Towing Weights: What You Need To Know
You’ve decided to buy a caravan for the first time, but are completely overwhelmed with towing weights? Don’t worry you wont be the first as it can get a little confusing understanding what you can legally tow and how to calculate your maximum towing capacity.
The caravan and car manufacturers set the towing weights and these limits are determined by the vehicles design and how they are built, which is critical in the safe operation of these vehicles. Before buying a caravan it’s important to understand towing weights and what they mean to you. It’s your legal responsibility to ensure you don’t exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity and these laws are in place to keep everyone on the roads safe.
Understanding the towing weight limits
You might already know your car’s towing weights, but do you know what they really mean? For starters, we suggest you get to know the different weight limits and educate yourself on the towing terminology. To take some of the confusion out of this, we recommend getting to know the following three essential ones.
Tare Weight Or Mass
The Tare Mass is the weight of the caravan as supplied by the manufacturer and when it’s empty. This means no water or gas in the tanks or any of your possessions. Also keep in mind that if you add upgrades to your van you need to take these into consideration and calculate how much extra weight these will add. Your caravan dealer can help with this.
ATM – Aggregrated Trailer Mass
This is a simple one to measure; it’s the maximum weight your caravan is able to weigh with everything packed and ready to go. The ATM is set by the manufacturer and cannot be exceeded, so it’s critical that you check this weight before heading off on your holiday.
The difference between the Tare Mass & ATM is the amount you can load into your caravan; this is called your maximum payload.
Tow Ball Weight
Tow Ball Weight is the amount of weight that is exerted on the tow ball when the van is fully loaded. This is a crucial safety factor as towing with a tow ball weight higher than the vehicle’s maximum capacity can reduce the contact of the front wheels on the road, which will affect the vehicles performance.
Where can I find this information?
Now that you have more of an understanding of the essential towing weights, you may be thinking where to find these?
For your tow vehicle, you can find them under the towing section of the vehicles manufacturers handbook. If you have trouble finding these weights we recommend calling your vehicles manufacturer to get the correct information, as it is your legal responsibility to know the maximum towing limits. Also all caravans and campers must display their weights on their VIN plates.
Once you have the right information for your car we can help you choose the right van. Avan design and build lightweight caravans that are super strong, and we sell a wide range of caravans and campers to suit most cars.
For further information on towing weights or to find out what caravans or campers your car can tow, call our team on 08 8261 8442 or head into our dealership at 494 North East Rd, Windsor Gardens.