5 Do’s and Don’ts Whilst Towing with your Motorhome or Camper in Australia and New Zealand

There are many benefits to travelling and living in a motorhome, one of the main benefits being your ability to go wherever you want while still having all the conveniences of home.

But there still may be some compromises you’ve had to make with your camper van, such as having limited storage space onboard. Or you may find that it’s inconvenient having to take your motorhome to go sightseeing, or out to dinner, or to duck out and get some groceries.

For this reason, many camper owners will opt to tow either a trailer for storage, or a small vehicle that they can use for getting around while camped in one spot.

Whether you’re towing a trailer or another vehicle, here are some DO’s and DON’Ts to keep in mind while you’re towing.

The top thing to DO before you start towing anything, is to refer to the Road Users Handbook /Road Code issued by your state/country.

Below are links to each states road safety guides regarding towing. You must be sure you understand these.

The rules vary slightly in every state in Australia, so you’ll need to be aware of the rules in each state that you’re planning to visit. This helpful article by RVDaily has a succinct overview of the different rules. (However, rules change and it’s your responsibility to ensure that you are compliant with the rules of the state you’re driving in, not necessarily the rules of the state that issued your license.)
A fantastic resource is the website Without A Hitch which will help anyone new to towing.

If you want to tow a vehicle, make sure you DO understand the differences.

Flat towing (with all four wheels on the ground and using an A frame hitch), towing with a dolly (where the front two wheels of the car are up on the dolly), and towing with a trailer are all different. Each option has their pros and cons and you may be limited in your options depending on the type of vehicle that you’re towing. You’ll need to check with the manufacturers recommendations of the towing vehicle.

DO Practice hitching and unhitching your trailer or towed vehicle, and DO practice backing your vehicle.

There’s nothing worse (or more embarrassing) than getting to your campsite and struggling to back your trailer or towed vehicle into its allocated spot, or taking ages to unhitch it. You’ve decided to tow these because they add some convenience to your travels, so head to a deserted car park and make sure you’re comfortable manoeuvring your rig, and hitching and unhitching.

DON’T go over the weight limit for your motorhome.

Every vehicle is different with different towing capacities so go through your motorhome / campers handbook or contact the manufacturer to make sure you’re very clear about the maximum towing weight limit.

DON’T let the towing scare you!

If you’re uncomfortable towing, practice is your favourite friend.

You’ve got a bit of homework to do, to make sure you are towing safely. But the benefits will be worth it as you’re able to take more of the things you want with you, and enjoy your motorhome life even more.