Can the ATM be changed on my caravan?
With growing consumer awareness when it comes to Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM), caravan manufacturers are regularly receiving requests from caravan owners to increase the ATM rating of their caravan.
With the ATM being a critical specification, there are processes which each state and territory have put in place which must be followed in order to have the ATM of your caravan modified, and while we understand the desire to have the maximum load possible for your caravan, there are certain steps which need to be followed and rules met so we can ensure your safety on the roads.
Any variation to the ATM of your caravan, after the initial registration, is governed by the state road authority in which your caravan is registered. Each state or territory has slightly different requirements, so it is important to check with your local jurisdiction as to their exact requirements.
It is also important to know that only the original manufacturer or an authorised Vehicle Inspector is permitted to make a change to the vehicle ratings.
What factors are taken into consideration when determining if the ATM of a caravan can be increased (or decreased as the case may be)?
The age, condition and history of the caravan needs to be taken into consideration. If you, the consumer, have made post manufacture modifications and/ or additions which may affect the compliance, weights and ratings of the caravan originally supplied, the manufacturer or Vehicle Inspector needs to be made aware of these. It may be possible for them to assess these remotely, but a physical inspection may be necessary to ensure proper consideration and understanding if the changes are to be made.
If your caravan is approved to have the ATM changed, the road authority in which your caravan is registered will need to be notified of the change. Your caravan plates may also need to be changed and a modification plate affixed to your caravan. Your caravan’s manufacturer or the Vehicle Inspector will be able to advise you as to what is required and assist you in this regard.
It is also important that you notify your insurance company of the changes and modifications made to make sure your caravan continues to have coverage.
You might also like to read our blog post on How Much Weight Can Your Car Safely Tow, to assist you when it comes to safe towing.
* Information for this blog was taken from the CCIA NSW website.