Loading Your 4×4 Vehicle and Off-Road Caravan
It is important not to overload your caravan or vehicle so care needs to be taken to ensure that the specified load capacity of the caravan as advised by the manufacturer including all water and supplies are not exceeded.
It is equally important to ensure that the load is correctly distributed throughout the caravan, as a general rule the ball mass should be about 10% of the total laden caravan weight.
Equally, the tow vehicle load capacity and overall weight (including the weight of occupants, fuel, second spare wheel, and bull bar to name a few items) should not exceed the manufacturer’s specification.
A fully loaded rig should be well balanced and level as can been seen in this photo.
The caravan’s drawbar should be level when being towed, this also ensures that headlights are level.
Towing your Off-Road Caravan
Additional skills need to be developed when towing and care needs to be taken to ensure a safe journey.
- Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front to at least 60 metres and maintain that distance as your rig will require longer stopping distance.
- Allow more time, distance and clearance when attempting to overtake as acceleration will be reduced when towing.
- Allow for the extra length and width of you rig when turning and entering intersections.
- When travelling downhill engage a lower gear to increase vehicle control and reduce brake fade.
- For increased daytime safety drive with your headlights on if the vehicle is not fitted with daytime running lights.
- Be mindful of the need for increased overhead clearance for your caravan.