top of page

Weight, size, driving licence

I'm not going to deal with the topic of the Highway Code, I'm planning a specific article for this, but with the aim of giving you more information for buying , I want to talk about some aspects that I consider important.

We can divide campers into two categories : up to 35 quintals and over 35 quintals, of course the official document to be taken into consideration is the booklet, which shows the total weight of the vehicle we are evaluating when fully loaded.

Weight, size, driving licence
Weight, size, driving licence

The former, those up to 35 quintals, are driven with a B license , and are required to undergo the first inspection 4 years after registration, and subsequent inspections every 2 years. Campers over 3.5 quintals are driven with a C1 license , in practice a C with a limit of 7.5 quintals and is not professional (therefore the exam does not include tachographs, freight transport ...). Even campers over 35 quintals are required to be inspected 4 years after registration and then every 2 years, but the operation must be carried out exclusively at the Civil Motorization centres. I'm obviously talking about approved motorhome vehicles.

The vast majority of campers you see around are approved for 35 quintals.

The fully loaded weight is a very important element to evaluate , the value declared in the booklet must never be exceeded. Unfortunately it is very easy to go over the limit, social networks are full of requests like "I have to go to Austria, will they weigh me down?". There's nothing to do, the only thing is to travel respecting the weight shown in the booklet. Some precautions can be useful: traveling without water, with little fuel, leaving useless accessories at home, few food supplies, avoiding cases of mineral water, etc., but basically you have to be careful when buying. Ask for precise information on weight , and if the answer is "but we are all in these conditions anyway" do not accept it as a solution .

The homologation of the seats for circulation is also important , in fact it is not uncommon for a camper (I am speaking of the 3.5 quintals) to have a different number of homologated travel seats (less) than the number of beds. This is not an error or a scam, the fact is that the manufacturer, in order to pass the homologation of the vehicle, must deal with the weights, therefore to return to the parameters, he lowers the number of homologated seats. Remember: it is forbidden to travel in excess .

The external dimensions affect driving and agility, the height of the overcab must be considered in the case of protruding elements on the roadway (trees, balconies, signs ...), in tunnels and underpasses, when camping during maneuvers. The width and length will condition the passage in narrow streets, small villages, hairpin bends ... It is always the rule to inquire in case of doubt (it is better not to say "I'll try") and to get help in the most risky manoeuvres, from someone who get off the camper. The quarrel between wife (on the ground to give directions) and husband (driving to maneuver): we've all been there, it's almost a baptism of fire.

The length of the camper is also important because beyond 7 meters (or beyond 3.5 quintals) you cannot travel in the third lane, but this is not a problem, the camper is not made to be in a hurry and safety comes before everything . However, the length is also the parameter with which the fare on the ferries is calculated, generally you go by 50 cm by 50 cm: the fares change at 6 metres, 6.5, 7, 7.5. A motorhome of 6.99 meters pays less than one of 7.01.

The overhang of the vehicle , i.e. the part of the camper between the rear axle and the end of the vehicle, is an important aspect, the more overhang there is, the more there is a risk of touching the underside in the event of an uphill steep and ferry ramps, plus the "scoda" overhang when turning (right turn and the "scoda" overhang to the left, left turn and the "scoda" overhang to the right) and this must be taken into account in the maneuvers and in tight spaces.


bottom of page