Australian’s Hit The Road In Caravans For 2020 Summer Holidays

Janne and Geoff Hardy have spent many days at the Little Beach Caravan Park and love living on the road in their van.

 

AS we holiday this year, many of us are dusting off a caravan and planning to hit the highway.

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Whether you are a fan of the van or consider them to be mobile road blocks – it’s a given this holiday season there will be more caravans on the roads across the country than usual.

Many will wind their way to the Bay, across to Hawks Nest and onward up the legendary Pacific Coast Road towards Queensland over the holidays.

November sees the launch of Caravan Industry Association of Australia’s ‘Caravan / RV Road Safety’ initiative.

In the coming months, approximately 14 million nights and 3.3 million camping trips or more are expected to be taken.

Many of these will be spent in Port Stephens, on the Myall Coast and even in and around Coffs Harbour.

“Safety is always important but with an expected surge in travel this summer with over 741,000 registered RVs (Recreational Vehicles) in Australia and additional interest from ‘first timers’ due to Covid preventing international holidaying, now is a crucial time to put this messaging ‘front of mind’,” said Keelan Howard GM of Marketing and Communications, Caravan Industry Association of Australia.

Of course it goes almost without saying that we need to make sure we are travelling safely, that we take breaks every two hours and that we carry water in case there are delays on the roads.

However for caravanners there are extra considerations, like planning which rest stops are suitable for the rig, the appropriate use of rest stops including truck rest areas, vehicle preparation, sharing the road with trucks, UHF communication and towing will be promoted and shared.

When towing a caravan it is important to consider the “keep left unless overtaking” road rule and if you are creating a bank of traffic in your rear view mirror due to your towing speed it is considerate to pull over and allow other vehicles to pass you.

This information is relevant for all road users regardless of experience.

The Caravan Industry Association of Australia has developed in partnership with other state caravan associations, professional service providers and other relevant bodies such as the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator and Queensland Trucking Association free to access consumer digital and print educational assets.

This information will be presented using easy to digest videos, engaging online quizzes and written content across email, social media, and digital platforms.

Each year tens of thousands of handbooks are distributed for free.

If you are going to be out and about in a caravan this summer there are places to visit before you get into the car.

The National Recreational Vehicle Towing Guide https://caravantowingguide.com.au/ website is a great place to start, as is Co-Exist, Road sharing with heavy vehicles https://coexist.org.au/.

The focus will include information around towing, vehicle preparation and RV weights, best practice truck rest stop usage, how to better use UHF radios for road sharing as well as refreshing travellers about what different rest area signage means.

Port local Chontelle Grecian shared her family caravanning safety preparation tips with News Of The Area.

“Have a detailed checklist that you run through before every trip to ensure everything is stowed and secure; check and/or replace wheel bearings and supports of van once every 12 months; check tyre pressure before every trip; check lights and indicators are operational before every trip; carry spare bulbs for exterior van lights and indicators; and carry a quality toolkit and caravan jack for unforeseen occurrences.”

It is recommended by regular caravanners that you communicate with trucks and offer to back off when they can pass, and if you are heading interstate there may be additional rules such as trucks and roadtrains on Queensland’s single lane tarmac development roads have right of way where other vehicles must pull off the tarmac and allow them to pass.

By Marian SAMPSON

 

Locals Lilly and Ben Grecian enjoying some creative time on a family caravan trip.

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