First things first, you should know that overweight caravans and poor payload distribution are the main causes of incidents and the more you understand the better prepared you will be. This guide by The Camping & Caravanning Club is designed to help you keep safe, understand how the various weights impact the caravans’ payload and how much actual weight you are carrying.
The Camping & Caravanning Club will be hosting the Towing Experience at The Caravan & Motorhome Show this January at EventCity. Their experts will be on hand to teach you how to tow safely and give you all the information you need for making sure the payload of your caravan is well balanced.
First things first, you should know that overweight caravans and poor payload distribution are the main causes of incidents while towing and the more you understand the better prepared you will be on the road. This guide by The Camping & Caravanning Club is designed to help you keep safe on the road, understand how the various weights are put together to make up the caravans’ payload and how much actual weight you are carrying in your outfit.
1. You will need to either physically weigh your kit with bathroom scales or get this information off the box or from the handbook.
2. When loading, the key is to evenly distribute weight. Make sure that heavy items are placed over the axle, to prevent them snacking at the back of the caravan.
3. Keep heavy items on the floor of the caravan, so that the centre of gravity stays lower, and reduces the risk that you’ll topple over. It’s important you keep your items low down, and as close to the axle as possible. In this diagram, the area in blue is the best place for heavy items such as an awning. Medium weight items can be stored in the pink area, while the rest of the caravan should only be used to store light items. And if you’re carrying gas cylinders, they’ll need to be stored upright, and securely held.
4. An increasing number of caravans have rear fixed bed layouts so you need to consider what the space under the bed can be used for to maintain a well-balanced unit. For example, put light bulky items like bedding in the space instead of awnings etc, try to keep the heavy items as close to the axle as possible as shown on the image on the right.
5. The nose locker should not be seen as an area for heavy items either as this can detrimentally affect your noseweight and balance too.
6. The addition of drawers at the front of the lounge area can significantly effect noseweight too so consider the layout and limitation imposed by your tow vehicle before committing to a specific layout.
7. Finally, don’t forget you can use the space in the tow vehicle for some of the equipment while towing and when you are set up on site it is acceptable to fill the spaces mentioned above with these heavier items, but remember to redistribute them before towing your unit again.
Meet their friendly experts at Manchester's EventCity this January.