Driving/Towing - Towing
Towing can be enjoyable but is sometimes disastrous. Here are a number of articles that will help.
ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL
Electronics can help stabilise a swaying combination - updated October 2017.
Electronic aids can make towing safer, but won't compensate for a badly balanced towing vehicle and trailer.
SAFE AND LEGAL TOWING
Staying within the law isn't helped by inaccurate tow vehicle and trailer weights - September 2016.
Nationally accepted trailer towing regulations make it theoretically easier for owners to comply with the legalities of towing, but there’s much that’s not covered by legislation.
TOWBALL WEIGHT AND TRAILER STABILITY
Science outweighs the rule of thumb - updated July 2017
Why do the Aussies and Yanks insist on 10-15-percent towball weight, while the Europeans are content with around six percent? Towing speed is the main reason for the difference and that makes the Australian practice something of a misfit.
ACTIVE CALIBRATION BRAKE CONTROLLER FROM REDARC - November 2015
Tow-Pro Elite has Active Calibration that constantly monitors the direction of travel, removing the need for an initial calibration process.
AL-KO'S NEW OFF-ROAD TRAILER COUPLING
This fully-articulating coupling fits a standard 50mm tow ball
Engineered by AL-KO in Australia for extreme off-road conditions, the new AL-KO Off-Road Ball Coupling allows extreme vertical and horizontal articulation and has an easy-hitching design using a standard 50mm tow ball - avoiding the inconvenience of pin or hole alignment that causes connection issues with many off road couplings.
AL-KO's 2016 INDEPENDENT TRAILER SUSPENSION
Best known for its torsion bar axles AL-KO has developed an off-road wishbone suspension.
AL-KO Enduro suspension is available in two configurations: one for on-road and one for off-road conditions. Both have been engineered and built in Australia, and have been subjected to an extreme testing program.
ARK TRAILER COUPLING
This coupling uses a 50mm ball, but has full off-road articulation - March 2017
The ARK coupling fills a gap left by the demise of the Hyland Hitch that used a standard towball, yet had full articulation. The ARK unit takes the solution even further, with a safe, simple locking mechanism.
TOWSAFE WEIGHT SCALE
This low-profile weight scale is a useful safety tool - February 2017
Knowing your ball weight and axle weights is an important step in complying with the law and keeping your towing vehicle and trailer safe. The Towsafe caravan and trailer weight control scale is a useful tool for preserving trailer balance.
BILSTEIN SHOCK ABSORBERS FOR CARAVANS AND CAMPER TRAILERS - March 2015
These high-performance dampers are now suitable for trailers.
Bilstein shock absorbers are well known for their high-performance damping abilities on 4WDs and now there's a revalved range to suit single and dual mounting on caravans and camper trailers.
DEXTER TORFLEX AXLE/SUSPENSION
This design combines torsion bar suspension and an axle tube - January 2016
The design is low-profile, like a leaf-spring arrangement, but has better ride quality and the advantage of independent action: a bump or hole on one side of the vehicle doesn’t directly affect the other side.
DON'T BELIEVE 4WD TRAILER RATINGS - June 2015
You need to check vehicle and trailer weight claims very carefully.
Before you buy a towing vehicle you need to make sure that it can do the job. Don’t rely solely on 4WD makers’ claims about permitted trailer weights, because in many cases they have small-print conditions attached.
EUROPEAN TO AUSTRALIAN CONNECTORS
A 13-pin to seven-pin adaptor.
A European 4WD may come with a 13-pin EEC electrical trailer connector and it's difficult to fit the Australian seven-pin in its place.
E-Z LUBE LOW-MAINTENANCE TRAILER SPINDLES
This design takes the uncertainty out of trailer wheel bearing care - January 2016
A trailer running gear lubrication system that’s simple to maintain and completely submersible.
MCHITCH UNIGLIDE TRAILER COUPLING
This new design suits most trailers and offers easy coupling - March 2016
McHitch has come up with a new design that promises easy coupling and uncoupling. It suits trailers with electric brakes or override mechanical and hydraulic brakes.
NEATER TOWING MIRRORS
Ugly, shaky, strap-on mirrors can be things of the past.
We all know the issues involved with using some auxiliary mirrors on vehicles towing wide loads: brackets working loose or falling off, panels scratched and vibration that makes the mirror images almost useless. There is a solution for these issues, for certain vehicle makes and models.
OUTBACK TRAILER TROUBLES
Keep it simple and as light as possible in the bush.
During our Camper Trailer Torture Tests we've encountered some problems with trailer electrical connections, but we also witnessed the results of the strange trailer towing choices that some 4WD enthusiasts make.
OZHITCH TRAILER COUPLING TEST
We've bought an OzHitch coupling for hauling Jol Fleming's camper - February 2016
This low-profile hitch has been designed with maximum articulation and ample clearance when used with towing vehicle tailgates or barn doors. It also offers self-aligning coupling and uncoupling.
STONE STOMPER TRAILER PROTECTION - January 2016
Everyone who tows wants to reduce flying stone damage..
We've been testing the Stone Stomper system and reckon it's an excellent way to protect your trailer from flying stone damage.
TOWING CORRECTLY - January 2016
A balanced rig and good driving skills are essential.
The correct towing technique can make the difference between the holiday of a lifetime and a nightmare.
Suggestions on what to tow where.
Where you take your camper van, boat or caravan depends on many factors and, before we start laying down some guidelines on where you should or should not take this or that piece of trailing equipment, let’s acknowledge that, with sufficient determination, you can take anything virtually anywhere.
TRAILER CONNECTIONS EXAMINED
The right connections are vital - updated with video May 2014
Safe, appropriate and legal coupling to a trailer involves many factors and all trailer couplings should comply with the Australian code of practice for light trailer construction. We take you through the maze.