How To Check, Reduce RV Weight To Avoid Overloading Your Rig

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Are you planning to go on your first caravan trip but struggling and afraid of being overweight?  

Usually whenever we plan a trip with a caravan most of us fall into a trap which is seemingly impossible to get out. It is common to have our motorhomes being overweight with redundant items and we are unaware of their alternatives. 

However, in order to drive safely and maximize the efficiency of a caravan, we need to weigh our caravan. It is important to pen down some essential tips to reduce the weight as an overloaded caravan can cause difficulty in tow. An overweight caravan can also make your touring caravan illegal and void your caravan insurance. 

 

Hence, there are few essential things to keep in mind before weighing your caravan to elude any damage.

How To Check Your Caravan Weight?

Caravan can be measured by two most common methods: First you can weigh your caravan at your home by using a portable caravan scale. Second method considered more precise than portable scale is to take your caravan to public weighbridges.

Weighing Caravan By Using Portable Scale At Your Place

A portable scale offers you the ease of checking your caravan weight at your own place. You basically need to place a portable scale on the ground. Then drive over it with each wheel of your camper to ensure it will give you correct measurement. 

 

The portable scale records will give you the total reading as well as individual reading of the left and right side of the caravan. Then you need to sum all the readings to get the actual reading of your caravan.

Weighing Caravan By Using Public Weighbridge

Weighbridge is designed to allow the caravan or other vehicle owner to check their vehicle before onset to any road trip. This  ensures your safety and your vehicle safety. An overweight caravan will potentially lead you to pay a hefty fine or off the road until you rectify it. 

So, a public weighbridge will give you an accurate reading than a portable scale. Make sure your caravan is empty, not loaded with unnecessary items like canned food , gas bottles or luggage. Necessary items should be there, such as legal equipment e.g. spare wheel , batteries.  Make sure your caravan has a full tank as it makes a huge difference in reading. 

First, you need to empty your caravan to record its minimum weight. Move your towing car to the safest location before you uncouple your caravan. Once you take a reading of an empty caravan, you need to take it back again with the fully loaded caravan for another reading. 

 

Afterwards, you will receive a printed certificate from the weighbridge office which mentioned the three weigh figures: the minimum weight of your empty caravan, the weight of your car and the combined weight of fully loaded caravan and car.

How to reduce Caravan weight?

That sounds pretty basic but an important factor which can’t be ignored. You need to balance your Caravan to avoid any uncertainties. 

An overweight caravan can lead to an accident. So, to avoid accidents, you must need to pen down your essential items list that makes your caravan safe and stable.

  • There are tons of items that you don’t need, so before you start packing, list down the necessary items.

  • Try to weigh down your items; this will definitely help you to pick the most needed items.

  • Load your caravan evenly.

  • Secure all your items before towing your vehicle.

  • Place your heavy items above the axles.

 

Here, I have piled up some essential tips that help you to reduce your caravan weight. I have listed the best tips that will rid you of your troubles. 

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Batteries

Camping is at hype in this era as people love to travel particularly with their families to get some relaxation from hectic routine. In the realm of comfort and ease, batteries are necessary to run your appliances. 

AGM batteries weigh around 35 kg. Yet if you put the battery at one side of the vehicle, it can upset the balance of your vehicle. Hence, to compensate for it, you need two batteries that would weigh around 70kg. This may shoot the weight of your caravan. 

 

Lithium batteries are the best alternative as well as light weighted and more durable than AGM. Due to its lightweight, the product is in much demand yet a wise choice to reduce the weight of the vehicle.

Household items

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Don’t pack your entire house with you. You have limited weight space that you need to use wisely. Try not to use heavy utensils. Rather, get one light-saucepan and fry pan to cook all your vegetables in one pot. 

Carry double-walled insulated cups that can be used both for cold and hot drinks. Reduce the amount of serving plates and bowls. Use eco-friendly papers or light weight steel. 

Keep your frozen pack stuff with you instead of fresh vegetables which require a refrigerator. Avoid using a large refrigerator. Use the small one to fulfill your basic needs. Place your tinned food at the bottom of the cupboard and don’t take too much canned food with you if you are travelling for a week. 

If there are only 2 of you, you do not require a 6 chair dining table. Don’t buy a table made up of wood, it would be quite sturdy but will cost you extra 10-12 kg. Try to search for a roll of aluminum table chair which doesn’t occupy much of your caravan space and also helps to balance your caravan weight.  

If you are a book lover and want to carry some of your books collection with you. Try not to take your whole bookshelf with you, swap it with the book you haven’t read.   

 

Beware of adjusting heavy items on the front of your caravan. Put the heaviest items above the axles, to make your caravan balance stable.  Put more weight on the rear of the vehicle as this can make your tow ball weigh light.

Spare wheel

Reduce RV Weight

If you are not touring off-road trips, there’s a very low probability to get your wheel punctured.  So, if you are not doing any challenging act you really don’t need to carry two spare wheels. One spare wheel is sufficient for your caravan trip. Eventually you will be able to cut down your weight for two wheels from 25 kg to 16 kg.

Generator

If you are camping in summer, you definitely need to have an air conditioner with you. For an air conditioner you need to have a decent power rating. Apart from this, generators can also be used to recharge your batteries. 

 

Be vigilant while using one, replace a traditional weight generator around 28 kg with the compact generator potentially able to save caravan space and weight which can damage your caravan stability. 

Conclusion

Be practical and cautious while loading and weigh your caravan before you begin your trip.  With these basic tips to check and reduce your caravan weight, it will give you a good idea how to pack and shed some extra weight from your caravan. 

This list varies from person to person as everyone has different needs and wants. Another important factor is also your location and duration for your camping.

 

So, by considering all the above mentioned tips, you will surely optimize some weight from your caravan. Be light weighted to enjoy your trip at your max.

Jules and Ken

Jules and Ken

We are outdoor lovers, travellers, and writers all rolled into one. You have seen our posts here reviewing lots of different types of outdoor gear, camping equipment, RV equipment, kayaking, to cycling. Our reviews are guided by our years of experience being outdoors. We are happy to share our knowledge with you to make a better choice when you are outdoors.

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