Towing a caravan can be intimidating when you’re driving in busy highways among road trains and other heavy vehicles. Here are our top tips for towing your Goldstream RV and driving safely:
Nominate a navigator
Before you leave, nominate someone who will keep their eyes on the map so you don’t miss the off-ramp or roads when you need to turn off the highway. Abrupt braking can be fatal even when there’s no other vehicles around. So if you need to do a U-turn, your navigator can look ahead and guide you until it’s safe to pull over to turn around.
Keep everyone safe
All passengers – grandkids and pets included – must have their seat belts fastened before you hit the road. If you’re travelling with grandkids or pets, consider their safety in advance and get the most suitable car restraints for them.
Keep both hands on the wheel
Driving on open highways can get tricky on windy days and in areas where there is gravel or trails of oil on the bitumen. Keep both hands on the steering wheel and remember what your driving instructor taught you: keep one hand at 10 and the other at 2.
Do not tailgate other vehicles
When you’re towing a caravan, it takes longer to stop and to accelerate. To be safe, keep plenty of space between you and the next vehicle. Two vehicle lengths should be a minimum – so from the nose of your 4WD or car to the tail of your caravan, times two.
Do not beep your horn unless necessary
If another driver gets on your nerves putting you in a negative mood, just keep driving. For your own safety, you’ll have to get over it. You never know how the other driver will react, and beeping at them can contribute to road rage. Beeping also breaks your own concentration because now you’ll be focusing on their error rather than your driving. It also distracts the other driver who may not have realised that they’ve done anything wrong.
Beware of animals on the road
Your navigator should also be looking out for road signs that warn of wildlife or cattle crossing the road. So be careful in those areas and, if you must, gradually slow down to a speed you’re most comfortable with – especially at sunrise and sunset.