ROADTRIP: Towing safety checklist
Towing a caravan can be quite the adventure, especially when you're starting out! Taming your mobile abode amidst moody weather and unfamiliar driving skills is no small feat. Fear not though, with enough practice, you'll be navigating like a pro in no time!
Being prepared is absolutely crucial. Just like pilots before takeoff, channel your inner check-list master and make sure everything's in order before you hit the road with your rolling sanctuary.
To help you become a caravan whisperer, we've got your back with a safety checklist, ready to guide you through all the essential tasks before you embark on that thrilling road trip!
Pre-trip towing safety checklist
Want to stay safe on the road and be a towing superstar? Make sure to give your vehicle, towmobile, and caravan (or trailer) some TLC. Keeping up with regular maintenance can prevent breakdowns and make driving safer for you and others.
Think about taking your "home-away-from-home" for a professional check-up twice a year, especially if you're not super handy with a wrench. Don't skimp on inspections, and you'll be the safest driver on the highway!
Take a quick look at your tyres to see if the tread's getting low - might be time to swap 'em! While you're at it, don't forget to give your spare tyre a once-over too. Make sure all your tyres are filled to the right PSI - your tow vehicle or caravan might have suggestions on this. If you're unsure, just ask your vehicle service peeps for some guidance!
Did you know our wheel bearings need a little extra TLC? Yup, that's right. These bad boys wear down quicker than your average car's bearings, and it's tougher to catch any grinding sounds they make. So, don't forget to inspect those bearings for every tyre - and fitting them correctly is key! Oh, and while you're at it, remember to pack some spare replacements (just like you would a spare tyre). Stay alert and regularly check those wheel hubs - any weird heat difference between opposite wheels could spell trouble, like brake or bearing issues. Better safe than sorry, right?
Brakes & Suspension
Make sure to take a peek at those brake pads and simply tweak that brake controller, so your caravan and car brakes are BFFs, sharing the load equally. Trust us, you don't want your caravan brakes to get all hot and bothered, or you'll be dealing with a whole mess of drama, like cracking, glazing, and scoring. If it gets too steamy, your wheel bearing grease might boil, leaving your bearings dry and ready to fall apart. So, let's keep things cool, okay?
Don't forget to give your suspension a good look even though it's hidden away! It's just as important as anything else on your ride. You know, caravans can have different suspension types, but the main thing is to look for any damage or wear on the springs, pins, bolts, and other moving pieces.
Keep in mind though, you'll need to lift your vehicle and take off the tyres to check the brakes and suspension properly. If you're not confident about doing this, get a pro to help you out. Better safe than sorry, right?
Before you hit the road for an epic adventure (especially off-roading), you might want to get your ride checked by a pro. They'll make sure everything's running smooth and take a look at stuff like:
- Loose panels
- Condition of the chassis
- Condition of the nuts, bolts and fasteners
Coupling and tow ball: Make sure your tow ball and coupling are like a perfect couple - matched and fitting just right. And don't forget to give them some TLC with adjustments and lube to keep everything smooth and lasting a long time.
Safety chain connection: Regularly inspect your chain and safety pin for wear-and-tear. Make sure the U-bolt is top notch; double check it meets high standards so you can cruise safely!
Breakaway system: Make sure everything's in place and locked down. Not sure? No worries - just take a quick peek at that handy manual from the maker.
Lights & Visibility
Want to make sure you can see everything clearly on your journey? Just give those lights a good wipe-down on all your rides, and double-check those electrical connections between your car and caravan. Trust me, you'll thank yourself later!
- Brake lights
- Reversing lights
- Clearance lights
- Front and rear indicators
- Number plate light
5/7/12 pin plug. Ensure it’s not corroded or damaged. Check the pins are spaced apart properly to ensure it properly connects to one another. Using a contact cleaner spray can help keep the connections electrically conductive.
Under the Bonet
You know what is a huge task? Getting your trusty car to haul a caravan or trailer! So, show it some love? Oh, and if you're a towing pro, gear up for extra servicing and tune-ups. Before you hit the road, make sure these vital fluids are filled up to the brim:
- Brake fluid
- Windscreen wiper fluid
- Power-steering fluid
Before hittin' the road, double-check those gas bottles are off. Give the LPG regulator, gas hose and water storage tank a quick look for any leaks or cracks. Don't gamble with old, sketchy parts, swap them out for shiny new ones and make sure they're working like a charm! Safety first, friends!
And of course the obvious..... Check that your registrations & drivers licence are current and your insurance is in place.
11 Dec 2022