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Learn How to Choose the Right Towing Vehicle by Gloria Philips

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Learn How to Choose the Right Towing Vehicle by
Article Posted: 11/01/2017
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Articles Written: 1186
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Learn How to Choose the Right Towing Vehicle

Make sure that your towing vehicle is capable of doing towing your caravan. Look into the manufacturer's book around the maximum weight which is recommended and make sure you remain in this particular limit. It is really an essential a part of planning for a caravan holiday to ensure your towing vehicle remains safe and secure, well-maintained and well equipped.

Size and Towing Capacity

The vast majority of travellers do not possess the luxurious of selecting a unique towing vehicle to match their new van; generally this is a case of getting a van which will fit your existing vehicle.

Car manufactures stipulate a secure towing weight for every vehicle and Australia's national regulations are made around these specifications. Typically, the most appropriate towing vehicle is certainly one which is heavier compared to the caravan it really is towing. This can then enable the fully loaded weight from the caravan that will be towed. Small cars are generally restricted to towing camper-trailers, folding caravans, and small caravans or pop-tops. Bigger cars can manage caravans and pop-tops in the larger end from the market. Along with weight, it is essential to look at the overall measurements from the unit you want to tow. In case your caravan is extremely high or wide then extra power is required to overcome resistance to the wind.

Off-road Vehicles

Four-wheel drives have grown to be extremely popular towing vehicles and therefore are extremely capable. They can tow large vans, and manage the boat and some other things too. Many travellers use off-road vehicles without ever venturing off of the main road. Others travel extensively within the outback, unhitching the van once the terrain gets too rough and either having a tent or swag along with them, or sleeping at the back of the vehicle.


The selection between manual and automatic transmission is just one of personal preference. Previously, manual transmission was always the most preferred option by travellers, however modern improvements in automatic transmission has meant they perform just as now. Actually automatic four-wheel drives perform very well off-road.

Tools and Spares

When setting on a prolonged touring holiday it is essential to have a tool kit to be able to undertake minor repairs for your vehicle and to undertake those household repair jobs round the caravan. An instrument kit ought to include these items:

Blade screwdrivers

Phillips head screwdrivers

Group of spanners to match your car and van



Small adjustable shifter

Larger shifter for gas bottles


Wheel spanner

Group of spike-resistant jumper leads

Tyre-pressure gauge

Tow rope or tow strap

Ensure that the jack and handle are fitted within the vehicle which the jack is within good working order. Ensure that exactly the same jack will fit both your car and caravan. Before leaving home, be sure you understand how to improve your tyres and in which the jacking points are for your towing vehicle as well as your caravan.

Have a jacking board, about 250 sq. mm, to put underneath the jack once the ground is soft, uneven or wet. A bit of checker-plate aluminium is okay.

The wheel brace that fits your vehicle might not necessarily fit the wheel studs on your own caravan. Check before leaving home.

Have a good spare tyre for the vehicle and something for the caravan. If you are planning traveling off of the beaten track, you will require two spares for every unit. On some camper-trailers, the wheels are interchangeable with the ones from the towing vehicle. If this sounds like the situation, an overall total of two spares is going to be adequate in many circumstance.


Fitting towing equipment and modifying towing vehicles are specialist activities and really should only be carried out by professionals. Dealers will usually fit tow bars to new vehicles if requested. You will need to specify you need someone to match the vehicle's maximum towing capacity so you usually do not end up getting something only ideal for towing a little household trailer. If you currently have an automobile, speak to a specialist tow-bar retailer and mechanic; look into the Classifieds under "towing" or locate one online.

Towing Equipment

All commercially manufactured tow bars around australia are made to some stand and really should work well. Different models may have different features and various prices.

Most lightweight bars are compatible with towing trailers and vans having a gross mass of one thousand kg as well as less. Heavy-duty bars, like those fitted to large four-wheel drives, be capable to tow a mass as high as 3,500 kg. Each tow bar features a specified maximum trailer mass along with a maximum static ball weight. The second, the difference in weight involving the caravan off and on the automobile, ought to be around 10 percent from the total trailer weight. So, when the loaded trailer weight is 1,000kg, the ball weight ought to be around 100 kg. All tow bars are limited to the highest recommended capacity from the vehicle. To create absolutely sure you might be not towing more that you ought to be, get the caravan weighed fully loaded. Exceeding towing weight limits can lead to accidents, fines and non-payment of insurance claims.

Tow bars are fitted with a selection of towing hitches. Most standard caravans and trailers make do having a 50 mm ball, while off-road models might require a far more complex off-road hitch.

Caravans and trailers should be fitted with safety chains; these should be securely connected to the towing vehicle.

Towing Limits

In 1999 the National Road Transport Commission (NRTC) introduced some recommended towing limits, that were adopted by all States and Territories. Until that time as much as five different towing limits applied across Australia, which meant lots of confusion for caravanners crossing State and Territory borders.

The national regulations, as organized from the NRTC, suggest that the load from the loaded caravan should never exceed the recommended limit as prescribed from the manufacturer from the towing vehicle, or even the stated capacity from the towing apparatus fitted towards the vehicle. When the manufacturer has not yet specified limits, which, surprisingly, will not be that unusual, the load from the loaded caravan ought to be a maximum of one along with a half times the unloaded weight from the towing vehicle, provided the caravan is fitted with brakes. When the caravan will not be fitted with brakes, then your loaded caravan should equal the load from the unloaded car. For those who have any difficulty establishing the parameters of those requirements, speak with your dealer or perhaps an independent tow-bar manufacturer.

Weight Distribution

Most of us have seen the vehicle and caravan conjunction with the hitch almost dragging on the highway. Weight-distribution bars, widely accessible at caravan accessory shops, may be used to keep a more level profile from the car and van. These are usually standard equipment for larger vans, but really should be regarded as for many however the lightest of vans. The problem may also be addressed by correct loading. When the movable load inside the caravan is actually all packed forward from the axle, this can greatly boost the ball weight. When the load is much more evenly distributed through the entire van, then your ball weight is less apt to be adversely affected. Never load a caravan or trailer with additional weight behind the axle than forward from the axle.

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