Are towing mirrors required by law? Which are
the best towing mirrors.
Hitches & Hitch Receivers
Towing equipment explained including hitches and
adjustable hitch receivers explained. Also information on
pintle hooks, tongue receivers, ball mount shanks, hitch
heads and front mounted hitch / gooseneck receivers.
Jockey Wheels (solid wheels/pneumatic
tyres/ratchet), Power Movers, Trailer Drive Systems or front
tow bars? Which is best and which is the right one for you?
How to reverse a
motorhome, caravan or camper trailer
bought that new caravan / camper trailer and can't wait to
hitch it up and get out there and enjoy the fishing,
sightseeing and solitude that is on offer. But wait !
You've just realised you're new to this and at some stage
you are going to have to reverse your pride and joy in a
public area. Panic sets in.
With practice and a few tips we'll have you reversing like a
pro in no time. Reversing your
caravan can be very daunting for new owners. Even some
long term caravan owners find reversing difficult and
embarrassing, particularly in caravan parks where there is
an audience. Fortunately this task becomes easier with
practice and patience on both the part of the reverser, and
the navigator/guider. The main thing to remember is to take
your time and concentrate only on the task at hand and the
directions you are receiving from your navigator/guider.
simple rule of thumb is that
steering works in the
opposite way to normal, so
if you want the outfit to go
to the left, turn the
steering wheel to the right
('right hand down').
It is always useful
for both reverser and guide to settle on terminology before
starting - know what will be meant when the guider tells you
to move the van in a particular direction, or to straighten
up, etc. It doesn't
matter which hand signal or direction you agree to use so
long as you are both in agreement and understand each other. Guiders also need to
understand that changes in direction can't be instantaneous
and must be planned as part of the process. This
communication understanding before you start can mean the
difference between an enjoyable holiday, or days of silence
throwing needle sharp glares and monosyllable conversations.
The driver generally can't
hear your shouted directions over the sound of the engine,
so it is a good idea to purchase a single hand-held UHF (or
if your tow vehicle isn't equipped with a console UHF unit,
you could purchase two) and both turn to a channel not being
used by the general caravanning public. The whole park
may be entertained by your colourful communications over the
radio, but it could be embarrassing for you listening to it
being relayed between fellow travellers later in the caravan
park amenities block.
Many accidents happen when
motorhomes, caravans or even campertrailers are being
unnecessary reversing. Plan ahead to use the
shortest possible reversing distance
helper to guide you whenever possible. You should
be able to see the guider who should have a clear view of
the backing path which your caravan, motorhome or
campertrailer will follow.
If you are
not sure what is behind you, get out and have a look.
Where should a
guider stand when I am reversing ?
where they can see you clearly
- only where they can see where your vehicle is going
- only where they can see you and have a clear view of the
backing path that your caravan / trailer will take
do I need to know to help reverse
a caravan or trailer?
For those who want to improve their
reversing skills, there is an easy way to remember which way
your hands on the steering wheel at the very
By moving the steering wheel to the right,
the rear of the trailer
will turn to the right.
Move the steering wheel to
the left and the rear of the trailer will turn to the left.
the shorter the trailer, the more difficult it may be to
Remember to use your mirrors.
(Even if you see nothing else but your guider waving hand
erratically). You won't always be
able to see through the back window of your reversing
vehicle, so your mirrors will be your friend.
You should both take some time and head for
a quiet secondary road or car park and spend some time
practising. Set up some witches hats and both take
turns in being guider, and reverser. If nothing
else you will each gain some appreciation for the
difficulty of the other's role.
If your vehicle is a 4WD, engage low range when
reversing or maneuvering your caravan, 5th
wheeler or camper trailer as this prevents rapid
movements and makes the whole process much smoother.
Note: Donít forget to disengage low range one you
have completed the process.
you have it. You'll be
an expert in no time. Take every opportunity to
practice with your navigator / guider, and under no
circumstances feel pressured by onlookers. You be the
envy of those looking on before you know it.