how to tow a caravan

Things you didn't know about towing

Towing a trailer or caravan

Towing a trailer or caravan requires extra concentration and skill. You should gain  

experience before trying to tow at high speed or in confined spaces.

Before you start ensure your vehicle and trailer or caravan are safe to drive or tow.

Driving with a caravan on the highway

What to check

  • Tyres and tyre pressure
  • Wheels and suspension
  • Brakes – an efficient braking system is needed for all trailers with a loaded weight of more than 750 kg

  • Trailer coupling, including lights and safety chain. Couplings must be strong enough to take the weight     of a fully loaded trailer and must be marked with the manufacturer’s name or trademark and the rated capacity

  •  Safety chains should be short enough to stop the front of the trailer hitting the ground if the   couplings break.


  • Loading – distribute the bulk of it over the axles.
    Check the manufacturer’s towing rating for your vehicle to ensure it can legally tow the weight of the trailer or caravan.

Trailer brake system

How to tow safely


  •  When turning, allow additional space for the extra length and width of the trailer.

  •  Steer smoothly to avoid swaying, especially in wet or slippery conditions.

  •  Allow for a greater stopping distance and look ahead for any changes in road or

     traffic conditions.

  • Avoid braking unnecessarily even if the trailer begins to sway or snake. Continue at a steady speed or accelerate    slightly until the swaying stops.

  • Keep left – don’t hold up traffic unnecessarily.

More information about towing is available on the Department of Transport and Main Roads website.

Restraining your load

As a driver, you have a legal responsibility to your passengers, other road users and yourself to ensure that all loads carried by your vehicle are securely restrained.

This is how you carry loads safely

  1. Choose a suitable vehicle to carry the load.

  2. Position the load correctly, ensuring the load does not affect the vehicle’s stability, steering or braking performance.

  3. If your load is light material, for example bark chips or leaves, secure it properly. This may mean covering your load with a tarpaulin.

  4. Use suitable restraints that are strong enough and in good condition.

  5. Provide adequate load restraint to prevent movement of the load.

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