Towing a caravan may sound like a daunting process for a first-timer. But like everything else, it gets easier with practice. Caravanning is a popular leisure activity, which means a lot of people have been doing it—and they all started out as beginners too!
So how do get about safely towing a caravan?
Ensure that you have a suitable towing vehicle.
Typically, the safest towing vehicle is one which is heavier than the caravan it tows. If not heavier, it should have at least the power for making quick and safe passing manoeuvres.
Check the user’s manual of your vehicle and the details of the caravan too. It’s not advisable to max out the weights; ideally, the caravan should have less than 1.5 times the unladen weight of your vehicle.
Get the weight distribution right, balanced and secure as well. Having too much weight in front can strain your vehicle’s suspension and tow hitch. On the other hand, too much weight at the back can make it unstable.
Add extra mirrors.
The caravan is usually wider than the towing vehicle. Adding extra mirrors to maximise visibility is a good way to make your driving safer. Get special towing mirrors fitted beforehand, and keep an eye out for your load when driving through tight spaces or making sharp turns.
Reverse with care.
Backing up whilst towing a caravan requires time and patience. It’s not something that you do without checking the area. Watch out for low-hanging branches that might impede your vehicle or caravan. Carefully scan the ground of the area you’re backing into for easy-to-miss obstacles.
Refrain from hastening the process, and use small steering inputs whilst you reverse. It’s best if you have a spotter to check what’s behind and above your vehicle and caravan whilst you’re on the wheel. But if you’re alone, get out and check it yourself as many times as necessary to avoid any snag.
Keep wide and run wide.
The key to manoeuvering a vehicle with a caravan in tow is to take wide paths. However, going through narrow roads can’t be avoided at times. Before going into a narrow road, check ahead if there are posts or awnings that could present as obstacles. Give as wide a berth as possible when you pass through.
When you’re in a multilane highway, stay on the outside lane. Avoid being sandwiched by other wide vehicles, and watch out for other obstructions such as traffic cones.
Want to get professional towing service instead?
Sometimes, the safest way to towing a caravan is to hire experts! Here at Allout Towing, we offer industry-leading caravan towing service throughout Perth and WA. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 0418 959 216 for more information, or get in touch with us online.