Motorhome speed limits are not always very well understood – with both experienced car and van drivers sometimes unsure about what speed limits apply to motorhomes in the UK.
Fortunately, the rules are fairly simple and most small and medium sized motorhomes are subject to the same speed limits as cars on UK roads.
Here is a breakdown of the rules as they apply in the UK at the time of writing (updated October 2020).
Motor caravans (motorhomes or campervans) with an unladen weight of up to 3050kg (3.05 tonnes) and no more than 8 passenger seats:
- Single Carriageways: 60mph
- Dual Carriageways: 70mph
- Motorways: 70mph
Motor caravans (motorhomes or campervans) with an unladen weight of greater than 3050kg or more than 8 passenger seats:
- Single Carriageways: 50mph
- Dual Carriageways: 60mph
- Motorways: 70mph
(These are the same as van speed limits for vans and lorries up to 7.5 tonnes)
See here for further details on speed limits.
What is my Motorhome’s Unladen Weight?
The offical UK definition of unladen weight is:
The unladen weight of any vehicle is the vehicles own weight when not carrying any goods or burden. This is:
- inclusive of the body and all parts which are necessary to or ordinarily used with the vehicle or trailer when working on a road
- exclusive of water, fuel or accumulators used for the purpose of the supply of power for the propulsion of the vehicle
(taken from Vehicle Weights Explained: Direct.Gov.uk website)
In motorhome terms, I would take this to mean the weight of the motorhome with all installed equipment (e.g. fridge, toilet, cooker, furnishings) but with all water, waste and fuel tanks empty and no ‘stuff’ on board.If you’re hiring a motorhome or campervan, it should be easy to find its unladen weight – just ask the company you are hiring from.
If you’ve got your own motorhome, then dig out the manual and look for the ‘dry weight‘ – which might also be described as the unladen weight.Don’t confuse this with ‘kerb weight‘, ‘wet weight‘ or ‘mass in running order‘. All of these terms refer to the weight of the vehicle with a variety of liquids like fuel, water and oil included. As such, they are all greater than your motorhome’s legal unladen weight.
All information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge. However, we can take no responsibility for any errors and if you are in any doubt you should contact the relevant authorities – usually VOSA or your local police force.