A Guest Post by Jayde Ferguson in which she shares tips about essential safety upgrades for your car and caravan
Travelling around Western Australia with a caravan is one of the best ways to soak up everything this country has to offer. WA has a little slice of paradise for everyone to explore. And investing in the right travel rig will offer the benefits of freedom, adventure and that much-needed relax and recoup time – whenever you want. If you’re planning a quick road trip or need a long summer getaway, it’s important you invest in the right safety upgrades for your car and caravan.
Just like financing your home renovations when you’re craving something more comfortable and suitable for your needs, your travel rig will require some upgrades over time. And since you’re not pouring funds into accommodation when you go exploring, it makes financial sense to ensure your caravan is equipped with all the essentials. When it comes to off-road adventuring, you can’t afford to skimp on safety upgrades. Here are a few you should invest in before your next trip:
Understand Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity
Before you hook up and drive off, make sure you understand your car’s towing capacity.
This is essential prior to buying your dream caravan, but it’s a good idea to double check before you hit the road too.
You might be towing extra luggage, so referring back to the vehicle’s towing capacity will ensure your next trip can handle the load.
Check your car’s manual for the maximum towing weight and estimate the weight of the caravan by finding its empty weight on the caravan itself and combining everything you’re bringing along.
Invest in More Power
Whilst camping provides the ultimate excuse to unwind and disconnect from the daily hustle, we still crave those at-home comforts on the road.
The power from your car and caravan batteries can drain quickly when you’re exploring Australia’s outback, and you’ll need plenty of reserve battery power to keep things running while you’re set up at camp. Although it’s more than possible to live without power for a few days, making sure there’s enough to fuel the essentials is important for comfort considerations and power-hungry appliances – especially if you’re adventuring with the kids, too!
Having an additional deep-cycle battery in the tow vehicle can offer a significant power boost, whilst dual batteries will keep multiple appliances running, without losing vital power from your car. Dual battery systems are designed to wire a second battery into your car. And it’s this isolation of power that eliminates the car’s starter battery going flat. Which won’t get you adventuring anywhere anytime soon!
Tow Ball vs. Pintle Hitch
How you tow you camping rig and the weight of everything combined can make all the difference to a smooth and successful journey. For safe towing, you need to consider the weight your caravan puts onto the car’s tow ball. This is referred to as tow ball mass. Heavy towing loads need something strong to connect the vehicle with the caravan, so if you’re towing a camping rig with a bit of weight behind it, you’ll want to upgrade to something more hardcore.
Pintle hitches are stronger than the average tow ball most vehicles are already equipped with. They’re also better and more reliable for tackling off-road, rougher terrains. To further increase the towing safety capabilities, consider purchasing a weight-distribution hitch too. This prevents your car sagging under the weight by distributing the weight of the caravan evenly.
Upgrade the Suspension
Towing a caravan or camper trailer, as well as all your camping goodies in it, puts a lot of strain on your vehicle. Weight-distribution hitches can be ideal, but if you want to carry more goods or improve the ride and towing handling, consider upgrading the car or caravan’s suspension. This is perfect for campers feeling like they need to invest in a new car or camping rig to make the most out of their exploring. Upgrading the suspension can give new life to an old favourite and boost off-road capabilities to enhance your travel experiences.
Extend the Mirrors
An easy but essential safety upgrade is to extend the mirrors. Caravans and camper trailers will naturally obstruct your view, so you want to increase the line of sight within your mirrors to cover all bases. Extension mirrors will attach to the side of your car and can be removed if you don’t want to look like a camping enthusiast all the time! Or invest in towing mirrors which replace your existing ones and extend out when the camping rig is attached.
Camping adventures, regardless how long you’re on the road for, provide the perfect excuse to escape city life for a bit. For your exploring to be comfortable, smooth and safe, investing in the right upgrades is a smart move.
Start turning your camping rig into a camping machine today!
This article is written by Jayde Ferguson, who writes for Autospark – Perth’s leading auto electrician to assist you with safety upgrade essentials for your next camping adventure. You can catch Jayde on Google+ to discuss this piece.
Photos supplied by Jayde Ferguson via Depositphotos.com
Have you any tips and suggestions for smooth, comfortable towing?