Towing a camper trailer is not just a
simple process of hooking up and taking off for your favourite camping
spot. As a duty of care to other road users there are a number of rules
and guideline limits you need to be aware of, otherwise you could be
breaking the law, voiding your vehicle warranty or insurance in the
event of an accident.
A vehicle and camper trailer must compliment each others maximum
capacities making for a safe combination in all situations. If the ball
weight is too heavy, the tow vehicle's rear suspension will be forced
down affecting braking and also the vehicle’s steering when it is most
needed like during an emergency situation. This especially applies to
lighter vehicles and soft roader 4wd’s which have lighter tow
The 10 to 15% rule of thumb ball weight of a fully loader trailer gives
a safety net and some room for error particularly when it comes to a
camper trailer with weight shifting quantities that can vary greatly
either forward or to the rear of the axle as jerry’s of fuel and water
are used, the water tank emptied, firewood unloaded or food consumed.
Ball weight can be affected by a number of factors which can quickly
overload the front of your camper. The A frame can be used to store an
outboard motor, toolbox with tools and other heavy gear, a spare tyre,
gas bottles, fuel or water jerry’s and a fridge packed with food.
Attention to the 'balance' of the camper needs to be maintained keeping
the ball weight within the limits and the calculated strength of the
It is a good idea for a camper trailer owner to weigh his fully loaded
camper at least once on a weighbridge so he knows what the camper and
ball weight is. This will help with future packing of the camper. Check
the yellow pages under public weighbridge. For the few dollars you will
have piece of mind.
The Towsafe Ball Weight Scale is very handy at home when measuring the
ball weight. It has a range from 100kg up to 350kg in easy to read 10kg
increments. The Towsafe is of a metal construction, manufactured using
high quality materials & tested to Australian Standard AS/NZS
10012:2004. The Scale also have a soft head to protect a ball coupling.
It is available
from Repco & other selected auto accessory stores with a RRP of $85.95.
For more information check the website at
A couple of
accessories are now available. The first
is an adaptor for camper trailers & caravans
which no not use a ball coupling. The adaptor fits under the “A”
frame & has a protective rubber insert to protect the ball weight
Also available is a storage bag
made from 70D material with a draw string closure
adaptor in place
A frame adaptor
thanks to Steve
Nicholson of intertradeholdings for the info
written by Rob