Towing Essentials for Caravans and Trailers

March 3, 2022

The modern diesel, such as UTEs and full-size 4x4s, are excellent for towing and touring in Australia. Diesel engines are known for their superior torque and power capabilities, making them reliable and powerful towers.

However, it’s still important to know your towing limits, especially when towing large trailers or caravans, as this will help you establish what type of modifications, additional components, or upgrades may be necessary to deliver the standard of towing you’re looking for. It will also keep both you and your diesel safe, and improper towing practices can become dangerous, quickly!

Planning a trip to Cape York? Itching to dig your treads in to the sands of the Simpson Desert? Before you go, make sure you’ve considered these towing essentials for caravans and trailers.

Towing Essentials for Caravans and Trailers - 4WD vehicle towing a caravan

Equip The Right Towing Gear

The first step to safe and successful towing is equipping your vehicle with the right gear. This includes a tow bar, tow ball, wiring harness, and safety chains. All of these components can be found at your local 4WD or automotive store, but for extensive advice, reach out to the Just Autos team.

Read More: Towing a Trailer: Top Tips and Upgrade Opportunities

Be sure to also read the owner’s manual for your diesel before towing anything – each vehicle is different, and some may require specific additional equipment for safe towing.

Know Your Vehicle Towing Weight Limits

Just as importantly as having the right gear, it’s crucial that you know your vehicle’s limits when it comes to towing. Towing capacities can be found in the owner’s manual, on a placard in the engine bay, or online. Failing to adhere to these capacities can not only damage your vehicle, but also lead to accidents and serious injury.

Read More: The Beginner’s Guide to Towing a Caravan Safely

Be sure you are aware of your maximum tow weight, as well as the Gross Combination Mass (GCM) for your vehicle. This is the total weight of your diesel, combined with the weight of the trailer or caravan you’re towing.

If you’re unsure about your vehicle’s limits, Just Autos can help you calculate them and find the perfect tow bar or hitch for your needs.

Being Able to Stop is Important!

One of the most important aspects of towing is being able to stop safely and effectively. This means having good brakes on the tow vehicle, as well as on the trailer or caravan.

Ensure that your brake system on both the car and trailer are in good working order, and always test them before hitting the open road. A properly functioning brake system is essential for a safe journey.

Towing Essentials for Caravans and Trailers - vehicles parked in front of silos

Monitor Your Engine Temperatures

Diesel engines are known for their superior heat tolerance, but this doesn’t mean you can neglect your engine temperatures when towing. In fact, it’s even more important to keep a close eye on your engine when towing as the added stress of a trailer or caravan can increase temperatures dramatically.

Read More: Australia’s Best Towing Locations

If you’re not sure what your engine temperature should be under normal conditions, reach out to Just Autos or your car manufacturer for advice. And always have a coolant additive on hand in case of overheating – never push your engine beyond its limits just to save a few dollars on fuel!

Stay Safe with Correct Weight Distribution

One of the most common causes of accidents while towing is incorrect weight distribution. This is when the weight of the towed object isn’t evenly distributed across the tow vehicle and trailer or caravan. This can cause instability and lead to loss of control, especially at high speeds.

Read More: How to Build Your Perfect 4WD for Holiday Touring

To avoid this, be sure to pack your trailer or caravan evenly and distribute the weight as best as possible. You may also need to upgrade your suspension system to accommodate for the extra weight.

Towing Essentials for Caravans and Trailers - Land Cruiser towing a trailer

Tow with Confidence

If you’re not sure about any of the above, don’t worry! The team at Just Autos are experts in all things towing, from caravans and trailers to UTEs, SUVs and 4x4s. We can help you find the perfect tow bar or hitch for your needs, as well as advise you on the correct weight distribution and braking systems.

For more information about towing, towing upgrades and modifications, speak with one of our experts at Just Autos.

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