School holidays are upon us, the end of the year is near…the busy summer holiday season is officially here and that means caravans and campers galore on the road!
We love the silly season but we know with all the fun to be had, your number one priority is ultimately the safety of your loved ones. Towing a caravan becomes a lot less daunting, not to mention safer, with the correct advice, equipment and setup.
Read on to get the low down on choosing the right towing setup to ensure a safe holiday this summer and into the future.
Do you have a suitable tow vehicle?
There are many things to consider when it comes to your tow vehicle.
- Do you already own a vehicle or are you looking to buy?
- How much time you will spend towing?
- What kind of caravan will you be towing?
- How many passengers do you need to carry?
- What will the vehicle be used for, when not towing?
What’s the most important thing to get right? Know and adhere to the vehicle manufacturer’s guidelines on towing capacity.
Click here to read our article on how to select a tow vehicle.
Select the right towbar and hitch
Even vehicles that have a large towing capacity and were designed to tow heavy caravans will handle differently when attached to a seven-metre-long caravan, weighing in at almost three tonnes! It’s important to select a suitable towbar and hitch system to cope with the extra weight and length.
You’ve no doubt already invested tens of thousands of dollars in your vehicle and caravan. It’s worth protecting that investment by selecting reputable towing accessories.
Our team can work with you to select an appropriate towbar and hitch, electric braking system, towing mirrors, reversing cameras and any other towing accessories to complete your dream towing setup.
Know your weights
There are a few critical weight concepts.
- Towing capacity – the maximum weight that a vehicle can legally tow. During testing phases, manufacturers assign tow weight restrictions on vehicles. These tow weight restrictions are calculated based on the vehicle’s pulling capacity, and the guidelines should always be followed to support the safety of all road users.
- Aggregate Trailer Mass – the maximum your fully-loaded tow vehicle can weigh.
- Gross Trailer Mass – the weight of the fully loaded trailer imposed on the axle when it is attached to the tow vehicle.
- Tare Mass – the weight of an empty caravan excluding the weight of any after-sales fitted accessories.
This can be complicated for beginners. The more you immerse yourself in this world, the more at ease you will become. Our team can help you to understand these weights and how they are relevant to your setup.
Ensure proper weight distribution
If you’re new to caravanning, you may not know that packing your van is not as simple as loading everything that will possibly fit into every storage compartment. Incorrect loading may result in swaying, reduced control and other terrible consequences such as overturning. Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid serious issues by getting familiar with your critical weights and loading your caravan appropriately.
Weight distribution hitches can help. They are designed to alleviate the stress on the rear of the vehicle, resulting in a far safer towing experience. They will assist with caravan sway however, it is ultimately the driver’s responsibility to ensure correct loading.
Hall Towbars stocks a range of weight distribution hitches to suit different vehicles and towing requirements.
Seek reputable advice
If you’re new to towing 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 caravan and they are well worth the investment. A quick google search (try this) will let you know who to contact in your area.
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.