There are two types of caravan safety that we are discussing. Keeping your caravan safe from theft and keeping you safe on the road.
Keeping your caravan and contents safe from theft
“Ipswich police, after a series of thefts, are encouraging owners of caravans and camper trailers to ensure they install and utilise a tow locking mechanism to prevent opportunistic thieves from being able to pull up, and simply hook up an unsecured trailer and tow it away. Police say securing any type of trailer is important and if the trailer is a caravan and camper trailer, it should definitely be secured particularly due to their value. “
With this in mind here are some tips for making sure your caravan less likely to be stolen:
- Hiding car keys and valuables will make it difficult for offenders to steal vehicles and other property.
- Use coupling locks
- Wheel clamps are a good investment
- Make sure your doors are secure with quality locks, this includes the security door.
- Consider a GPS tracker – caravan might still get stolen but you may be able to locate it
If your caravan is unfortunately stolen the Caravan Trade & Industries Association of Queensland may be able to assist, Visit their website and fill in a form. They will then advise all their members, members of the Caravan Parks Association of Queensland, each of their affiliated interstate associations and any relevant Government Departments to assist in the possible location and recovery of any stolen units.
Caravan insurance is a must. You have invested in the caravan, make sure that the insurance cover is the right one for you. If you are storing your caravan you will find that some insurance companies offer lower premiums if your caravan is stored in a professional storage unit. Remember to also insure the contents of your van. Do your research.
Staying safe on the road
When you are on the road it is important to ensure that your caravan and our car are properly maintained. The vehicle you are towing your caravan with is of equal importance as the caravan. As part of your caravan safety checklist make sure you check the brakes on both your caravan and car. Also, check tyre pressure.
Other things to remember before you head out on the road are
- Make sure that your caravan is loaded according to correct specifications. Caravan Queensland provide a free caravan safety check program, here are the 2018 dates and locations.These checks will inform you how to ensure your caravan and car’s load is not exceeded.
- Keep the centre of gravity low by putting heavy items near the floor and where possible over the axle/s.
- Disconnect all gas, electrical and water connections. Make sure gas bottles they won’t rattle loose, you don’t want to have the gas turned on and potentially causing serious damage
- Remove unnecessary items and use lightweight items wherever possible to reduce the caravan’s weight and save on fuel. Try not to carry large quantities of water (unless you’re going somewhere that water is unavailable).
- Carry all the tools and equipment you need for hitching and unhitching in an easy-to-access place.
- Check your smoke alarm and fire extinguisher is current. It is law to have at least one working smoke alarm inside the van where the bed is, and one also in the annex if you sleep there.Precautions when towing
Towing a caravan can be potentially dangerous if you don’t know what you are doing. Always remember that, by the simple act of coupling up your caravan, your vehicle has become much heavier, wider, longer and taller. It’s harder to move and much harder to stop – so allow extra time and space for all manoeuvres, including overtaking. Also, remember that the caravan is usually wider and taller, so take special care when turning corners or pulling alongside kerbs. Your car may miss a post or tree, but your caravan might not.
The RACQ and other organisations offer Towing Safety courses where you will learn how to tow a trailer safely and confidently.
Stay safe on the road, and we are always here to help with any caravan safety concerns you may have. Our workshop professionals are available to check over your caravan.