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Payload balance is integral to safe towing

By Phil Lord and Phil Cooper, 27 Jun 2017 Opinion

Payload balance Mitsubishi Pajero

Find the right balance when towing a caravan.

LET’S FACE it, whenever you stick a trailer onto vehicle it is automatically a much less stable combination.

Get your payload weight balance all wrong and you may as well start filling out your insurance forms before you – quite literally – hit the road. It’s that plain and simple.

Mitsubishi Pajero Sport Towing
Good payload balance is the foundation of safe towing. Get this right and you shouldn’t have a rig that automatically spits itself off the road at the slightest puff of a crosswind or bump in the road.

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Heavy stuff should be packed low and over, or just ahead of, the trailer wheelset if possible.

Isuzu MU-X Towing
Towing requires plenty of concentration, too, so taking a fair few rest breaks and a fairly cautious approach to speed should make the whole experience as straight-forward as it can be.

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People still get very nervous when towing heavy stuff and want every bit of gear they can find – like a Weight Distribution Hitch (WDH) – to make everything right again in their towing world. However, a WDH really should be the last resort.

Attaching the caravan
Dust off the moth-eaten instructions for your WDH and you’ll find that you’re required to take the tension off the spring bars before driving over any terrain that angles the vehicle and ’van too sharply.

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Otherwise, you’re transferring enormous loads through your vehicle’s towbar and chassis, loads it was never designed to handle. Even some servo driveways should be a stop-and-release spring bars situation.