Caravanning Queensland’s top pre-trip tips
For those hitting the road with their new (or beloved) recreational vehicles this holiday season, Caravanning Queensland offers the following safety and preparation tips:
- Safe Towing: Safe and stress-free caravanning starts with matching your caravan to the right tow vehicle. Loading your caravan appropriately and understanding the vehicle’s ratings and masses will ensure your tow set up is safe and legal. You can find this information in the caravan’s vehicle plate and in your tow vehicle’s handbook, as well as caravantowingguide.com.au
- Safety Chains: Safety chains are compulsory in all Australian states and territories. They must be strong enough to hold the trailer and prevent the drawbar from touching the ground should the coupling fail or be accidentally disconnected from the ball.
- Braking Systems: All trailers over 750GTM must have an effective brake system fitted. Electric brakes are most commonly used and require a brake controller, with appropriate connections to the trailer, to be fitted in the tow vehicle. It’s important to remember that towing a trailer or caravan will decrease your vehicles acceleration and breaking performance.
- Tyres: It’s vital that your tyres are in good condition. Tyres can deteriorate just as much when a vehicle stands for long periods as when its being used. They must have sufficient load-rating and speed-rating for towing as specified on the trailer plate and must have the correct tyre pressure to suit the load being carried. It’s also important to keep a spare that gets replaced at the same time as other tyres.
- Accessories & Installations: Aftermarket accessories can add loads of fun features to your vehicle, but they also add weight that will eat into the available payload, impact balance and distribution and can even impact length, width or rear overhand. Working with a Caravanning Queensland Trade member on installation will ensure all features are safe and legal.
- Maintenance: You need to ensure your vehicle is road-trip ready, so make sure your caravan or RV is serviced at least once a year, every 10,000kms, or if you notice any issues or have any concerns. Always choose a Caravanning Queensland Trade member to ensure your vehicle is being serviced or repaired by an experienced, trusted and professional business.
- Pre-Holiday Check List: Do a thorough review inside and out to ensure everything is in working order and to check for any obvious abnormalities such as damage, rust, mold, dirt build up or even insect nests. Connect the tow vehicle and check that all lights are working and then take for a test drive to ensure brakes are adjusted and working effectively.
If you’re unable to secure a site in one of Queensland’s many fantastic holiday parks, Mr Plant offers the following advice:
“If you have your heart set on a particular park or destination, continue to check in as there’s often cancellations – especially in this current climate of border uncertainty.
“And if all else fails, consider getting back to nature and visiting one of Queensland’s incredible national parks.
“You can choose from up to 490 camping areas in Queensland’s parks and forests. But you will need to book (and pay for) your permit online in order to secure your spot – so get in quick,” he adds.
More information can be found here: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/camping