Does My Ball Weight Look Big in This?
I recently went to the Cleveland Caravan, Camping, Boating & 4×4 Expo and got talking with Rod Bailey from GVM Check about car and trailer loads and capabilities – and in particular ball weights exerted on the tow bar of the car by the trailer.
There’s a science to towing a caravan, boat, trailer……..
GVM GCM ATM blah blah… But Important Stuff for Travellers
Well… I knew this… and I knew that… and, during a great chat, I outlined to Rod that my Mazda BT50 had had a GVM and GCM upgrade, which increased my car’s GVM from 3200km to 3500km, while keeping my ATM of 3500kg – and gaining a new GCM of 7000kg (increased from 6000kg).
The real meaning of this towing, weight jargon
What all this meant was that I had bigger springs and shock absorbers fitted with an upgraded compliance plate that allowed me to carry heavier loads in the car while towing a heavier trailer.
Yep, I let all the numbers fly and I exuded all the confidence I could muster. I was well sorted – or, so I thought.
Are all towing weights equal?
Rod offered me a booking to check my weights and compliance – which I quickly accepted with the thought that I’d be able to do a blog and vlog and share on my webpage.
But, I did wonder how I could make it interesting…
A Potentially Boring Blog Turned on Its Ear
Well… Rod did what he needed to do by taking measurements and weighing all the essential points of contact with the road.
Next, we sat down as Rod entered all the figures into his spreadsheet.
“So, how’d we go?”, I asked expecting a glowing report thinking that I had big factors of safety with my upgrade.
My Ball Weight was Considered High
Well… my ball and trailer weights were high with a compounding effect that my rear axle loads on the car were also high.
My heart sank.
Even though my numbers were relatively low when compared to (what I see as) some of the rigs on the road, I still had some homework to do. I needed to lose 79kg from the trailer, lose some of the ball weight and a fair bit more off the rear axle of the car.
I did wonder how some travellers and campers go when they’re told that they need to lose (or relocate) 100s of kilograms… especially after spending what could be in excess of $100,000.
Operation Jettison and Relocate
Since our meeting, I’ve gone through the stuff I carry in the camper and the car, and have done a bit of rationalising – out has gone the 10t jack and the 12v impact wrench plus a few other things – and there’s a few more items now on the ‘good behaviour’ list. I know I can travel heavy!
To open the full page click on Guide to tow vehicle and trailer above.
Out&About with Dayv takes a look at the weights and measures of his tow vehicle and camper trailer with surprising results. With a certified increase in car load carrying capacities (car and car plus trailer), I felt very confident in ball weights and loads. Lesson learnt… it pays to check and be safe. Now it’s time for Operation Jettison and Relocate. Watch out for the next instalments as I take you through what I’ve learnt, and how you may be able to put some of this into place for your rig. www.campandtravel.com.au
Weights and Measures when towing
But, in all this after wash, I’ve committed to understanding these weights and measures a bit more – and it has really amazed me how much affect the weight on the trailer’s drawbar and the rear of the car can have on the rear axle loads of the car.
Check out Out&About with Dayv’s Guide to Tow Vehicle and Trailer Load Measurements and Requirements – and Their Effect on Campers and Travellers.
Archimedes was Right
It’s all about weight, levers, fulcrums and distances, and I’ll go into this in more detail in my next blog.
Drive Safe this Christmas
Oh, and give some consideration to getting your rig weighed and measured before the Christmas / New Year seasonal holidays – and keep it safe.