So many figures
One of most confusing areas for me when buying a caravan or motorhome is getting my head around the plethora of different weights and ratios that you are bombarded with, nose weight, car weight when laden, car weight when empty, gross weights, axle weight, tyre weight limits, balancing the weight on the axle, then there is the car to caravan weight ratio, MTPLM, MRO, Gross Train Weight the list goes on and on. But how do you find out how much everything weighs?
Some people monitor these weights incredibly closely, some appear to rely on instinct, some don’t seem to care, but if you are towing a caravan or driving a campervan you need to know if you are within the manufacturer’s limits, not just for your own and others safety but also because there are laws regarding overloading and ratios.
You can get some of the figures from your vehicle registration documents, you can get some off your caravan or camper plate, but without going to a weigh bridge how can you check the weights?
Reich caravan weight control (not just for caravans)
Reich have come up with a gadget that enables you to weigh your caravan, campervan, trailer or your car and it does it a wheel at a time including, if appropriate your jockey wheel. There are two versions of this device, one is suitable for weights per wheel up to 1000kg and the other is suitable for weights of up to 1500kg per wheel
How does it work?
When you turn the device on you have the ability to choose what you are weighing
There are three different weighing programs:
1. Caravan with one axle and a jockey wheel
2. Caravan with tandem axle and a jockey wheel
3. Motorhome or car
Once you have chosen the type of vehicle you are weighing a display will do one of the following:
If you are weighing your caravan the process is
The display will flash the jockey wheel icon, informing you to put the jockey wheel on the scales and it will display your nose weight. If you have particularly long hitch and your jockey wheel is a long way back from the hitch then you could use the old ½ a broom handle under the hitch and place that on top of the scales, but for me just placing the jockey wheel on the scales works fine.
The device then flashes the left wheel icon, here you hook your car up to the caravan, place the scales under the left wheel and tow the caravan over the scales.
The device then flashes the right wheel icon and you tow the caravan over the scales, this will then give you the total weight of your unit.
If you want to be particularly accurate you can also get a block of wood the same height as the scales to go under the opposing wheel to make sure the caravan isn’t leaning and affecting the reading, also stating the obvious, you’ll need to check the weights on firm level ground.
If you are weighing a twin axle caravan, motorhome or car, the process is pretty much the same.
The advantages of this portable system are numerous:
Since you weigh each wheel on its own you can check the caravan or camper is balanced side to side, which not only helps with stability but enables you to check an individual tyre isn’t being overloaded
You can check the caravan or camper laden and unladen
You can quickly and accurately check the nose weight
The scales are small enough that you can keep them in the car / caravan / camper so you can always quickly check the weights without having to go to a weigh bridge.
Personally, I’ve found the scales to be a very useful addition to my gadget collection, they are easy to use and reassure me that I’ve not badly loaded or overloaded the caravan.
If you want to find out more, please click the link below.