With your holiday plans in motion and the open road ahead, towing a caravan or camper-trailer can be a wonderful experience. But to tow safely and with confidence, it is advised to have some basic preparation and skills.
Before settling into the driver’s seat, give your caravan and vehicle the once over. Check you have not overloaded your RV and that everything inside is secure and evenly distributed to reduce excessive swing.
Ensure your RV is correctly coupled to the tow vehicle, with the safety chain fitted and check that brake lights, tail lights, and clearance lights are all working.
Knowing your caravan’s working condition. Taking the time to familiarise yourself with the dimensions of your caravan will bring greater awareness and confidence when on the road.
Before starting the ignition get in the habit of observing the placement and working order of all mirrors. Ensure you can see out the back window without items such as surfboards or pillows obscuring your vision. Visibility is particularly important when towing an RV, so make sure you can see clearly out of all mirrors before setting out.
When on the road keep as far to the left as safe to give overtaking vehicles as much space as possible. Leave larger distances than usual between yourself and vehicles in front for comfortable breaking, and allow plenty of extra time and space when entering traffic.
Remember: keep a cool head, stop regularly, and share the driving.
Consider taking a caravanning towing safety course.
The last point can be quite contentious for some though. Either the dominate driver doesn’t let their partner anywhere near the steering wheel, or the comfortable navigator is hesitant to move sideways. In both cases, confidence, whether in another’s ability or your own, is the missing ingredient.
Caravan Towing Courses
This can be easily fixed however thanks to towing training courses! Tow-Ed’s full day course covers driving and manoeuvring techniques, braking, reversing, safety and towing regulations at a variety of locations across the country (See their website for full details on upcoming courses in your area).
Other towing courses are available at Wheels Caravan Towing and Advice Clinic in Brisbane, and through Harding’s Caravan Services in Melbourne where a more generalised caravan preparation seminar includes towing information.
Don’t let towing nerves affect your caravan holiday. Be prepared and organised, and take a towing training course if you feel you need to build confidence and experience. It could be the difference between the adventure of a lifetime or a holiday you remember for all the wrong reasons. For more information on tips for a successful caravanning holiday visit our useful info page.