With regional road trips expected to be the holiday of choice over the Australian school holidays, Transport for New South Wales (NSW) is providing tips for safe caravanning.
Towing a caravan is more complex than simply attaching it to your vehicle, so those planning a trip are advised to brush up on essential safety tips before hitting the road.
“Between 2014 and 2018, there were 239 crashes involving a vehicle towing a caravan on NSW roads. Sadly, these crashes resulted in 12 fatalities and 120 serious injuries,” said Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary for Safety, Environment and Regulation Tara McCarthy.
“Towing a caravan adds significant weight to your vehicle. It requires careful planning and loading and puts additional responsibilities on a driver to manage safety. It is crucial drivers understand how to safely load and weigh their caravan and how to drive safely while towing before they set out on the road.
“This knowledge will not only protect you and your passengers, but complying with safe loading laws means you won’t run the risk of fines from police enforced Roadside Caravan Safety Inspections.”
McCarthy advises that driving an RV or towing a caravan can be stressful, but careful planning and preparation can help make a trip more enjoyable.
“If you understand how towing a caravan can affect your driving, your safety and the safety of others on the road, you will find it much less stressful,” she added. “Remember to weigh your vehicle and your caravan at a weigh station, correctly load your caravan to meet safety ratings and requirements and do any necessary safety checks before and during your trip.”
For more information on how to safely tow a caravan visit the Centre for Road Safety website roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/drivers/caravan-safety/index.html
Top 5 tips for safe towing
- Understand how towing a caravan can affect your driving, your safety and the safety of others on the road
- Make sure your vehicle’s towing capacity is adequate for safely towing a caravan
- Ensure that you have weighed both your towing vehicle and caravan, you know your Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM), Gross Trailer Mass (GTM), Combined Vehicle Mass (GCM), and you understand how to find and use a weigh station in NSW
- Correctly load your caravan to meet safety requirements
- Make safety checks before and during your trip including brakes and tyres, lights, towing components, load and storage. For the full list go to: transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/drivers/caravan-safety/checklist.html