How To Setup Your 4x4 For Towing

Using your vehicle to tow a caravan, boat or trailer? Here are five tips to help you stay safe and legal!

Are you planning on using your vehicle to tow these holidays? Ensure your vehicle is up to the task and capable of towing your caravan, boat or trailer. Here are five tips for towing and frequently asked questions about towing.

Check your vehicle’s Towing Capacity & Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM)

The first thing you should do before you use your vehicle for towing is check its Towing Capacity and Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) rating. Each vehicle has a maximum Towing Capacity and GVM – the maximum legal weight of the vehicle as specified by the manufacturer. These weights are listed in the owner’s manual of the vehicle and can often be found on a plaque near the driver’s door sill. It is important you don’t exceed your vehicle’s maximum Towing Capacity or GVM rating as this can void your insurance and is illegal. Towing Capacity references the weight (Aggregate Trailer Mass) of the trailer you are towing, while GVM is important to consider as the Tow Ball Down Weight of the trailer is included in your GVM when towing a trailer. Tow Ball Down Weight is typically 10% of the weight of your trailer, but every application is different.

Check your vehicle is suitable for towing

If you’re towing heavy equipment you may need to consider upgrading your vehicle’s suspension to help maintain suspension control and a safe and comfortable ride when towing. A common issue with many vehicles, including four-wheel drives, is sagging in the rear when towing due to significant pressure on the rear suspension. This can also cause unloading of the front suspension causing poor handling and incorrect wheel alignment.

If you experience this when towing, you may want to consider upgrading your suspension. At Pedders we offer heavy duty springs and shock absorbers, AirAssist air suspension, plus Hayman Reese Tow Bars and towing aids that are engineered and certified.

Check your vehicle’s Tow Bar and its load ratings

Before you tow you should always check your Tow Bar is in good working condition and your trailer functions such as trailer lights and braking systems are operating correctly. Also ensure your trailer wheel bearings are not damaged and greased if required. You should also consider your Tow Bar load ratings as most tow bars have a specified maximum Tow Ball Down Weight rating. The Tow Ball Down Weight is the weight the trailer exerts on to the Tow Bar itself – all applications are different but this is typically 10% of the Aggregate Trailer Mass (the weight of the trailer when it is not connected to a vehicle). Once you are confident your vehicle is capable of towing your trailer and it meets the Towing Capacity, GVM and Tow Ball Down Weight requirements, it pays to ensure your vehicle’s vital brake, steering and suspension systems are working properly before you set off on that big trip.

Heavy Duty Coil Springs

Pedders TrakRyder Coil Springs are designed as heavy duty units that provide the precise spring rates needed to support the mass of a heavy four-wheel drive. All Pedders coil springs are manufactured to extremely high standards to ensure we achieve precise spring rates and ride heights that our four-wheel drive customers demand.

Standard and raised height Coil Springs are available for most popular four-wheel drive vehicles, and extra heavy duty springs can be specified to compensate for extra weight of accessories such as bullbar, winch, canopy, roof racks and tow bars.

Does your vehicle slant while towing?

Travelling under constant load? Vehicle looks slanted from all the extra weight you’re carrying, but you don’t want a lift kit? Pedders has you covered. We offer a range of solutions to “level” out your vehicle, no matter what suspension set up you are running. We can restore your vehicle’s ride height by using heavy-duty components that are specially designed to support heavy loads. We can even increase the legal Payload capacity of your vehicle with a Pedders GVM+ Upgrade.

We can tailor a custom solution for your vehicle utilising a range of components to make your vehicle look and perform how it should.

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