What is the speed limit for towing a caravan around Oz?
This is something we have to be aware of. Do the wrong thing here and it will cost you in fines and demerit points. Unfortunately, we can’t use ignorance as an excuse. A lot of large vehicle / caravan combinations can weigh between 5,500kg and 6,500kg which means they are not going to handle like your average family SUV. Stopping or sudden direction changes can be disastrous. A sudden direction change with a poorly loaded caravan at speed can send the van into a fishtail which may not end well…we have seen this on the news too many times.
There are a few things we have to consider, and the first is weight. That is, what is your combined weight – GCM (Gross Combination Mass) the weight of your car and caravan driving down the road. In NSW if you weigh less than 4.5t GCM you can travel at the posted speed limit. However, if your GCM is above 4.5t then you are limited to a maximum of 100kph.
In WA, maximum speed limits for vehicles towing a trailer or caravan is 100kph regardless of your weight.
In all other states and territories, you can tow a caravan at the posted speed limit. Remember to follow the advisory road signs for example, drive to conditions, high wind area ahead etc.
Your vehicle owner’s manual is worth a read. Some manufacturers place speed limits on the vehicle whilst towing. Some which can be as low 80kph (depending on the trailer weight). Check your owner’s manual as you might be surprised. Is this legally enforceable? Probably not but it may affect the way your vehicle accelerates, turns and stops.
So next time you head interstate (hopefully soon) it may be worth checking the speed limit that applies to your size combination so that you are not at risk of a speeding fine and demerit points. The driver is always responsible even if you don’t own the car or the caravan. It could be a friends rig or even a hired caravan.
And remember before you head off, give us a call to weigh your tow vehicle and caravan so you can travel with knowledge and confidence.