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Towing tips for caravans and trailers, including how to reverse easily!
Take a look at your car from the side, the longer the wheel base the better chance it has of being a good tow car, now look at the distance from the centre of the rear wheel to the tow bar, the shorter this is the better! Also ensure your car engine size is sufficient to tow the trailer or caravan, your vehicle manual will be able to help you further.
Actual Laden Weight (ALW)
Fully Laden Weight (FLW)
Kerb Weight (KW)
Towing Vehicle Weight Ratio (TWWR)
The new regulations means that towbars are manufactured to a higher European Standard. The stronger towbars will ensure that mechanical failure of the coupling between a trailer to a motor vehicle becomes even more safer ensuring that the towbars are manufactured to the highest quality standards. NOTE: Fitting of a 94/20 towbar to a vehicle that has type approval could jeopardise human safety and will invalidate any vehicle insurance.
Finding Nose Weight
If the nose weight is not well balanced and too light or too heavy the trailer will be difficult to tow and result in poor towing stability. A heavy nose weight could result in lowering the rear car suspension so the beam of light from the headlights dazzle other drivers, which could be dangerous for oncoming vehicles.
Ensure that the tyre pressures of the vehicle and the trailer are correct. Deflated tyres are unstable and dangerous, especially when towing!
On the Road
Accidents often happen simply because the driver has not realised the overall length of the vehicle and trailer he is driving, combined with the additional weight!
Purchasing an extension mirror will assist in improving vision. NOTE: depending on the width of the trailer or caravan the extension mirror may be a legal requirement.
Corners – Turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction to where you want the caravan or trailer to turn. Once moving gradually reverse this action as required.
Practice make perfect! Don’t be put off by early failure attempts.
How to Avoid Snaking
Keep within the nose and laden weight limits of your car and trailer
If you feel you are snaking, remove your foot from the accelerator, and very gently brake until you have regained control of the trailer or caravan. DO NOT brake heavily or accelerate!
The breakaway cable automatically operates the trailer brake if the trailer or caravan becomes detached from the towing vehicle. Attaching the breakaway cable can be done in two ways.
NOTE: you must ensure there is enough slack in the cable so that the break is not activated during a tight corner.
The breakaway cable must load the braking system operating mechanism of the trailer at its Fully Laden Weight on a 18% gradient
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