Caravan industry body supports Drive’s push for towing licence

4 minutes, 20 seconds Read

The Caravan Industry Association of Victora puts its support behind the Drive campaign for better training and safer towing.


Australia’s largest caravan and RV industry body, the Caravan Industry Association of Victoria (CIV) has put the weight of its 200 members behind Drive’s push for a nationally recognised towing endorsement for Australian drivers.

Victoria is home to over 90 per cent of Australia’s caravan and recreational vehicle (RV) manufacturers and suppliers, and supports over 6500 employees across a now $2.1-billion industry. The CIV has been a key supporter of the industry for over 60 years.

While many new caravans are being fitted with modern safety technology like breakaway braking systems, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and even sway mitigation systems, there is still no compulsory training requirement for drivers to be endorsed before hitching up a load.

<button class="navigation_glide__arrow__je__h navigation_glide__arrow–left__y3DP1 navigation_glide__arrow–inactive__H6d8_" data-glide-dir="|Previous

To help drive awareness of this, and for national road safety support, Drive has created a petition to encourage the implementation of a nationally recognised towing endorsement for Australian drivers’ licences.

James Ward, Director of Content at Drive said: “The first towing experience many Australians have is the moment they drive out of the caravan dealership with their new caravan, campervan, or camper trailer hitched to the back of their vehicle. They are learning to tow while driving and often on busy roads in holiday periods.

“Before towing, drivers need to know how to handle substantial weights. They need to understand and experience how both their vehicle and the towed vehicle respond in different situations and they need to understand the impact of weights. That’s why Drive has launched this petition,” added Ward.

Daniel Sahlberg, Chief Executive Officer of the Caravan Industry of Victoria explained: “Caravanning is a multi-generation Australian way of holidaying, however, over the past decade caravans and RVs have increased in both length and weight.

“The five-metre pop-top vans of the past have been largely replaced by vans measuring almost 10 metres and weighing over 3500 kilograms. Just as greater driver skills and knowledge are needed to tow these longer heavier vans, regulation needs change to keep pace with the ever-evolving – and growing – caravan market,” added Sahlberg.

Automotive weights explained

Example vehicle: 2023 Isuzu D-Max LS-U+ (3.0-litre 4×4 automatic double-cab)

Term Meaning Value Note
Kerb weight Weight of the car 2115kg Includes the car and a tank of fuel but no passengers or payload
GVM Gross Vehicle Mass 3100kg The maximum weight of the car and its payload
Payload Weight inside the car 985kg The maximum weight of people and cargo (calculate by GVM – Kerb = payload)
Tow capacity Rated towing weight 3500kg The maximum weight of the trailer being towed
Tow ball weight Rated weight on tow hitch 350kg The maximum amount of weight the trailer can push down onto the car. Ususally 10 per cent of the weight of the trailer
GCM Gross Combination Mass 6000kg The maximum weight of the car and trailer together, including payload and tow ball weight
ATM Aggregate Trailer Mass depends on trailer The weight of the trailer with all fluids/payload in place

In this example, if you loaded a 2500kg caravan with water, gas and personal items to an ATM (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of 3000kg, it would still be under the Isuzu’s rated tow capacity of 3500kg. However, that trailer would push 300kg (approximately) onto the tow ball of the ute, which reduces the payload from 985kg to 685kg (subtracting the 300kg tow ball weight from the available overall payload).

Then, if you loaded the car up with 685kg of payload, to reach the car’s GVM (Gross Vehicle Mass) of 3100kg, you would be over the GCM (Gross Combination Mass) by 100kg (3100kg ute + 3000kg trailer = 6100kg GCM).

This means your maximum payload is now 585kg before you’ve put any accessories, luggage, or people on board.

If that car was fitted with accessories like a roof rack and bull bar, these can very quickly add up to about 250kg, which reduces the payload to 335kg. Throw in some food, water, and luggage at 150kg and you only have 185kg left for people, which is barely enough for two adults, and that would take you to the maximum combination mass of the vehicle. Any more, and the vehicle is overloaded which can be unsafe and also impact your insurance in the event of an incident.

Penalties for driving an overweight passenger vehicle vary in each state but drivers in NSW can expect a $469 fine and three demerit points.

Ward concluded: “At Drive, we are focused on providing advice to drivers and helping them get the most out of their car. But we believe education is just one step to safe towing. The implementation of a towing endorsement is an important step toward a more aware and responsible attitude for drivers on our road.”

To join Drive’s call for a national towing licence and sign the petition, click here.

The Drive Team brings you trusted, expert reviews of your next new car and is home to the best new car awards program in Australia.

Read more about Drive TeamLinkIcon

This post was originally published on this site

Similar Posts

0
    0
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop
    ×