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It takes 2 to caravan – know your tow!

There are 2 essential parts to enjoying the great caravan travel and holiday lifestyle – selecting the right caravan and selecting the right towing vehicle. Having a vehicle that is suitable to tow your caravan is essential for the practical purposes of getting your caravan to/from the destinations you want to visit but also for safety reasons. Road safety is paramount. The issue of the right towing vehicles has recently been in the caravan industry news with reports that a representative from the Caravan Council of Australia is calling for towing laws to be overhauled.

According to reports, the spokesperson is calling for rule to prohibit some vehicles from towing heavier caravans even where the existing laws and the vehicle rating actually allows it. In particular, they are arguing of dual cab utes are not suitable for safely towing some heavier caravans. The article outlines their reasons for this stance based on numerous technical issues. As dual cab utes are one of the most popular types of vehicles on the market, it will be interesting to see how this issue develops.

While at Jade Caravan Finance we’re experts in lending to the leisure market, we do not have the expertise to comment on this matter, we do however, want to bring the issue of towing to the attention of our customers.

Selecting Your Tow Vehicle

Each state has laws around towing and caravan buyers should be across the rules in your individual jurisdiction. It can be a matter of what comes first – the chicken or the egg? Do you buy a caravan to suit your existing vehicle or do you upgrade your car so you can buy/tow a caravan? Both can be correct and with the surge in interest in caravans and the current low interest rate on consumer loans, its likely many people are going for the double take – new caravan and new car.

Going about ensuring your vehicle and your caravan are compatible may take some research, but the end result in regards to safety, ease of towing, confidence and your overall enjoyment should be worth the effort.

We’ve done some research on key points to consider when selecting a towing vehicle.

Here’s a few pointers we picked up to share with you:-

  • Be prepared to compromise on your daily drive requirements. According to the experts, the most suitable towing vehicles for caravans tend to be the larger and heavier models. That means they are not going to be as easy to drive for your daily errands. Many families are two-car households so this can easily solve that issue.
  • Selecting a vehicle which has a tow rating higher than the loaded weight of the caravan is apparently preferred. You should be able to source the tow rating of individual vehicles from the manufacturer or dealer specifications sheets.
  • The mass rating of the tow ball needs to be taken into account. It should be sufficient even when both your vehicle and your caravan are loaded.
  • Depending on the size and space in your caravan, you may load up your vehicle with a lot of extra gear. Great but, all that extra weight in the vehicle will impact the towing ability. So take that into consideration.
  • Diesel engine vehicles are known to present better performance and better fuel efficiency for towing.
  • A vehicle with a ladder frame chassis is apparently preferable.

The experts we reviewed tended to suggest that more is better. Selecting a vehicle with specs that exceed the recommended ratings is better. As caravans get larger and heavier, if you do decide to upgrade your van before your vehicle that could be worth considering.

Selecting Your Caravan

The other side of the chicken and egg story is to select a caravan that your current vehicle is capable of towing. With the SUV market extremely strong, many households have one of these types of vehicles. But not all SUVs are 4WD or 4×4 nor do they have the towing capacity to haul a large van. Before going caravan shopping (especially with all the shows coming up) it could be worth doing your homework on the towing capacity of your current vehicle. Refer to the owner’s manual and speak with your car service experts.

If you do have a small to medium sized passenger car, there are makes and models of smaller caravans and camper trailers that say they can be towed with a passenger car. So you can enjoy the caravan experience without having to upgrade your vehicle.

If you always plan to stay at a caravan park which has facilities, then possibly you can opt for that smaller van or camper trailer without a full bathroom or cooking facilities.

If you require professional advice and assistance regarding towing vehicles, refer to your motoring body, state motoring authority, caravan industry sources such as the www.caravancouncil.com.au which has tech sheets available and seek experiential comments and input from other caravan owners.

Another option is to consider purchasing an ‘all in one’ – a motorhome or campervan. There are many great makes and models available and you don’t need that separate towing vehicle.

Caravan Loan Options

Jade provides Low Interest Rate Caravan Loans for the purchase of all types of caravans and recreational vehicles. Tiny and small caravans through to the largest and most impressive models on the market. Loans are available for traditional caravans, motorhomes, campervans and camper trailers.

When comparing prices on different makes and models, use our caravan loan calculator for rough estimates on repayments. Or just give us a call for finance quotes on the different caravans you are considering.

For all your caravan finance requirements call 1300 000 003 and speak with one of our Jade Caravan Finance consultants.

DISCLAIMER: THE INFORMATION PRESENTED IN THIS ARTICLE IS NOT INTENDED AS THE SOLE BASIS FOR INDIVIDUALS TO MAKE FINANCIAL DECISIONS. THOSE THAT REQUIRE ADVICE OR GUIDANCE IN REGARD TO THEIR FINANCIAL DECISIONS SHOULD CONSULT WITH AN ACCOUNTANT OR FINANCIAL ADVISOR. THE INFORMATION AS DETAILED IS BASED ON DATA, SPECS AND REFERENCES AS SOURCED FROM A RANGE OF SOURCES AND LIABILITY IS NOT ACCEPTED FOR MISINTERPRETATIONS, MISREPRESENTATIONS OR ANY ERRORS IN THE CONTENT. THIS ARTICLE IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIVE PURPOSES ONLY.

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