Why do I need to weigh my van?
Knowing the weight of your van is vital for several reasons, and it can really help you with planning your build since it can determine what materials you build with and how big certain things like water tanks and batteries can be.
Most vans have a gross weight limit, which means they are legally only allowed to carry so much weight. This is usually 3,500kg (3.5 Tonnes; 7,700lb), but this includes the weight of the vehicle empty plus everything you put inside it (including driver and passengers).
In the UK and many other countries, regular drivers licences only allow you to drive vehicles weight up to 3,500kg, which is another limiting factor.
3,500kg is the regular maximum weight of most van conversions.
Knowing the weight of your empty vehicle before you start converting it means you know how much weight you have to play with.
3,500kg – ‘weight of van’ = remaining weight to build with.
Our van weighed 2,250kg empty, which meant we technically had 1,250kg to play. However, it’s also important to note that certain things can affect the weight of your van:
Number of passengers (1 person = 75kg)
Full/empty water tank (Full fuel tank = 60-100kg)
Water tank; if you van will have a water tank, water is roughly 1kg per Litre so a 100L tank will weight 100kg when full – take this into consideration.
With a full tank of fuel (70kg) + 3 Humans (average load – 210kg) + a full 100L water tank (100kg), we would weigh 2,630kg which gives us only 920kg to build with.
And believe me, when you start looking at weights of things like batteries and furniture, that’s not a lot.