Loading a van changes how it handles. That is why it is important to follow the loading instructions in the owner's manual.
Know how much weight your van can carry
The easiest way to know how much weight your van is designed to carry is to:
- Find the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) on the driver's door post or in your owner's manual;
- Find the weight of the empty van (net weight) in your owner's manual; then
- Take a and subtract b. This will tell you how much weight you can add (people, fuel and cargo).
If you can't find your owner's manual, you may be able to find it online; alternatively, you can get a new one from your local dealer.
Know how to load your van
If you are driving with fewer than the van’s maximum 12 or 15 people, seat them in the front and middle of the van, and use the rear for cargo, as needed. Fill the front and middle seats before the rear seats. This will keep the weight toward the front, and help handling.
Cargo should be stowed inside the vehicle, to the maximum extent possible, instead of on the roof or in rear mounted cargo boxes.
Putting cargo on the roof will make a vehicle less stable and will increase the risk of a rollover. If you must transport cargo on the roof, heavier cargo should be placed inside the van. If there is a roof rack, make sure you don’t exceed its load limit. You can find this limit on your roof rack or in your owner’s manual.
Heavy cargo boxes and racks mounted on the rear of the van may adversely affect its handling.