No matter what kinds of trailer you are planning to get, there is some essential knowledge that you must have before you search “trailer for sale” on Google. Here’s everything.
GTM/GVM & Static Towball download
GTM (Gross trailer mass) or GVM (gross vehicle mass) is basically the same measurement on the maximum loaded weight of a trailer. The static towball load is the weight of the trailer that is stressed onto the towball at the maximum load. These two figures are key for choosing your vehicle and trailer. Carry on.
Easy as it sounds, that’s the maximum that your vehicle can tow and the towball can withstand. DO NOT exceed the tow limit!
How to know your tow weight?
Find a weighbridge in your area. First weight your trailer on its own without coupling with your vehicle, then weight your trailer with your vehicle coupled but not on the bridge. The first reading is your GTM and the subtraction of the second reading from the first will be your static towball download.
Why should I care?
Australia is known for strict road safety which also applies to your trailer. Not only is overloading harmful to your vehicle and your trailer, but there are also insurance and legal implications for overloading your trailer that could lead to heavy payment and a custodial sentence. So, my advice is, just don’t do it.
Check your vehicle’s limit
Your vehicle is the one to do the hard work. But you would not want it to be an absolute burden. Other than the legal issues, towing over the capacity is harmful to the chassis and engine of your vehicle, substantially reducing its useful lifespan.
The limit of your trailer is just as important. Even if your family camper trailer is very robust, overload still exerts extreme force on the trailer that could harm the structural integrity of the vehicle. In the end, the limit is here to keep everyone safe and maintain your vehicle.
READ THIS: you should also check for your vehicle’s gross combination mass. Vehicles, like the beloved Ford Ranger, sometimes have a tow capacity of 3.5 tonnes but a limiting gross combination mass that would reduce your possible payload in the vehicle to around 250-300kg. Be sure to check that before buying a new truck.
Get more than you need
It’s very environmental-unfriendly for just reading that sentence. But it is not wise to actually tow at the maximum tow capacity. It is demanding to your vehicle for sure, but it also meant maximum stress to your vehicle. Why not be a bit more conservative to make sure you can get home safe?
Do you need brakes?
This one is rather simpler than the others. Check if your trailer exceeds 750kg. If it does, you will need a brake system. Most manufacturers and dealers will equip their trailers with brake if the GTM is going to exceed that limit. But taking your time to check won’t hurt.
Getting excited about a trailer party but you only have a Corolla, check out the 14 best cars for towing a trailer.
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