Australia is an amazing country for caravanning as it offers a lot of different types of landscapes that you’ll never tire of. While the diversity makes caravanning much more fun, it also leads to certain complications.
One of the key questions asked by enthusiasts who want to start caravanning is: How much do caravans weigh? Usually, common 22-feet caravans in Australia weigh anywhere from 2140-2800 Kg. There are also hybrid caravans that are much smaller and weigh around 1800-2200 kg.
This is only the tip of the iceberg. Let’s take a deeper dive into this topic.
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Factors You Must Know to Determine The Weight of A Caravan
Here are some factors and technical terms that’ll help you determine the weight of your caravan more accurately.
The dry weight, also referred to as the empty weight or tare mass, is the total weight of the caravan when it’s empty. By empty, we mean that there should be nothing in the caravan other than what the manufacturers put in it. This includes water, gas, fuel, or any other fluid.
The dry weight can be easily found out as the manufacturer will provide it. Note that the information provided by the manufacturer may not cross-check with your readings if there are any aftermarket accessories in the caravan.
Aggregate Trailer Mass
This, too, is a parameter set by the caravan manufacturer. The aggregate trailer mass, or ATM, is just a fancy term for defining the maximum weight you can load on the vehicle.
Although caravan owners often ignore this, it’s one of the most important parameters to keep in mind. You may reduce the longevity or even damage the caravan by exceeding the ATM.
Note that while calculating the ATM, you must consider the luggage, accessories, fluids, fuel, as well as the weight of the passengers. Going overboard will not only jeopardize your safety, but it’ll also compromise any insurance your caravan has.
Gross Trailer Mass
The gross trailer mass is similar to the ATM, but it only refers to the weight that’s being transferred from the axles to the ground. This, too, is set by the manufacturer, and there’s a maximum limit to it, and you may put your health at risk by exceeding it.
A caravan’s weight distribution involves the tow ball along with the axles. So, the gross trailer mass will be lower than the aggregate trailer mass.
The tow ball weight will help you determine the position of water tanks, compartments, batteries, and accessories.
The weight of the tow ball is measured the same way as the dry weight. And this is because it refers to the weight of the empty caravan that’s distributed to the tow ball.
There’s also max tow ball weight, which refers to the maximum pressure the caravan is allowed to exert on it to maintain safety.
Load Carrying Capacity
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. It refers to the maximum weight of the luggage, accessories, fluid, and passengers you can carry on your caravan without exceeding the ATM, GTM, or maximum tow ball capacity.
Now, you won’t have to measure the ATM, GTM, etc., all by yourself. These are usually provided by the manufacturer. Likewise, the manufacturer will also specify the max load carrying capacity.
How Much Does A Caravan Weigh?
As we’ve introduced some essential factors, it’s time to look into the details. As discussed earlier, most 22 feet caravans weigh from 2140-2800 Kg. Here, we’re referring to the ATM of these vehicles.
The weight mainly depends on the design and the materials, so it may vary greatly. For example, the Kokoda Cadet Platinum is a 20 ft caravan, but it weighs 3060 kg. This one comes with a fridge, separate toilet, and shower, so it naturally weighs more.
There’s also the Adria Altea 552. This one’s a bit shy of 21 ft, but it weighs only 1800 kgs. Although it’s about 40% lighter than the Kokoda caravan, it offers amazing features such as air conditioning, a toilet, and a shower.
The takeaway is that the weight of the caravan often can’t be associated with the features it’s offering. So, a heavier caravan isn’t necessarily a better one.
Importance of Knowing Your Caravan’s Weight
The following are some reasons why you must know your caravan’s weight.
You Can Prevent Excessive Wear
Not knowing the ATM or GTM of your caravan will allow you to put extra pressure on the vehicle. Over time, this will affect the rear axle of your caravan and cause it to sag.
If you must carry the extra weight, you can upgrade the suspension system to an air suspension system. However, this will further increase the weight of the vehicle, which in turn will affect the brake pads.
You’ll not only need to brake longer for the vehicle to stop, but the excessive weight will also wear out the pads fast. Not knowing the caravan’s weight in the first place will keep you in the dark about all these.
Caravan Towing Safety
One of the prime reasons for knowing the weight of your caravan is safety. Knowing the maximum loading capacity of the vehicle will help you optimize the weight you’re carrying. However, it doesn’t stop there.
The weight of the caravan determines how many and what kind of brakes the tires will be equipped with. If the GTM is 750 kg, at least there must be a regular brake on one axle.
In case of a caravan exceeding 2000 kg, there must be electronic brakes on all axles, or it’ll be impossible to stop the vehicle properly.
The heavier a caravan is, the lesser mileage it will cover. This is why you shouldn’t opt for a caravan that’s bigger than what you need.
Choosing the right caravan for your needs may not be easy. Still, it’s an absolute necessity to ensure your caravan doesn’t malfunction and get you stranded in the middle of nowhere.
As you’ve learned How much do caravans weigh, keep your eye out for the loads, so you don’t exceed the ATM or GTM!