Overhung Caravan Hitches

Apr 23, 2020

Update 2020

Overhung Caravan Hitches

Tow vehicles pull conventional caravans towed via a hitch that overhangs that tow vehicle. Overhung caravan hitches, however, are inherently unstable. Side forces on caravans cause swaying. Such forces are not just undesirable. They are dangerous at speed. Moreover, they are even more dangerous at high speeds. Overhung caravan hitches cause (not just allow) these effects. Furthermore, the longer that overhang, the worse the effect. This article explains why overhung caravan hitches cause problems. Furthermore, it shows how you can reduce problems. You cannot, however, eliminate them.

 

This interaction is described in Why Caravans Roll Over.

Caravan and tow vehicle swaying is ‘fuelled’ by the rig’s weight and speed. The resultant side forces distort the tow vehicle’s rear tyres. Nevertheless, those tyres must maintain full intended grip. If that grip distorts, that can cause the vehicle to jack-knife. If that happens the rig may overturn. Moreover, many do.

This effect is speed-related. There are many other known causes. These include inadequate tow ball mass, excess caravan length and rear-end loading. Contrary to common-belief, weight distributing hitches may worsen the effect. They reduce cornering power by a typical 25%.

A weight distributing hitch is only necessary when towing a caravan that is really too long and/or too heavy for the tow vehicle. It has no plusses as such.

Avoid excess overhung caravan hitches

A few tow hitches are claimed easier to couple and uncouple. Some, however, increase tow hitch overhang. This is never desirable. Moreover, it inherently decreases towing stability.

You can reduce overhung hitch undesirable effects but you cannot totally eliminate them. The only truly stable caravan is the fifth-wheeler – as it the tow hitch directly above the tow vehicle’s rear axle. By doing so, it eliminates overhung hitches’ inherent instability.

RV Books provides a full explanation in our Why Caravans Rollover – and how to prevent it. This book explains just why caravan rollovers happen. Moreover, it shows how your own rig’s stability. Furthermore, it shows how to improve that stability.

How to Choose and Buy an RV

Solar that Really Works! covers the design, installation and use of solar in cabins, camper trailers, caravans, fifth wheelers, campervans and motor homes.

eBook versions

Paperback version

Prices for the paperback version including delivery can vary dramatically.  RVBooks recommends you shop around.  We've included a number of reputable booksellers you may wish to consider. Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of How to Choose and Buy an RV. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-5-4.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

The essential handbook for anyone with an RV of any kind.  Everything you need to know to make the electrics in your rig work for you.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Caravan & Motorhome Electrics.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-8-5

Why Caravans Roll Over
and how to prevent it

Explains in detail every aspect of tow vehicle and caravan stability. This is what you need to know to be safe on or off the road.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Why Caravans Roll Over.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-6-1

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of campervan and motorhome usage. If you own a camper van or motor home, you'll want this book.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of The Caravan & Motorhome Book. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-5-4.

How to Choose and Buy an RV

Solar that Really Works! covers the design, installation and use of solar in cabins, camper trailers, caravans, fifth wheelers, campervans and motor homes.

eBook versions

Paperback version

Prices for the paperback version including delivery can vary dramatically.  RVBooks recommends you shop around.  We've included a number of reputable booksellers you may wish to consider. Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of How to Choose and Buy an RV. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6487945-5-4.

Caravan & Motorhome Electrics

The essential handbook for anyone with an RV of any kind.  Everything you need to know to make the electrics in your rig work for you.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Caravan & Motorhome Electrics.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-8-5

The Caravan & Motorhome Book

The Caravan & Motorhome Book covers every conceivable aspect of campervan and motorhome usage. If you own a camper van or motor home, you'll want this book.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of The Caravan & Motorhome Book. Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-5-4.

Why Caravans Roll Over
and how to prevent it

Explains in detail every aspect of tow vehicle and caravan stability. This is what you need to know to be safe on or off the road.

eBook versions

Paperback version

The book retailers set their own prices which can vary substantially. We'll aim to keep a selection of the better prices above.

Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Why Caravans Roll Over.  Just ask.
ISBN: 978-0-6483190-6-1