The NCC have published an extensive towing guide which can be found by following the link below
This guide will be of particular use to new and inexperienced caravan owners.
The empty weight of the caravan includes all loose items supplied by Swift e.g electric hook up cable, kit bag, entrance step, portable waste tank & central heating fluid (where applicable)
Note: ALKO Wheel Locks should be carried in the towing vehicle.
Mass in Running Order: (MRO)
The mass of the caravan equipped to the caravan manufacturer, standard specification.
The MRO comprises the empty weight of the caravan and includes an allowance for gas.
Note: The mass of the caravan in running order contains provision for the masses of liquids, gas etc. (see MRO in the Technical Handbook). Part of this provision can also be utilised as additional payload if, for example, you wish to travel with no gas cylinders.
Maximum User Payload:
The maximum allowable weight to be put into the caravan whilst it is being towed.
This is made up of the personal effects and the optional equipment payloads.
The user payload is the difference between the MTPLM (see below) and the MRO.
Personal Effects (PE)
Those items which a user can choose to carry in a caravan.
Note: The Personal effects payload
includes an allowance of 20kg for a leisure
The car and caravan combination.
Optional Equipment (OE)
Items made available by the manufacturer over and above the standard specification of the caravan for factory fitted options.
Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass
(MTPLM) (Lower Limit):
The fully laden mass of the caravan in the manufacturer’s standard specification which is stated in the publications, technical handbooks, brochures and weight plate and used for tow vehicle matching.
MRO + PE + OE = MTPLM
MTPLM (Upper Limit):
The mass takes into account specific operating conditions including factors such as the strength of materials, loading capacity of tyres, etc.
WARNING: Under no circumstances should the maximum technically permissible laden mass (MTPLM) be exceeded.
The method of calculating MRO and user payload figures are in line with European Vehicle regulations.
Note: The allowances for essential equipment is now contained within the MRO of the caravan, as per NCC Code of Practice (CoP) 304. This includes the following: LPG 1 x cylinder = 10kg (20kg if Duo Comfortor Duo Control regulator is fitted).
The MRO is calculated with the fresh water tank empty (where fitted).
Note: If you travel with water in the fresh water tank, the payload will be reduced accordingly.
The leisure battery is considered to be included in the personal effects and an allowance of 20kg has been made for this.
Items fitted at the point of manufacturer (hookup cable, plastic steps, waste containers, etc.) are included within the vehicle MRO.
Upgrading of maximum technically permissible
The lower (or standard) MTPLM is quoted in the Technical Handbook, in brochures and on the caravan weight plate.
However, in some cases it may be possible to increase this to a higher (upper) MTPLM. (See Technical Handbook for details).
If extra user payload is required, an upgrade maybe available (model dependant), this must be requested via your dealer and is chargeable.
Note: Tyre pressures may increase when upgrading the MTPLM.
The nose weight is the static vertical load transferred to the towing vehicle through the coupling head.
When measuring the nose weight it is important that the caravan is fully loaded.
Do not place extra items indiscriminately into the caravan after this adjustment has been made.
The caravan is intended to be towed slightly nose heavy.
The nose weight can be adjusted by distribution of the load within the caravan.
The nose weight should be approximately 5-7% of the actual laden weight (but not greater than the hitch capacity) and at the same time suit the towing vehicle.
See section on Measurement of Nose Weight.
It is not recommended that you tow with just a battery, spare wheel and gas bottles as this may exceed the permitted nose weight.
Additional payload must be placed behind the axle to compensate for this.