Towing The Line
Some insights into the mysteries of A-frame towing…
Because iMotorhome has no first-hand experience towing a ‘toad’ – or ‘dinghy vehicle’ as Americans call them – we recently had a quick chat with Mark Blyton, proprietor of Brisbane-based Northcoach RV Equipment, about the basic requirements of A-frame towing.
“A-frame towing continues to become more popular. However, here are a number of important factors that you must take into account when considering towing a vehicle behind your motorhome. Each State has different laws regarding the towing of vehicles and it is important you check, or contact us so we can advise you,” Mark said.
Things you need to know before deciding what to tow include:
- Check your tow bar rating. The rating must be more than the GVM (gross vehicle mass) of the towed vehicle. Do not assume it is the Tare Weight of the vehicle
- Most manual vehicles can be towed. The Suzuki Grand Vitara can be towed in automatic. Check with us before you buy a vehicle to be sure it is able to be towed
- Not all models of a particular vehicle can be towed. For example, the Suzuki Grand Vitara is the most popular vehicle towed, but the 2006 3-door version can’t be towed
- Not all vehicles have base plates (the attachment to the towed vehicle) available. It is possible to have a custom base plate made, but at additional cost
- Depending on the weight of the vehicle and different State regulations, you might need a braking system
- A-frame towing is also known as “flat towing”. This is because the frame needs to be parallel with the roadway. If the A-frame isn’t flat when hooked up you may need a drop receiver for the towbar. This allows for the frame to become level
- A-frames with retractable arms are easiest to hook up
- All A-frames must be ADR approved and supplied with appropriate certification.
Here are a number of extras to make life easier:
- Locking Pins, which are available individually or in a set of three. They secure your A-frame to both the motorhome and car so it cannot be stolen or tampered with
- Cover – used to protect your A-frame when not in use
- Stone Guard – protects the towed vehicle from stones and other loose objects.
“Northcoach RV Equipment supplies Blue Ox and Ready Brute A-frames and we have a comprehensive range of accessories and spare parts,” Mark concluded. If you have any questions Mark is happy to help and you can contact him or one of his team on (07) 3209-6654 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll also find plenty of information in their website at www.northcoach.com.au.
For the full article and more photos download Issue 73 of iMotorhome eMagazine by clicking HERE