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Packing The Car Or Caravan


Emmajon

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I was looking for peoples experience when it comes to distributing weight while travelling. I have seen positings for how to pack the caravan mainly over axles etc. Can I ask is it best to weight the car with heavy equipment (we have a VW Estate) to give greater stability - but adding weight on the back of the car. Or do you put very light objects in the boot - giving little extra weight to the car but putting it all in the Caravan - in appropriate places. I ask as I get conflicting advice and was wondering if it is due to personal preference or good practice for better stability and drive. Can I have your thoughts please?

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I was looking for peoples experience when it comes to distributing weight while travelling.   I have seen positings for how to pack the caravan mainly over axles etc.   Can I ask is it best to weight the car with heavy equipment (we have a VW Estate) to give greater stability - but adding weight on the back of the car.   Or do you put very light objects in the boot - giving little extra weight to the car but putting it all in the Caravan - in appropriate places.   I ask as I get conflicting advice and was wondering if it is due to personal preference or good practice for better stability and drive.   Can I have your thoughts please?

12750[/snapback]

I put as much as I can in the vehicle, not going over specs, to make the vehicle much heavier that the caravan. At the same time loading the caravan correctly. This works for me !!

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You'll find that everyone will have a different opinion on this.

Remember that you shouldn't load the van beyond its MTPLM. If you go on a towing course they'll tell you to load the van as you would normally and then take it to a weighbridge. You should then be able to work out if your payload is too high or if you can afford to put more in the van.

If you add too much weight at the rear of the car you will interfere with the car's centre of gravity and tow ball weight. If you can put heavy items forward in front of the car's rear axle then you may help to overcome this. Fortunately we have this option as there are no children in the car.

It's a mater of common sense and having to work around your own situation. As I said earlier everyone will have their own opinion on this, others will disagree with what I've said so you'll have to judge for yourself. Remember the bottom line is your safety.

Regards

Nev and Tina

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I put as much as I can in the vehicle, not going over specs, to make the vehicle much heavier that the caravan. At the same time loading the caravan correctly. This works for me !!

12769[/snapback]

 

We are just on the 85% guideline so we don't need to load up the car to make it heavier. I try to keep as little as possible in the boot so that the rear suspension just has to cope with the van.

 

Yossa

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We are just on the 85% guideline so we don't need to load up the car to make it heavier. I try to keep as little as possible in the boot so that the rear suspension just has to cope with the van.

 

Yossa

12798[/snapback]

We would be at about 80% if the van was at MTPLM but it never is as most things that might travel on the floor of the van go in the boot of the car. The only things that travel on the floor of the van are 2 collapsible crates of food items that are too heavy to travel in lockers and the wheel clamp and aquaroll.

 

This means that if the weather is bad on arrival on site we don't need to transfer items from van to car to make the van habitable,as it is habitable already. By the time I have finished watering/hooking/clamping up,my wife has the food stowed and the kettle on. :)

 

Frank

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We are just on the 85% guideline so we don't need to load up the car to make it heavier. I try to keep as little as possible in the boot so that the rear suspension just has to cope with the van.

 

Yossa

12798[/snapback]

My outfit just comes into the 100%, so the more weight I can move from the caravan to the car the better. There is only two of us so the back seat goes down, the top box goes on and the 'stuff' is piled in !!!!

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I have to try and put some heavy stuff in the car cos I'm 85-90% ratio with the basics.

 

I have a large boot but try to put some heavy stuff in the front foot well to help distrubute the weight and stay well clear of the max rear axle weights.

 

I use the front footwell for my wheel clamp and other very heavy items. This minimises the danger of them flying through the car in the event of an accident. Heavy items in the rear footwells or even boot can easily come over the top of the seats and injure passengers in the front of the car.

 

Then all you have to worry about is where the 20 odd foot of caravan you've just brought to an emergency stop is going to end up :P

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Then all you have to worry about is where the 20 odd foot of caravan you've just brought to an emergency stop is going to end up  :P

12814[/snapback]

 

Just think of it as an extra long rear crumple zone!

 

Yossa

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We are a family of 5 and so the back seats are taken up with children. The boot is the onlya area apart from the caravan that I would be prepared to put stuff. Our car is a VW Passat 1. 9 TDI PD115 max tow capacity is 1600kg. Caravan is a Bailey Provence - weighing in at 1205kg unladen. What is the ratio then and does this make a difference if I should load the boot with heavy gear or put it over the axle in the van.

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We are a family of 5 and so the back seats are taken up with children.   The boot is the onlya area apart from the caravan that I would be prepared to put stuff.   Our car is a VW Passat 1. 9 TDI PD115 max tow capacity is 1600kg.   Caravan is a Bailey Provence - weighing in at 1205kg unladen.   What is the ratio then and does this make a difference if I should load the boot with heavy gear or put it over the axle in the van.

12827[/snapback]

 

Hi,

 

Try to have the heaviest possible towcar for a given caravan, otherwise a swaying caravan may become an uncontrollable snaking caravan. Aim for a towed load (I prefer MTPLM) of 85% of the car's kerb weight (KW) and never exceed 100%. Also be sure not to exceed the maximum train weight for the vehicle.

 

Yossa

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We are a family of 5 and so the back seats are taken up with children.   The boot is the onlya area apart from the caravan that I would be prepared to put stuff.   Our car is a VW Passat 1. 9 TDI PD115 max tow capacity is 1600kg.   Caravan is a Bailey Provence - weighing in at 1205kg unladen.   What is the ratio then and does this make a difference if I should load the boot with heavy gear or put it over the axle in the van.

12827[/snapback]

 

When working out the 85% weight ratio you should be looking at the cars unladen weight and the caravans maximum laden weight. Above you have taken the cars maximum weight and the caravans unladen weight. When I work out the kerb weight I add the weight of myself in as well as the kerb weight is without anybody in the car and I hope when I am driving I am in the car.

 

As for where to put heavy items. I try and put as much in the boot but if the car looks to be heavy at the back and light at the front eg as if the car looks like it is traveling up hill I then move items to behind the front seats or over the axle in the van until the car looks horizontal again.

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Emmajon,

 

the MTPLM (maximum laden weight) of your caravan is 1420 kgs, as it is the same as the one we are picking up this weekend ( weather permitting!).

 

As advised you need to find out the kerbweight of your car then divide the MTPLM above by the kerbweight. So if for instance your cars kerbweight is 1600 kgs it would be 1420 / 1600 x 100 = 88. 75 %.

 

As you've got 5 in the car, with I presume luggage etc to match, the other thing to be aware of is the maximum train weight, which is the most the vehicle can handle in terms of loading and with a trailer. This could easily be exceeded given the above, as the van at 1420kgs is reasonably heavy.

 

You should be able to find all of the required information in your car handbook, if not contact a local dealer.

 

Safe journeys.

 

Davec

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Guest john1215

We are normally 2 adults and one child. I load only coats and light items in the out of, everything else goes in the caravan, low down and over the axle the load is up to the max payload. Heavy items in the boot can affect the cars stability and under severe braking turn themselves into missiles that could break the rear seat back and injure others in the car.

 

 

john1215

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Hi

when we travel we put heavy stuff in the car, the only thing in the front locker of the caravan is the gas bottles, groundsheet and hook up cable. The only heavy items in the caravan are placed over the wheels (microwave,tv, awnining poles)

but all luggage foodstuffs hitchlocks are in the car and it seems to work well, :)

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DaveC

 

I have looked in the technical data section and am now feeling a bit alarmed. We bought this car in readiness for the van as we knew our old car wouldn't tow it. I am now wondering if this one will! Ok facts and figures on the table- Unladen weight of the Provence is 1205kg you advice the laden weight is 1402kg. My car is a VW Estate 1. 9 TDI PD115. According to the technical data:

Permissible GVW = 1920kg

Unladen weight = 1360kg

Permissible front axle load = 1030kg

Permissible rear axle load = 1030

Permissible roof load = 100kg

 

Trailer weights with brakes = 1600kg

 

 

If the unladen weight above is 1360kg then the caravan when loaded is heavier than the car (1402kg). Have I got this right?

 

Yet the data says I can tow up to 1600kg and the caravan laden is within that weight. Have I missed something. Is the unladen weight the same as the Kerb Weight? I guess I must be sounding rather thick by now :unsure:

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Hi Emmajon,

 

This Vag kerbweight issue is re-appearing with monotonous regularity. Here is the information that I unearthed prior to buying our Passat.

 

In 2002 when the CC Towcar of the Year article was published,it bacame apparent that the kerbweights that they where using for VAG products did not relate to those quoted in my 2002 manufactureres brochures,which stated lower weights.

Consequently the CCs 85% figure were much higher than those that I had obtained,

 

I contacted the CC and they confirmed that VAG had been quoting kerbweights dry (ie no fuel,water or oil!!!!!!)without driver and were the only European manufacturers not quoting kerbweights to the new Euro specifications of 90% tank of fuel + 75kgs for the driver and 7kgs for luggage.

 

I contacted Towsafe with this information and they checked with VAG and confirmed that this was the case,but that they could not alter their database until VAG had officially updated the information.

 

In 2003 I obtained 2003 brochures for Bora and Passat and the kerweights of all variants of these 2 models were now upto 200kgs heavier than in the 2002 brochures.

The 2002 brochure does not quote the 'Unladen' weight to any standard.

The 2003 brochure quotes the 'Unladen' weight 'In accordance with manufacturers criteria.'

 

The PD100 is quoted at 1381 in 2002 and 1566 in 2003. The PD115 must have been dropped by 2002.

 

These are for the saloon as I don't have the estate brochures,but estate kerbweights will be heavier. There was a model change in 2001 from the B5 to B5. 5, which model are you running,I suspect that it is the B5 from the HP rating.

 

If you have any doubts at all,the only certain route is the weightbridge. :)

 

Frank

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I have a 2002 passat Estate 1. 8T and had the same issue. As Frank says the best way is to take it to the weigh bridge. For mine the manual quoted a weight of 1400kg. Before I bought my first van I took it to the local weighbridge (cost just£2) empty tank no driver came out at 1460kg. Adding a driver and fuel would increase this to around 1540kg.

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