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Thursday, 14 Apr 2011

Apply two key questions to test tow tug claims

GoSee tows Jayco Sterling 23 using Hayman Reese towing aids
GoSee tows Jayco Sterling
23 using Hayman Reese towing aids

For those considering a new tow tug two key questions need to be answered.

1. What is the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) of the loaded caravan to be towed? The official numbers will be on the caravan compliance plate.

2. Will the tow vehicle builder warranty that in the case of their vehicle the ATM does not exceed its rated towing capacity?

The application of ATM sorts out the pretenders when it comes to towing claims.

ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass): Is the mass of the laden caravan when not connected to the tow vehicle when carrying the maximum load recommended by the manufacturer. The actual total laden mass of the trailer must remain below the ATM.

­It must not exceed the rated towing capacity of the tow vehicle.

A Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) cannot change ball weight. It is a towing aid which helps braking and steering by distributing the load forces more equally The major benefit is that better road contact is achieved by the front wheels of the tow vehicle and this provides better control of the rig

GoSee Rodeo solid tow tug for GoSee Discovery
GoSee Rodeo solid tow tug for GoSee Discovery

One vehicle maker (Toyota) while they recommend WDH to a buyer in their owner’s manual will not provide warranty on chassis damage if it is used.

Anyone who has not bought either their tow vehicle or caravan is in a good position. Decide on your caravan first. Then make an informed, real ATM based decision on what the tug will be.

Tare is the empty weight of the caravan. It is the weight quoted when it leaves the production line. The "basics" are on board but no personal effects or food and the water tank/tanks will be empty.

With the trailer  not connected to the tow vehicle Tare combines the weight which rests on the tyres and the towball mass.

The load that can be legally carried in a caravan is the difference between Tare and ATM. Subtract Tare from the ATM and that is the load-carrying capacity. Remember the more options and accessories added to a caravan, which are not included in the Tare, the less load carrying capacity available for personal needs.

Editors Note Also See-

We should all be measuring and setting up caravan towing heights


Comprehensive Tow-Ed course educates towing newcomers and polishes techniques for Old Hands too

For more information
contact: Garth Morrison
Editor Go See Australia and Go See New Zealand Directory

Hayman Reese Towbars

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