Queenslanders just love the outdoors and now caravans and camper trailers are becoming more popular with just about everyone.
They can make a holiday spontaneous, affordable, but most of all great fun.
The best part is with some expert know-how under your belt you could be towing pretty much anything without a worry!
We spoke to towing expert and qualified trainer Jeff Palmer to get his top towing tips!
BEFORE YOU DEPART
If the tyre pressures are too low, your van simply moves too much on the road so they’ve got to be a good pressure so the van stays stable but still gets traction. The vehicle is no different.
The tow vehicle needs to be heavier than the caravan because if the van’s too heavy it’s going to push the vehicle around.
When it comes to loading, target the weight over the axels and low down for stability and traction.
Don’t forget your towing mirrors on… they’re a legal requirement on Queensland roads!
Make sure your trailer plug is fully connected, then walk around and do all your light checks.
To check your brakes, dial up the electric brakes and slowly move forward, touching your brake pedal slightly. You should feel the van’s brake engages.
On the topic of brakes, don’t forget, the weight will affect your braking too so allow more time to stop than usual.
ON THE ROAD
Anything at all you’re towing that’s wider than your car cuts the corner so when you go around a corner, give yourself plenty of room. Go nice and wide.
As you turn a corner, your body will usually lean to the outside of thay corner. When you’re towing a van, you should not feel your body lean at all, it should stay completely upright.
Your speed will also depend on the conditions your driving in. Speed is one of the key factors to loss of control of a trailer, especially if weights are a little bit out of balance with the trailer so Jeff usually recommends people don’t exceed 100km/h.
Always drive to the road conditions and weather patterns.
Obviously, trailers will follow the road, and we know our roads are not always perfectly level, but if you do get that severe trailer movement left and right, that’s what the electric brake control is there for.
So if you get the sway movement, you need to stretch the two vehicles apart. You do this by holding your speed (don’t brake, don’t accelerate). The electric brake controller is going to merge your brake function so you just push the button in and keep the button pushed, which means the vehicle’s moving, the trailer is slowing, so you are stretching the two apart.
The other kind of trailer movement you can get is an up and down bouncing feeling. That happens if there’s too much weight on the tow ball and to eradicate that, you simply get some weight off the front of your trailer and back over the axels.
The Most Important Tip Of All
ENJOY IT! There is so much of Queensland to be seen and through Caravanning Queensland that all of their partners, there’s so much to do up and down the whole east coast and western Queensland.