We talked to Mike Clayton from Clayton’s Towing. Started 45 years ago on the Sunshine Coast, Clayton’s now has 15 depots and 100 staff.
Have a listen to this podcast if you’ve ever towed a caravan. There are a lot of factors that you need to consider when planning your trip and those factors can change between the start of your trip to the end so knowing how to drive with a caravan is really important. Please share with anyone who tows a caravan.
Mike drives a FJ Cruiser, goes offroad and tows a caravan – on top of that, he and his crew have seen a lot of caravan crashes. They are often one of the first people drivers talk to after having a crash while towing a caravan so he is in a unique place to talk about some of the reasons why caravans crash.
Claytons Towing has seen a lot of unusual crashes including a boat recovery off the beach, the sinkhole and aircraft crashes. We will talk about how they have worked to use a winch for a boat of the beach and the technical difficulties they’ve faced with it.
Caravan crashes create a lot of mayhem on the roads and tend to get more publicity.
We will discuss towball weight, the weight of vehicles, electric breaking and caravan wobbles.
Towball weight can either be too light or too heavy and the weight on the towball can change during a trip, so a good understanding of what towball weight is and how it effects the towing performance is essential!
Vehicle weight – just because a car or ute is rated to 2.5 ton, doesn’t mean that you should tow that amount! Some vehicles, especially utes can be quite light when towing a large caravan.
Electric brakes also need to be adjusted for different driving. Highway driving needs more brakes than city driving.
A lot of people think that when the caravan starts to wobble you should speed up, but Mike has seen many people who have sped up and it has only made things worse. You might be better off using the caravan brakes to straighten out the caravan and pull it straight, rather than speeding up.
Be cautious on windy roads, especially when going downhill.
Mike isn’t an engineer but his wisdom is based on years of experience in dealing with caravan crashes.
Please share this podcast with anyone who tows a caravan so that we can help more people get to their holiday and return safe and sound.
Article from 4X4 Earth