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August 2018

Another caravan comes to grief

Towing for re-creation, not wreck-reaction

Becoming well versed on avoiding caravan crashes

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THE Caravan Council of Australia is alarmed at the rising number of road crashes involving recreational vehicles.

General manager and founder Colin Young said the caravan industry was being "badly tarnished" by continual reports of serious accidents involving caravans.

"For every major accident involving a rollover the CCA receives many calls from caravanners who have had frightening incidents involving severe swaying or jackknifing," he said.

"Thankfully, many of them usually happen without injuries or major damage."

In a bid to draw attention to the problem, the Caravan Council of Australia has written a poem to remind caravanners of important issues to be aware of when towing.

Mr Young hoped his rhyming advice, entitled Towing Caravans for Rec-reation… Not Wreck-creation, will help prevent most of the basic causes of the scary and potentially lethal incidents.

It's a good life for the 'vanners who live out on the road,
Seeing our great country, without a fixed abode.
But there's danger ever lurking on our highways when you drive,
So be careful when you travel, so you get back home alive.

Towing sure can be a problem if something isn't right,
It may be out of mind, but it's never out of sight.
So check that all's OK, both the tow-rig and the 'van,
And enjoy the pleasures of your trips, as safely as you can.

Is the 'van in sound condition, are mechanicals still good?
Are you never overloaded, does it tow the way it should?
Is the ball-load as it should be, not too high and not too low,
To give the safest handling on whatever roads you go?

Are the tyres still roadworthy and still have lots of grip?
Have you had the brakes adjusted so they'll never lock or slip?
Are the pressures set correctly as the makers recommend,
To give the needed traction on a hill or on a bend?

Are all the lights still shining, and the coupling’s done up tight?
Are the safety chains and shackles still connected safe and right?
Are your heavy goods stored safely in the middle of the 'van?
Are the wheels and bearings still turning well as smoothly as they can?

Do you understand the meaning of each rating and each force?
Of the tow-rig and the caravan, and their legality of course?
There's the ATM and ball-load, the tare and GTM,
There’s the GCM and tow-bar specs, you need to know 'bout them.

Mr Young poses the following questions for all caravanners to improve road safety.

How well do you understand the important basics of physics when you are driving a vehicle that is towing a caravan or camper-trailer?

How well do you understand the important definitions of ratings and masses?

He said caravanners could easily find out by taking the test on his website's Technical Articles section.

"The 'Theory Test' has a number of multiple-choice questions… so see how you go.

"The answers are also on the website … but no peeping first," he added..


 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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