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How heavy is your four-wheel drive?

How heavy is your four-wheel drive?

Hitting the road in a four-wheel drive and seeing where it takes you is one of the best ways to see Australia. Having an overweight four-wheel drive can, however, make or break your trip – a lot of people aren’t aware of how important it can be to have a four-wheel drive that meets weight regulations! Exceeding these regulations can result in losing your warranty, issues with insurance or even get you a hefty fine. In addition, the more your four-wheel drive weighs, the more stress it puts on your entire vehicle to work harder, using more fuel and costing more to drive.

Here are some handy tips on how to reduce weight in your four-wheel drive.

Get your vehicle weighed

If you don’t know how much your vehicle weighs, it’s an easy fix. Take your vehicle to the nearest weighbridge. To ensure that it’s within your vehicle specifications, check your manual for the gross vehicle mass (GVM) and tare mass. The GVM is the maximum weight your vehicle can be at any time, while the tare mass is how much your vehicle weights without anything in it. The difference between these two is known as your payload, which shows you how much weight you can add to your vehicle.

Pack according to your trip

Before you begin packing, take into consideration what kind of trip you’re going on. If you’re doing remote travel in the desert, you’ll have limited weight and gear options due to your vehicle having to work harder and with a lower payload capacity. On the other hand, if you’re just taking a caravan on a gravel road, you will have a wider range of options.

Invest in a trailer

If you feel like you absolutely need all of the space and can’t reduce your packing weight any further, consider getting a trailer to spread the load more evenly. Rather than overloading your four-wheel drive and creating further risk to yourself and your passengers, you can offload the weight safely to a trailer – just ensure that you know how to properly load your trailer and you’ll be good to go.

For more tips and information, subscribe to the newest edition of Caravanning Australia.

Image courtesy of iStock: 1254690616

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