Most caravan owners regularly weigh their caravan or do so whenever they add new appliances and have a pretty good idea of where to weigh them. If you’re a new caravan owner, you must be wondering, where do you weigh your caravan?
This article will explain the importance of weighing your caravan as well as when and where to weigh it.
Why Is Weighing Your Caravan Important?
Most long-time caravan owners can attest to how easy it is to overload your caravan once you start filling it with a bunch of different appliances and modifications.
Weighing your caravan is important for a number of reasons. First, overloading is illegal in Australia and it can pose danger to you and the people around you.
Second, caravans have a maximum payload which is determined by the total weight of items that can be loaded in a caravan.
The total weight of the caravan and the payload is called the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM). Manufacturers recommend the maximum aggregate trailer mass allowable for a certain caravan model and it’s what authorities check when they weigh your caravan.
Lastly, vehicles have a maximum tow capacity. Towing more than your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity can overexert the vehicle and possibly cause damage.
Regularly weighing your caravan assures safety and adherence to the law.
When To Weigh Your Caravan?
If the caravan weight is not indicated when you’re buying one (eg. if you’re buying a modified second-hand caravan), you should weigh your caravan before your first use. This is called the tare mass of a caravan or the weight of the caravan without any load.
Ideally, the tare mass should be much lower than the maximum tow capacity of your vehicle to account for the load you’re about to put in.
You can use the tare mass as a basis for calculating your estimated payload by adding the weight of your appliances to the tare mass.
You should also weigh your caravan when you’re making modifications or adding heavy appliances like air conditioners, washing machines or toilets.
This will ensure that you do not go over your maximum towing capacity or the allowable Aggregate Trailer Mass.
Where To Weigh Your Caravan?
There are two different ways to weigh your caravan.
Weighbridges are machines purposely built for weighing vehicles with heavy loads. They are open for public use under National Measurement Act 1960.
You can find public weighbridges by:
Using Caravan Scales
Alternatively, you can use personal caravan scales. The advantage of these is that you can weigh your caravan at home as often as you like. You can test out different configurations of appliances and see the effect on your total weight in real time.
To see what options are available, check out this list of the best caravan weight scales in Australia.
Weighing your caravan before your first use and every time you modify or add new appliances is important to avoid overloading which is illegal.
You can weigh your caravan on public weighbridges or using your own caravan scales.
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Note that while every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on this page, there may sometimes be errors. Check all specifications with the manufacturer before purchasing any product.