WITH many motorists on the road at this time of the year, the Queensland Police Service has put together a list of tips for caravan owners to check before hitting the road.
A car and caravan combination can behave very differently to a car on its own. Make sure your vehicle and caravan are compatible and check the maximum towing load recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Bear in mind that contents like water, gas, food and camping gear can add at least another 300kg to the weight of an empty van.
Make sure you use the best towing equipment and practice some of the skills like reversing so that you can cope with any situation that might arise.
If you're new to caravanning, it's best if your caravan weighs less than your empty car.
Tips for safe towing
- Get a mechanical check on the towing vehicle, especially the brakes and tyres
- Inspect the caravan for roadworthiness before you set out - especially the tyres and rims
- Tow within the tow ball weight limits
- Leave an extra 20 metres stopping distance between you and the next vehicle. The faster you're going and the wetter the road, the longer it will take to stop
- Travel at a lower speed and use a low gear travelling down hills
- Practise reversing in a vacant car park, turning the vehicle left to point the caravan or trailer right and turning right to point left
- Check your caravan lights, indicators, hitch and security chain before you head off each day
- Check LPG bottles are switched off and caravan doors, windows and awnings are closed
- Prevent injury and follow the law by stopping anyone from riding in a moving caravan
- Secure all loose items inside your caravan
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