Safe Towing While on the Roads This Summer
At this time of the year, over the Christmas / New Year period and the weeks that follow, the roads are noticeably busy. Some might be road tripping it to their nearest music festival; others might be travelling to catch up with family or friends, while many may just be getting away for a few day. Whether you’re roughing it out in the bush or staying in a caravan park by the beach, the temptation to get out of the city and relax for a few days in the hot Australian summer is hard to resist.
Of course, if you’ve got a caravan or trailer attached to the back of your vehicle as you make your way to your holiday destination, it’s crucial that you alter your driving practices to ensure you arrive safely. Let’s look at safe, responsible towing a little closer.
Before You Head Off
As every state has its own slight variations regarding towing laws and regulations, for ease this article will refer specifically to Melbourne; the primary market for FiveStar Towbars.
If you’ve never driven while towing a caravan before, be aware that you cannot drive as you normally would. You’ll need to adjust the way you drive almost completely because of the extra length and weight that you’re carrying. But before you even hitch the caravan to the tow bar, ensure your vehicle ticks these boxes:
- It actually has the power to tow a caravan.
- You have the correct type of tow bar for your caravan (a towbar installation specialist will be able to help you with this).
- The car has suitable rear vision mirrors fitted that enable you to see beyond the caravan.
- Brake controllers that control the slowing down and stopping of the caravan have been fitted to the car.
The caravan must also not exceed the maximum weight recommended by the manufacturer, the towing limits recommended by the car manufacturer, or the weight rating of the towbar.
How to Drive While Towing A Caravan
As we mentioned earlier, you will need to adjust the way you drive when you’re towing a caravan behind you. Before you leave on your road trip, perhaps try driving a shorter distance with the van attached, allowing you to gain a sense of how it feels.
It’s important to remember that towing a caravan or a trailer noticeably reduces your braking ability as well as your ability to decelerate. So when you’re going around sharp corners or find yourself needing to come to a sudden stop, slamming your foot on the brake is not recommended. Ever found yourself walking behind someone who suddenly stops and you end up crashing into them because you weren’t paying attention? That’s basically what the caravan will do to the back of your car if you don’t give the brake controllers in your vehicle time to tell the caravan to slow down and/or stop as well.
Click here for more information on safe caravan towing. It should go without saying, but we’ll say it any way: always drive responsibly, but even more so when you have a caravan attached to the back of your vehicle. If you want to be sure that your car is caravan-towing friendly, get in touch with FiveStar Towing today. We can provide you with everything you need, from mobile tow bar fitting to the installation of electric brake controllers and much, much more.