So, you’re ready to set off in your new JAWA hybrid caravan or camper trailer? We love your enthusiasm! But if this is your first trek, we want to make sure that it’s an easy, safe and enjoyable adventure – without any hiccups.
Our team at JAWA have put together some top towing tips, you can set off in your hybrid caravan or camper trailer without any worries.
Do Some Basic Safety Checks First
Before you hit the road you should always complete your pre-towing checks — preferably at a time when you’re not busy packing or chasing the kids around. Look over your coupling, safety chains and break-away wire to see that they’re connected, and check that your trailer plug is secure. Make sure your gas cylinders are off, your taillights are in good working condition and then close and secure your caravan’s doors, windows and hatches. Before you set off, make sure your handbrake is released and all wheel chocks are put away.
Take a good look at your tow vehicle and make sure everything’s in order there as well, including a full tank of petrol and the right amount of oil, brake fluid and coolant. Also check that your lights, indicators, battery and brakes are all functioning as they should. It’s also a smart idea to book in a service for your van, so you can make sure everything is in perfect working order.
Have you checked your tyres? Make sure your tyres are in good condition and aren’t showing any signs of deterioration. Even if your store your caravan in a garage, your tyres can still deteriorate over time.
In terms of tyre pressure, make sure you never pump up your tyres above the maximum pressure (you’ll find this detail stamped on your tyre’s sidewall). Generally speaking, caravan tyre pressures for bitumen roads can sit around 45-60psi, dusty roads may be around 35psi and corrugated roads may require anywhere from 18 – 28psi, depending on the speed limit and condition of the road. If you’re unhooking your caravan to travel on sand or you’re changing your course and going off-road, you’ll have to keep a portable pump handy for inflating and deflating your tyres.
Packing Your Caravan For Towing
There’s a few things you can do to make your caravan safer when towing. Firstly, only pack what you need, so you don’t risk overpacking your hybrid caravan. A good way to do this is to create a packing list — and stick to it!
You should always know your vehicle’s legal towing capacity and ensure that you’re not adding weight that will exceed your caravan’s maximum weight capacity. Also, keep in mind that filling your water tanks will add 1 kilogram of weight for every litre of water, so this weight must be factored in before you write up your packing list.
If you’d like to learn more about towing weights, check out our Towing Explanation.
When you pack, make sure it’s as evenly distributed (weight-wise) on both sides of your caravan, with as much weight as you can situated above the axles.
Make sure that everything that you pack is secure, so there’s no chances of breakages or supplies rolling around while you’re on the road.
Driving Techniques For Towing A Caravan
If this is your first time towing a caravan, it can feel like a daunting task. While you must exercise extra caution when you’re towing, there are some tips to help you stay safe on the road.
When you’re overtaking other vehicles, you won’t be able to accelerate as strongly, so you have to factor in this before you move back into the left-hand lane. Always keep a safe distance between vehicles and don’t overtake slower vehicles when travelling downhill. If you encounter a steep hill, it’s important to take it slow and engage a lower gear before you start travelling downhill. Going too fast or braking suddenly can create a dangerous situation when towing downhill.
To lower the risk of swaying, stay aware of weather conditions as strong winds can result in caravan swaying. Even the pull from passing large vehicles can affect your caravan, so try to keep as much distance as possible. If you do encounter swaying, gently slow down your vehicle by approximately 10-15km/h before applying the electric brake override and accelerating.
Towing Your JAWA Caravan or Camper
We hope you’re excited about your next road trip or off-road adventure. If you’d like some advice on towing your caravan, or you’re interested in our parts or accessories for your trip, connect with JAWA Off Road Campers on 07 5479 6844. Happy towing!
Jawa Camper Trailers are the number 1 choice for hundreds of families in Queensland and all around Australia. We build products we stand behind and with thousands of kilometres travelled across some of the most rugged roads in Australia, we are ready to find you the camper that will get you where you are going!
When travelling with a camper, you don’t want to be held back by the terrain. Jawa Camper Trailers combine quality components with great designs and outstanding features to make your trip enjoyable.