Caravan Weight Distribution

You don't even want to think about it: a holiday that ends before it even really starts. It may even happen to you if your caravan jack-knives or overturns. To prevent such a disaster, take the time to understand how to best load and prepare your caravan towing setup.

With a proper weight balance, your steering will be better, and you're less susceptible to the suction of trucks overtaking you. In addition, your combination is less prone to snaking and failure. It is recommended that the loaded caravan is not heavier than 85% of the kerb weight of the car. You should, therefore, first, use the space in your vehicle before loading up your caravan.

Know your limits

Before you start loading your caravan, you must know how much weight your car is allowed to tow. Your vehicle's maximum towing capacity is listed on your vehicle's registration certificate or the VIN plate. A TAG Towbar is safety rated to tow the maximum tow weight as defined by the car manufacturer. Our towbars have gone through extensive engineering and testing to meet ADR62/01 requirements.

Weigh your accessories

Before you load your caravan, it is advisable first to measure the weight of the caravan accessories. The canopy or awning, the groundsheet, the stairs; all count towards the maximum weight and together soon weigh some 100 kilograms. Write down the total weight of all accessories and keep this with the caravan papers. That saves time during future holiday preparations.

Where to put heavy items

Preferably place heavy items in the car, between the axles. If you must utilise the caravan, put them on the ground right before the axle and secure everything down. Make sure you evenly distribute the weight over both wheels. Dividing the weight is of the utmost importance to increase stable road holding.

Avoid weight at the back

Never load too much into the back of the caravan. The more weight you have at the back, the higher the chance the caravan starts to sway. Don't put too much water in the freshwater tank either; about ten litres is enough for a day's drive.

Packing the upper cabinets

Do not transport heavy items in the upper cabinets. For example, suppose the caravan is about to tilt due to heavy gusts of wind. In that case, a top-heavy caravan will only increase this effect. Only light items such as clothing are suitable to be loaded in the upper cabinets. Please ensure that the cabinets are properly closed, secured, and the load cannot shift too much inside.

Check after attaching the caravan.

Once you have loaded the caravan and attached it to your vehicle, it is best to perform several safety checks. Before heading off, make sure to inspect your tyre pressure, couplings, towbar condition, safety chains, mirrors, electronics and lights.

Measure towbar height

Check whether the back of your car doesn't dip too low. Proper towbar height is at least 35 centimetres in loaded condition, measured from the road surface to the centre of the tow ball. Anything less can seriously affect your vehicle's stability when towing.

Measure individual wheel weight

The weight under each wheel should be as even as possible. Caravan dealers sell practical caravan scales that allow you to measure this. Measuring each wheel's weight helps you check whether you evenly loaded your caravan. If necessary, you can still rearrange the load. It is always better to do it beforehand instead of on the road.

Measure total weight

You can use the caravan meter to measure the total weight as well. Naturally, it is essential that you not exceed the legally permissible weights. You can find these details on the registration certificate of the caravan and the car.