A Heavy Load?
The loading of a caravan or trailer has a significant influence on the handling of the car/trailer combination. Moreover, a heavily laden caravan or trailer is a heavy burden for the towing vehicle so this is our advice on how to load, so you can have a safe trip:
The owners manual for your car will indicate how much weight your car can tow. This is very important information and should not be ignored – your safety, and that of your family, depends on it. Every Brink hitch has been designed, developed and tested extensively to ensure it can handle the maximum permissible weight that the car can handle.
The maximum allowable vertical load on the ball of the towbar is noted on the type plate of the towbar. The vertical load, which is the weight that can be placed on the ball of the towbar varies for each car type but is usually between 45 kgs and 75 kgs. In South Africa the vertical load may not exceed 100 kg.
An excessively high vertical load will drop the back of the car so the front wheels have less grip which results in poor handling which affects both the car and the trailer. A low vertical load on the ball makes the combination less stable.
The easiest way to measure the vertical load on the ball is to lower one of the stabiliser jacks at the front of the caravan and raise the jockey wheel. You can then place a standard household scale under the jockey wheel and wind it down until the front stabiliser jacks are off the ground. The scale will now indicate the approximate vertical load on the ball.
The caravan and trailer soon reaches maximum weight when all the holiday paraphernalia is packed, not to mention the necessary caravan and camping accessories such as the groundsheet, gas bottles, awning etc.
We recommend that you make a note the weight of all the necessary luggage and keep it in a safe place so as not to waste time next time!
The distribution of the weight is very important to the stability of the trailer or caravan.
If the rear of the tow car sags, move heavy items from the boot and redistribute the load but don’t attempt to stabilise the vehicle by placing heavy loads at the back of the caravan.
Rules of Thumb
- Do not place heavy objects in the upper cabinets
- Place heavy objects in the beds and as close to the axle as possible
- Make sure any bikes placed in caravan are secured firmly
- The correct ball height of a ladened caravan or trailer is at least 380mm from the ground
Tips for Loading in Brief
- Check the maximum tow capacity of your car
- Check the maximum vertical load of the ball
- Weigh luggage before loading
- Distribute the weight correctly