A Guide To Safe Towing

A Guide To Safe Towing

With so many families moving to the caravaning world it becomes a necessity to be fully prepared to tow your caravan or camper trailer safely. When cruising down the highway ready to explore our great country, the last thing you need is to have your caravan unhitch and put yourselves and others traveling on the road in danger. 

The Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland have teamed with the QLD Governments StreetSmarts initiative to offer a free educational program named VANSafe. VANSafe aims to provide caravaners with valuable knowledge and resources to not only make you compliant on the road but to help keep you safe. 

Learn more about the free program and how you can participate here.


Introduction To Hitching Your Caravan:

The video below shows how to connect a caravan to a car. It covers the different types of couplings available, how to detach and attach the coupling, and how to connect the safety chains and breakaway cable. The video also includes information on how to maintain the caravan wheel nuts.

The video begins with an introduction to the different types of couplings available for caravans, from the standard 50-millimeter tow ball to off-road couplings like the DO35. The presenter then explains how to detach a caravan from a car using a DO35 coupling. 


  1. Park the car and caravan in a level spot.

  2. Remove the dust cap from the DO35 coupling.

  3. Disengage the sliding locking slide.

  4. Wind down the jockey wheel to lower the coupling onto the tow pin.

  5. Engage the secondary lock.

  6. Replace the dust cap.

  7. Remove the jockey wheel.

  8. Connect the safety chains.

  9. Connect lights and anderson plugs

  10. Release the handbrake.

  11. Remove Chocks



  1. Engage the handbrake.

  2. Place chocks on caravan wheels

  3. Disengage the secondary lock.

  4. Wind up the jockey wheel to raise the coupling off the tow pin.

  5. Engage the sliding locking slide.

  6. Replace the dust cap.

  7. Disconnect Safety Chains

  8. Disconnect lights and anderson plug

  9. Drive away the car.

  10. Level the caravan with the jockey wheel or electric jack.



Essential Towing Products For Your Caravan:

Towing a caravan can be a great way to travel and explore new places. However, it's important to make sure that your caravan is properly towed and secured to your vehicle. This is where essential towing products come in.

Here are some of the most important towing products that you should consider for your caravan:


Electric Trailer Jack: 

An electric trailer jack can make it much easier to raise and lower your caravan, especially if it's heavy or fully loaded. The Black Jack Electric Trailer Jack Bundle with Jockey Block is a great option, as it comes with everything you need, including a jockey block to help stabilise your caravan while it's being raised or lowered.


Caravan Weight Distribution Systems:

A caravan weight distribution system (WDS) helps to redistribute the weight of your caravan more evenly between your vehicle and the caravan itself. This can help to improve handling and braking performance, and make towing safer overall. Two of the leading brands in the industry are the Andersen and Fastway E2 weight distribution hitches. 

Fastway and Andersen hitches are known for their high quality and innovative features. Many of their hitches offer sway control assistance, which can help to reduce sway and improve stability while towing. The Fastway E2 Trunnion WD Hitch 8000lb or Fastway E2 Roundbar Hitch 8,000lb are the most popular WDH’s for rigs around the 3.5 tonne mark. These are compatible with most couplings such as the D035’s and Mchitches. 

The Andersen ‘No Sway’ is a great option for those with standard ball couplings and those that struggle to lift the heavier style bars. With no pry bars needed and just a quick tightening of the chains on departure it set to be the most popular choice on the market for those old and young! The Andersen 'No-Sway' 4" Drop Weight Distribution Hitch uses the chain style weight distribution yet is designed to be quiet and smooth unlike some cheaper chain brands on the market. 


In addition to these essential towing products, there are a number of other products that can be helpful for caravan owners, such as:

  • Hitch locks: Hitch locks help to deter theft of your caravan.

  • Safety chains: Safety chains provide a backup connection between your vehicle and the caravan in the event of a hitch failure.

  • Electronic Sway Control

  • Hitch Shanks: Having the correct hitch for your rig is important for a level and safe ride

  • Wheel chocks: Wheel chocks help to prevent your caravan from rolling when it's parked.

  • Caravan Levels: Keep water draining correctly and your head upright when sleeping with leveling kits under the wheels. 

  • Towing Mirrors: a necessity when towing for clear vision of the back of your van and those approaching


When choosing towing products for your caravan, it's important to consider the weight of your caravan and the type of vehicle you're towing with. It's also important to choose products from reputable brands. Caravan RV Camping stocks a wide range of high-quality towing products from leading brands, so you can be sure that you're getting the best possible products for your caravan. 

If you would like more information about the free educational program VANSafe brought to you by the official Queensland Caravan Industry body, known as The Caravan Trade and Industries Association of Queensland, visit the link here for the free program. 


DISCLAIMER* Please note, this advice is general in nature and we strongly recommend consulting the product manual and where relevant, a professional installer.

Comments (3)

Disconnecting caravan.

When disconnecting your caravan from your tow hitch. You should leave your safety chains connected till after you disconnect to prevent your caravan disappearing down the hill and into the creek. Just like Russel C.
By: Vin Dalton on 07 November 2023

www.caravanrvcamping.com.au Response
Hi Vin, until they make fully submersible caravans this is by far a very important step! Thanks

unhitching things to do first

Please chock the caravan wheels front and back before winding the jockey wheel up and put the van handbrake on before unhitching from the tow vehicle I have seen a few vans roll away when this is not followed
By: bill on 07 November 2023

www.caravanrvcamping.com.au Response
Hi Bill, this is a very important step. The last thing you want is your prized possession going for a swim before you do in the creek down the hill!


There is no mention of lights hooking up or unhooking and they along with the Anderson plug all play their part
By: Ernie Squires on 07 November 2023

www.caravanrvcamping.com.au Response
Hi Ernie, great point! Lights and anderson plugs are very important

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