Advice on towing a camping trailer

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 13:12
ThreadID: 110684 Views:2025 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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We have purchased a dual axle Camping Trailer weighing 1000kg loaded. The problem is whether we need to purchase a small 4x4 we have tried to tow the trailer with a Toyota Camry towing capacity 1200kg and the trailer works up a sway at 80klm. This trailer has been towed behind a Toyota Kluger and Toyota Prado at 100klms and no sway with the same load.

So we are thinking our only option is a new car so thinking small 4x4.

Advice on whether we need to get a new car and if so what car would be suitable not wanting to spend over $30,000.
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Reply By: Member - John - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 13:39

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 13:39
G'day, I would be checking a few things before I went and bought a new tow vehicle, unless, reading between the lines, you really want a small 4wd? Check the weight of the trailer, it maybe way heavier than you think, check tyre pressures, check how the trailer has been loaded, unbalanced etc. Then when you have checked those things, and all ok, I would be considering a 4wd as tow vehicle. Good luck.
John

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Reply By: allein m - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 13:47

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 13:47
you have not said how experienced you are at towing and where you plan to go

my only real advice is know your limits

if you are happy to sit on say 90k stay on that do not let people push you past your comfort zone

I saw on the form a member had a blow out in his big van and he had a dash camera and just looking at the blow out scared me
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Reply By: Crackles - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:36

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:36
Heather 1000kg sounds pretty light for a loaded tandem camper but given that is the actual weight I'd be looking at wheel alignment & tow ball weight. If they are both OK then the use of a weight distribution hitch would assist transferring some load to the front wheel drive Camry & take the sway out of it. Worn suspension bushes or wheel bearings may also contribute to sway.
If the 1 tonne weight is the empty trailer quoted by the manufacturer then by the time food, cloths, water & all the extra gear is loaded you will quickly go over the Camry's tow capacity meaning time to an upgrade.
Cheers Craig.............
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Reply By: garrycol - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:39

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 14:39
Why does a camping trailer that only weighs 1000kg loaded have dual axles - with an all up weight of 1000kg almost anything should tow it with ease. If it is swaying them you need to look at your setup and loading. It is not the car that is the issue but the camper.

Garry
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 15:01

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 15:01
I have a tandem axle camper and it is close to 1500kg when loaded.

I suspect that to attach the camper to the Camry that most of the weight is placed onto the front axle of the camper due to the low ball height of the Camry? That in itself would create an unstable towing platform.

Cheers Kev





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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 06:44

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 06:44
This. Make sure the trailer isn't trying to lift the back of the Camry as tandems on cars tend to do. Get an adjustable hitch and raise it until the trailer is sitting level and applying downward force on the ball.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 11:42

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 11:42
Is the suspension load sharing (ie is there a see-saw lever between the front and rear leaf springs?) If not then you have the wrong rig for the Camry.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 17:36

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 17:36
How old is the Camry and how many kms has it travelled? A high km Camry would probably need shock absorber/suspension struts replaced to ensure stable handling with a trailer at highway speeds.

Trailer sway is caused by the following;

1. Too much weight in the rear of the trailer. Move weighty items to a position in front of the axle/s.
2. Too much trailer rear overhang. Too many trailers have centrally-set axles and a long overhang. Axles should be set at least 50mm rearwards from the centre of the trailer box.
3. Not enough weight on the towbar (the hitch should have around 50-70kg weight on it. The maximum hitch weight for a Camry is 110kg).
4. Too much hitch weight. This makes the front of the car lift and reduces steering control.
5. Low tyre pressures on either car or trailer. Always ensure your tyre pressures are correct for highway speeds.
6. Too low a load rating on either car or trailer tyres, allowing excessive tyre wall flex. Make sure you have tyres fitted that can carry the load you are hauling.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 544087

Reply By: Heather M6 - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 20:04

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 20:04
Thank you to all replied I will look into your suggestions.
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Follow Up By: Member - Wildmax - Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 00:13

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 00:13
Hi Heather
If you are not experienced at this, I'd suggest taking your vehicle and hitched trailer to a friend with some knowledge of towing, or to a local caravan club or similar, to get some advice.
A visual inspection will be able to tell them a fair bit about the set up, and possibly identify any problems, before you go to the expense of a new vehicle or costly modifications.
Wildmax
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Reply By: madfisher - Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 21:44

Sunday, Jan 11, 2015 at 21:44
A friend of mine had some issues towing his boat with a 380, traded it on a diesel xtrail 2011 model and its a huge improvement. He went for the diesel model for the extra torque.
He brought and immaculate Ti model for about $24000.
Cheers Pete
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 13:10

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 at 13:10
Just to labour the obvious: any rig over 750 kg needs brakes.
AnswerID: 544118

Reply By: mountainman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 16:50

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 at 16:50
Your trailer is the problem
I have used hire car trailers..
fully loaded.
these trailers have eye to loose leaf pack..
front and rear.
this causes problems as one axle has all the load.. causing your trailer to pull your vehicle off the road..
ive had thid happen but we stayed under a 100kms..
towed it back empty.. on a 110.
No worries
dont waste money on replacing vehicle..
spent good money on the AXLE setup..
such as mentioned a few posts above..
you really need a centre pivot setup..
to level out the weight on front and rear axle.

Its a bit dearer than the stock setups on hire car trailers.
these old... cheap setups should be outlawed
no trailer that is meant to take a decent weight... should be without the centre pivot setup..
its that good!!

Keep your car. .
its the spring setup on the trailer thats the issue
cheers

also try have the A frame on the trailer and the towbar.. sitting nice and level
or close enough at least
when coupled up and loaded :-)
AnswerID: 544181

Reply By: swampfox - Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 15:15

Sunday, Feb 01, 2015 at 15:15
hi
In a nut shell either the van is wrong and or the tow vehicle is poorly set up

Eg van should not exceed max tow weight fully loaded
10% weight on ball have this measured either with bathroom scales or towbar shop
"""Most importantly """
Have the loaded van chassis level and tow vehicle on level ground

note hitch heights on both ,vehicle tow ball should be 25mm higher
On a Camry better rear shocks and springs is a must when towing near max capacity of vehicle .

A good idea is to only use 1/2 to 2/3 of tow capacity of vehicle

swampfox
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