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Post Info TOPIC: Towing Caravan Fittings - what are essential "value for money" items.


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Towing Caravan Fittings - what are essential "value for money" items.


We are soon to purchase a new 20-foot tandem, standard height, semi-off-road/heavy duty van, towed by a Prado.     What do you "experienced users" consider as important (or waste-of-money) options/essentials/add-ons... in these areas (for van or tow vehicle modifications) prior to van delivery.  You read lots in magazines... how much is just hype?   Thanks!

Recommended brand-names could also be suggested!

Braking control systems - ie more than over-ride brakes?

Stability systems - hitch / weight distribution / sway control?

Water storage/waste - for free-camping?

What about extra car battery and using lithium batteries (van)?

 

 

 

 

 



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KFT


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G'day Kentasker, welcome to the forum. Lots to learn in here if you do a search on setting up.

just to start things off I consider the following essential to safe and enjoyable caravanning:

Brake controller- Tekonsha P3 is the ultimate in my opinion owing to the customisation you can do.

Weight Distribution Hitch- I use Hayman Reese and would not tow without one. If correctly set up they improve stability. If you load the van correctly you should not have stability issues.

We have a 100 litre water bladder that sits on the floor behind the front seats which gives us another 3-4 days in the bush and can be refilled and taken back to the van if need be. It really is only the weight of another passenger anyway. We bought it from Fleximake in Victoria.

Wheel chocks and Levelling ramps for safety when unhitching and for getting the van as close a possible to level so the fridge works correctly.

Trailamate hydraulic jockey/jack. Best bit of kit I have bought recently

Television, if a member of your family is a TV tragic you might consider getting a VAST satellite system so you always have TV. We get our stuff from Satplus in Maroochydore QLD

I am sure members will add some more for you to consider but do a search while you are waiting.

frank



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Avagreatday.

Kathy and Frank currently at Home near Quirindi NSW



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For me there are two things I would definitely add,

The ALKO Stability system which I believe is recommended by insurers like CIL and you get a 10% discount for fitting.

http://alkoesc.com.au/

I also like the McHitch self hitching system. Only needs one to connect caravan to Tug. I hate towballs and think the Mchitch for one is a far safer connection.

http://www.mchitch.com.au/#!automatic-couplers/c1k6h

No connection to either just a customer.



-- Edited by Yuglamron on Thursday 3rd of September 2015 04:51:22 PM

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Safe Travels



Veteran Member

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Ken,

I am certain that you would have considered this, but be very careful with respect to the weight of the van you are considering.

I would suggest that most 20' semi off road/heavy duty vans are going to come in close to, if not over, the Prado towing weight of 2500 kg, in a Tare rather than loaded condition.

Also, many will only have a load allowance of 400 kg above tare to their ATM, and that may not be enough if you have more than 1 water tank, and add a lot of "after manufacture" extras.

Before looking at extras/ essentials that we here think are necessary, I would be checking to ensure the van will be able to be legally towed by your vehicle, when you buy it. I would also be looking for a van with a load allowance in excess of the nominal 400 kg many have.

Of course this is all invalid if your Prado is the 3 door that can tow 3000 kg

Good luck and welcome.

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Regards Ian

Chaos, mayhem, confusion. Good my job here is done!



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wouldn't be without  my Eberspacher Diesel Heater. economical to run, slightly more than a litre per 14 hrs. operating. Even in warm climes the nights and mornings can be frosty or frigid.

Cheers Allen



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Footprints  

Old Dogs, Children and Barossa Valley Wine



Guru

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Hi Kentasker.

Set the tow vehicle up first and for most, better coil springs supported by air bags in the rear with good quality shocker absorbers will go along way to helping the braking ability and ride of the tow vehicle increasing the safety factor.

Then add load bars if needed. Ralph.

PS. One big sense of humour goes along way.



-- Edited by Radar on Friday 4th of September 2015 02:32:47 AM

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I also go with the ALKO ESC safety system - we got it fitted by the Dealer - stops sway and when a large truck passes you on a narrow road - your van wont be sucked in towards it.

I would also get the Dealer (I assume they now have your van and its not still in the process of being built - if yes - then the manufacturer will do it) to increase the ATM of your van.
As Ian points out, once you fill up your water tanks, gas cylinders, put the clothes and food inside, you will probably be over the vans plated ATM.

Most "off the shelf" vans only have an allowance of 400 kg maximum (some a lot less) for all these things. Remember 1 litre of water = 1 kg, so if you have water storage of 180 litres in your van tanks, theres 180 kg of your allowance gone before you put anything else in or on the van

The Dealer or manufacturer can easily do this before the van is licensed.

Also agree with all the other comments made by others here. If your have the time, join a caravan club in your area (you will find them on google) or your Dealer will have details. Get them to advise you based on the manufacturer. Most clubs members have been caravanners for many years and have a wealth of knowledge and experience they will happily share with you

Enjoy your new van and travels - go slow and smell and see the roses :)

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Cheers Bruce

 

The amazing things you see when nomading Australia



Veteran Member

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Fit ESC if not already on the new van and a good set of mirrors on your tug.... Clearview are the best.

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Newbie

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Thanks for this particular info!    When we think we travelled around AU in the late 80's - with a sturdy 18 foot Newlands with a ton of kids stuff - just towed by an ordinary Falcon s/wagon!!   Likely to have been well overweight but before anybody thought too much and no regs!!    But all soo essential for safety!!!   Ken 



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Senior Member

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As regards the WDH systems, you need to chose between a reactive system [AL-KO $1000+] or a pro active [Hayman Reese or Qwiklift $460+]. I attended a seminar and the speaker had been towing vans since 1949 and his favourite was the pro active system. He said he would rather have something working all the time rather than something working only when needed.



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Newbie

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Thanks again... hope I will eventually learn enough to be a guru or veteran - and then help others! Stay safe all!

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