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Have you considered buying a touring caravan? Or perhaps you’ve recently bought one? This isn’t surprising as owning a caravan can give you a great sense of freedom and the ability to enjoy a mini-break that isn’t expensive. But before you set off there’s some important information you need to know about loading a caravan safely. It’s vital that you load your caravan correctly to ensure it’s safe and to reduce the chances of something going wrong whilst you’re on the road. As providers of caravan insurance, (find out more here) we have put together this handy guide to help you safely load your caravan.
Safe loading tips
Your items can be categorised into light, medium and heavy. Here’s how you can safely store your belongings for these three weights:
- Place your lightest things to the top this includes t-shirts, vests etc. If you store heavy items up top you can affect your caravan’s centre of gravity.
- Medium-weighted belongings can be spread a bit further away from the axle. However, try to keep heavier items near to the axle.
- Keep your heavy items low e.g. awning, chairs and electrical cables. Don’t store heavy belongings in the gap beneath a fixed rear bed, this has the potential risk of causing snaking.
It’s very easy to overload your caravan with unnecessary weight, potentially making it unsafe or illegal to tow. Luckily, there are a number of weight saving tips to shed a few extra kilograms.
The law allows a vehicle to tow up to 1.5 times its kerb mass. But be sure to check your owner’s handbook for the car manufacturer’s recommended maximum towing mass, as some vehicles are not suitable for towing up to the legal limit. It is recommended that slightly less than the applicable limit is towed so as to ensure that there will always be a reserve of power available and that the engine of the tow vehicle will not be constantly working at near its maximum.
When loading your caravan you must be aware of its maximum weight your caravan can be safely loaded to. Exceeding this weight could seriously damage your caravan.
As well as this you should think about your car’s maximum load that the manufacturer outlines as being safe to carry. This can be found in your vehicle’s V5C registration. Again, it is important not to exceed this limit for your own safety.
Keep your load weight to a minimum.
- Empty water containers before you travel and then fill them up on site.
- If you normally carry spare leisure batteries, consider whether you can make do with just one. If it’s a short break or you’ll be hooked up to the mains, do you really need the added weight of the spare?
- Consider loading the car boot to prevent overloading, all those little things add up.
- Do your food shopping when you arrive.
- Leaving one bottle of gas at home, or bringing an empty bottle to fill once you’re at your campsite will make a difference in both weight and space.
- If you are an avid reader consider ebooks rather than storing books in your caravan.
- Foldable silicone pots and pans are very lightweight, it is amazing how much 4 metal pots can weigh!
- Instead of heavy terry cloth towels, microfibre towels are very suitable for a caravan holiday. They are especially light and also have the advantage of drying quickly.