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DRIVING AND TOWING – TOWING

Towing can be enjoyable but is sometimes disastrous. Here are a number of articles that will help.

Towball Weight and Trailer Stability

Why do the Aussies and Yanks insist on 10-15-percent towball weight, while the Europeans are content with around six percent? Towing speed is the main reason for the difference and that makes the Australian practice something of a misfit.

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Towing combination weighing service

Tyremasters is a retail tyre business, based in the NSW Southern Highlands town of Mittagong. This family owned company offers a weighing service for caravan and trailer owners, to ensure their rigs are weight-legal.

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Do I need upgraded suspension

A retired 4WD ‘pro’ came across a towing problem he hoped had gone away years ago, but, as many of us know to our cost, nearly all standard suspensions in ‘modern’ 4WDs just can’t do the job.

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Caravan ABS braking and stability control

In mid-2021 AL-KO upgraded its electronic stability control program to match the advanced safety electronics now fitted as standard to nearly all towing vehicles in the Australian market – including ABS. The new caravan fitment is known as Tow Assist.

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Weight distribution calculator

These calculation tables are designed to make it easy to assess the effects of payload and towball weight when towing. Caravan and trailer weight distribution can also be calculated.

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A proper tow vehicle

Truckies know what most caravaners don’t: the importance of having the right tow vehicle. In this case, it’s an Isuzu NPR 45-155 Tradepack.

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‘Brush’ stone guard

There are several ways of keeping tyre-driven stones off your caravan, camper trailer or boat trailer, including rubber mud-flaps, mesh panels between tow vehicle and trailer, and deflector guards on the front of trailers. An alternative is the brush-type stone deflector that we’ve bought to test.

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Australia’s towing laws need to change

When well-meaning authorities and pressure groups call for reduction of the road toll it’s surprising that no-one mentions the criminally negligent situation that different lawmakers tolerate across this so-called Commonwealth.

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ADRs and VSBs not enough to guarantee safe caravans and trailers

There are many ‘lemon’ complaints against caravan and camper trailer makers and importers. Sure, some are dodgy, but even the conscientious ones don’t get much guidance in safe design from the current ADRs and Vehicle Standards Bulletins. Compliance with legal requirements doesn’t necessarily result in a safe combination of tow-vehicle and trailer.

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A-frame towing

We’ve had requests to clarify the situation when A-frame towing a car behind a motorhome. In this assembly of seven different countries called the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ that’s not a simple job.

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MSA4x4 extendable towing mirrrors

MSA 4X4 Driving Mirrors are designed around a large single mirror that pivots on a heavy-duty extension slide. This design allows the mirror to be returned to its normal ‘non-towing’ position, so the mirrors don’t protrude permanently from the sides of the vehicle.

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Safe trailer and caravan jacking

Every year in Australia there are around 160 accidents with the use of vehicle jacks. Deaths and injuries, ranging from amputation and fractures to crush trauma, result from vehicles falling off vehicle jacks.

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Busted wheel studs and loose wheel nuts

The Caravan Council of Australia is accustomed to receiving reports of broken wheel studs and loose wheel nuts; sometimes with the nuts unwinding completely. However, there is an increasing number of such reports.

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Outback Trailer Troubles

During our Camper Trailer Torture Tests we encountered some problems with trailer electrical connections, but we also witnessed the results of the strange trailer towing choices that some 4WD enthusiasts make.

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Trailer Connections Examined

Trailer Connections Examined

Safe, appropriate and legal coupling to a trailer involves many factors and all trailer couplings should comply with the Australian code of practice for light trailer construction. We take you through the maze.

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Towing Destinations

Towing Destinations

Where you take your camper van, boat or caravan depends on many factors and, before we start laying down some guidelines on where you should or should not take this or that piece of trailing equipment, let’s acknowledge that, with sufficient determination, you can take anything virtually anywhere.

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Safe and Legal Towing

Nationally accepted trailer towing regulations make it theoretically easier for owners to comply with the legalities of towing, but there’s much that’s not covered by legislation.

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