You’ve become familiar with your Caravan. You know where everything is, you’ve kept your van well maintained, and your ready to pack for your on-road adventure…
However, there are a few basic safety checks that must be complete before leaving –
- Couplings – Check that the coupling is attached to the tow ball correctly, and if you have to adjust the Taper bolt, do so before you head off so that it is nice and firm and not going to pop off while on the road.
- Safety Chains – Make sure all chains are in good condition and are properly secure to both drawbar and tow vehicle. Another thing that a lot of people do not realise is, that in Qld, safety chains must be crossed over as this will prevent your drawbar from having contact with the road if your van gets disconnected.
- Tyre pressure – Ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct level, including your spare. Check with the manufacturer as to what the recommended tyre pressure is, as Caravan tyres are not the same as car tyres. If anything, they are meant to be over inflated on the highway as you will get less roll on the tyre wall and a longer life out of the tyre. Importantly when 4WDing or going off-road you need to decrease tyre pressure when leaving the bitumen, allowing for a bit more roll in the tyre wall.
- Wheel nuts – check that all wheel nuts on the caravan are tightened to the manufacturer’s specifications. It is important that they are not too tight as this in time may cause problems. Gone are the days of doing the wheel nuts up as tight as you…the correct Torque is 140 Nm.
- Drive lights – Are all of your drive lights working? Check your brakes, right & left indicators, reverse, & park lights as well as the number plate light. Always carry spare globes for your lights, especially brakes & indicators.
We know that there’s a lot to think about before hitting the open road, so it is advisable to come up with a bit of a checklist to tick off, to ensure that you and everyone else with you stays safe and happy.