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Legal fittings required to meet trailer regulations

To ensure you’re meeting all the necessary legal trailer regulations, consider the following:

Tow bar

Your tow bar is obviously essential, but you need to do your homework to make sure you have the right one. Each tow bar is identified by a class name and the hitch class you need is calculated by weight. They range from a standard class 2, which is suitable for loads from 1,250kg to 1,600kg (depending on the brand), through to a 5th wheel or gooseneck hitch.

Your tow bar should have a compliance plate and be fitted onto the rear chassis by a professional. If you change what you’re towing, you should always check the weight against the tow bar’s rating.

Safety chains

Included in trailer regulations throughout Australia is the need to have safety chains whenever you’re towing. The chains must be attached to the tow bar framework, not the less stable tow ball.

Level riders or load distribution bars

Level riders distribute some of the weight from the tow bar back to the trailer, helping to avoid permanent damage to the towing vehicle caused by sagging. Many also help to reduce the likelihood of sway occurring as you drive, and they make for a smoother ride.

Extension mirrors

If your vehicle’s side mirrors don’t provide a clear view past your trailer, you’ll need to invest in a set of extension mirrors.

Wiring

Your trailer is legally required to have working lights and indicators, so your wiring must be fitted and working. The most common options are seven-pin small round and seven-pin flat. Adapters are readily available for both of these formats. Check with an auto electrician to ascertain which is best for you. Test this regularly to make sure it’s all still working before you tow your trailer.

Trailer laws and registration

As always, we’re all about putting safety – and legalities – first, so make sure your trailer fits the bill.

Do you want to learn more about trailer towing? Find out here.

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