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Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

Search our catalog of exclusive RV articles

RV Books provides the most extensive and most reliable information available for anyone wanting to explore their world via travel trailer, motorhome, camper trailer - any sort of RV.

If you find this site useful you will find our books even more so.  They are all available in a number of formats designed to make them as useful as possible as reference guides for all your travels.  As well as a paperback version there are versions for Kindle, Nook, Kobo and for all Apple devices.
The information on this site is provided without charge, without sponsorship and without advertising.  All our activities are funded by the sales of our books.

The Camper Trailer Book.  Free!

Not currently available as an eBook or paperback, RV Books is publishing The Camper Trailer Book on this site.  Every week new sections will be released until the complete, fully revised, version is available.

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Visit Solar Books

At solarbooks.com.au you'll find exclusive articles dealing with the intricacies of setting up and using solar power to run your home, cabin, travel trailer or motorhome.  Solar Books is about how to use solar to shrink your power bill to where your energy provider is paying you - and to do it all economically.

Featured article

Towing Without a WDH – Weight Distributing Hitch 

by Collyn Rivers - Updated 2021

Towing Without a WDH

Towing without a WDH (weight distributing hitch) is often feasible. A WDH is not needed if a tow vehicle's laden weight is equal to or exceeds that of the laden travel trailer. Nor is a WDH needed for any trailer under 4 metres. A WDH may even cause instability.

Many caravanners ask about towing without a WDH

A WDH attempts to compensate for issues better avoided. One is towing a laden travel trailer that exceeds the laden weight of whatever tows it. It is, for example, common to see 2500 kg (laden) dual-cab utes towing 3500 kg (7715 lb) travel trailers. Another is towing a travel trailer longer than six or so metres.

For on-road stability, a conventional travel trailer needs to be nose-heavy by 8-10% of its laden weight. When hitched to its tow vehicle that (typically 200-350 kg [440-770 lb]) pushes down the rear of that vehicle. In doing so, that levers up the front of the tow vehicle. This reduces the weight on the tow vehicle’s front tyres.

Where, however, that tow ball weight is comfortably within the laden tow vehicle’s payload, that front tyre weight reduction is too small to be an issue. It is, however, necessary to increase tow vehicle rear tyre pressure by 50-70 kPa (7-10 psi).

Some travel trailer owners fit a WDH because a sales-person advised it. Or by following misleading advise on Australian caravanners forums. Fitting a WDH when not needed, can introduce unwanted issues. Towing without a weight distributing hitch (WDH) is preferred unless really needed.

How a WDH works – and its unwanted effects

A WDH is, in effect, a springy light beam. By levering up the rear of the tow vehicle, it restores weight (down-force) from the tow vehicle’s rear tyres to its front tyres. While a good and useful concept, a WDH only counteracts tow ball downforce. By reducing tow vehicle rear tyre loading, those tyres become less able to counteract the yawing travel trailer's side forces on the rear of the tow vehicle. read more...

Recently updated articles

Travel Trailer Length and Stability

For decades both travel trailer owners and vendors have emphasised the need for a laden tow vehicle to at least weigh as much as the laden travel trailer. Length and travel trailer stability, and where weight is distributed over that length, is now being seen as more significant.

Making travel trailers more stable – here’s how and why to do it

Making travel trailers more stable is readily possible by design, loading, and tow vehicle use and choice. This article by Collyn Rivers explains how. It also provides practical guidelines for buying a travel trailer and tow vehicle, their loading and on-road usage. For a full technical explanation of why rigs can be unstable please see my Travel Trailer and Tow Vehicle Dynamics/. See also Why Caravans Roll Over/

Australian RV rules and regulations – a constantly updated general guide

The current (February 2018) Australian RV rules and regulations are outlined here by Collyn Rivers of RV Books. Those for trailers under 4500 kg (9920 lb) will change in late 2018 but details are not yet available. These rules often change and this article will be regularly updated to reflect those changes.

Our sister site, solarbooks.com.au, is about making sense of solar.  For anyone wanting to save serious money on their power bills, Solar Books has the information you're looking for.  Click here to visit.

Articles by Category

Electrical (general)
Batteries & Battery Charging
Caravan/Tow Vehicle Behaviour & Suspension
General
Travel
Health & Safety

Want to find out more? Our books cover all these topics and a lot more. 

Whether you’re buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider.  How to Choose and Buy an RV breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you’ve found is right for you.

learn more

Solar That Really Works! explains every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes. 

learn more

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

learn more

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, travel trailer and fifth wheel travel trailer, campervan and motorhome usage.

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Caravan & Motorhome Electrics covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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How to Choose and Buy an RV
Here's how to get it right first and every time.

Whether you're buying your first RV or updating to a bigger, more comfortable rig, there are a great many things you need to know and consider.  This book breaks things down so that you can decide what you want and whether or not what you've found is right for you. It's technically sound and comprehensive so that you can proceed with complete confidence.  How to Choose and Buy an RV is the ultimate guide for those times when you want to, well, choose and buy an RV.

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Travel Trailers and their tow vehicles rarely jack-knife and roll over - but when they do the results are catastrophic. The cause, and how to prevent it, is explained here.  Why Caravans Roll Over offers solid advice for keeping yourself safe on the road.

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Caravan & Motorhome Electrics is the totally rewritten successor to the original globally selling Motorhome Electrics. The book's content now also covers every aspect of designing, installing and fault finding of the electrics in fifth wheel and conventional travel trailers, camper trailers and motorhomes.

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The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of camper trailer, travel trailer and fifth wheel travel trailer, campervan and motorhome usage. Like all of Collyn Rivers' books it is technically sound yet written in plain English.

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Solar That Really Works! explains, in clear English, every detail of designing and installing solar in boats, camper trailers, travel trailers and motorhomes. It is up-to-date, valid globally and technically accurate. It is clear, concise and easy to follow without sacrificing important detail.

learn more

How to Choose and Buy an RV

This is Collyn Rivers' newest book.  Building on his years of experience and extensive knowledge of engineering and all things travel trailer and RV, this is the book you need with you when shopping for an RV.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

Collyn Rivers has done it again! – if you need to know anything about motorhome electrics, then this book is for you... Collyn must be, without doubt, the foremost authority in Australia on this subject.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)

Why Caravans Roll Over....and How to Prevent It​

Should be compulsory reading for everyone involved with Travel Trailers: Design / Engineering, Marketing, Journalism (print & electronic), Regulations, Inspections, Driver-Training, Travel Trailer Clubs, Towing and Modifications.

Colin Young

Founder and CEO, Caravan Council of Australia

Solar that Really Works!

Collyn is an accomplished engineer who knows how to design and build successful systems. It is refreshing to see practical advice written in plain language when there is so little solar information around. . . this is an essential text . . . you won’t find a better guide.

Alan T. Gray

Earth Garden Magazine

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

Without doubt, this is the best book we have ever read . . . it will be treasured, and read on a regular basis.

The Wanderer (Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Ltd)