Are you planning on purchasing your first caravan?
Are you new to towing something larger than the average box trailer?
Here are some tips that will improve your understanding of the changes in your vehicle and your own skills as a driver.
Consider the extra length and weight of the whole rig. Remember you are hauling around an extra 1 ½ ton plus and maybe up to an extra 8-9 meters.
This extra weight and length will have an effect on your accelerating, braking and cornering. Take yourself on some short trips to learn how your rig behaves and how you will respond. Don't be afraid to do a towing course. There are schools in each state.
Allow plenty of extra distance between you and the vehicle in front. If traveling in convoy, leave space for other vehicles that may wish to overtake and slot in between you and the vehicle in front. Don't leave them "nowhere to go".
When entering traffic, allow extra time and space. Remember, flowing traffic has "right of way".
If you find yourself overtaking, allow plenty of distance to get the whole rig past before you move back to the left hand side of the road. Don't be afraid to use your two way radio if you have one.
Caravans and motorhomes have a large "sail area" and are affected by strong winds. Even overtaking trucks or other large vehicles can effect the stability of your van. Expect the unexpected!
Are you a selfish driver? Where possible pull over to the left as far as you can to allow others to overtake you. Avoid long lines of frustrated drivers behind you.
Ensure you learn how to set up your "load distribution hitches". Incorrect fitting or set up can prove disastrous.
Learn about the symptoms of fatigue. Ensure you can recognize any of these symptoms in yourself and your driver. Use plenty of rest stops.
Remember, the only cure for fatigue is sleep.
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