Setting Up and Driving Off
This is almost a subject in itself but if you have never towed before then it's worth hitching up your empty caravan and spending a few hours driving around getting used to the feel of towing. This can include time in an empty car park, practising reversing!
When a van is loaded it's also a good idea to check the ball weight because how the van is loaded will affect it. Ball weight is something to get right because if it is too light, the caravan will sway around, especially on long runs down hill
. Alternatively, if the ball weight is too heavy, the tow vehicles rear suspension
will be forced down, affecting braking, steering and in the case of front wheel drives, traction.
The easiest way is on a vehicle weighbridge. Weigh the fully loaded (including topped up water tanks
) caravan by itself. It should be less than the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) on the caravan nameplate. Hitch up the tow vehicle and weigh again with just the caravan wheels on the weighbridge. The difference between the two weights is the ball weight and it should be close to 10% of the fully loaded weight. If not, then something may have to be moved but if it's right then you are ready to leave.
Related Articles - see How to Tow a Trailer
Finally, if you have never tried the Caravan lifestyle, then do some research before buying anything. Websites like this one offer good advice and enable you to search for, and make contact, with manufacturers and retailers.
By using our Caravans Directory you will find websites and contact details for businesses Australia