s standard specification stated on the caravan weight plate. This now includes those items required for the safe and proper functioning of the caravan (e.g. gas cylinder, fresh water and hook up cable). Note: Dealer fitted items must be taken into consideration if it is a dealer special.

User Payload
(Caravan Allowable Payload)
Payload relates to the weights of all items carried in a caravan and is the allowance you have for:
Optional equipment
Personal effects
The total allowances represents the difference between the MTPLM and the MRO.

Optional equipment
Items made available by the manufacturer or dealer over an above the standard specification of the caravan e.g. spare wheel, air conditioning, motor mover, awning etc.

Personal effects
Those items which you choose to carry in a caravan which are not included as essential habitation equipment (e.g. clothes, crockery, cooking utensils, bedding, TV, radio, footwear, books, awning and food).

Actual Laden Weight
The actual weight of the caravan when you use it – including its optional equipment and the essential habitation equipment plus your personal effects. You need to know this weight because it will determine whether you are towing within the law and also within your towing experience.

Here is a typical example of weights/masses in a caravan:

MRO. Weight of standard model including gas cylinder and fluids   965
Optional Equipment. Spare wheel, air conditioner. User Payload 1


Personal Effects. Food, bedding, cutlery, crockery, clothing – for 2 people User Payload 2


Overall User Payload Total of User Payloads 1 and 2 195
Actual Laden Weight. MRO plus total User Payload   1160
MTPLM Never to be exceeded 1300
Spare capacity payload e.g. for awning external furniture, books, TV, radio etc. 140



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