Top towing tips for caravans

Last updated on August 31, 2023
Towing a caravan and need a quick safety checklist? Explore the great outdoors safely with our top caravan towing tips.
4WD vehicle and towed caravan set up at a campsite at night

Dreaming of exploring Australia? With our abundant natural beauty, gorgeous country towns, and affordable caravan parks, a caravan road trip is a great way to see the sights, and a lot more comfortable than camping.

When the pandemic closed international borders, caravan sales boomed as Aussies started holidaying closer to home. And it hasn’t just been the stereotypical ‘grey nomads’ hitting the road either; demand for caravans from couples and young families has risen significantly as well.

If you’re new to caravanning, it can be daunting towing a caravan for the first time. Along with the manufacturer’s advice for your specific vehicle, these tips will help you get onto the open road with confidence.

Keeping yourself and your passengers safe, and your caravan in top condition takes a bit of preparation before you hit the road.

  • Confirm your vehicle’s towing capacity. Not all vehicles are suitable for towing caravans. The owner’s manual is the best place to go to find out how much weight you can safely tow.
  • Check your tyre pressure. Make sure the tyres on your caravan and vehicle are inflated to the correct pressure, and don’t forget to check your spare tyre too.
  • Test your brakes. Check that your caravan’s braking system is working. When towing a caravan, you must have an Electric Brake Controller fitted in your towing vehicle.
  • Check water and fuel. Make sure your water and fuel tanks are full – particularly if you’re driving in remote areas where there may be some distance between petrol stations.
  • Include extra towing tools. Pack extra tools, like safety chains and breakaway wires, as they may come in handy.
  • Pack a first aid kit and fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher and first aid kit are essential on any road trip. Replace any items that have passed their use-by date before you head off.

This checklist will help you get your caravan onto the road safely.

  • Secure loose items. Stow away loose items like steps, leveling blocks, and kitchen items. Secure windows, doors, cupboards, and awnings.
  • Turn off gas and water. Turn off the water pump and gas bottle, and disconnect hoses and power cords. Switch your refrigerator to an alternate power source, like DC or solar, and lock the door.
  • Hitch your caravan securely. Make sure the caravan is securely attached to your vehicle. Check safety chains, breakaway wire, and coupling.
  • Distribute weight evenly. Your caravan needs to be level and balanced, with heavy items evenly distributed and as close to the axle as possible.
  • Check mirrors and lights. Adjust your mirrors to ensure you have clear visibility around the caravan - you may need additional towing mirrors. Have someone confirm that your indicators, brake lights and reverse lights are working too.

If you’re not familiar with towing a caravan, keep these tips in mind when you’re on the road.

  • Take it slow and steady. Drive carefully and at a moderate speed. Consider pulling over to let other drivers pass rather than trying to keep up with smaller vehicles.
  • Don’t accelerate or brake suddenly. The sudden movement could cause your caravan to sway. Leave enough room between yourself and the vehicle in front so you can safely slow down or stop.
  • Go wide. When turning corners, take a slightly wider turn than you would normally to leave the caravan enough space to complete the turn.
  • Reverse carefully. When reversing, the caravan will move in the opposite direction to the way you turn your steering wheel. If you’re not used to this, it’s a good idea to practise reversing your caravan in a quiet location, such as an empty carpark.

You’ve picked your destination, prepped your caravan, and loaded up your travelling companions - there’s one more essential step: making sure you’ve got the right insurance cover in place.

If you’re involved in an accident, or there’s a storm, fire, or even theft, having Caravan and Trailer Insurance will cover you financially for loss or damage to your caravan. It also provides legal liability cover if you accidentally damage someone else’s property. Learn more about Allianz Caravan and Trailer Insurance to be covered on the road.


This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. 

Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.


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