It ’ s reasonable , in GoRV ’ s view , to critique the wording of the government ’ s definitions , as Mr Young has done , in the interests of safety , compliance , and removing as much room for interpretation as possible .
It ’ s also worth noting that VSB 1 is a standard for manufacturing – it is not intended as a consumer guide . Precision of language is therefore important .
For caravanners , though , let ’ s recap these definitions and how they apply to day-to-day vanning :
TARE : This is the weight of a caravan / trailer before it is loaded for a trip . It is , essentially , the weight of the caravan just after being built , with all equipment that was specified by its owner included . It does not include the weight of the water in the tanks or the gas in the cylinders , nor does it include any equipment added to the van at a later date . It does , however , include the weight resting on the jockey wheel or tow vehicle ’ s towbar .
GTM : This is a rating specified by the manufacturer that must not be exceeded . It refers to the maximum weight being applied through the van ’ s tyres . It does not include the weight being applied to the jockey wheel or tow vehicle ’ s towbar via the coupling .
ATM : This is also a rating . It refers to the maximum permissible weight that the caravan / trailer can weigh , with all payload on board , including the weight of the gas in the cylinders and the water in the tanks . Like Tare , it includes the weight resting on the jockey wheel or tow vehicle ’ s towbar .
PAYLOAD CAPACITY : This is the total permissible combined weight of the gear you pack , including water / gas . It is calculated by subtracting Tare from ATM . GTM is not relevant in this calculation .