As England prepares for the hottest summer on record over the next few months, more and more people are choosing to stay in the country for their holiday rather than going abroad. For those of you who are lucky enough to own a motorhome and are preparing to hit the open road this summer to see what adventures await, this article serves to explain the main factors to consider when managing the weight of your motorhome.
It is very easy to overload your vehicle without even realising it and, by doing so, you put your safety at major risk while making yourself liable for prosecution. An overloaded motorhome will significantly impair the handling of the vehicle, and will put great strain on the tyres with an increased risk of a dangerous puncture. If it has been a while since you last used your motorhome for such a journey, take a look at the following top 5 tips for motorhome weight management to ensure nothing is overlooked:
1. Tyre inflation pressure
When your motorhome sits in storage between journeys, the tyres lose pressure. Depending on the load on the tyre, if the appropriate tyre pressure is not maintained it can lead to uneven tread wear, poor handling and excessive friction which can all result in tyre failure – be sure to consult your vehicle manual to ensure your tyres are inflated to the recommended pressure level.
2. Do not exceed the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
The GVWR is one of the most vital safety factors concerning your motorhome as it is the maximum allowable weight of the vehicle when it is fully loaded for travel. If this is exceeded, there is a significant risk part of the vehicle will fail which can result in a sudden breakdown or an accident on the road. The only way to know if you are exceeding any weight rating is to have the fully loaded motorhome weighed at your local weighbridge which specialises in checking the weight of commercial vehicles before they are put on the road – simply contact your local council to find out the details of your nearest weighbridge.
3. Do not exceed the gross axle weight rating (GAWR)
This is the maximum distributed weight which can be loaded on either a truck’s front or rear axle of the vehicle, including the weight of the truck, driver, passengers, equipment and cargo. It is vital not to exceed the GAWR to ensure the vehicle is not overloaded and there is no risk of component failure.
4. Do not exceed the gross combined weigh rating (GCWR)
The GCWR is the maximum acceptable total weight of the fully loaded motorhome and fully loaded vehicle that is towed behind. A lot of people don’t realise the total weight of their fully loaded motorhome, so to ensure your vehicle is completely safe and within the legal requirements we recommend you get it weighed at a local weighbridge.
5. Lightening the load
If your motorhome turns out to be over the weight restrictions, it is important to look over the vehicle and consider what’s necessary and what’s not – just because you have plenty of storage space, doesn’t mean it can all be filled up. When you reload your motorhome you can minimise any swaying or shaking by keeping the vehicle’s centre of gravity low – try to balance the load between the two sides of the vehicle and make sure heavy items can’t slide into any fixed equipment to avoid any potential hazards.
Some of these weight management points are easy to overlook when preparing for your next motorhome adventure, so make sure you take these tips into consideration to ensure a safe journey.
For more information about the different types of motorhomes and how to get the most out of the space you have while not overloading the vehicle, simply contact our friendly team at Glenns today. We are always happy to help with any enquiry to guarantee all your safety requirements and personal preferences are met.