Before caravanning, one important requirement is ensuring your touring caravan and towing car don’t exceed their specified weights. Here’s a guide with tips and advice for weighing your touring caravan.
Just as any other vehicle, touring caravans need to be weighed in order to follow the legal requirements for safe driving and for not compromising the car’s performance in terms of fuel efficiency and air conditioning.
With so many touring caravans for sale in the market, sometimes it can be difficult to understand what the ideal caravan model is for you and how to head off into your first adventure in good conditions. Just like any other vehicle, touring caravans are built to sustain a certain maximum weight, and with a fully loaded caravan hitched to your car, your vehicle would be handling more weight that it typically does (e.g. bikes, portables TVs or radios, gas bottles, bedding and clothing, stored food, etc.).
The simple matter of exceeding the towing weight could make your touring caravan illegal to tow and could invalidate your touring caravan insurance if it’s proven that damage to a caravan was caused due to overload.
There are some words you should be familiarizing yourself with for your future caravan tours:
What do you need to do? Make sure your car and caravan are empty except for the legal equipment required during transit (e.g. spare wheels and batteries should remain inside). Avoid bringing stored food, gas bottles, or luggage. It’s important to weight the car with the full tank (the weight difference is big) to ensure that the car and caravan are at the minimum weight that they’re going to be when you’re driving.
It might be a good idea to get a second measurement in the weighbridge, but this time just with the caravan. How can you do it? Move your towing car enough out of the platform in a safe position before uncoupling the caravan from the car. In this way the weighbridge can take a second reading for the touring caravan only. Afterwards, you’ll receive a printed certificate from the weighbridge office and you would know three figures: the minimum weight of the empty caravan, the minimum weight of your car, and the combined weight of both.
You’ll know the weights up to which you can load your car and caravan by deducting the weighbridge car weight from the MAM, and the caravan’s weighbridge weight from the MTPLM.
How to load a touring caravan?
If you are unsure of the combined weight of the objects you are loading in your touring caravan, the best safety guideline for your peace of mind is always not exceed the maximum weight figures on the side of caution.
For safe and stable towing, it’s not just the weight of the caravan that’s important, but also how that weight is distributed. Manufacturers recommend to place heavy items in the low down, near the axle. All heavy items distributed in other parts of the caravan might affect the stability, especially at speed and in crosswinds. Lighter items should be placed in the top areas of the caravan.
Sometimes we might consider taking with us our most useful items from home but maybe they are not so necessary after all, and you might to treat caravanning like backpacking to take only what you really need. Here are some tips to reduce the weight in your touring caravan:
Have you ever take into account some of these tips in your caravan trip?
*The opinions and views expressed in the above articles are those of the author only and are for guidance purposes only. The authors disclaim any liability for reliance upon those opinions and would encourage readers to rely upon more than one source before making a decision based on the information.
Published by: intasure
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