There are a few towing accessories that no one should be without. We recommend a few key accessories to ensure your trip is not only safe, but secure.
One of the most important towing accessories we can recommend is a tie-down. This is because they secure your load, ensuring it doesn’t get damaged, or worse, sway your trailer.
Tie-downs come in many forms such as rope, bungee cords and ratchet tie-down straps. While all three are considered tie-downs, not all options will be viable for you, especially if you are carrying big loads.
If you are thinking about using a rope to secure your load, you may want to reconsider as they are prone to coming loose. Bungee cords are perfect for securing the tarp or lid that you place on top of your tied-down cargo but should never be used to actually secure the cargo. This is why ratchet tie-down straps are perfect for any load as they use a locking ratchet mechanism which tightens the straps and secures the load.
Back-Up Alarm and Camera Systems
No matter what load you are carrying it is going to obscure your vision when you are trying to back-up. That is why two of the most important towing accessories are a back-up alarm and a back-up camera system.
Having these two devices installed will ensure that your path is clear from pedestrians and objects while you are attempting to back-up. Having a back-up camera system also ensures that you have aligned the towing vehicles hitch with your caravan or trailer’s tongue when trying to attach the two.
Side Mirrors and Tow Lights
Being able to see, and being able to be seen while you are towing a load is crucial for the safety of you, your passengers, and everyone else on the road. That’s why we highly recommend side mirrors and tow lights be at the top of your towing accessory wishlist.
If you’re lucky, your vehicle will already have this towing accessory, however, if not, a pair can easily be attached to the existing mirrors with a set of clamps. These will broaden your rear-view to ensure that you won’t be instigating any unwanted road rage because you cut someone off.
For increased safety, we can not recommend tow lights enough. These indicate when your vehicle is about to turn, or when it is about to break. Often your trailer, as well as your load, will obscure your vehicle’s lights, so this is a must-have towing accessory.
By Australian law, if your trailer is not fitted with brakes then the total mass of your trailer must not exceed 750kg. So, unless you have access to industrial scales at your home to measure your load, we cannot stress the importance of trailer brakes enough.
This towing accessory caters for the fact that no matter how light your load is, it will still inhibit your vehicle’s braking performance. Not only is this dangerous, but over time it will be costly as extra weight on your vehicle means that your brake pads will wear out faster. These brakes will also ensure that your trailer’s wheels will lock if it happens to detach from your vehicle somehow – runaway trailers are bad news for everyone around you on the road.
Anti-sway Bars and Weight Distribution Hitches
As mentioned previously in this list, a swaying trailer is very bad news for you, your passengers, and everyone else near you on the road.
The dangers of swaying is illustrated in this video:
Factors such as changes in air pressure and wind turbulence can cause your trailer to sway and are hard to counteract or predict. Therefore, to minimize the possibility of sway, weight distribution hitches or anti-sway bars are a towing accessory that we highly recommend.
Weight Distribution Hitches distribute the weight of your load to multiple parts of your axel, instead of just the tow bar, balancing the weight evenly between the vehicle and your load. This means that any factors that would previously cause you to sway will be heavily minimised.Now that you’re aware of the key accessories that every tow requires, you are guaranteed to have a much more safe and secure trip. It may be a bit costly, but if anything was to go wrong, you’d be kickin’ yourself for not making sure you had these accessories.