Off Highway Towing :: Tips & Techniques

Off Highway Towing :: Tips & Techniques

Be realistic as to where you are going. A large “offroad” caravan is unsuitable for most 4WD/Fire trails as they are too high (overhanging branch’s etc).

Use a suitable vehicle; in most cases a Low range capable vehicle is necessary.

Use an “off-road” style coupling which allows a bigger range of movement on the coupling. Standard “ball” couplings only allow approx 12 degree movement.

Have at least basic 4WD skills, knowledge of recovery techniques, picking the best line, using the right gear, understanding the technology in the vehicle etc.

Have electric brakes fitted to the trailer/caravan. Also know how to set up and use the electric brake controller correctly

The electric brake controller should be mounted in the centre of the vehicle in order that the passenger can operate the trailer brakes as necessary

In an “off-road/highway” situation set the bias on the trailer brakes so that the trailer wheels will lock up before the car, thus preventing the trailer trying to overtake the car

Know your approach, ramp over and departure angles and also the angles associated with the drawbar and trailer.

Know where the vulnerable/low points are underneath both the Car and Trailer

Know where the wheels of the car and trailer are travelling. Are the trailer wheels wider apart or narrower than the Tow Vehicle wheels.

Avoid side slopes as the trailer can easily drag the rear of the car sideways causing roll-over

Avoid travelling alone

Practice reversing skills as you need the ability to be able to reverse the combination up or down steep inclines and/or around corners on narrow tracks.

Practice recovery skills and carry the appropriate recovery equipment.

Ensure that the trailer/caravan has rated recovery points.

Ensure that the trailer/caravan has rated recovery points.

Ensure that you do not exceed the Aggregate Trailer Mass as stated on the compliance plate and you also do not exceed the Tow Vehicles rated tow capacity.

Some vehicles have a “off Road” tow capacity and/or a speed restriction.

Carry appropriate spares to suit the trailer and car. For the trailer you should be carrying at least spare bearings, wheel nuts and studs.

Have a suitable jack that can be used to raise the trailer for changing a flat tyre or repositioning the trailer. You also need to have a suitable wheel brace that fits the nuts on the trailer.