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Driving and Towing - Towing

Towing can be enjoyable but is sometimes disastrous. Here are a number of articles that will help.

ADRs AND VSBs NOT ENOUGH TO GUARANTEE SAFE CARAVANS AND TRAILERS
ADRs AND VSBs NOT ENOUGH TO GUARANTEE SAFE CARAVANS AND TRAILERS
Legally compliant vans and trailers may not be dynamically safe.

There are many ‘lemon’ complaints against caravan and camper trailer makers and importers. Sure, some are dodgy, but even the conscientious ones don’t get much guidance in safe design from the current ADRs and Vehicle Standards Bulletins. Compliance with legal requirements doesn’t necessarily result in a safe combination of tow-vehicle and trailer.

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A-FRAME TOWING
A-FRAME TOWING
Key points for safe and legal A-frame towing.

We’ve had requests to clarify the situation when A-frame towing a car behind a motorhome. In this assembly of seven different countries called the ‘Commonwealth of Australia’ that’s not a simple job.

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AL-KO PIN-TYPE TRAILER COUPLING
AL-KO PIN-TYPE TRAILER COUPLING
Hands-free coupling is the claim

For those van towers who want a pin-type coupling AL-KO has developed a new Click Lock system that is said to offer hands-free hitching and one-touch unhitching.

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AL-KO'S OFF-ROAD TRAILER COUPLING
AL-KO'S 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.

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AL-KO's 2016 INDEPENDENT TRAILER SUSPENSION
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.

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ARK TRAILER COUPLING
ARK TRAILER COUPLING
This coupling uses a 50mm ball, but has full off-road articulation.

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.

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BILSTEIN SHOCK ABSORBERS FOR CARAVANS AND CAMPER TRAILERS
BILSTEIN SHOCK ABSORBERS FOR CARAVANS AND CAMPER TRAILERS
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.

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BUSTED WHEEL STUDS AND LOOSE WHEEL NUTS
BUSTED WHEEL STUDS AND LOOSE WHEEL NUTS
Losing a wheel is no joke and can be life threatening.

The Caravan Council of Australia is accustomed to receiving reports of broken wheel studs and loose wheel nuts: sometimes with the nuts unwinding completely. However, in 2018 there was a spate of such reports.

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CLEARVIEW TOWING MIRRORS
CLEARVIEW 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, Clearview mirrors are available for certain vehicle makes and models.

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DON'T BELIEVE 4WD TRAILER RATINGS
DON'T BELIEVE 4WD TRAILER RATINGS
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.

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ELECBRAKES - BRAKING WITHOUT A TOW VEHICLE CONTROLLER
ELECBRAKES - BRAKING WITHOUT A TOW VEHICLE CONTROLLER
This trailer-fitted device controls the electric trailer brakes

Need to tow a trailer, but your vehicle doesn’t have an electric brake controller? No problem, thanks to Elecbrakes: the unit that connects to the trailer, not the towing vehicle.

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ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL
ELECTRONIC STABILITY CONTROL
Electronics can help stabilise a swaying combination.

Electronic aids can make towing safer, but won't compensate for a badly balanced towing vehicle and trailer.

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EUROPEAN TO AUSTRALIAN CONNECTORS
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.

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E-Z LUBE LOW-MAINTENANCE TRAILER SPINDLES
E-Z LUBE LOW-MAINTENANCE TRAILER SPINDLES
This design takes the uncertainty out of trailer wheel bearing care.

A trailer running gear lubrication system that’s simple to maintain and completely submersible.

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MCHITCH UNIGLIDE TRAILER COUPLING
MCHITCH UNIGLIDE TRAILER COUPLING
This new design suits most trailers and offers easy coupling.

​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.

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MSA4X4 EXTENDABLE TOWING MIRRORS
MSA4X4 EXTENDABLE TOWING MIRRORS
Multi-mode mirrors for towing vehicles.

MSA 4X4 Driving Mirrors are designed around a large single mirror that pivots on a heavy-duty extension slide. This design allows the mirror to be returned to its normal ‘non-towing’ position, so the mirrors don’t protrude permanently from the sides of the vehicle.

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NARVA COMBINATION SEVEN-PIN AND ANDERSON PLUG
NARVA COMBINATION SEVEN-PIN AND ANDERSON PLUG
One plug locates trailer lighting and battery charging.

Narva has released a seven-pin flat trailer socket that features a built-in heavy duty battery connector .

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OUTBACK TRAILER TROUBLES
OUTBACK TRAILER TROUBLES
Keep it simple and as light as possible in the bush.

During our Camper Trailer Torture Tests we encountered some problems with trailer electrical connections, but we also witnessed the results of the strange trailer towing choices that some 4WD enthusiasts make.

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OZHITCH TRAILER COUPLING TEST
OZHITCH TRAILER COUPLING TEST
We've bought an OzHitch coupling for hauling Jol Fleming's camper.

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.

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REDARC TOW-PRO ELITE V3 TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER
REDARC TOW-PRO ELITE V3 TRAILER BRAKE CONTROLLER
Easier installation and refined electronics feature in the new model.

Redarc Electronics released the next generation of its award-winning electric trailer brake controller, Tow-Pro Elite, in early 2019.

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SAFE AND LEGAL TOWING
SAFE AND LEGAL TOWING
Staying within the law isn't helped by inaccurate tow vehicle and trailer weights.

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.

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SAFE TRAILER AND CARAVAN JACKING
SAFE TRAILER AND CARAVAN JACKING
This potentially fatal operation needs to be done correctly.

Every year in Australia there are around 160 accidents with the use of vehicle jacks. Deaths and injuries, ranging from amputation and fractures to crush trauma, result from vehicles falling off vehicle jacks.

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STONE STOMPER TRAILER PROTECTION
STONE STOMPER TRAILER PROTECTION
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.

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TOWBALL WEIGHT AND TRAILER STABILITY
TOWBALL WEIGHT AND TRAILER STABILITY
Science outweighs the rule of thumb.

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.

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TOWING CORRECTLY
TOWING CORRECTLY
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.

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TOWING DESTINATIONS
TOWING DESTINATIONS
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.

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TOWSAFE WEIGHT SCALE
TOWSAFE WEIGHT SCALE
This low-profile weight scale is a useful safety tool.

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.

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TRAILER CONNECTIONS EXAMINED
TRAILER CONNECTIONS EXAMINED
The right connections are vital

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.

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TRAILER COUPLING AND SAFETY CHAIN LOCK
TRAILER COUPLING AND SAFETY CHAIN LOCK
A multi-mode security system for trailers and caravans.

Caravan theft is on the rise in Australia, so a reliable security device is essential to protect your pride and joy against theft. Purple Line's new hitch lock works in three ways.

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