Have you put on weight lately? I don’t mean around the waist… I mean the extra creature comforts that you might have added to your caravan after you bought it. These days it is fairly common for caravanners to upgrade their van with extra water tanks (and fill them), solar panels, a generator, extra fuel, bike racks and bikes, a nice bbq and the list goes on. All these extras make your holiday enjoyable but can quickly add-up to put you over your legal limits. It is vital to perform a caravan weight check and keep your caravan weight within the legal limits. The number one reason is your safety and the safety of other road users. The secondary reasons are that you may face a fine or find yourself in legal trouble.
Carrying too much weight impacts the operating ability of your towing safety measures – your towball, safety chains, brakes, electronic stability control. An overloaded van can reduce your caravan brakes ability to operate or even cause them to fail. Carrying too much weight can also cause your rig to develop caravan sway and behave erratically on the road. An overloaded van or car (or both) can be a recipe for disaster.
So how do you know whether you are within your rig’s limits? It’s a good idea to get your van weighed when empty (even if you have purchased it new) as it is not uncommon to find the empty (tare) weight of the van as listed by the manufacturer on the VIN plate is less than the actual weight. This may be because extras like additional batteries, gas bottle and an awning weren’t included in the original tare weight of the van. Once you know the unloaded weight then you need to get weighed again with all of your gear loaded. Weighing your caravan can be done at a weighbridge for a fee (around $30) or Caravanning Queensland offer free caravan safety checks that are run periodically around the state.
If you would like additional information on how to correctly weigh your caravan and vehicle we will be discussing this on Saturday 28 October at our Free Caravan Safety Seminar to be held at the RV Service Centre at 9am. Please come along and we can answer any questions you may have.
If you get your weight checked and find that you are over the limits – keep calm and see us at the RV Service Centre for an ATM upgrade. Our professional staff can provide ATM upgrades for your van and ensure your safety with even weight distribution.