DRIVING AND TOWING – TOWING
Towing can be enjoyable but is sometimes disastrous. Here are a number of articles that will help.
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.
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.
Al-KO has introduced a range of key-lockable trailer couplings that are direct replacements for non-lockable types.
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.
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.
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.
A weighbridge that comes to you, allowing split-weights of axles and coupling is a service that many 4WD and towing people would welcome.
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.
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.
Need to tow a trailer, but your vehicle doesn’t have an electric brake controller? No problem, thanks to Elecbrakes: the unit that connects to the trailer, not the towing vehicle.
Redarc Electronics released the next generation of its award-winning electric trailer brake controller, Tow-Pro Elite, in early 2019.
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.
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.
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.
We’ve been testing the Stone Stomper system and reckon it’s an excellent way to protect your trailer from flying stone damage.
Before you buy a towing vehicle you need to make sure that it can do the job. Don’t rely solely on 4WD makers’ claims about permitted trailer weights, because in many cases they have small-print conditions attached.
Bilstein shock absorbers are well known for their high-performance damping abilities on 4WDs and now there’s a revalved range to suit single and dual mounting on caravans and camper trailers.
We all know the issues involved with using some auxiliary mirrors on vehicles towing wide loads: brackets working loose or falling off, panels scratched and vibration that makes the mirror images almost useless. There is a solution for these issues, Clearview mirrors are available for certain vehicle makes and models.
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.
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.
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.
The correct towing technique can make the difference between the holiday of a lifetime and a nightmare.
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.
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.