Preparing yourself and your vehicle for towing isn’t it just a matter of hitching up and hoping for the best! Neither is it about how big your car is. There are many legalities involved these days, so it is most important to be aware of all legal restrictions to ensure everything tows safely.

There is also a lot of additional equipment that can be fitted to your car to assist you in towing and maneuvering your van with ease. Here are a few car modifications to make your towing venture as hassle free and as easy as possible.

    • Fitting a suitable brake controller and connection: all trailers of 750kg gross trailer mass (GTM) or more must be fitted with brakes.
      A lot of the newer caravans have been fitted with electric brakes. However, to enable the electric brakes to function an electric brake controller must be installed in the towing vehicle. Once a brake controller is adjusted correctly you will be able to slow the car and caravan combination with the same force on the brake pedal as that needed to stop the car by itself.
    • Adequate rear and side vision. When you are towing a caravan that is wider than the narrowest part of the rear of your vehicle, it is important that you fit additional towing mirrors to stay safe on the road while towing. It is a legal requirement that the driver has a clear and unobstructed view of the road to the rear of the vehicle, or vehicle combination, at all times.
    • In a caravan, where it has either a battery that requires charging or a fridge that operates off a 12V supply, an Anderson Plug is essential. The Anderson plug, basically speaking, is a specialised socket that allows charge from the car battery to flow through to your caravan without draining the battery.
    • Running auxiliary fridge wires.  This allows the caravan’s refrigerator to run on the tow vehicle’s 12V source whilst you are driving.
    • If you have the new disk brakes– they will need their own power source, supplied from your vehicle.
    • Another important thing to consider is the amount of draw from the Anderson Plug on your car battery. If you stop the car for lunch along the way, you may come back to your car to find the battery is flat so we recommended installing a VSR – Voltage Sensitive Relay. When the engine is not running there is no charge from the alternator to the battery and the voltage of the battery will drop. Once the voltage drops to 12.8V the VSR will disconnect from the auxiliary battery. This means that the auxiliary battery cannot discharge or draw power from your starting battery, leaving enough power to re start the car engine and continue your travels.

We hope these few tips will get you on your way to a safer towing experience.

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