Owners guides

Weight Distribution Guide

8th Nov 2021

Weight Distribution

Whenever you see a tow vehicle travelling along with the back down and the front up there is a problem with weight distribution. This means there is too much weight on the back wheels and not enough on the front. To ensure safe towing and reduce possible swaying, both caravan and the tow vehicle should be level.

The reason that one or both are not level could be:

  1. Incorrect ball height.
  2. Uneven loading of gear in the caravan.
  3. Lack of proper towing equipment.
  4. Incompatibility between the caravan and towing vehicle.


Ball Height

To check for correct ball height, measure from the ground to the bottom of the coupling. Then compare this measurement with the height of the tow ball on the towing vehicle. These two measurements should be the same, plus or minus 20mm. If this is not the case, the ball mount or tongue may need to be adjusted or altered.

Loaded Weight

The loading of the caravan can be checked by weighing the front of the caravan, known as ball weight. Generally speaking the ball weight should be between 8% to 15% of the loaded weight of the unit but this is a guide only. Some packed items may need to be moved to achieve the ideal weight.

For a typical four to five metre caravan the ball weight is between 100kg to 150kg. This is certainly enough to push down the rear of most vehicles. Even when the rear drops very little, weight is taken off the front wheels. Whenever weight is taken off the front wheels, the braking and steering (and on front wheels drive vehicles) the traction can be affected.


Weight Distribution Bars

Weight distribution bars (sometimes called level rides) can be fitted to assist. Correctly fitted bars will ensure that the tow vehicle and caravan are level and towed safely. Also refer to the owner’s manual of your tow vehicle for further information.

Note: Please ensure the fitment of load levelling bars/level rides to your tow vehicle is approved. Some vehicle manufacturer’s state very clearly DO NOT USE levelling bars.

Overloading your Jayco RV: Special Notice

The suspension system on your new Jayco RV has been designed to carry a specific weight. Please ensure you are aware of the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) and you DO NOT overload your RV. It is recommended that upon initially loading your RV, including full gas cylinder(s) and water tank(s), that you take it to a local Public Weighbridge to ensure a safe loaded weight. The fitting of additional storage items e.g. toolboxes, etc is not recommended as this will impact on the overall weight of the RV.

 For further assistance…

Professional advice on fitting weight distribution kits should be sought from installers such as Hayman Reese. These installers will demonstrate the correct use of caravan weight distribution kits and answer any question you may have.

If you have further questions we recommend contacting your local Jayco Dealership. You can find your local dealer here.