FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

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FREQUENTLY ASKED
QUESTIONS

We often get asked questions, particularly in our industry where there can be lots of technical details about the products or services we supply. With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of FAQs to help answer your queries!

Below you will find answers to some of the most common questions we get asked. If our list of FAQs doesn’t answer your question, please get in touch with us! You can submit your query using our contact form and a member of the Tamar Caravan Centre team will get back to you. Alternatively, you can phone us on 01752 341133 or visit us at our indoor showroom and speak to a member of the team.

CARAVAN FAQS

What caravan brands do you sell?

At Tamar Caravan Centre, we currently sell:

  •  New Swift caravans
  • A varied range of brands in used caravans.
Do you offer finance?

We offer finance through Black Horse on both new and used caravans.

How do I choose the right caravan?

Several factors affect which caravan might be perfect for you, but it is a good idea to have a list of must haves, and nice to haves.

Think about how many people will use the caravan and:

  • Is a bathroom important to you or will you use site facilities?
  • Will you do lots of cooking in the caravan or eat out?
  • Do you have restrictions on your licence, meaning you have a limit on the weights you can tow (B or B+E)
  • Do you need bunk beds for children?

In our huge indoor showroom, we have a lots of different layouts to look at, to start your journey to finding your dream caravan.

What do the MRO and the MTPLM weights mean?

OK. When caravans are advertised there are two weights which are normally displayed:

MRO = Mass in Running Order 

The MRO of the caravan is stated on the caravan weight plate and is the weight of the Caravan to the manufacturer’s specification. 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).

MTPLM = Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass

The MTPLM stated is also detailed on the caravan weight plate (usually mounted close to the entrance door). This weight is 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).

TOWBAR FAQS

Do you fit towbars onsite?

Yes. All towbars are fitted here in our purpose built workshop, we have the correct coding equipment and lifts to enable a perfect fitting.

We do run a courtesy car service so you don’t need to disrupt your day.  Please ask to reserve one when booking.

How long does a towbar fitting take?

All cars vary with fitting times, usually we require the majority of cars for a morning or afternoon but some can take longer.  Please ask for a guide when booking.

Can I get a towbar fitted without affecting my vehicle warranty?

Yes.  We fit type approved towbars and dedicated vehicle specific wiring, including any re-coding required using Dealer level diagnostic tools activating any safety features built in to your vehicle.

We fit towbars for many of the local main dealers, including Ford, VW, Fiat, Skoda, Jeep, Peugeot, Mazda, Seat to name but a few.

Do you make number plates?

Yes.  We make these onsite and will need proof of ownership (V5 Logbook) and proof of your identity (driving licence matching your V5) or if your vehicle is a lease or company car, then a letter from the company would also be required

I own a Ford KA and need a towbar fitted but am told that this is not possible? Why?

All cars sold here from the 1st August 1998 must be European Whole Vehicle Type Approved. The vehicle maker decides when he applies for approval if the car will be allowed to tow and the car has towbar mounting points built into the chassis.

The Ka does not have towbar mounting points so a towbar cannot be fitted. It would be illegal to fit one or manufacture one to fit.

There are a number of other cars that cannot have towbars fitted so if you intend to tow with a small car ask before buying.

TOWING FAQs

I am purchasing a trailer or caravan. How do I work out my car's towing capacity?

Every vehicle manufacturer has to give a maximum towing limit. This can be found in the vehicle handbook and also on the chassis plate, usually found under the bonnet.

The information can be presented in a variety of ways. The clearest is when the plate gives the towing limits for both braked and unbraked trailers.

Sometimes the car’s Gross Train Weight (GTW) is given. This is the combination of the car’s Maximum Permitted weight (MPW) sometimes called Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) and the trailers Gross Trailer Weight. To get the towing limit si,mply deduct the MPW from the GTW. It is an offence to exceed the car’s towing limit.

The VIN plate will display either 3 or 4 sets of weights, it is these weights that VOSA or the other vehicle authorities use to determine whether your vehicle is towing or being driven within the law.

  • The top figure ‘A’ is the gross vehicle weight, the Maximum Allowable Mass (MAM) of the vehicle including occupants, fuel and payload.
  • The second figure ‘B’ is the gross train weight, this is the combined maximum allowable mass of the vehicle and trailer.
  • The third and fourth figures ‘C’ and ‘D’ are maximum axle loads front and rear respectively.

The manufacturer’s recommended maximum towing capacity for your vehicle is the gross vehicle weight subtracted from gross train weight. (4200kg – 2505kg = 1695Kg)

NOTE

Certain performance, hybrid and city-car models or similar variants of standard models are not homologated to tow, this means that the vehicle manufacturer has deemed that the model is unsuitable for use as a tow vehicle. With this type of vehicle, the towing capacity will equate to zero or a gross train weight will not be displayed.

Do I need to take an extra driving test to tow?

Your licence shows the vehicle categories you can drive, including the size of caravan or trailer that you’re allowed to tow. These rules changed in 1997 to the following:

PASSED YOUR TEST BEFORE 1 JANUARY 1997?

You’ll most likely be entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer up to a combined Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)of 8.25 tonnes.

PASSED AFTER 1 JANUARY 1997?

Unless you’ve taken an additional driving test – the ‘B+E’ car and trailer test – you may only drive a ‘category B’ vehicle coupled to the following:

  • A caravan up to 750kg MAM, or
  • A caravan over 750kg MAM as long as the combined weight of the car and caravan is less than 3500kg Gross Train Weight (GTW) and the MAM of the caravan is less than the un-laden weight of the car.

Category B means a vehicle up to 3500kg Maximum Permissible Weight (MPW) with up to 8 passenger seats including the driver.

FAQS ABOUT US

Do you have another branch?

No – We are based in Plympton and proud to be a Plymouth based business. Never say never, though!

Are you open on Sundays?

Yes – from February/March until October we are open on Sundays from 10 am until 4 pm. Please come and browse our huge range of caravans and awnings, and our well-stocked accessories shop. Please note; the workshop is closed on Sundays.

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For more information about our products and services, please call 01752 341133 or email us.

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