This van jackknifed on its first outing - note the damage to rear panel/door of the 4WD. The van had too much weight at the rear which caused swaying.
This van jackknifed on its first outing - note the damage to rear panel/door of the 4WD. The van had too much weight at the rear which caused swaying. SUPPLIED

Caravanning's weighty issue which increases crash risk

THIS might be a bit awkward but I need to ask - do you have a weight problem?

Now, before you all send me hate mail, let me be clear - I'm not talking about the number on your scales (well not on your bathroom ones anyway).

I'm talking about your caravan.

Caravanning has never been so popular in the Sunshine State as people look for affordable ways to take a break.

Figures from last year showed Queensland was the caravan capital of Australia, with 26per cent of the nation's 600,000 camper vans registered here.

But astonishingly, it's estimated up to 70percent of caravans on the state's roads are overweight, with only 4 per cent of caravan owners aware of how much their vehicle weighs.

An overweight caravan is not only un-roadworthy but also at an increased risk of a crash, as both the caravan and towing vehicle become increasingly unstable and the brakes become overloaded.

There are some simple ways to ensure your caravan isn't carrying a spare tyre (metaphorically speaking), without getting rid of the actual spare tyre (which is vital).

Caravanning Queensland says not filling up both water tanks is the simplest way to slim down for summer.

It's important to remember, while it might be your home away from home, there's no need to take everything and the kitchen sink.


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