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.
When loading your caravan you must be aware of its Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM). This is the 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 Authorised Mass (MAM). This is the 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.
Be conscious of what you pack
Think carefully about what you pack in your caravan. Do you really need two bottles of gas and all those tins of soup? Will you be able to buy them on site? Pack what you need but no more as you’ll often be able to pick up anything you run out of on site or at a local shop. Likewise, you could consider taking packets of soup instead of tins or, if you’re a culinary master, buying fresh ingredients and whipping up some tasty treats while you’re on holiday.
Many gas bottle manufacturers offer lightweight alternatives to their traditional bottles. Usually a heavy but essential piece of caravanning equipment, this provides an excellent opportunity to save a fair amount of weight.
One of the most effective weight saving measures is to empty water containers before you travel and then fill them up on site. Water is extremely heavy and not having to carry it could make a real difference to the weight of your caravan. However, make sure that where your going is stocked with a decent supply of fresh drinking water before you go.
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?
Enthusiastic readers could consider buying an ebook device such as the Amazon Kindle. It’s expensive but could prove a good investment, especially if you’re saving the weight of piles of books.
Another good idea is to replace heavy kitchen equipment with lightweight camping alternatives. Exchanging your heavy kettle or pans for lighter, compact options can help shed a bit of extra weight. Similarly, think about the amount of crockery and cutlery you take. There’s no point taking a family set if it’s just two of you on a weekend break.
Televisions with inbuilt freeview boxes or DVD players will be lighter and take up less room than carrying separate equipment. You’ll also save on the weight of electrical cables.
Carbon fibre awning poles
Although an expensive option, using carbon fibre or fibreglass poles for your awning can save a considerable amount of weight. Many advocates of carbon fibre poles claim they are just as strong as the steel alternatives but weigh noticeably less, though it’s worth shopping around and reading reviews. If you can fit them into your budget, they could prove a great investment.
Reduced caravan weight
There are a number of advantages to reducing the weight of your caravan. Shedding pounds of excess weight helps you save fuel. Most importantly it keeps the weight of your combination within the MTPLM and MAM limits, making it safe and legal to operate.
Editing contributions by John_b_45.
Sign up to the newsletter
For the latest Caravan Talk news and special offers subscribe to our newsletterSign up