Caravan Towing

Towing Your Caravan: A Step-by-Step Guide

Towing is something that all novice caravanners find intimidating at first. It's incredibly challenging if you've never done it before. There are weight restrictions, towing capacity, and emergency brakes, among other things. Even a seasoned traveller will be overwhelmed!

We're not here to convince you that towing is simple; it requires time and practice like any skill. There are inexpensive short towing courses available in all states. If new to towing, these would be a great addition to your preparation for your first van. They usually get you to use your vehicle and van to experience what it will be like in the future.

There's a lot of information out there, but we're going to break down the most common tips and tricks for safe towing.

Hit the Weights 

We're sure you've already come across a slew of complex acronyms when it comes to caravan towing, so we've put up a helpful glossary:

ATM 

stands for "Aggregate Trailer Mass." This acronym is the maximum weight your trailer can carry, as determined by the manufacturer.

GTM 

(Gross Trailer Mass) is a term used to describe the weight of a trailer. The total weight of the trailer when it is completely loaded and connected to your vehicle.

GVM

Gross vehicle Mass is a term used to describe the weight of a vehicle. As determined by the manufacturer, this is the maximum weight your vehicle can carry when fully loaded. As defined by the manufacturer — you cannot exceed it.

GCM

The weight of both the vehicle (GVM) and the trailer (ATM) is referred to as the Gross Combination Mass (GCM)

The most crucial aspect of caravanning is knowing your vehicle's and caravan's weight limits. It is critical for your and other road users' safety.

Before every trip, check your Gross Combination Mass at your nearest weighbridge.

  • Weigh your caravan when attached to determine the Gross Trailer Mass
  • Weigh your unhitched trailer to determine the Aggregate Trailer Mass to ensure you aren't over the limit.
  • The Gross Combination Mass is the total weight of your caravan and vehicle when fully loaded.

It would be best to regularly compare the weights of your vehicle and caravan to the manufacturer's recommended limitations. If you're under the maximum weight limit, you're doing a fantastic job!

If this is not the case, you may need to consider updating your vehicle or switching caravans to assure your safety.

Safe as Houses

Checking your vehicle and caravan mass isn't the only thing you should do before going on a journey. To guarantee a safe towing excursion, make sure you have all of the necessary accessories.

Ball Weight 

Towing your caravan safely necessitates the use of the proper ball weight. This is not the measure of your manhood but the tow ball on the vehicle to avoid confusion. The ball weight is the downward force applied to the tow ball, and it should never be more than 7-15 per cent of your ATM. A Ball Weight Scale can be used to determine this.

Brakes

You must have the proper brake system when towing your caravan. The rules are obvious in this case. Breaks are not required if your caravan weighs less than 750kg. If the weight is between 750 and 2000 kilograms, you'll need overrun or electric brakes. If it weighs more than 2000 kilograms, it must be equipped with a brake system that can be actuated from the driver's seat.

Mirrors 

It is critical to have adequate visibility around your vehicle and caravan. Mirror extenders come in handy in this situation. They are available in a variety of styles, so choose one that best fits your car. They're also required by law.

While all of this may seem intimidating initially, especially to a novice, it will become second nature as your caravan voyage progresses. Remember that the rules are in place to keep you safe.

Here are a few general guidelines to remember whenever towing:

  1. Always pay attention to the road conditions.
  2. To gain more control and performance, use a weight-distribution hitch.
  3. Examine your tyres for signs of wear and tear, mainly if you've gone offroad.
  4. Ensure that all jockey wheels and windows are in good working order.
  5. Every trip, inspect your breakaway cord.
  6. Check your turn signals and brakes regularly.
  7. No matter how good your rig or the highway, never travel over 80kph

You'll be a caravan towing pro in no time if you keep all of this in mind. Before you leave, make sure you practice in your neighbourhood. Some companies provide caravan towing training, which we strongly recommend if you have never towed before.

After all, it is said that practice makes perfect.

Still, have questions about caravan towing? Please get in touch with one of our caravan specialists today.

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349 South Pine Rd, Brendale, Brisbane Qld, 4500

 enquiries@xpressindustries.com.au

(07) 5495 6222

Toll Free Number: 1800 800 846

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