Towing an Adelaide Car Trailer Safely


If you have recently bought, or are thinking of purchasing one of our high quality car trailers for sale in Adelaide, we have prepared some tips and advice that will ensure that you’re both loading your car trailer, and towing it, safely.

Before you hook up your car trailer

It’s important to understand the towing capability of your vehicle before you undertake towing a car trailer. This is generally referred to as the towing mass, and will usually be found in the owner’s manual. You also need to check the rated capacity of the tow coupling on your vehicle, which is the maximum weight it is capable of pulling. You should know that in South Australia (and the rest of the country), you are breaking the law if you exceed either the towing mass of your vehicle or the rated capacity of the tow coupling.

Having sufficient braking power is also a key requirement for towing a car

trailer. Our 14’ x 6.4’ Adelaide-made car trailers are fitted with mechanical disc brakes and callipers, which are suitable for towing a gross trailer mass (GTM) of up to 2 tonnes. We can also add an electric brake upgrade so that GTM loads of up to 2.8 and up to 3.5 tonnes can be towed.

Towing a car trailer also requires some additional equipment that probably wouldn’t be required if you were towing a box trailer or a cage trailer. In particular, a heavy duty winch is required, along with straps in order to fasten the car or SUV in place on the trailer.

Getting your car onto the trailer

When you’re loading a car trailer (or any sort of heavy duty trailer), we would always recommend that, whenever possible, two people take on the job.

To begin, the towing vehicle should be in place with the handbrake on, with the car trailer hitched up. The car trailer ramps should then be attached, and the car that is to go on the trailer should be lined up with the ramps, facing forward.

If a winch is being used, the cable should be wound out and then attached to the chassis. It is important that the winch cable is attached to a part of the car that is strong enough to withstand the force exerted when it is being hauled onto the trailer (the front bumper, for instance, will not be strong enough). The car can then be slowly winched up the ramps and into place.

If the car is being driven on to the trailer, it is important that this is done in a controlled way so that the vehicle goes up the ramps straight, and does not go over the front of the trailer.

Keeping your car on the trailer

Once your car or SUV is on the trailer, it is important that it remains secure and fixed in place, so once it’s in position, it should be put into gear with the handbrake on. Keep the winch attached (if applicable).

The ideal position is for the vehicle to be evenly balanced over the axles, so as to avoid the trailer swaying (which may occur if the car is too far towards the rear of the trailer), or it having an impact on traction (which can happen if it is too far towards the front).

Straps should then be used to fix the car in place. Fix these around the car’s body mounts to the trailer rails (starting at the front first), with the aim being to secure the car so that it’s unable to move while it is being transported. There are wheel nets and straps that are designed specifically for transporting vehicles, and these go over and around the wheels and connect to the trailer rails as an additional form of support.

All straps should be tightened so that the vehicle is unable to bounce or move in transit, and the winch (if used) should remain attached.

Unloading a vehicle from a car trailer

Getting a vehicle off of a car trailer takes just as much care and patience as getting it on! Ideally, you need two people for the job — one to control the winch, the other inside the car to steer and apply the brakes.

Before you remove any of the straps or wheel nets, place chocks under all of the wheels and check that the winch remains attached and taut. The ramps should then be positioned.

Once you are ready to unload, remove the chocks, put the car into neutral, and release the handbrake. The winch should then slowly be unwound, maintaining a steady pace so that the car slowly rolls backwards down the ramps.

If the car is being driven off the trailer, the key is to keep the steering wheel in position so that it maintains a straight line down the ramps.

Need to know more?

Basic Trailers specialises in manufacturing all types of trailers, so if you are looking to buy a car trailer in Adelaide, talk to us first. Our 14'x 6.4’ car trailers can be fitted with a range of accessories, so contact us or call Sam on 1300 770 770 and we will be able to discuss your precise needs and specifications.

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