GORV - Digital Magazine Issue #58 - Page 11

During one test , I was motoring down the highway with this vehicle hitched up to a van , and a camera car following behind us in the other lane . As the rig reached 100km / h , it suddenly started to sway . There just didn ’ t seem to be any reason for it – maybe the camera car was disturbing airflow , but then it was tracking a good 4-5m behind and to the side .
The photographer in the camera car said it looked menacing , the rear of the van moving 1m or more side to side . I gently eased off the throttle and used the brake control override to regain stability . Later , driving on secondary roads , the rig started its unceremonious dance again .
Yet the same van towed quite well behind several vehicles on the same loop on the same day .
I then did a big touring loop with the same ute and a different van . It did tow a bit better , although it might have been because I was too nervous to go faster than 90km / h . Whenever I was game to try 100km / h , my ( by then finely tuned ) senses felt the sway starting . I was glad to get the caravan off the vehicle that day .
There are more ‘ gotcha ’ moments I have had when caravanning , like forgetting to lower a roof hatch before setting off , or not securing stuff in the van properly , so it crashes around merrily when towing . But that ’ s a story for another day ...
Phil Lord has been towing caravans for more than 15 years .
/ 11