Now we have your attention GoSee offers some thoughts on safe towing.
It is essential to take the time to read the Owners Manual for both the tow vehicle and the caravan.
This may be a War and Peace challenge, but the rewards the knowledge gained gives is worth the trouble.
Essential questions for safe towing:
For those considering a new tow vehicle 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
What caravan will you tow?
What will it weigh loaded?
What will the loaded ball weight be?
Which Weight Distribution Hitch will you use?
Will using a WDH void the vehicle warranty?
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.
Be certain thatthe tow vehicle dealers fit-out provides the proper electrics, towbar fittings.
Buyers need a rated lock-pin which fits a WDH tongue.
Also serious shackles, properly fitted and placed break-away clip point and rated tow ball are essential to tow safely.
Unfortunately the rating of shackles for caravan towing is still a blurred area.
Neither ADR 62 Mechanical Connection between Vehicles or rule 158 of the Road Traffic (Vehicle Standards) Rules 1999 do any more than require shackles to be strong enough to meet the specified loads.
SA Police strongly urge the public to make the change to rated D shackles for peace of mind when towing and as part of a positive outlook on road safety.
Check that the towbar provided is rated Heavy Duty.
Have towing fit-out work done by a registered professional provider who understands what is required for modern caravans and towing safety.
Self-Levelling Suspension (SLS) does not transfer weight from the back to front wheels of a tow vehicle.