undergo safety checks in Bundaberg
Dual cab utes
among the worst offenders
checks break the 2000 mark
and Photos: Dennis Amor
Have your say
(second from left) with Queensland Transport
compliance inspector Tony Aitkon and caravanners
Lyle and Kathy Walker
CARAVANNING Queensland has put more than
2000 recreational vehicles under the microscope since introducing its free
safety checks more than three years ago.
The peak body for the state's caravanning industry, in
conjunction with Queensland Transport, saw another hundred or so
undergo checks at Maryborough and Bundaberg recently.
Chief executive Ron Chapman told Caravanning News: "We are very
keen on road safety and have been involved in many initiatives
over the years, but this is one of the more popular ones. It is now in its
He stressed that his organisation "cared" for customers after they had
bought their RVs.
"After all, there is no point selling them something and them not being
able to enjoy it afterwards because they overload or something like that,"
"People think we are only selling something, but that's not so.
"Yes, we are interested in sales but that's not everything. We also want
them to enjoy their RVs properly afterwards, and
we can do that by making them safe and telling them how to be safe."
This is the fourth year that owners have been offered the safety checks,
which have now been held between Cairns and the Gold Coast.
"Our other associations also want to do them but can't get state
government co-operation like that given to us by the Queensland
Government," Mr Chapman said.
Queensland Transport compliance inspector Darren
Creek checks an axle weight.
"Nobody is lucky enough to have what we have here. Our program has the
support of the Queensland Transport
The most common problem was overloading caravans after they have been
purchased, Mr Chapman explained.
"New owners fit aluminium boxes on the front containing chain saws,
whipper snippers and generators," he said.
"And on the back they will have half a forest."
Dual cab utes used to tow caravans were
often among the worst offenders.
"We are very interested in the combined vehicle mass, and dual cab utes
are getting overloaded with tools and the like," Mr
"People forget how critical this is and it's becoming a big problem,."
He estimated that when the free safety checks began in
Ipwsich 70 to 80 percent of caravans were overloaded, but now it
was around 30 percent.
"The really good thing is education," he said.
And he offered this advice to new owners of RVs ... weigh before you go
and take out what you don't really need.
"Far too many people take what they think they'll need and not just the
things they really need," he said.
"It's like when you go overseas with your wife. She always takes dresses
she might want, but comes home with ones that are still clean. This is
much the same."
Caravanning Queensland's record overweight has been a
1100kg combined vehicle mass.
"Most of that was in the car, which had a huge Engel fridge in the back
and another beside it ... and socket spanners which you could have built a
bridge with," he explained.
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