Safe Towing Tips
Tips for Safe Towing
Top 10 Tips for Safe Towing
- Know what weight you are towing. Specifically your ball weight and ATM is important. The best way to determine this is to contact us or visit your local weigh bridge.
- Choose the correct tow vehicle and towbar to suit your towing application.
- Check you towbars compliance plate for towing specifications and limitations.
- Know how to setup, adjust and fine tune your WDH.
- Make sure your trailer bearings, tyres and brakes are in good working order and regularly inspect these.
- Fit a sway controller unit for added stability and peace of mind.
- Use towing mirrors that extend beyond the width of your trailer. Not only are they mandatory, it allows you to see the traffic behind, as well as the trailer wheels and the edge of the road.
- Towing requires additional concentration to normal driving, be sure to have regular rest stops.
- Enjoy your towing experience by making sure your trailer is set up correctly and you and your family are safe.
- If ever unsure seek advice from a towing expert, it's often free.
What are Weight Distribution Systems?
Weight distribution systems are designed to assist with the restoration of the original geometry of the tow vehicle as close as possible to that which it was prior to the coupling of the trailer. It does this by transferring the weight from the rear of the towing vehicle to the front wheels of the towing vehicle and the wheels of the towed trailer.
When a trailer is coupled to a tow vehicle, the trailer’s total ball weight is applied directly onto the rear section of the vehicle between the rear axle and towball. Like a see-saw, this will transfer the weight from the front and cause the suspension to lift. When travelling this setup can cause unnerving trailer sway, reduce steering and braking responsiveness, less traction and misaligned head lamps. Over time, you may also notice a reduction in economy and increased tyre wear.
When using the Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH), the ball weight remains the same, however, the load is distributed through the vehicle’s chassis to all four wheels. By doing this, the WDH restores the natural balance of the tow vehicle, restoring the correct suspension and steering geometry, braking efficiency and headlight alignment. All WDH systems utilize spring bars to transfer this load through the Towbar and onto the tow vehicle’s chassis.
Think of spring bars of a WDH as similar to those of the handles of a wheel barrow, when raised the weight is transferred forward.
It is important that the capacity of WDH is correctly chosen and that the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations are always followed.
<bTip Some factory fitted Towbars are not compatible and need to be evaluated before use. Not all 50mm x 50mm hitch receivers are suitable. Check your Towbar compliance plate if you are unsure.
When travelling with a trailer, strong cross winds and wind buffets from large trucks and buses can result in unnerving trailer sway. A sway controller is designed to be used in conjunction with a WDH and prevents trailer sway by retarding the pivotal movement between the tow hitch and the trailer. There are two models, the Friction Sway Controller and the Dual Cam Sway Controllers.
Please Note - if your trailer sways without the external forces mentioned above, check that your trailer is loaded and set up correctly. Sway controllers should not be used to counter sway caused by trailer incorrectly loaded or setup.
Disclaimer - Please note these are only tips and suggestions. Further professional advice must be sought before towing.