Caravan Safety Top Ten Tips
 
 


1.
Planning of your equipment purchase, unit compatibility and suitability is essential. Do your skills need upgrading for a new or bigger unit? Next is a plan of trip “must do’s” and “maybe’s” as part of route, destination and timeframe requirements. Only you know how flexible your time is and what is most important to the trip. This is better done early, rather than afterwards realising you have missed something worthwhile.

2. Seek knowledge from magazines, tourist brochures, clubs and other vanners.

3. Confirm this with others and by your own experience. By joining a caravan or four wheel drive club, you may find others who have been there and done that and most are happy to tell of their experiences.

4. Equipment and extras. Do you need to purchase and or upgrade tow bar, hitches, mirrors and other ancillary equipment? Consider fitting a CB or UHF.

5. Trip Preparation. Make a checklist. The bigger the trip, the bigger the checklist needs to be. Use it when you do your check weigh below.

6. Ensure secure loading and correct weight distribution. Check weigh your unit fully loaded, well before you plan to leave, to allow you to make adjustments if necessary and ensure everything fits and stays put, till you get it right. Keep heavy items lower down and secure any loose items. Confirm compliance with all operating requirements, van and vehicle maximum weights and towball weight, 10% recommended. Last thing before you plan to leave, is a service for tow vehicle and van.

7. On road skills. Practise with a few short trips, at least one with a friend or more experienced vanner. Consider a caravan course. Plan regular breaks and walk around your vehicle at each stop to check tyres and towing equipment. If you are holding up following traffic, move off where safe, to allow them to pass.

8. Trucks. Respect the size and weight of trucks. Share the road. You are holidaying, they are working, and each is done at a different pace.

9. Caravan CB Join in. Fit a CB and or UHF if you haven’t already. Put stickers on your van, front and rear, for Channel 18. Talk with other vanners and truckies and improve on road safety and communication. Promote the concept if you agree. Your names on the back, further promote on road contact and information.

10. Enjoy your self. If you find a problem, seek others help to solve or lessen it and then, share your knowledge and experience with others, to help them overcome pitfalls you have found. Travel safely at your own pace, but consider all other road users. Not everyone shares your lack of time pressures.

Safe Travelling, Rod Hannifey. Road Transport and Road Safety Advocate 0428 120 560 www.truckright.com.au

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