USEFUL DRIVING TIPS
Here are some useful tips when driving
Useful Tips While Driving
Your vehicle will perform differently when you are towing a caravan.
Be careful when overtaking. Swing wide do not cut corners when towing a caravan. What if the caravan starts to sway?
Firstly, don't slam your brakes on. The key here is to slow down smoothly. Take care when parking two problems exist when parking a caravan. Firstly the caravan is probably wider than your car. Secondly, it is probably taller as well.
When travelling off-road your vehicle should not be taken for granted as remote area travelling will place additional stress and strain on the mechanical components. Remember that your items will bounce around inside whilst on the road. Storing food, plates, cups can be a headache so remember to pack smartly and where possible use items that can resist such elements. Other clever tips are to remove the turntable inside your microwave before travelling to avoid any accidents. If you have a tri-fold table always close it and strap together before you travel as rough roads can often cause it to crack or come away from the fittings. Remove all loose items and store away before travel.
Checks to Follow
We recommend the following checks as a minimum: Look for oil leaks from the engine, transmission, and shock absorbers. Check radiator coolant level. Check brake fluid level. Check battery terminals for tightness. Check battery fluid level. Check engine oil level. Check auto transmission oil level. If you have been travelling on rough corrugated roads check under the vehicle from time to time to make sure everything is in order. We also recommend keeping your door lock and hinges lubricated with light oil.
Speed and Tyre Deflation
We cannot express how crucial this is to off-road caravanning. For outback tracks and corrugations always reduce the tyre pressure and always reduce your speed. As a rule, your tyre pressures on the vehicle and van should be reduced by about 20% of the normal freeway pressure and likewise your road speed should be reduced to 60kph.
Rough and severe corrugations have been known to cause shock absorbers to build up excessive heat. This can result in their failure. We advise frequent stops to allow your shock absorbers to cool down.
Before Driving Checklist
Before you get on the road, you need to check your van.
Carry out the following checks on oils and fluids;
- Engine Oil
- Transmission Oil
- Hydraulic Brake Fluid
Carry the following vehicle spare parts checks;
- Coolant hoses
- Fuel Line Hose
- Transmission hoses, hose clamps to suit the different sizes.
Check water tank hoses for leaks, kinks and signs of wear and tear.
- Check hoses for mildew
- Check the clamps for tension
- Check for any signs of rust
Some items you should always have with you.
A cordless drill comes in handy for many situations when travelling.
Whenever you travel packing a medical kit is a good idea.
Fire Extinguisher and Fire Blanket
For obvious safety reasons we recommend always having an extinguisher close at hand.
Always have a torch available especially when journeying off-road and into remote areas and remember to pack spare batteries.
When travelling into remote areas always be prepared for your phone network to let you down. We recommend VHF Radio for remote area communication to VKS 737 Network or other. A satellite phone is a great option also.
Please consider spare elbow and joiners for air suspension, extra fuses, an LPG regulator (optional), 7 or 12 pin plug and a 50 amp anderson plug.
We also recommend a spare set of wheel bearings.
Please note that the normal open road speed limit is 100km/h unless sign posted otherwise.
South Australia: Normal sign posted speed limits apply. ACT, New South Wales,
Queensland, Victoria & ACT: Same as South Australia.
Tasmania: 90km/h when towing a caravan or trailer.
Western Australia: 100km/h when towing a caravan or trailer.
Northern Territory: Safe speed for prevailing conditions on the open road. Motorists should remember that in some cases motor vehicle manufacturers place speed restrictions on a vehicle when towing over a certain mass. Ford only permits 100km/h if the load is less than 1200kg. At 1600kg this drops to 90km/h. The speed further reduces until at 2300kg, 80km/h is the maximum. Holden takes a similar approach but also ties the vehicle speed to the type of towing equipment fitted. Spending a few minutes reading the trailer towing section in the owner's manual of your vehicle is highly recommended.
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