Close Button X Page Heading Polygon location marker icon phone icon Icon arrow down icon of Facebook logo icon of Twitter logo icon of YouTube logo icon of LinkedIn logo icon of Google+ logo icon of Pintarest logo icon of Share logo Get a Quote Dollar Icon Download a Brochure Icon Book a Service Spanner Icon Specials Discount Tag Icon Book a Test Drive steering wheel Icon Search our Stock Icon Question Mark in a Circle Icon Dollar Sign on a Bag of Money Female Icon Circle with Cross Underneath icon of a Large Share logo Icon of a car Icon of an Eye Search our Stock Icon Calculator Icon More Content Below Learner Approved Motorcycles (LAM) View Right Arrow Icon of Instagram Logo Icon of Left Arrow Icon of a Left Arrow for a Carousel Icon of a Right Arrow for a Carousel Icon of Double Left Arrow Icon of Right Arrow Icon of 3 Horizontal Lines Icon of a 4 square Quandrant Icon of a car Hand Offering Cash Icon Envelope Icon List Symbol of Lines and Dots Icon Calculator Icon Book a Test Drive steering wheel Icon Get a Quote Dollar Icon Icon of a magnifying Glass Icon of a Dollar Symbol Video Click to Start Icon Printer Icon Close Button Circle X Icon of 3.5 star rating Icon of 4 star rating Icon of Empty Star Outline Icon of Filled Star Icon of Half Filled Star Icon of Specials Tag and Star Search our Stock Icon Icon of a tick/check symbol Calculator Icon Google Translator Icon of the letter G and chinese character Powered by I-Motor - link to I-Motor website Icon of Arrow Pointing Left Icon of Home Used on Error Pages Icon of two cars from the front Icon of square speech bubble with dollar symbol icon of a line version of a map marker icon of a line version of a map marker icon of a line version of a map marker icon of a line version of a car icon of a line version of a magnifying glass Icon of extra-large circle car and spanner Icon of small circle car and spanner Icon of xtra-large phone Icon of small phone Icon of xtra-large gps marker Icon of small gps marker Icon of extra-large chat bubble Icon of small chat bubble Icon of extra-large specials tag Icon of small specials tag Icon of extra-large clock Icon of extra-large clock Icon of small line phone Line icon of small line Map marker Line icon of building with flag Line icon of a small car Line icon of a small spanner Line icon of a small piston Icon of large car Icon of large spanner Icon of piston Icon of two cars from the front Icon of a calculator Icon of building with a flag Icon of large X Oh What a Feeling Stacked Oh What a Feeling Single Line Shopping Cart Icon

Blog: Post

Back
blog large image - Considering Towing a Caravan? Tips for First Timers

Considering Towing a Caravan? Tips for First Timers

Camping is a favourite Australian pastime, and there’s no greater feeling than hopping in the car and hitting the open road. Although sleeping on the ground in a tent is a perfectly fine option for those willing to rough it a little, touring with a caravan definitely offers a more luxurious outdoors experience.  

 But what if you’re new to towing a caravan? It’s important to do your research into towing capacity, weight balances, turning and braking techniques to ensure that you arrive at your campsite - and back home again - safe and sound.  

What is towing capacity and how do I know what type of caravan my vehicle can handle?

In order for vehicles to tow caravans or other types of trailers both safely and legally, they must only tow within their stated towing capacity recommended by the manufacturer. This towing limit is often listed as either braked towing capacity (referring to trailers that have their own brakes and an electric tow kit installed) and unbraked towing capacity (for trailers that weigh less than 750kg without brakes). Towing limits are also subject to the type of towbar being used, vehicle design and rear axle strength, equipment being towed and regulatory requirements. It’s a good idea to buy a tow vehicle with a relatively long wheelbase and a vehicle that’s as heavy or heavier than the caravan being towed to help keep the vehicle firmly planted on the road.  

How to calculate capacity for safely towing a caravan

When choosing a vehicle for towing a caravan, the vehicle’s weight needs to be considered when the car is fully loaded - including all accessories on the vehicle (roof racks, tow bars, awnings etc.), as well as fuel, passengers and luggage. You will also need to consider the weight of all of your camping gear, accessories, and food that will be carried in the caravan itself. To understand what type of caravan will work best with your vehicle, you need to look at Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM), Gross Trailer Mass (GTM) and Gross Combined Mass (GCM). When buying a vehicle for towing, you need to deduct the Gross Vehicle Mass from the Gross Combined Mass and then subtract the weight of everything you’ll be carrying. This will result in the maximum Gross Trailer Mass that the vehicle can handle. As all of these numbers are interrelated, close attention needs to be paid when purchasing a vehicle and caravan combination. Make sure that any trailer you are going to tow weighs less than the maximum tow rating of the vehicle you will be driving. 

Toyota’s top towing vehicles

Toyota has a long list of vehicles that are perfect for exploring the great outdoors, but they all have different towing capacities that need to be paid attention to. It’s also important to note that the specs of a vehicle can influence towing capacity (petrol vs diesel, or 2WD vs 4WD for example). As a quick reference, here is a general list of Toyota’s top towing vehicles with their corresponding braked towing capacities: 

When purchasing one of these vehicles for the purpose of towing a caravan, we recommend that your vehicle is equipped with a Genuine Toyota Tow Bar. Our tow bars have been designed using the vehicle CAD information so they are best positioned to transfer weight appropriately to the vehicle. Toyota Genuine Accessories are safety tested on the vehicle rather than independently of the car. 

Safety first for a stress-free, enjoyable journey

Before setting off on your next adventure, be sure that you give your vehicle a once over to ensure brakes, fluid levels, and your tyres are all in good condition. It’s also very important to install good towing mirrors before towing a caravan for the first time so you have maximum visibility. Another important tip is to ensure that the weight in the caravan is properly distributed. Start by packing the heaviest items first - just ahead of the wheel axles, and keep the weight spread evenly and low to the ground. Never store heavy items up high as it will raise the centre of gravity making the caravan more prone to tipping. Most importantly, double and triple check that the hitch, safety chains, braking and electrical cables are attached and secured properly.  

For first-time towers, it’s a good idea to practice reversing, braking and turning before you head off on your big adventure - and if you are really nervous about towing a caravan, look online for a local towing course before you hit the open road. By doing the necessary research and preparations up front, towing a caravan will give you the freedom to venture off to places you’ve never dreamed of and create memories to last a lifetime along the way.