Thursday, 31st December 2020
Caravanning is a great Australian summer pastime, but it is important that it is done safely. See below for VicRoad’s suggestions for safe caravanning.
Your caravan must be roadworthy. You should regularly check your caravan to make sure the:
- Coupling and safety chains are in good condition
- Brakes and external lights are working
- Wheels, bearings, tyres and suspension are in good condition, especially if you haven't used the caravan for a while
- Tyres are of the same construction on all wheels and have a tread depth of 1.6mm or more.
Make sure your car is ready for towing. Not all cars can tow a caravan. Check that your car:
- Has enough power to tow your caravan
- Is regularly serviced and is in good mechanical condition
- Has good rear vision when the caravan is attached, you may need to fit extension mirrors to your car (extension mirrors must be removed when not towing)
- Has the correct towbar for the type and weight of your caravan (the tow bar tongue should be removed when not towing if it protrudes from the vehicle or obscures the number plate)
- Some car manufacturers can sell you 'load distributing hitches', which can improve the safety of towing your caravan.
There are rules and regulations which apply when towing a caravan:
- The caravan must be roadworthy.
- The caravan must be registered.
- Nothing can be towed behind the caravan.
- No one can travel inside the caravan.
- The towbar must not hide the car's number plate once the caravan has been disconnected.
- The caravan cannot be towed by a learner or P1 probationary driver, except under particular conditions.
- The caravan cannot exceed weight limits.
Some laws can be different from State to State. If you are travelling interstate with your caravan, check individual State or Territory regulations before you leave.
You can check out VicRoads pre-trip caravan safety checklist HERE.