By Andrew Clark
Published: Thursday, August 29, 2019
Updated: September 17, 2019 at 3:37 pm
Many of us will use spring’s blue skies and warm weather as an excuse to hit the road, trailer in tow. Here's what you need to know before you go.
First, you’ll need a towbar. These days, towbar fitters will do all the work for you, installing the correctly rated bar to suit your car. That way, you’ll know it’s compliant with Australian Design Rules, vehicle standards and regulations.
Keep in mind though, the weight of your loaded trailer or caravan has to be within your car’s towing capacity – you can find this in your car’s owner’s manual.
Some manufacturers also place a recommended towing speed in their owner’s manual, so check for this too.
You can usually find your trailer’s rated maximum weight on a plaque on the towbar.
If you’re carting a load around, it can’t protrude more than 15cm from the side of your trailer and can’t exceed a total width of 2.5m.
Lengthways, your car and attachment can’t measure more than 19m. If anything sticks out more than 1.2m from the back of your trailer, you’ll need to fasten a brightly coloured flag to it.
No matter what you’re towing, safety chains are vital. Anything weighing less than 2.5 tonnes requires one safety chain, while trailers weighing between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes must have at least two chains.
Finally, make sure that whatever you’re towing has operational taillights, brake lights and indicators, and that all tyres are suitably inflated.