Towing Vehicle Modifications Required to Tow Your Caravan

Ian Molloy

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Towing vehicle modifications are necessary including brakes, cooling system, suspension, rear view mirrors before you take off with your caravan/trailer.


If you caravan is fitted with electric brakes, you will need to have a brake controller fitted to the towing vehicle. This enables the driver to increase or decrease the caravan’s braking efficiently from the driver seat. Most controllers are fitted with a tell-tale light that helpfully indicates the level of braking selected.

Cooling System

With the extra weight, towing vehicles are regularly made to work harder, especially if you are in hilly country and have to drive up and down hills. All systems should be checked regularly and maintained in excellent condition, particularly radiators and cooling systems. Owners of automatic towing vehicles often choose to have transmission coolers fitted. Most are fitted as original equipment, but some after-market models are also available.


Again, with the extra weight of a caravan, rear suspension is often adversely affected by towing. The rig can be levelled using weight distribution bars. In some vehicles, particularly four-wheel drives, up-rated rear springs can be fitted, or air bags can be placed inside the spring to provide a range of adjustments.


Most caravans are wider than the towing vehicle, which means that extension mirrors should be regarded as standard safety equipment. Most caravan accessory shops have a wide range of mirrors. Many do not require professional fitting with many just clipping to the existing rear-view mirror.

This is the fifth page of 23 with related information about making the most of your caravan holiday. Check our website at for the other articles.

Ian Molloy is the owner of Crikey Adventure Tours. Visit his website for more information about this article and other related topics. He not only has his tour business operating from Peth in Western Australia, but his site is full of very helpful information.

Some of these includes tips on motorcycle holidays , driving cross-country, caravanning and generally lots of tips about having a “camping" holiday.


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