Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
I recently did a deep dive into vehicle loading, and discovered that it is much easier to overload a vehicle than one would think. It seems like a simple calculation: get a vehicle and/or trailer large enough to accommodate everything you need for a show, then make sure that the tow vehicle and hitch are rated to tow the weight of your trailer plus a guestimate of the weight of your gear, and you’re done. My tow vehicle is rated to tow a 5000 pound trailer, and my fully loaded trailer weighs right around 2000 pounds. Yet it turns out that my setup is right at the overload limit, and I need to be careful what additional items I take to shows, and where I put them.
The problem appears to be that car and truck makers compete with each other on how much their vehicles can tow, so the advertised tow rating is actually a marketing number that assumes that the vehicle is empty except for perhaps a light-weight driver. Load it up with two people and a weekend’s luggage and supplies, plus the tongue weight of the trailer, and the weight one can safely tow drops significantly.
I calculated the weight of my cargo by putting a bathroom scale and notepad next to the trailer and tow vehicle simply weighing everything before it was loaded. I measured tongue load by lowering the tongue jack onto a board supported by a brick on one side and the bathroom scale on the other, doubling the results. When I tallied up the total, I was quite surprised at how relatively light items add up. I calculated safe loading based on the method describe in my owner’s manual (which varies somewhat between manufacturers). Finally, I consulted www.karavantrailers.com/brakes/Brakes.xlsx to determine if my unbraked trailer was too heavy for the states I operate in. You may want to do the same for your own safety and well being.