Weighing your caravan

Weight is a very important factor when towing. Not only is it a legal requirement that you tow a vehicle that is within a certain weight, but it is also important to understand the limits of your vehicle in terms of how much it can carry. Weight will also have an impact upon the ongoing cost of keeping your caravan. For example, if you drive for long periods of time with a heavily laden caravan you may find that the tyres on both car and caravan diminish faster than they would normally. Furthermore, your fuel economy would be reduced as a consequence of towing a heavy caravan.

The world of towing is riddled with terminology so here's our jargon busting guide to weighing your caravan.

In order to stay within the towing laws you will need to know both the kerb weight of your car and the ALW at any given time. You will need this to determine whether or not your driver's license allows you to tow a vehicle of such weight. Importantly, overloading your caravan can also be unsafe and may cause costly damage to the caravan itself. To get an accurate reading of your vehicles weight, it's best to take your car and caravan to your local weigh bridge. Details of your nearest facility are likely to be on your local council website. You can also find information about the weight of your vehicle and caravan in the owner's manual. However, bear in mind that this will be the Kerb weight of your car (the unladen weight) and the MIRO of your caravan (without any contents which did not come with the caravan). So without weighing and adding up all the items you take away with you in your caravan you may not know the ALW of your caravan and therefore maybe towing more than your license allows.

Part of the attraction of caravanning is that it allows you to take away lots of home comforts whilst on your travels. For many, a caravan also serves as a rewarding DIY project with many caravan owners choosing to modify and update their caravans with the latest and greatest technology. Some of the most crucial times to check the weight of your caravan are after significant additions have been made (the addition of solar panels for example). It is also important to check the weight of a caravan before you buy it to ensure that you are legally allowed to tow it. Consider that if you've bought a caravan second hand, the previous owner may have made modifications that will have increased the weight of the caravan. It's therefore best not to rely on the owner's manual alone to give you the information on the caravan's weight.

Want to find out more about our Touring Caravan Insurance?

More details