The Overweight Caravan Myth has finally been CONFIRMED…!
For a long time now, there were all sorts of stories doing the rounds of the caravanning forums and facebook pages where people claimed they know someone or were told about someone who has had their caravan weighed and been fined for being overweight. One such story I read recently described how so called inspectors visited a campground and weighed every caravan’s tow-ball weight and issued on the spot fines.
My original take on the majority of these stories was that they were just not true or were simply misinterpretations of the real story. Then, in October 2015, I heard of one reliable first hand account of a caravanner being subjected to a roadside weight test by ‘NSW road safety inspectors‘ using a set of mobile scales. This occurred near Yass, NSW. They were targeting everything except trucks so it appeared to be a specific focus on RVs. They were also checking licences, blood alcohol and registrations.
Now, photographic evidence has finally emerged of an actual operation conducted May 8th/9th by Vic Roads and Victoria Police in Cann River, Victoria, where caravans were pulled over and weighed using portable scales. This was part of a state wide campaign checking weights of vehicles in general (trucks as well as vans). These photos have been supplied and permission given by the owner who was in a position to optain the photos legally. He has allowed us to publish them here for you in the interests of promoting road safety for caravanners.
This just serves to reinforce the message that we have been promoting here:
If you are travelling in a properly set up rig and you have done the right thing and weighed your tow vehicle and caravan with everything you would normally take, and your weights are within specifications, then you should not have any need to fear any authority legally requesting you to submit to an inspection.
The reality is that it is possible for you to be directed into a public weighbridge for an inspection by the local road authorities. It is also possible that you may be pulled over to submit to a weight inspection conducted by the local road authority using a portable weighing device. Again, if you are legal and not overweight, then you have nothing to fear about subjecting to an inspection.
Now there is nothing to suggest caravanners were being specifically targetted here. I am lead to understand they were included in a general operation looking for overweight vehicles of all types.
Given the number of caravanners out their who are overweight and, in all likelihood, know they are, this is likely to be just the beginning and should serve as a warning to all of us to get our act together and shed those excess kilos.