Before going on your first caravanning trip, one of the most important factors you have to consider is not overloading your Caravan. It is necessary for safe driving and to maximise the efficiency of your Caravan. Overloaded caravans are also difficult to tow. So, it is important to check the weight of your Caravan before starting the trip so that you enjoy your trip without any difficulty.
In this post, we will discuss how to check the weight in Caravan and also pen down some tips to reduce the weight.
The Terminologies You Should Know before Weighing Your Caravan:
Gross Combination Mass (GCM)
It is defined as the total weight of the rig.
Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM)
The maximum permissible weight of your caravan when loaded specified by the manufacturer without being hitched to your towing vehicle.
Gross Trailer Mass (GTM)
It is called the original weight of your loaded caravan, at any given point of time, without being hitched to your towing vehicle.
Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)
It is the maximum permissible weight of your towing vehicle when loaded. The vehicle’s manufacturer specifies this.
It is the maximum weight that your caravan can apply to your vehicle’s tow ball.
How to Weigh a Caravan?
You can weigh your caravan by using two methods; first, you can use portable caravan weight scales at home, and the other is to take your caravan to public weighbridges.
Weighing a Caravan with Portable Caravan Scale at Home
As you know, portable caravan weight scales are easy to use. You have to drive your caravan over these scales to note down the reading. This scale records the reading till you measure the reading of each caravan’s wheel. Then add all the readings and give you the total weight of your caravan. It also gives the left side or right side reading individually.
Weighing a Caravan at a Public Weighbridge
The portable weighing scales sometimes don’t give accurate results, so if you have a Public Weighbridge near your home, go there to check the weight of your caravan. Here you have to pay the per-use fee and move your caravan onto their scales set into the ground.
So first, weigh your empty caravan to know its minimum weight; then again, take it back to the weighbridge when you fully loaded your caravan for another reading; subtract the two readings to calculate its payload. But nowadays, there are also modern weighbridges that give you multiple readings at once.
Now you know how to check the weight of your Caravan; what if your Caravan is overloaded. Don’t worry; we will put some light on how you can reduce your Caravan’s weight so that your driving will be safe.
How to Reduce Weight in Your Caravan?
Reducing the weight in your Caravan cannot be such a difficult task. here are some tips you can follow to reduce the burden on your Caravan:
- Before starting your packing, make sure you make a list of the things you actually want on your trip
- Write down the weight of each item you write in your list. It will help you to make a list of necessity items only.
- Load your Caravan evenly on both sides.
- Put the heavy items above the axels.
- Weigh your Caravan after you fill the water tanks.
- Secure all your items before towing.
Here are some accessories if you change in your Caravan, you will see a huge difference in the weight of your overloaded Caravan:
If you are not travelling to remote locations where it is not easy to fulfil your basic needs, your small Caravan’s refrigerator is enough for your three-four days trip.
Pack frozen stuff and ready to eat food items in the deep freezer more instead of fresh vegetables as they will spoil more quickly than frozen ones. So, you can avoid this extra-large freezer for short trips to reduce the weight of your Caravan.
Don’t pack various cooking appliances because you will hardly use them during your whole trip. So, find an appliance that can perform the functions of an electric convection oven, a cast iron camp oven, a two-burner gas cooktop etc. alone.
You can also reduce the amount of serving and mixing bowls. Instead, carry double-walled insulated stainless-steel cups as you will use them for both cold and hot drinks. Instead of heavy utensils, replace them with lighter steel, plastic or melamine alternatives. These will help you to cut down the weight of your Caravan.
Extra Spare Wheels
If you don’t visit backwoods or have no population, one spare wheel is enough for you. It is more advisable to carry a puncture kit than extra spare wheels as it will help you reduce your caravan’s weight.
The usage of generators varies from one caravanner to another. If you go to a place where solar energy is abundant and solar panels installed on your caravan. Then, there is no use to carry a generator with you and overload your caravan.
But if you don’t rely on the weather of your destination, you can carry a generator with you but switch to some compact generators as large generators will take more space in your caravan and increase their weight.
You can change your caravan batteries to reduce the weight of your Caravan. As batteries are necessary to run your appliances, you can change your AGM batteries weighing around 35kg per battery to the lithium batteries that have half the weight compared to AGM. They are also much more economical.
Be practical and take only those things which you actually want on your trip. We have given you some basic ideas about what you pack extra for your first caravanning trip.
But the list varies from individual to individual as everyone has different needs and different destinations. So, by considering our tips and tricks, you will surely optimise your list so that you can enjoy your trip at most.