Are we more overloaded today than in the past?
We know from experience that around 60% of Van and cars are overloaded, some posts on social media suggest that cars were better tow tugs in the good old days.
But were they?
Lets take a popular 4WD
Over 10 years The Gross vehicle mass GVM has been static for the last 8 years at 3350
Payload however has not changed much over the same period, apart from a spike in 2013-14-15 610Kg has been the common payload for the last 5 years and is declining on a 5 year average.
So what has changed. I wonder could it be the van, as our expectations of comfort and fit out have grown with a need for TV solar panels and better fridges washing machines and ovens I wonder what this has done to the weight of our caravan.
Lets take a typical 21 foot 6.4 meter van from one manufacturer
We can see that ATM has grown by 27% over 17 years
But the tow vehicle payload rose for a while then dropped
So Vans have got heavier but the tow vehicle has not improved its capacity to match the increase in Van weight although I opted to use only one size van in this example the trend in vans length over the same period has also grown compounding the problem.
Off Road and semi off road Vans
Manufacturers are free to call any van off road or semi off road but generally they are built heavier with sturdier suspension.
Another change in caravan design has been the off road or semi off road models now on the market., this has resulted in heavier vans with more structural strength but at a cost to weight, see below the 5 year average in KG per foot of vans over 17 years shows a 19% increase in weight
For us as caravaners if we want to drive the popular 4WD tow vehicle and tow a heavier van then the only solution is to upgrade the suspension of your car to increase the payload and thus maintain a legal load when you tow your van around the highway.
I should point out that we have no relationship whatsoever with suspension upgrades , our roll is to weigh your Tow Vehicle and Caravan and produce a report that will show you where you may need to improve.