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August 2019


Caravans undergo safety checks in Bundaberg

Caravans undergo safety checks in Bundaberg

Dual cab utes among the worst offenders

RV safety checks break the 2000 mark

Story and Photos: Dennis Amor
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Mr Lamont (second left) with Queensland Transport compliance inspector Tony Aitkon and caravanners

Mr Chapman (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 fourth year."

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," he said.

"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

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 Minister."

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 Chapman said..

"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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Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
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