When entering into the caravan market coming to terms with the dos and don’ts when towing can be a daunting process. Safe towing should be every caravan’s priority when beginning a journey, with family and loved ones in the vehicle when travelling doing everything possible to ensure you’re towing safely is mandatory.
Evenly loading your caravan before setting off on your trip is fundamental part of safely towing. Excessive loading at the front and rear of the caravan can cause the ball weight of the caravan to either be too light or too heavy. A commonly recommended percentage is 8-10% of the total weight of the caravan should be on the ball when towing. A ball weight scale is a tool often utilized by caravaners prior to hitching up, this will assist with measuring the weight on the ball of your caravan. If your total weights don’t fall within the 8-10% guide, then you may need to readjust your payload proportions. The American company Weigh Safe has developed a line of hitches which allow you to measure your ball weight while having a caravan hitched up. Weigh Safe Hitches are available for purchase at the link below.
When initially hitching up your caravan the aim is to ensure your tow vehicle and caravan are as level as possible, the best way to gauge this is by hitching up on a level surface. If your caravans draw bar is angled upwards or down wards this will ultimately result in trailer sway. A popular method of alleviating this angling is by purchasing an adjustable weight distribution kit.
A weight distribution kit will allow the caravans ball weight to be distributed along the chassis rails of your tow vehicle. An adjustable drop-down shank which is often included with a weight distribution kit is going to give you the ability to hitch your caravan onto the tow vehicle at a level setting.
Electronic stability control is a further way to enhance your ability to safely tow a caravan. The whole premise of ESC is to give the driver the best possible reaction when sway begins to develop, or an evasive manoeuvre is undertaken by the driver when attempting to avoid risk while towing. ESC is a feature that could quit literally save your life, the sophisticated brake actuation system is a must to consider when purchasing a caravan.
Full caravan towing guide from the Caravan Industry Association of Australia can be downloaded at the link below.