by Andrew Woodmansey and Collyn Rivers
Caravan weight distribution is a critical issue. When you place too much weight at either end of a caravan, it negatively impacts the caravan’s stability. Whilst there are some complex physics involved, the Caravan Buyers Guide explains in simple terms why this is a problem and what can be done to ensure it does not become a serious issue.
The Rotating Weightlifter is a metaphor that we use to show what happens when too much weight is placed at either end of a caravan.
Here’s an extract from the ‘Caravan Weight’ chapter of the Caravan Buyers Guide:
Items that you need to think very carefully about locating at the front or back end of your caravan include spare wheels, toolboxes, bicycles, motorbikes, spare water and fuel canisters, extra batteries, generators and BBQs. If placed at either end of a caravan, these items can become just like the weights at the end of the bar of the rotating weightlifter. As long as the caravan is travelling in a straight line, you probably won’t notice a problem, but as soon as a sideways force is exerted on the caravan, such as a gust of wind or taking a bend too quickly, the extra weight at either end of the caravan pivots around the caravan’s axles and can generate yaw (or sway).
The Caravan Buyers Guide recommends placing all heavy items as close to the caravan’s axle(s) as possible.