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Are you going away in your European caravan this summer?

Are you going away in your European caravan this summer?

This article touches on a few important things to be aware of if you want to get a longer life out of your caravan

The most common mistake is overloading your European caravan.

Every European caravan will have a manufacturers plate by the entrance door. This plate displays the Vin number, the empty weight and the maximum carrying capacity of the vehicle.

In this example the difference between the two weights is only 117Kg.  If you have a lot of extras fitted such as motor-movers, awnings, extra batteries, solar systems and tanks then you should add up the combined weight of all these items, which might be more than the 117Kg. It makes sense to weight your caravan before you leave on your journey.

What are the consequences of over loading?

At Vantage RV we have been very busy repairing damaged due to overloading of vehicles.

European caravans were designed to be towed by low powered passenger vehicles, on very well maintained motorways and highways.

In New Zealand we tow them with powerful UTE’s and SUV’s over logging tracks and badly potholed highways. If the vehicle is overloaded and hits a pothole the suspension and body can become compromised.

The suspension construction relies on built in rubbers that absorb the road shock when traveling, similar to Duratorque suspension as we know it in NZ. When overloaded the rubbers become more compressed than normal and therefore cannot absorb the road shock effectively, the road shock is then transmitted through the vehicle.

Tips to avoid damage and costly bills

Avoid overloading or filling all the cupboards with food to save a few dollars, buy your supplies at your destination, and carry the majority of the weight in the tow vehicle.

Weigh the vehicle before you travel, get familiar with the carrying capacity of the vehicle, sum up the weight of all the extras, and carry most of the weight in the tow vehicle

If the vehicle has tanks, travel with empty tanks

Go slowly when the road maintenance is suspect.

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