Haulin’ class

2 April 2021

Towing can be great fun, as long as you’re prepared

Holiday time. For many motorists it means cruising the roads and highways with a caravan, boat or trailer in tow. Its economical and fun. But you need to know what you’re doing to have a stress-free trip.

First up, read your owners’ manual to find your vehicle’s towing capacity. Don’t go over the limit.

Make sure the tow-ball and trailer-hitch fit well. Check the lights and indicators work once you’ve connected the light cable from the caravan/trailer to your vehicle.

After you’ve packed your caravan/trailer, check the load to ensure there is nothing overhanging – this is dangerous and could see you copping a fine. Cover the load with a secure tarp if you’re towing a trailer.

Finally, check vehicle and caravan/trailer tyres to ensure they’re all at the recommended pressures.

Pay attention to weather conditions when on the road – particularly strong winds and rain – and adjust your driving style accordingly. Pull over and take a break if conditions are poor.

Monitor vehicles ahead and allow additional room to compensate for extra braking and acceleration times. Choose a lower gear when descending hills to save the brakes.

Reversing a trailer into position can be hard. It’s best to begin with the trailer and vehicle in a straight line then slowly ease back. Remember, if you need to move the trailer to the left then you need to turn right. It takes practice. Do that before you leave home, not when you arrive at the caravan park and have an audience watching.

Most importantly, drive safely.

Words: VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym. As featured in the Herald Sun 2 April 2021.

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