Choosing the Right Car for Towing a Van

By April 8, 2020News
Choosing the right car for towing your caravan

Are you planning to start exploring everything Australia has to offer with a new caravan? Do you have the right vehicle for the job?

A lot of people don’t initially realise that, when you purchase a caravan, the vehicle you currently drive may not be suitable (or even able) to tow the van you desire. You must do some research and become fully informed so that you understand what you can and can’t tow with your car before you even begin looking for your caravan.

Can My Car Tow My Van?

If you are in a position to upgrade your vehicle, you will ideally base your decision on the type of van you wish to purchase, so that your car can tow the van you desire.

Most people, however, are not in this enviable position, so instead, you’ll need to understand the towing capacity of your existing vehicle and base your caravan or camper trailer purchase on that.

So, the question begs to be asked: how much can my car tow?

You need to know your car’s towing capacity. This is a requirement for both safety and legally.

Your vehicle towing capacity is the maximum weight that can be towed as per manufacturer recommendations. The manufacturer will provide two figures on their website, in your user manual, and the vehicle specification sheets:

  1. Unbraked towing – when the caravan or trailer has no brakes fitted; the tow vehicle’s brakes take on the entire load.
  2. Braked towing – the caravan or trailer has a braking system which is mechanically linked to the tow vehicle braking system via the tow bar.

Towing capacities can vary greatly – from 1200kg braked in a compact AWD SUV to almost 7000kg braked in a large pick-up truck.

You also need to understand that the towing capacity of your vehicle is reduced when a larger load is carried – including passengers, equipment, aftermarket modifications, etc.

It can all be a bit complicated!

So, how do you know how much weight you’re dealing with? The best method to determine this is to go to your nearest weighbridge to get a clear picture of the weight of your vehicle plus van or trailer. From here, you will need to add your cargo weight, including expected passenger weights.

Towing – Australian Regulations

While it does vary state by state, there are laws relating to towing. You need to be sure that you are not exceeding the maximum allowed trailer weight of your vehicle, otherwise, you may incur a fine. There are also maximum towing speed regulations; in QLD, you can drive at the speed limit as for non-towing cars, however in NSW, if your vehicle weight plus van weight exceed 4.5 tonnes combined, you are limited to 100km/h. In WA, the maximum speed for any towing combination is 100km/h.

Caravan World for all your Caravan Needs

Caravan World is one of Queensland’s longest-established Caravan Dealerships. We offer a diverse range of fantastic caravan products with unmatched service and advice. Our prices are extremely competitive.

We are also renowned for our extensive, in-depth “handover” process. This covers everything you need to know, from hitching up to setting up your van on-site, so that you can enjoy exploring with your new caravan with confidence in no time.

We can help you understand the towing capacity of your vehicle (or at least guide you in the right direction to find out) and also the weight of the van or trailer you’re interested in purchasing.

Call us today on (07) 5445 2215 to view our current stock!