Tips For Towing A Caravan

Loading a Caravan

It’s important to load your caravan safely, and, where possible, it’s better to carry heavier items in your tow vehicle.

Make sure that the heaviest items are packed low and centred over the caravan’s wheel axles and the lightest items are packed up high and distributed across the vehicle.  This will help to reduce the occurrence of ‘snaking’ or ‘swaying’ of your caravan when driving.

Towing A Caravan

Before you start looking at caravans, it’s important to understand the tow capacity of the vehicle you are planning to tow it with. This rating can be found in the vehicle handbook that came with your tow vehicle.

Alternatively, tow ratings for most popular New Zealand tow vehicles are provided in this online guide from AA.

Brakes For Towing

At Atlas Direct we recommend and sell REDARC and Elecbrake electric brake controllers – a wireless electric braking systems for your caravan which don’t require any modification to your tow vehicle. 

REDARC and Elecbrake controllers feature a trailer-mounted electric brake controller, wired directly into the trailer’s electrical circuit via an easy to use “Plug & Play” adaptor. Electric brake controllers draw power from the taillight circuit as well as the brake light circuit ensuring sufficient power is available for up to two braked axles.

Before leaving the yard the electric brake controller unit will be set to suit your tow vehicle using the wireless smart phone app or remote control. Which brake controller you need will depend on the plug on your tow vehicle – eg. 7 pin or 12 pin. 

These settings can be adjusted by the driver, from the front of the tow vehicle, if required.

Tips For Towing

The maximum speed when towing a caravan in New Zealand is 90kph in a 100kph zone.

Leave at least a 4-second gap between you and the vehicle in front because your car will take longer to stop when it’s towing a caravan. Start your braking earlier when coming up to corners and intersections.

The caravan will be exerting a force on your tow ball trying to push the car forwards, including when you are driving around a corner. This extra stress on the tyres means your cornering speeds should be less so that you don’t risk jack-knifing.

Come see us at the show!

Towing a Caravan