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In this issue, we thought we would follow up on our discussion about weight and the possible ramifications of overloading. While putting the story together, it occurred to me that it can be really difficult for most of us to understand the small differences load placement can make. It’s one thing to talk about the total weight of the car or the caravan and the gross combination mass, but it’s quite another to work out how placing some of your cargo in either of your vehicles can affect payload, towball mass, and ultimately stability. Even if you are under the maximum weights for GVM or ATM, placing a toolbox on the rear of your caravan will reduce weight at the towball, which while you might think that’s not a problem or even a good thing, it could reduce it enough to upset your van’s nose weight as stipulated by the manufacturer. Likewise, bolting everything to the drawbar takes some weight off the front end of the tow vehicle, and again, while some people will advise that weight distribution hitches (or load levellers, or anti-sway bars) will sort everything out, often it’s a band-aid solution and not a cure for inefficient loading.

We have published many stories on this topic, and they all help in different ways but the routine of driving down to the public weighbridge every time you change a small item is, in the end, not practical. We still reckon you should, but we know it’s better if at the very least you do so to know what your loaded combination weighs for a trip.

And then I received an email from a chap called Rob Landore. He’s created a calculator tool for working out the difference made by placing weight in various areas of the tow vehicle and the caravan. And it’s a live document, which makes the real difference. Once you have inserted your weights and measurements requested on the master spreadsheet, you’re free to play with adding or moving weights with the changes to the important or legal totals reflected straight away. While it was originally designed to work on an iPad, we have tried our best to include a version that will work for almost everyone. Apple users will need to install the free Numbers program, but we have added an Excel version too. We think the best experience will be on a tablet or a desktop rather than a phone, however. Download the templates and instructions and try it, we hope it helps!

We hear of roadside checks made by authorities to evaluate the weights of passing traffic, mainly trucks. Caravans are non-commercial traffic, however, the issue of overweight matters in accidents has had its profile raised, we wonder how long it will be before checks are commonplace. What has your experience been? Have you been pulled over? 

Please let us know on the email link provided.

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT WITH WHAT YOUR RIG WEIGHS

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter

In this issue, we thought we would follow up on our discussion about weight and the possible ramifications of overloading. While putting the story together, it occurred to me that it can be really difficult for most of us to understand the small differences load placement can make. It’s one thing to talk about the total weight of the car or the caravan and the gross combination mass, but it’s quite another to work out how placing some of your cargo in either of your vehicles can affect payload, towball mass, and ultimately stability. Even if you are under the maximum weights for GVM or ATM, placing a toolbox on the rear of your caravan will reduce weight at the towball, which while you might think that’s not a problem or even a good thing, it could reduce it enough to upset your van’s nose weight as stipulated by the manufacturer. Likewise, bolting everything to the drawbar takes some weight off the front end of the tow vehicle, and again, while some people will advise that weight distribution hitches (or load levellers, or anti-sway bars) will sort everything out, often it’s a band-aid solution and not a cure for inefficient loading.

We have published many stories on this topic, and they all help in different ways but the routine of driving down to the public weighbridge every time you change a small item is, in the end, not practical. We still reckon you should, but we know it’s better if at the very least you do so to know what your loaded combination weighs for a trip.

And then I received an email from a chap called Rob Landore. He’s created a calculator tool for working out the difference made by placing weight in various areas of the tow vehicle and the caravan. And it’s a live document, which makes the real difference. Once you have inserted your weights and measurements requested on the master spreadsheet, you’re free to play with adding or moving weights with the changes to the important or legal totals reflected straight away. While it was originally designed to work on an iPad, we have tried our best to include a version that will work for almost everyone. Apple users will need to install the free Numbers program, but we have added an Excel version too. We think the best experience will be on a tablet or a desktop rather than a phone, however. Download the templates and instructions and try it, we hope it helps!

We hear of roadside checks made by authorities to evaluate the weights of passing traffic, mainly trucks. Caravans are non-commercial traffic, however, the issue of overweight matters in accidents has had its profile raised, we wonder how long it will be before checks are commonplace. What has your experience been? Have you been pulled over? 

Please let us know on the email link provided.

GETTING THE BALANCE RIGHT WITH WHAT YOUR RIG WEIGHS

TIM SCOTT EDITOR - RV DAILY

NEWS Ed's Letter