Recent storms with severe wind, rain and hail around Toowoomba, Darling Downs, Kilcoy, Toogoolawah, Esk, Urbenville, Warwick & Allora may have damaged your caravan awning, impact damage, appliance faults, caused leaks, or caused electrical issues. As your local caravan repairer for these areas we offer emergency caravan repairs, on-site quotes, insurance quotes and repairs. Please call us on 07 4633 0845 for assistance.
Archives for November 2018
Do you need a 5th Wheel Hitch or a Gooseneck Ball Hitch installed in your tow vehicle?
The Hayman Reese range of 5th Wheel and Gooseneck couplings are available to be fitted to most common utes and are suitable for towing most 5th wheelers and gooseneck trailers in Australia.
Our range includes the
- 5th Wheel Turntable Style Hayman Reese R16
- Hayman Reese R16 Turntable Hitch, including offset mountings
- Hayman Reese Euro Turntable Hitch
- Gooseneck Ball Style
- Hayman Reese 3″ Gooseneck Hitch, including dual position option
- Under tray Gooseneck 3″ ball setup (PX Ranger and BT-50) “Hide-A-Goose”
- Flip-Over Ball – suits Traybacks / Small Trucks – gives you a flat tray when not towing
- Screw in Ball – suits Traybacks / Small Trucks
- King Pin Coupling
- Hayman Reese Sidewinder
The hitch that you choose will come down to user requirements and your preferences. Our experienced team can provide advice on the best coupling solution for your rig including custom coupling solutions for large horse floats and imported 5th wheelers. The installation process requires optimal positioning for towing performance with adequate clearance between the ute’s cab and the front of the 5th wheeler for tight manoeuvers.
Do you need a compliance certificate following installation of a 5th wheel hitch or Gooseneck?
For vehicles towing most 5th wheelers, floats and trailers up to 3500kg with most common tow vehicles including Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Toyota Hilux, Isuzu D-Max etc requires coupling fitting to be carried out by an authorised fitter but no further engineering certification is required.
For vehicles such as tray backs and small trucks towing 5th wheelers and trailers weighing over 3500kg, custom fitting is required and engineering compliance certification is necessary and will provided with installation.
The RV Service Centre is the Toowoomba region’s approved 5th Wheel Hitch and Gooseneck ball hitch installer for Hayman Reese couplings. For advice and a free quote for coupling solutions for your 5th wheeler, horse float or trailer, give us a call at the RV Service Centre or visit our showroom.
Be careful with imported towing devices
There are many 5th wheel hitches currently in use that do not comply with Australian requirements. Often these tow hitches have been imported and supplied along with the 5th wheeler caravan, but have never been properly complied. We are able to offer compliance for a range of American hitches such as Hijacker and Demco brands. Be aware that the ratings in Australia are much lower than the USA – for example as 16,000 lbs hitch (7.2T) is only rated to about 3T in Australia.
There are a few ways that you can get better fuel economy while towing a caravan to reduce your costs at the fuel pump.
- Ensure that your load is balanced. When you hitch up your caravan, you want to ensure that your load is balanced on the vehicle. Too much weight on the back of the vehicle will lift up the front wheels and add to your fuel costs – due to increased drag on rear wheels. A weight distribution hitch helps to keep the load distributed correctly on the wheels so your tow vehicle can do it’s job most efficiently.
- Make sure the caravan brakes aren’t dragging. Regular, professional maintenance will ensure your brakes are adjusted correctly.
- Reduce your highway speed. Driving at 90 or 95klm/hour instead of 100 or 110 klm/hour will reduce your fuel consumption. If you are holding up traffic by going slower than the speed limit then it is good ettiquette to pull over and let the traffic pass you. (Drag on your rig is proportional to the square of your speed. 2x speed = 4x higher wind resistance)
- The size of the caravan matters. An off-road caravan that sits higher than an on-road or pop-top caravan will create more wind resistance and will require more fuel to tow. If you don’t travel off-road then an on-road caravan is an economical choice.
- Check your tyre pressure. Keeping your tyres inflated correctly can have a considerable impact on your fuel consumption on long trips. For more information on how to check your tyres read our article here.
- Reducing the weight in the caravan will reduce your fuel costs:
- Consider your trip and decide whether it is worthwhile leaving some accessories at home eg do you need the annexe or would an awning shade do the job.
- Empty grey water tanks before you leave.
- If you can fill up water tanks at your destination, there is no point carrying any more than the minimum required.
- When you need to replace your batteries consider lithium batteries. Lithium batteries weigh about a quarter of the weight of a pair of lead acid batteries – which weigh about 70kg.
Getting better fuel economy while towing may require just a few small adjustments to reduce your costs. The team at the RV Service Centre can provide assistance with balancing the load of your caravan or maintenance on your brakes. Give us a call to book your service or visit our showroom.
Caravan reversing cameras are a huge convenience and offer better safety while towing. Better vision means you can reverse like a pro because you can SEE what’s happening. No more guessing what is behind you.
Caravan reversing cameras are available to be fitted as an aftermarket accessory and come in a few styles to suit your particular requirements. A good caravan reversing camera set up features 3 cameras. A dual caravan reversing camera will provide the driver with a high resolution colour image of the rear of the caravan and the traffic behind the caravan. If your tow vehicle doesn’t already feature a reversing camera then an additional camera installed on the tow vehicle will allow easy hitching up. Having good vision while reversing is a great way to help avoid accidental collisions and assure the safety of those around you.
There are a number caravan reversing camera options with the key features we recommend to customers being:
- A dual camera system mounted on the back of the caravan. One camera is pointed up at the traffic behind you for use while driving. This gives you a field of view behind you starting about 5 metres from the rear of the caravan. The second camera points down at the bumper and lets you see from the bumper to about 3 metres behind the caravan for use while reversing. The cost of installation for a dual camera system is the same as a single camera so it is worthwhile having the additional camera.
- A reversing camera for the back of the vehicle (if your vehicle doesn’t already have a reversing camera).
- A wired reversing camera system. Wireless reversing camera systems require the transmitter and receiver to the be aimed at each other and can have interference due to the bulk of the caravan being between the camera transmitter and the monitor in the front of the vehicle. With an investment in a quality camera, it is worthwhile having the camera installed and wired to the vehicle.
- High resolution colour cameras with audio. It is really helpful to have the audio feature on the caravan camera as someone guiding the caravan can be heard by the driver easily.
The monitors for the caravan reversing cameras come in either a dash mount option or clip onto the rearview mirror. When choosing between the styles of monitor, it really comes down to personal preference and where the monitor is best positioned in your particular vehicle.
At the RV Service Centre we are local installers for the Safety Dave range of caravan reversing cameras. The Safety Dave range of reversing cameras offer an impressive range of features including:
- extremely high quality colour image resolution
- a choice of monitor styles which can be installed on the dash or clip onto the rearview mirror
- the monitor is easily removed from the vehicle mount for security
- the cameras come in either black, white or silver and a range of styles to suit your particular situation
- the option of a single image monitor or a split screen monitor with the ability to view up to 4 cameras on the screen at once
- a full 2 year replacement warranty
Caravan reversing cameras give you better vision and increase your safety. We have had plenty of customers realise that investing in good vision is a smart investment after they have had an incident and paid for repairs. Why wait? Come in store and try out the Safety Dave reversing cameras on display in the RV Service Centre showroom or give us a call for more information and a free quote.
It is worth noting that a caravan reversing camera is not a substitute for good towing mirrors. A caravan reversing camera will only show you what is happening behind the caravan. Towing mirrors show you what is happening beside the caravan. For more information on towing mirrors see our buyers guide here.