Top Safety Tips for Towing a Caravan
As Australians, we love caravanning. In fact, according to recent statistics, over half a million caravans are registered in Australia, and at any one time there are around 120,000 caravans on our roads. With the caravan industry booming, it’s no surprise that towing safety is a major concern. At Voltaic, we are specialists when it comes to electric brakes installations in Perth, and our electric braking systems are guaranteed to keep you and your family safer while towing a caravan. Here’s some other top tips to help ensure your safety when you set out on your next caravanning adventure.
Perform a Pre-Trip Check
Here is a list of things you should check once everything is connected, before you set off:
- Is the hitch securely fixed?
- Are the safety chains connected?
- Is the handbrake on the caravan off?
- Are the roof hatches and windows closed?
- Are the gas bottles off?
- Are all the cupboards and drawers shut?
- Is the jockey wheel up?
- Is the refrigerator on DC?
- Are the tyre pressures correct?
Ensure Weight is Evenly Distributed
Caravan load distribution is important for a number of reasons. Too much weight towards the front of your caravan can put strain on your car’s suspension and tow hitch, while too much weight at the back of the caravan can make it unstable. When the weight within your caravan is distributed evenly, it will ensure nothing shifts during travel, there will be no unnecessary trailer sway or impact on your steering.
Reversing with a caravan is a skill that takes time to master, but it’s a skill with which you need to be confident as you will rely on it greatly throughout your trip. Caravans come in all sizes so even if you are experienced in towing, if you are towing a new caravan or haven’t towed it for a while, make sure that you practise before you go, in surroundings that you are familiar with, and when you are not under pressure.
Go Easy When Driving
Vehicles perform differently when towing a caravan so it is important that you take everything easy. Go slower and be more methodical and deliberate with your driving. Take your time, slow and steady will get you there safer.
Anticipation is Key
Try to be more alert about traffic, road conditions, and hills when you are towing a caravan. This will help you mitigate the reduced braking performance of your car, and you will be able to drive in a way that is more fuel efficient.
Be Careful When Overtaking
If you have to overtake other vehicles when you are towing a caravan, remember your overall length is increased and the power of your engine is decreased, so it will take you longer. Make sure you give yourself enough time to overtake safely.
Choose the Best Electric Brake System
Current towing regulations stipulate that any trailer with a Gross Trailer Mass (GTM) exceeding 750kg needs to be fitted with an electric brake control system. While this can be a mechanical override brake system in smaller trailers, once the trailer is over 2,000kg the law requires you to use an electric trailer brake system with an electric brake controller. Even for caravans with a GTM between 750kg and 2,000kg many towers find the security, safety and control provided by electric brakes to be of great benefit.
With COVID-19 restrictions now easing, there’s no better time to start caravanning – just remember to do it safely. If you are looking for best and safest electric braking systems, get in touch with the team at Voltaic. Our auto electrical technicians are the electric brakes installation experts in Perth. Call us today on (08) 6454 9916 or contact us online now.