TOUGH TOWING SIMPLIFIED
We reveal 5 exclusive techniques to help you make light-work of towing in low range
When it comes to towing off the beaten track, you just can’t beat real world experience. Sure, if you’re fairly handy behind the wheel you can take to low range towing like a duck to water. But guess what? We thought we’d kick it up a notch with our pick of the best tips to make life off-road just that little bit easier. With that in mind, its time to pop your reading glasses on!
1. TIGHT U-TURNS
When you find yourself at the bottom of a dead-end track with no choice but to turn around, a camper trailer can make a simple U-turn a tough job. But did you know, applying the trailers electric brakes independently as you reverse will make the trailer turn and jack-knife much quicker than without brakes? Yep, while it can be a nuisance during general reversing, this is a handy little trick can help save some much needed turning space in this situation.
2. STEEP DECLINE STABILISATION
It can be a little nerve-racking descending a super steep hill, especially with a camper trailer in tow. The add weight of the camper trailer will be pushing your 4wd, which can cause your vehicles wheels to lose traction and skid. This can lead to the vehicle and camper trailer sliding sideways, which is not a good position to be in. But alas, there are a few little things you can do to help in this situation. The first thing is to engage your vehicles rear differential lock, which can actually help stabilize the rear of your 4WD. The second is to intermittently apply the camper trailers brakes independently to your 4WD to keep your vehicles speed under control. This means the camper trailer is effectively pulling backwards against your 4WD, instead of pushing you downhill.
3. GEARED RIGHT
Choosing the right gear can be a critical decision in true off-road driving scenarios. Imagine what can happen if you’re halfway up a steep incline with a few tonne’s worth of camper on the back and you run out of steam! Yep, make no mistake; you want to avoid losing valuable momentum on the way up steep hills, and if you’re heading back downhill engaging the clutch means you lose engine braking as well. This is why it’s always best to be pick the right gear before you hit the obstacle and stick to it.
4. STRAIGHTENING UP FAST
Straightening your 4WD and camper trailer up after a tight turn isn’t always as simple as just driving straight forward if you don’t have enough room in front of you for the trailer to pull back in line. In some situations, the quickest way to end up in a straight line is to actually weave hard left then harder right, the idea being it pulls the front end of the camper trailer back to centre quicker than simply driving straight. When is this necessary? Well, imagine coming around a tight corner only to have a set of ruts in front that requires the camper to be tracking straight behind you.
5. BUMPY ROCKS AND JUMPY THROTTLES
A touchy throttle can be a real handful off the beaten track, especially in low-range. It’ll have you jolting and jumping around like a Jack-In-The-Box. Throw in some bumpy rocks, a camper trailer and a glass of milk, and you’ve got yourself a fair dinkum milkshake! To help dull down that overly excitable accelerator peddle you can select a gear slightly higher than usual to drop your engines revs. In most cases, this will reduce the engines responsiveness to acceleration, and make it feel a little more controllable.