Police blitz on van weights

Caravan World — 3 September 2011

A POLICE OFFICER revealed to us last year that there was going to be a blitz on overloaded tow vehicles and caravans. Now that police have access to data on vehicle manufacturers’ specifications regarding towing and ball weights and the ATMs of many caravan models, instead of checking heavy trucks, the emphasis is reportedly shifting to caravans.

Many people do not seem to realise that loading the tow vehicle decreases the amount it can legally tow. Although we haven't been stopped, we have spoken to drivers who were pulled over in heavy truck bays near Elliot, NT, and Longreach and Maryborough in Qld. Both vehicle and caravan were weighed, including ball weight, and any vehicle or caravan that was overloaded was put off the road immediately.

ONE PERSON WE spoke to had been towing his large ensuite caravan with a Holden Commodore. The van was found to be over the weight he could legally tow, and he was no longer allowed to move his van with the car. He tried to trade in his car at nearby Longreach, but could not get what he considered a fair price, so put his car on road transport back to Victoria and bought an old Nissan Patrol to tow his van.

We have seen a large number of rigs where people have added a heavy tool box, an extra spare wheel, or even a motorbike on the A-frame. This changes the whole picture of the manufacturer's specifications. Be warned, police could be in any town. If in doubt, put your vehicle and van on a public weighbridge. Knowing your rig is compliant could save you a lot of inconvenience, and it also improves your safety.

Have you been pulled over this year? Share your story.


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Caravan Staff