caravan checklist hooking up caravan

Caravan Adventure Checklist Part Four – Hooking Up The Caravan

Last week we released part three of our four-part series of checklists covering some of the more important things that you should check before hitting the highway on your next big family caravanning adventure.

In last weeks article, Caravan Adventure Checklist Part 3, the main focus was on the most important things you should check out with the exterior of your caravan as part of your pre-departure ritual.

This included things like checking that your spare tyre has enough air and the wheel nuts are tight enough through to checking the operation of the jockey wheel and making sure there is minimal handbrake travel on the caravan. 

This week is our fourth and final article in our four-part series and will focus on the most exciting part – hitching the actual caravan to our towing vehicle! It is vitally important to get this part right.

As part of this process, you will most likely need to refer to the towing vehicle and caravan owner manuals to make sure you use the correct settings for anything you aren’t sure of.

It may seem obvious but it can’t be emphasised enough how important it is to make sure your caravan is correctly hooked up to your towing vehicle.

We need to ensure that your caravan is safe for transit so that you don’t have any mishaps or inconveniences along the way. 

With all of this in mind, please read below for our comprehensive pre-departure checklist for connecting your caravan to the towing vehicle:

  • Windows and doors – make sure that you check your caravan’s roof lights and windows are closed, internal doors and cupboards are closed and the external door is locked.
  • Jockey wheel – gently lower the jockey wheel and securely lock it in place.
  • Corner steady legs – raise the corner steady legs and ensure they are secured properly.
  • Sway control operation – whether you are using a control hitch or sway bars, ensure they are attached and fitted securely and correctly.
  • Nose weight – don’t forget to check the caravan’s nose weight which you will normally find in the tow vehicles manual or stamped onto the hitch of the caravan.
  • Hitch height – make sure this is adjusted so that it goes above the vehicle’s tow ball.
  • Tow ball cover – make sure you remove the tow ball cover on the vehicle’s tow ball.
  • Reverse your vehicle – do this slowly in order to avoid any damage to the caravan or your vehicle and ensure you’re on sturdy, level ground.
  • Secure the hitch – make sure the hitch fits properly on the tow ball and make sure you stow the jockey wheel away safely once securely hitched.
  • Connect electricals – make sure all plugs and the stabiliser system, if it’s fitted, as well as the cables, will not pull or drag as the car turns.
  • Breakaway cable – attach the breakaway cable or secondary coupling and make sure they are connected properly.
  • Release handbrake – release the handbrake and remove any chocks that are in place.
  • Pull clear – move your vehicle and caravan forward a few metres and do a final check of the area to see if anything has been left behind.

Final Thoughts

When we get to this stage, it can be easy to forget even the most basic things due to the excitement of being so close to hitting the road.

However, it is critical we don’t let our guard down at this point.

As we can see, there are some vitally important things that you need to check when hooking up your caravan to the towing vehicle.

Some of these things can have life-threatening consequences if overlooked and that is the last thing we want to see happen.

So in closing, thank you for staying in touch over the last four weeks and for reading this informative four-part series.

Hopefully, the four checklists we have provided will help you to have a safe and enjoyable adventure no matter where you and your family choose to go in this great brown land of ours. 

When it comes to the actual caravan, if you are looking for a reliable, high-quality caravan chassis, then look no further than ARV Chassis & Trailers.

Please call us today on (03) 9111 5367 or message us through our contact page if you want the best caravan chassis in the market.


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