It is a good idea to weigh your caravan regularly, particularly when you have added a new feature or appliance to it. If you are a new caravan owner, knowing where and how you can weigh your caravan will serve you well. Continue reading this section to find all the answers you are looking for.
Why should I weigh my caravan?
If you are a new caravan owner, you may wonder why you need to weigh your caravan. However, any experienced caravan owner will tell you how easily and unknowingly you can overload your caravan. This mostly happens when you add modifications or fill your caravan with different appliances. But if you do not keep a check on the caravan’s weight, it can not only have legal implications but is also dangerous for the people around you.
Caravan manufacturers explicitly provide the Aggregate Trailer Mass, the total weight of the caravan and the maximum payload, which is the total weight of the items you can load on the caravan. Thus Aggregate Trailer Mass is used as a reference point by the authorities when they check the weight of your caravan.
Another reason why you need to keep a check on the weight of the caravan is the towing capacity.
If you tow more than the towing vehicle’s capacity, it will wear out the vehicle and possibly inflict damage. Check the caravan’s weight before buying it to ensure that your tow vehicle can safely tow the caravan without overexerting.
Hence you must regularly weigh your caravan to ensure compliance with the law and safety.
Where can I weigh my caravan?
When it comes to weighing your caravan, there are two options. We have discussed both.
Public Weighbridges are machines built specifically for larger load-bearing vehicles. They are open for public use, and you can find one easily near you via Google maps or wikimapia.
With these public weighbridges, you can determine the total weight of the caravan. It serves well to check the caravan’s weight when you have loaded it and are ready to set out on your journey.
Since the car and caravans have a certain legal weight restriction for payloads, you must ensure that your caravan’s weight is within the limit. It is also a good idea to take a few readings to ensure you have the right numbers.
Portable personal caravan weigh scale
The second and probably better option is to use a personal weight scale. The advantage of such scales is that you can easily use them at home. To use the portable weighing scale, all you need to do is put it on the ground and drive the caravan over it so that each wheel of the caravan drives over it.
The portable scale will then store the weight data and continue to do so until each caravan wheel has driven over it.
Once the data for all the wheels have been stored, the scale will display the total weight number of the caravan. To get an accurate reading, make sure you drive over the scale slowly, and the scale should be on a horizontal flat surface.
Thus having a portable weigh scale can be very useful and may encourage you to check the caravan’s weight regularly. You can also use it to check once you have loaded the caravan and recheck at a public weighbridge for a more accurate reading.
It is also important to note that you must pack your caravan in a balanced manner. The location of the weight within the caravan can impact the road handling of the vehicle. If the weight is unequally distributed, it can cause the caravan to sway and may even cause accidents if not managed in time.
When should I weigh my caravan?
If the caravan weight is not mentioned when you buy it, you must weigh it before you use it for the first time. The caravan weight is usually not mentioned if you buy a modified, used caravan. Once you weigh it, you will have the caravan weight without any load or the tare mass.
Ideally, this weight must be less than your tow vehicle’s towing capacity so that it will be within the prescribed limits when you add load to the vehicle. Once you have the accurate weight of the caravan, you can easily calculate how much load you can add to the vehicle in the form of appliances or other features, i.e., the caravan’s payload.
It is also important to weigh the caravan when you make modifications or add a heavy appliance like a washer or air-conditioner.
Keeping the weight in check will help ensure you do not exceed the maximum allowed aggregate trailer mass.
Where can I find the caravan weight?
If you have purchased a new caravan, you may find its weight mentioned on a plate near the caravan’s door frame. You can also get the information from the manufacturer or find it in the owner’s handbook.
However, if you have brought a second-hand caravan and the weight is not listed anywhere, you may need to weigh the caravan in the unloaded form to get an idea.
Can I weigh the caravan at home?
It is possible to weigh the caravan at home via a portable weigh scale. To use it, you must place the scale on the ground and drive over it with each caravan wheel one by one. It will record the data and produce an aggregate figure once you are done.