When it comes to making changes to your caravan, including an ATM upgrade, each caravan is different. It is important to be aware that not all setups can be upgraded. Because each caravan and trailer is unique, before any works can be carried out you will require an inspection to deem whether the caravan ATM can in fact be upgraded, and then as to what modifications must be made in order to achieve your end goal before your caravan can be re-certified.
As part of the inspection process, we inspect and assess:
If our engineer advises that the upgrade can go ahead, we can then provide a quote for any modifications required, if any are needed as in some instances no modifications are required. You will then require a new certification and modification plate with the new details that now apply to your van.
The mass of your caravan as supplied from manufacture.
The allowable PAYLOAD = ATM – TARE
Payload is your carrying capacity. It is any weight added to the van’s TARE. This includes, tow ball mass, luggage, food, aftermarket accessories, water, fuel etc. It is any weight that is added to the van before you reach your ATM.
The mass exerted on the tow vehicles tow ball by the caravans coupling.
ATM= TARE + PAYLOAD
This is the total weight of your caravan. The ATM as specified on your VIN plate by the manufacturer must not be exceeded.
GVM= TOW VEHICLE TARE + PAYLOAD
Relates to the GVM indicated on your tow vehicle VIN. The GVM is the maximum allowable total mass in your tow vehicle. This includes the vehicle TARE, passengers, luggage and aftermarket accessories.
The maximum acceptable mass that can be supported by the wheels of a trailer/caravan. This includes your payload (luggage, food, water, after market accessories etc). GTM does not include tow ball mass.
GVM++ = TOW VEHICLE TARE + PAYLOAD + TOW BALL MASS
Having this weight gives you a more realistic GVM weight for when you are towing your van.
GCM= GVM + tow ball mass + GTM
This is the maximum allowable weight of the tow vehicle and caravan together. This weight can not exceed the rating provided by the manufacturer of the tow vehicle, even if the individual weights are within the tow vehicle and caravan manufacturers specifications.
Unknowingly overloading your tow vehicle and or caravan or trailer is no excuse when it comes to the law. Besides legal reasons, you need to consider the safety of all road users, the wear and tear on your tow vehicle and caravan or trailer, towing performance, and your insurance. If you are found to be breaking the law with an overloaded caravan, your insurer will simply void your insurance. You also risk fines, loss of demerit points and even jail time depending on the circumstances. So how do you know if your caravan, camper trailer, or other trailer is compliant or overweight? We recommend a caravan weight check. Our team can weigh your car, caravan or trailer as well as your tow ball weight to get an overall picture of your caravan weights and towing performance. Our team can make recommendations to improve towability such as moving weight around, or whether an ATM upgrade may be the way to go to allow your caravan to remain compliant.
Please note: we are not mobile and you will need to bring your caravan, camper trailer or other trailer to our fully equipped workshop for inspection, modification, certification and weight checks. Not sure where to find us? View our contact us page for more information.
For more information regarding towing a caravan in Australia, visit the Caravan Industry Association of Australia.