Centre for Road Safety

Everything you pack weighs something

Once you have determined how much you can pack, or your payload, you need to weigh everything you load into your caravan. This includes water, gas, crockery, mattresses, TV, clothes, food and drink – everything that is additional to the tare mass of your caravan, plus everything you have packed.

It is both unsafe and illegal to overload your caravan, so it is important to know exactly how much you can pack and make sure that you do not exceed any of the four carrying capacity criteria.

You must also consider the extra weight you may accumulate while travelling, such as your grey water tank, cassette toilet waste and other items you have picked up along the way. Make sure you leave enough space so your caravan does not become overweight during the trip.

Don't overload your caravan

This table shows example weights of various items that may be part of a caravan’s payload along with the caravan’s tare and maximum carrying capacity to demonstrate how to measure the safe carrying capacity.

What can you pack ?

Maximum carrying capacity: 2500kg

Caravan TARE: 2100kg

Total tow capacity: 2500kg

Caravan tare: 2100kg

Maximum pack weight: 400kg

What you pack, or your payload, must not exceed the lowest tow capacity of your towbar, towing vehicle, tyre capacity or caravan ATM

Awning = 30kg
Air conditioner = 35kg
Caravan TV = 7kg
Spare tyre = 25kg
2 x mattresses = 45kg
Gas bottle = 25kg
100L water = 100kg

= 267kg

to Tare

Luggage = 30kg
Cutlery = 3kg
Crockery = 10kg
Pots and pans = 11kg
Barbeque = 25kg
Groceries = 35kg
Cleaning supplies = 7kg
Broom = 2kg
2 x sheets = 5kg
2 x pillows = 2kg
2 x blankets = 6kg
2x bicycles = 30kg
Outdoor seating = 15kg
Outdoor table = 10kg

= 191kg

Holiday pack


Total = 458kg (58kg overweight)


Sensible loading

Make sure that the heaviest items are packed low and centred over the caravan’s wheel axles and the lightest items are packed up high and distributed across the vehicle.  This will help to reduce the occurrence of ‘snaking’ or ‘swaying’ of your caravan when driving.