Caravans come in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t help when trying to determine whether your current vehicle is capable of towing it.
Different caravan models, equipment, lengths and inside arrangements can either add or reduce weight.
So how much does a caravan weigh? A small 2-berth caravan will weight between 1300kg to 1460kg MTPLM. A 4-berth caravan will weight between 1410kg to 1650kg. A 6-berth caravan will weight between 1437kg to 1757kg. This is dependent on the length of the caravan and the manufacturer.
As you can see, we can just base the weight of the caravan on the berth alone. The length of the caravan will need to be taken into consideration too.
We have investigated the actual weight of 186 different large number of caravans from 2 berth to 6 berth and a number of different lengths.
A full detailed list of the berth, weight and length of the main groupings of caravan weight is included in the table below.
Full Caravan Weight Table
|2||5.2 meters||968 kg||1300 kg|
|2||6.1 meters||1132 kg||1265 kg|
|2||6.1 meters||1217 kg||1330 kg|
|2||6.4 meters||1335 kg||1460 kg|
|4||7.1 meters||1340 kg||1525 kg|
|4||7.3 meters||1377 kg||1532 kg|
|4||7.9 meters||1538 kg||1698 kg|
|4||8 meters||1679 kg||1900 kg|
|6||7.1 meters||1234 kg||1437 kg|
|6||7.3 meters||1269 kg||1475 kg|
|6||7.5 meters||1419 kg||1600 kg|
|6||7.8 meters||1432 kg||1610 kg|
|6||7.9 meters||1615 kg||1850 kg|
As you can see, there are some cross-overs.
The longest 4-berth is heavier than the shortest 6-berth, which is why the weight can not be based on just the berth alone.
But using a combination of the two you can approximate the weight of your towing caravan.
Whilst not every caravan can of course be covered, and as every model and manufacturers builds are different, it’s difficult to know the exact weight of every caravan out there.
You may find that searching through the website of your caravan’s manufacturer may provide an instruction manual, or caravan specifications, that will give you the exact weight for both MIRO and MTPLM.
What is MIRO and MTPLM?
You’ll often see the abbreviations MIRO and MTPLM when looking at the weight of almost all caravans for sale.
You’ll also notice that the MTPLM weight is always higher than the MIRO weight – which should give you a clue – but what exactly is MIRO and MTPLM?
MIRO stands for Mass In Running Order and means the minimum weight for a running order and working caravan. MTPLM stands for Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass and means the maximum weight the manufacturer has deemed safe for the caravan to be load to.
Hence why the MTPLM is always heavier than MIRO.
The weight of your caravan when towing should sit somewhere between the MIRO and MTPLM weight.
You should treat these numbers as the minimum and maximum possible weights when towing.
If your towing vehicle can just about meet the MIRO weight, you may find your caravan simply too heavy to tow once you load all your camping necessities and luxury items.
The MIRO weight includes white goods and appliances, as this is needed for the caravan to be ‘in running’ order but won’t include all those extras many of us take with us.
We usually travel light when caravanning, opting to take everything but the kitchen sink – and that’s only because you have one already on board!
What size caravan can I tow with my car?
The main reason many people look to find out the weight of their caravan is for towing purposes.
Hooking your caravan on your car or van and heading off for a caravanning holiday is a lot of fun. It gives an air of freedom whilst on holiday.
It’s important to make sure you will actually be able to tow the caravan you choose.
The 85% Towing Rule
As a general rule, a car can tow up to 85% of its kerb weight.
Therefore, if your caravan is 85% or less the weight of the car, you ‘should’ be ok.
When calculating the weight of your caravan you should use the MTPLM weight and not the MIRO weight.
There are of course other things to consider.
To find the kerb weight of your car you have three options:
- Check your owners-manual – usually this key piece of information is included
- It could be shown on your vehicle’s V5 document
- Check your car manufacturers website
To find out whether your car can tow, and the maximum towing capacity, you need to first make sure your caravan does not weight more than your car.
If it does, you can’t tow it.
If your caravan sits in between 85% and 100% of the kerb weight of your car, you will need to make a judgement call. It is possible but it will be more difficult to tow, and best suited to experienced towing drivers.
Can I tow my caravan?
In order to tow your caravan, you need to either have the towing ability confirmation on the back of your driver’s license of take a trailer driving test.
Up until and including 1996, any driving exams passed by default included the ability to tow. Whether this is towing a trailer or caravan, both were included as part of your driving license.
As times moved forward, and number of issues on the road involving trailers – which can be difficult to navigate and manoeuvrer, it was deemed necessary for drivers to take an additional test if they wanted to tow.
This additional test can be done in a few lessons, or a crash course over a day.
On successful completion of the test, you will be given the permission to tow a caravan or trailer as part of your license and will be covered on your insurance policy.
It is worth contacting your car insurance company to make sure you are covered for caravan towing. It may require an additional supplement.
You can also check the latest towing capacity guidelines through the DVLA website
How do I know if my driver’s license covers towing a caravan?
Look for the symbol of the car towing a trailer, or by the abbreviation BE – also known as B+E. If you have this symbol and have a date entered in the ‘11’ column, which of course must be in the future, then you are safe to tow.
If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997 you should find the BE symbol. If you passed your driving test 1st January 1997 or later, or if you don’t have this symbol, or have no date included, then you will need to take a trailer or towing test to give you the B+E entitlement.
The cost of many trailer tests ranges from £300-£600. There are many places offering the trailer tests and you should look at reviews, seek recommendations where you can and shop around for the best price.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, this post has answered your question, but here are some other regularly asked questions, with answers, that may help:
How much does a medium caravan weigh?
A medium 4-berth caravan between 7 and 8 meters in length will weight between 1410 kg and 1775 kg MTPLM.
How much does a 20 ft caravan weight?
A 20 ft (or 6 meter) caravan will weigh approx. 1265 kg MTPLM. The MIRO weight of a 20 ft caravan is approx. 1132 kg. This though is dependent on the manufacturer and model.
My caravan measurement is in feet, how many meters is this?
The rule of thumb is 3.3 feet is equal to 1 meter.
So, a 17 ft caravan will be 5.1 meters, a 20 ft caravan is equal to 6 meters and a 24 ft caravan is equal to 7.3 meters.
How much do static caravans weigh?
A static caravan will weigh on average 5 tonnes, which is equal to 5,000 kg.
The freedom of taking to the road with your car and caravan is an amazing experience, especially when your route is only roughly planned.
Millions of us do every year, and it’s no wonder it’s such a popular past time.
There are though many problems motorists find on the road by overloading their caravans or towing more than their car allows – or towing when their driving licence does not have the minimum requirements, which basically means you are driving illegally without insurance.
Make sure you have the correct weight, and permissions, to be able to tow and make sure your caravan holiday goes stress and hassle free!