How much does a 16 ft caravan weigh?

In this article, we answer the following question: How much does a 16 ft caravan weight? We explain how the weight of the caravan distributed and we also present to you the famous 80% rule.

How much does a 16 ft caravan weigh?

When speaking about the weights of a caravan, it varies considerably depending on manufacturer and age. Generally, 2 and 4 berth Caravans weight 800kg and 1300kg, while 4 to 6 berth caravans weight between 1300kg and 1800kg. 

Below we have compared 15 popular caravans to give you a general idea:

NameBerthsMiRO (kg)MTPLM (kg)
Elddis Affinity 540414501295
Bailey Pegasus GT65 Rimini414721341
Sterling Eccles Sport 442212441123
Buccaneer Galera 620001821
Coachman VIP 565416301476
Swift Challenger SE 565415531400
Swift Sprite Super Quattro DB 617111486
Xplore 586613501155
Compass Corona 462212341112
Coachman VIP 545 / 4416301475
Compass Capiro 462212811159
Venus 550 / 4413201066
Coachman Pastiche 520314351295
Bailey Unicorn Valencia 414931339
Buccaneer Cruiser419741814

The weight of the caravan explained

The weight of the car plays a very important role: The heavier it is, the better it can handle the caravan. Or put another way: The more the difference in weight between the tug and the trailer in favour of the former, the better. 

These differences are especially important during braking, hills and slopes, or strong winds. The tugboat must dominate the trailer, never the other way around. 

Let’s see if I can make myself understood. We must be clear about some concepts before buying a caravan, at least the most important ones. Sometimes they can confuse us, as it happened to me at the beginning. All of them are very important and we must know them if we aspire to buy a caravan and travel with it.

Tare – Tare is the “unloaded” weight of the vehicle, that is, the minimum weight of the vehicle, ready to drive with its authorized fixed equipment: fuel, lubricant, brake fluid, spare parts, tools and other mandatory accessories. Without driver, passengers or cargo.

MiRO (Mass in Running Order) – is the same as Weight in Running Order. It is the Tare plus the weight of a standard driver of 75 kg. Our personal belongings and/or extras from the caravan that we add later do not enter the MiRO calculation.

MAM (Maximum Allowable Mass) – Maximum Allowable Mass. It is also called Maximum Authorized Weight. It is common for manufacturers to adjust it a lot. In other words, it is very common for the MMO (Mass in Marching Order) of the caravan to be just a little lower than its MAM. For example, the MMM of the caravan is 1200 kg and its MAM of 1300.

That means that we would only have 100 kg of Payload, that is, what we would have left to add extras and load our things (a little further down we expand this concept). The MAM is the maximum that the vehicle can weigh with its additional equipment, extras, luggage, etc. Exceeding the MAM is grounds for a traffic penalty.

MTM (Maximum Towable Mass) – The Maximum Towable Mass concept is the same as the so-called Maximum Towable Weight. That is the maximum weight that a vehicle can tow.

MJM (Maximum Joint Mass) – MJM = Maximum tug + trailer weight. It is the maximum that our car + caravan set can weigh.

Useful load – This is a very important piece of information when buying a caravan. Before acquiring our caravan we must take into account that the Payload is sufficiently large for the extra equipment that, if necessary, we want to add as soon as we buy it or later.

For example air conditioning, a tv stand, spare wheel, etc. And of course, the Payload also includes “our things” (clothes, dishes, table, chairs, TV, toys, bedding, microwave, bicycle, food, drinks, etc etc).

We can load whatever we want, as long as the weight of the caravan does not exceed its Maximum Authorized Mass (MAM).

The payload explained – The Dethleffs C’go 495 QSK caravan has a GVW of 1,300 kg and a MiRO of 1,130 kg, therefore a payload of 170 kg (remember that MAM (1,300 kg) – MiRO (1,130 kg) = Payload (170 kg) That means that no matter how few extras we put on it and little luggage we take with us, we will easily go over 1,300 kg.

Among those extras we can find the moving with its battery – an almost essential accessory in medium-large caravans that weighs around 80 kg depending on the models and brands – or the air conditioning, also almost essential in summer in different places, which weighs another 30 kg. A complete advance can weigh more than 30 kg, the spare wheel about 20 kg …

And we need to add what we take with us on a trip: clothes, bicycles, table, chairs, plates, pans, sheets, cleaning products, food …

In short, we adjust the weight very well or we will have no choice but to increase the MAM of the caravan, which is possible in most models, as long as we do not exceed the MiRO of the vehicle. That is why it is important to consider before buying a caravan that the one we choose has a very good payload, or that we have the possibility of increasing it without exceeding the MJM of our car.

Buying a caravan: What caravan can I tow with my car?

On papers, it seems easy. If my car has a MiRO of 1,500 kg, in theory, it can tow up to 1,500 kg. So I can theoretically buy a caravan with a maximum GVW of 1,500 kg. But beware…

If we like a caravan that has a MAM of for example 1,500 kg, obviously we must first make sure what the MiRO of our vehicle is. It must be at least 1,500 kg. We will also consult the Payload capacity of the caravan. If, for example, your MCM is 1400 kg and your MAM is 1500, we can almost say goodbye to it, since we will only have 100 kg of Payload.

On the other hand, some prefer to be cautious and tow a lightly heavy caravan. Others take the caravan to the limit of what their vehicle can tow according to its technical datasheet. The latter argue that if the vehicle has a MiRO of 1,500 kg, it is because (supposedly) the manufacturer of the vehicle guarantees that it can tow 1,500 kg without problems.

On the contrary, the prudent of the first group think that it is better to leave some margin for errors – the more the better – so as not to punish the car’s engine, or to go safer on hills and slopes. And to ensure that the caravan does not dominate the car under any circumstances. 

Or to have the option to increase the MAM of the caravan if necessary. For example, if we see that loaded with what we normally carry, we are already going to the limit.

The famous 80% rule

Fortunately, there is the famous “80% rule.” According to this, the weight of the loaded caravan must not exceed 80% of the car’s TARE. That is, if our car weighs 1000 kg when empty, the fully loaded caravan should not weigh more than 800 kg. There is a very useful tool to calculate this and many other interesting parameters: TowCar. 

This wonder gives us the possibility to check the compatibility of our vehicle with the model of the caravan that we want, and calculate how suitable it is for the car in question. It is essential to have an approximate idea of which are the caravan models that best suit us according to the vehicle we have to tow it.

What driving-license do I need to tow my caravan?

Driving license B authorizes us to drive cars with a MAM not exceeding 3,500 kg. With this permit, we can also tow any trailer or caravan whose MAM is equal to or less than 750 kg, provided that the sum of the MAM of the car and the trailer does not exceed 4,250 kg.

What if the caravan that we like weighs more than 750 kgs? (any medium caravan already exceeds that weight). Well, nothing. With the B driving license, you can also tow any caravan over 750 kgs. 

Of course, provided that the sum of the MAM of the tugboat and the trailer does not exceed 3,500 kgs. If the car + caravan set exceeds 3,500, we will need the B96 permit, which serves us up to 4,250 kg. And if the set weighs more than 4,250 kg, we will have to remove the B + E.


In this article, we helped you understand how much a 16 ft caravan weight, by giving you 15 models as an example. We explained how the weight of the caravan distributed and we also presented to you the famous 80% rule.

Obviously, with caravans, certain parameters must be respected. Each brand and model are different, so both the reduction in kg of the MAM and the facilities and procedures to get this report can vary greatly from one brand to another. When towing a caravan, it is important that you adhere to the safety measures and you do not overload the vehicle. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on How much does a 16 ft caravan weight?

How much does a standard caravan weigh?

A standard 2 and 4 berth caravan weighs 800kg and 1300kg, while 4 to 6 berth caravans weigh between 1300kg and 1800kg. 

How much weight can you put in a caravan?

The weight that you can put in the caravan should be either 10% of the ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) or a maximum of 350 kg ( 770 pounds). The manufacturer should usually specify the maximum permissible ball weight, which should be between 8-12% of the weight of the caravan.

What is the maximum weight for a single axle caravan?

The maximum weight for a single axle caravan is limited to 20,000 pounds, and axles spaced more than 40 inches and not more than 96 inches apart (tandem axles) are limited to 34,000 pounds. Gross vehicle weight is limited to 80,000 pounds. 

How is payload calculated on a caravan?

To calculate the payload on a caravan subtract the Tare weight (the unladen weight of the van, as it left the factory, minus any dealer-added features) from the van’s Aggregate Trailer Mass.

How do you know if you tow too much weight?

You know you are towing too much weight when the rear of the truck will appear hunkered down and the front end will feel light.


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