How to Check Caravan Ball Weight

Ball Weight is the amount of weight the fully laden caravan/trailer imposes vertically on the tow bar of the tow vehicle. Trailer Ball Weight is not a specification defined by the manufacturer, it is the actual weight imposed on the rear of the tow vehicle

Unsure how you can measure your caravan’s tow ball weight accurately? We’ll explain two very simple ways.

Option number 1

You could always go to a public weighbridge to determine exactly what your caravan ball weight is, but then if it is way out you might want to return home and repack your gear to change how your rig is balanced but then you would have to go back to the weighbridge again. The time, fuel and weighbridge tickets are not worth repeating this exercise every time you pack up and go away.

The easier solution is to check your ball weight whilst still conveniently at home. There are a few ways of doing this, the most common you hear about is using your common bathroom scales.

To determine the Ball Weight you just need a set of bathroom scales (so long as their capacity is high enough) and a brick or pavers. Once you have these items just follow the steps below…

Checking Caravan Ball Weight

Option number 2 …

Caravan Ball Weight ScalesAn easier way is to actually throw away the timber, put the scales back in the bathroom and buy a dedicated ball weight scale. These scales are portable and relatively inexpensive at about $40 to $50 from Ebay or your local Auto Shop.

A word of caution: As these ball weight scales have a small base, ensure the caravan handbrake is firmly on and the wheels chocked.  You’ll also need to have a level surface to park your van on.

Lower the van’s coupling onto the scale, until the jockey wheel is raised clear of the ground. Do not take the jockey wheel off the van or swivel it up – if the scales do tip over, you’ll want the jockey wheel there to prevent the van from landing on its A-frame.

Simply read the ball weight direct off the scales.


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