When it comes to towing your caravan, the right towbar selection and proper coupling are paramount to a safe and enjoyable journey. Whether you’re a seasoned caravanner or a newcomer to the world of towing, understanding the essentials of towbar selection and coupling is crucial. In this guide, we’ll share top tips and advice to help you choose the appropriate towbar for your vehicle and master the art of securely coupling your caravans. With the right knowledge and techniques, you can hit the road with confidence, knowing that your car and caravan are in perfect harmony for a seamless and memorable adventure.
Traveling is more and more becoming preferred activity enjoyed by most people, and caravanning is one of the most cost-effective ways to spend a holiday or a summer vacation. The National Caravan Council (NCC) indicated that caravan holiday bookings had increased by over 15% over previous years.
Do you want to be a part of the caravan fad? Before you drive off into the horizon, you’ll need to check off some basic items. Once it concerns towing your caravan, you’ll need to check a few things.
The first is, how much weight are you going to be towing? Large trailers will weigh more than small trailers. The size of the trailer creates a considerable influence on the amount of strain you put on your trailer. When towbar fitting, make sure to check the suggested weight limit to ensure you get the right one for the job. To plan the right holiday with no setbacks, here are 15 tips on towbar selection and coupling your caravan.
1. Flange Towbar
This towbar is used most in business. Drivers pulling huge trucks and caravans over long distances prefer this. This is because of a variety of companion accessories, like bumper shields, towbar balls, etc. These tools help in towbar fitting by changing the tow bar’s height and helping with towing. So if you want to tow big trailers this option comes highly recommended because it is adaptable and compatible with other add-ons.
2. Swan Neck Towbar
This towbar has been gaining popularity due to its sleek, rounded, and polished appearance. The towbar fitting provides for the same pulling power. This towbar comes with attachments but has its pros and cons, so feel free to weigh them before making a choice.
3. Detachable Towbar
Towbar that can be detached has grown popular among drivers who aren’t always on the road. As a result, This is recommended for traveling on a family vacation that does not require a tow bar at all times. Here the towbar fitting and removal take a matter of seconds.
4. The height of a Towball
While towbar fitting, all towbars should be able to raise the ball to the proper height. Ensure the towball’s core seems to be between 350mm and 420mm off the surface. We recommend that you double-check because this is a legal necessity. If you’re buying a towbar for an off-road vehicle, ensure it has a fixed-height bar or a height-adjustable bar.
5. Coupling device height
When attached and stable, the caravan must be equal or a little nose down, and when being pulled, it should not be above level.
6. Points of attachment for breakaway cables
It is advised to have your caravan equipped with a safety system that protects them in the improbable event that the primary coupling separates while in motion. For this, the mainframe of your towbar must feature a breakaway cable attachment point. If a trailer becomes disconnected from its towing vehicle, this feature is engineered to apply the brakes.
7. Second-hand Towbars
These towbars are frequently advertised on the internet or through advertisements. These are potentially harmful because you have no means of knowing how they’ve been used, whether the towbar fitting clicks well with your vehicle, or if all of the necessary parts and fasteners are included. We highly caution against using a second-hand unit. If a towbar comes installed on a used automobile, have it inspected by a qualified towbar installer?
8. Blockage of the number plate
Obstructing a car’s rear number plate with your towbar fitting or any accompanying equipment is illegal. When you’re not towing, kindly remove your towball or any attachments if it overlaps the number plate. Try implementing a detachable towbar to save the hassle of unbolting frequently.
9. The Law
To determine if a towbar fitting will suit your requirements, it must also meet the relevant standards established by law as well as the maker’s regulatory standards. Most manufacturers promote their certified towbars, and some even suggest that these should be used exclusively. However, in practice specialist towbar manufacturers can advise you on the best foods for your vehicle.
While purchasing a towbar fitting, ensure the towbar manufacturer offers a warranty on their product that covers any damage to the car caused by the towbar.
11. Weight Precautions
The maximum load that can be safely transported is usually recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. These are not to be exceeded. Beginners to caravanning will benefit from not hauling more than the towing vehicle’s empty weight. Weight becomes an issue when you travel through mountainous regions as they can strain your engine’s power and the last thing we need is to be deserted on a hill.
12. Towbar Fitting
There must be no sacrifice when it comes to towbars. Always get a well-known product with a plate on it that states the maximum towing load. If you buy a new vehicle with an attached towbar, don’t presume it meets the vehicle’s towing capacity. Many attached towbars are designed to tow modest trailers, not caravans that are fully laden. Invest in a towbar capable of towing your caravan’s weight.
13. The way you drive
Many first-time caravanners are apprehensive about pulling or navigating a car and caravan. Difficulties can arise as a result of an incompatible vehicle combination, improper loading, a lack of adequate towing equipment, or simply a lack of expertise. But honestly, towing a caravan need not be any more difficult than driving a car after the aforementioned problems have been addressed.
14. Wind Deflectors
A car’s wind deflector may generate more debate than any other caravanning equipment. They work well but certain deflectors are more harmful than beneficial. It’s important to note that everything affixed to a vehicle’s roof, like a wind deflector, boosts fuel usage. So weigh the merits and demerits before deciding to install any attachments.
15. Electrical Breaks
These have been standard on caravans for years now. These braking systems are effective and simple to keep up with. However, an electric brake controller should be fitted in the towing vehicle to avail of this feature. It is advisable to get this done by an auto electrician. The most effective electrical brake controllers incorporate a motion-sensing feature. They calculate how much braking the trailer needs to make for a safe stop. It is possible to convert older caravans with mechanical brakes to an electric system.
Better safe than sorry, while adventuring and traveling are fun sports it’s always well advised to read through tips and prevent possible accidents or to be aware of what to do in times of an emergency. The safety tips are endless but we’ve listed out the most important things to consider before you drive towards the sunset and enjoy summer!