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The NSW Guide to Towing Trailers and Hitches

Posted by Bob Newman on Oct 14, 2013 - 0 Comments

Being able to tow a trailer can make things a lot easier for you in your day-to-day life. You can save money when you move house, or you can pick up that great-looking cabinet you saw outside someone’s place on hard rubbish day. There’s plenty that a trailer can do for you, but when it comes to towing and towbars in NSW there’s some things you need to know.

NSW Trailer Handbook

What you need to know before you hit the road.

When it comes to towing a trailer or anything for that matter you need to be aware that it’ll affect the performance of your vehicle. It won’t move as well, or accelerate as quickly, you’ll use up more petrol and you’ll need to break far earlier. But there’s a lot of helpful tips out there that’ll make towing a far less stressful job for you, as well as plenty of laws you need to abide by.


Let’s start with the big legal side of things that could see you dead, injured, or facing a huge fine. It might seem silly to have to say it, but you can only tow one trailer at a time. There’s no room for dangerous chains of swaying trailers on Australian roads. And people can only ride in the car, not the trailer. It doesn’t matter if you’re towing a caravan with luxurious extras, you won’t be safe in there if you get involved in a crash. And that also goes for animals. During the Equine Influenza outbreak in 2007, a lot of horse owners tried to move their horses in caravans to avoid police suspicion and heavy fines. A lot of caravans got trashed, and people were extremely lucky fatal accidents weren’t caused by the horse making the caravan unstable.


When you’re driving there are lots of things that you need to be aware of if you’re towing a trailer, here are a few of the key points to stay focused on:

  • Remember that your trailer will cut-in when you take turns or curves, so leave some room for that

  • Give yourself plenty of room to break, as well as plenty of room between you and the car in front (and if you’re following a trailer, plenty of room there doesn’t hurt either)

  • If you’re doing any reversing, get someone to give you directions and guidance from outside the vehicle

  • Be gentle when you use the accelerator or brakes

  • Take more breaks than you would usually – it’s far more tiring and stressful to tow something than to just straight up drive


When it comes to your car, it needs to meet certain requirements to legally be able to tow anything. Some of these requirements include:

  • Up-to-date registration and be roadworthy

  • Your towbar doesn’t hide your licence plate or any lights if the trailer isn’t hooked up

  • Have towbar and coupling that is suitable for what you intend to tow

  • Have electrical socket for trailer’s lights


There’s some requirements for towbars too:

  • It needs to be marked with its maximum capacity, the manufacturer’s details, and the make and model of car it’s intended for

  • It doesn’t stick out dangerously when there’s no trailer attached

This blog was posted in Hitches, Safety, Towbars, Trailers

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