Your questions answered

Our technical team answer questions about different speed limits when driving a motorhome, increased demand for gas bottles and which is the best motor mover for your caravan.

Is it true that some motorhomes have a lower speed limit than others?

Yes – if the ‘unladen weight’ of the vehicle exceeds 3,050kg, the speed limit is 60mph on dual carriageways and 50mph on single carriageways, instead of 70mph and 60mph respectively (where no lower limit is signed). The limit on motorways remains 70mph.

The challenge with this is finding out what the unladen weight is for a given vehicle – we’re talking about its weight when it’s not carrying any passengers, goods or other items, nor any fuel or the driver. That’s much lighter than the more commonly-quoted ‘mass in running order’ (MRO) or kerbweight.

If you don’t have an unladen weight figure for your vehicle, a good rule of thumb is to deduct 75kg (driver) and 75kg (90l of diesel) from the MRO/kerbweight figure. If that results in a number below 3,050kg, the lower speed limits shouldn’t apply. If it’s still over 3,050kg, you’ll need to find the exact figure for the vehicle’s unladen weight.

There was a shortage of gas bottles in the market earlier this year – what can be done to lessen the impact?

When sites reopened after lockdown, we saw unprecedented levels of activity, and this put pressure on the gas suppliers. The harsh fact is that many people don’t return their cylinders for refilling. If you have a ‘spare’ cylinder which really isn’t going to be used, please return it. You’ll usually get a deposit back for it, sometimes even if you don’t have the contract paperwork. You can find contact details for most cylinder suppliers on the trade association website

If you use a lot of gas (perhaps you are a rallier or off-grid camper) or are planning a long-distance continental tour when travel restrictions ease, you might want to consider a user-refillable tank or cylinder instead. These are relatively expensive to buy, but the gas is cheaper – just check there are refilling outlets where you need them ( or are good places to check).

What’s your advice when choosing an electric caravan mover?

Feedback from Club members is overwhelmingly positive in terms of the performance of all models. However, these devices do sit in an exposed position, and are vulnerable to minor damage and wear and tear. So it’s sensible to check for good warranty cover and spares availability from the supplier when purchasing.

Also (and especially where twin-axle movers are concerned), check if the mover will obstruct access to normal jacking points – you might need to use a low-profile scissor jack under the axle if that is the case.

If you store your van without clear access to one side, make sure you choose a model with remote (dis)engagement of the drives. Finally, take care choosing a fitter. It’s important that the mechanical components are adjusted properly, and really important that the electrical wiring is done correctly and safely.