Most people will be able to tow a small trailer, fairly confidently, on the occasional trip. But what if you’re new to towing and suddenly you’re being asked to hitch up a caravan, boat, horse float or large camper trailer… This requires a whole new skill level and knowledge of braking and handling requirements.
You need the right advice and the right set-up, to quickly learn how to tow a large trailer safely. Read our tips below.
Remember to allow significantly more room between your vehicle and those in front of you to account for safe braking. The extra weight with a large trailer onboard can add a significant amount of stopping distance. Always leave a margin for error as excessive braking can destabilise both the tow vehicle and trailer.
If you are towing more than 750kg, you must have trailer brakes fitted. Anything more than 2000kg requires an electric brake controller to be fitted to your vehicle. Speak with our team about the right electric brake system for your vehicle or view some of our options here.
On that note, if your trailer starts to sway, avoid harsh braking, which often worsens the sway and can cause crashes. A better tactic, is to back-off the accelerator. Also, avoid jerking the steering wheel in an attempt to correct the vehicle. Once again, this can make the situation worse.
If you do have an electric braking system, you can manually apply the brakes to reduce the movement.
Other issues that can impact trailer sway include speed, incorrect tyre pressure or excessive weight in the vehicle or trailer or inappropriate weight distribution.
Safe and sensible driving is important at all times but never more so than when you are towing a large trailer. Back-off the accelerator so that you can avoid excessive braking. Take corners slowly and accelerate smoothly. These things will reduce the strain on your vehicle when towing and also allow you to be more fuel efficient and reduce wear and tear on your vehicle, especially the tyres, brakes, engine and gearbox.
Overtaking while towing requires a safety assessment. Pulling out and accelerating quickly past another vehicle can seriously compromise the stability of your trailer, which could contribute to causing a crash. You require a far longer stretch of road for over-taking, in comparison to when you are not towing.
Whilst towing, it’s important to be alert to potential hazards that are beyond your control. Vehicles over-taking you or passing you at high speed in the opposite direction (particularly large vehicles such as trucks), and weather conditions such as strong wind can impact your vehicle and cause instability.
We’re here to help
If you’re new to towing, particularly large caravans, we recommend looking into a course designed for people just like you! There are plenty of businesses around Adelaide that can teach you to tow your own trailer. A quick google search will let you know who to contact in your area. Alternatively, give our team a call on 8360 5100 or message us below and we’ll be happy to recommend someone for you.
Ready to chat?
Get in touch with our team to discuss the best set-up for your tow vehicle. We’re always happy to assess your unique situation and make recommendations to help you choose appropriate accessories for your vehicle and trailer. We have you covered for towbars and towing accessories, no matter what your requirements.