The Most Common Safety Concerns When Towing A Caravan
If the thought of towing a caravan makes your squint, fear not, it’s not as hard as it seems. You may be asking yourself, will your vehicle behind to handle the extra weight sometimes dictating which way the car steers? How do you turn corners and reverse safely? Thousands of holidaymakers have all gone through the same concerns as you. The key is to understand what to expect and anticipate when and where you’ll run into the most difficulty. Towing a caravan adds a lot of length to your vehicle and in fact, changes the characteristics of the overall handling. Everything is affected by the extra weight, such as braking distances, turning circles, acceleration, fuel economy and most abundantly clear, the size of your transport. It doesn’t have to be stressful, it doesn’t take, but a short few changes and the trip can become enjoyable and void of worry.
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If you’re in need of a more confidence, you can book yourself into a towing course. There you’ll learn how to anticipate the movement of the caravan and work with it rather than against it. Courses as such teach parking, reversing, executing a three-point turn, judging braking distances and accurately steering around rural and suburban roads.
Before heading to the highway, buy door-mounted mirrors as the principal means seeking wider and further back when towing your caravan is not impeded by the extra length. Rear view cameras such as from www.safetydave.com.au, are cameras that are mounted at the back of the caravan allowing you to see who’s behind you and they came in quite handy when parking. Equally, keep a fire extinguisher in the caravan, in the case of a fire at the tailpipe of your car should any plastics begin to overheat and melt; also useful when cooking inside the caravan. Check your brake pressure and see if they’re operating properly.
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Equally, any caravan over half a ton is most likely to have its own brakes, and you must test those too. Apply the brakes and allow the towed caravan to move forward slightly. If it sways, it means one side is weaker than the other, giving you the information you need to correct the matter. Under-inflated tyres will create a towing risk. The dig into the road more and is impacted by the weight of the structure they support more, meaning they could rip under speed and potentially cause an accident. This could start out as a gentle swaying and then escalate, so keep a happy medium for the pressures.
The weight and capability
First and foremost, before you can even choose your caravan, your vehicle must have the power and structure to cope with the extra weight that will be put on its axle. As a rule of thumb, an average family car can tow up to 1.5 times its own weight, so your caravan must fit within that bracket. If the weight is equal to your car, drive with precaution and as sensibly as you can; but the car can still achieve the normal driving speeds on most roads. In any case, it’s never a good idea to match the weight because it puts a lot of strain on your car’s engine, tyres, suspension and brakes.