When will it end? Another caravan careers off road

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Caravan slides off the road
A large caravan has come off the road just south of Babinda. PIC: Facebook/Cairns Post

There are signs that the authorities are beginning to lose patience after the seemingly endless spate of caravan accidents continues.

Yesterday morning, a large twin-axle caravan came off the Bruce Highway just south of Babinda in Far North Queensland. The van slid down an embankment while the tow vehicle managed to stay upright and on the road.

The caravan received some damage following the accident.

A Queensland Ambulance spokesman said one patient was taken to Babinda Hospital in a stable condition with non-life threatening injuries.

Police quickly attended the scene and directed traffic, while a tow truck was organised to clear the site.

Police have reacted to the incident by beseeching motorists to slow down, particularly in the wet weather.

It has been a shocking week for caravanners travelling the Bruce Highway. Two days ago, two people were taken to hospital after a caravan rolled near Tiaro, and exactly one week ago a caravan was completely destroyed after it rolled and  landed in the median strip  at Bells Creek in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. No one was injured in that accident.

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141 Responses to When will it end? Another caravan careers off road

  1. But why does it always seem to be the Bruce Hwy? Also, the tug looks a little on the light side.

    • Speed probably sees the Bruce highway feature more often, also the sheer number of vans on it stack the statistics. My combination is almost identical to this. That van probably has an ATM of no
      more than 1500kg. So is a good match for the tow vehicle. I’ve observed that tyre pressure on my Santa Fe is critical to stability, and that there is a marked reduction in that stability if you exceed 100kmh. Everything has to be carefully setup, but once it is, it’s a great, safe towing experience.

      • The simple fact is these drivers DO NOT need to travel at 100klms an hour, is it that important to do 500 Kim’s a day when they are on holidays or are they worried about missing out on that spot at the next caravan park

        • Your lucky to find one doing over 80 kph. Except in a passing lane where they do 110 kph. Speed can never be a contributory factor. How about looking at age and past experienc of the driver. Its not the weight of the van. its more the physical size. Wind resistance and over loading. The tow vehicles are not large enough.

          • Traveling in a 4wd with a top camper, a lot of the caravans on the road seem to race the road trains, very dangerous I feel, just saying

          • I agree, it’s not about the speed of the driver, it’s about the safety of all other road users. If your that impatient to get to your destination and someone towing a white brick is slowing you down….. Then take a chill pill…. The amount of pressure an impatient driver puts on the highway far outways the time saved by overtaking and making an arse of yourself to save yourself 10 minutes…. Come on guys let’s slow down and save our lives as the government won’t with making our roads usable at 100k towing a van….

        • No BUT will they allow working road users to do their job in a satisfactory time frame ? As this all adds to cost of all commodities.

        • Some drivers speeb to keep out of the way of trucks. We are spending a lot of money in the communitys so don’t feel bad because a truck may be late..Drive safe

        • I guess in my driving career I have covered well over a million Klm’s.
          So do I qualify to be able to tow a van???. IMHO I would say YES.
          Because well over 100000 k’s have been towing a van, with out having or causing an incident..
          The issue I have is that I think all caravans must be towed with a weight distribution hitch / sway bars. Look at the new hitches of today. I think all European vans specs. say with the type of hitch they have, there is no need for W.D.H.
          I can recall looking at a certain van in a sales yard and when the Rep said is that sedan your vehicle, then I will not sell you this van. I said no we also have a cruiser. One wonders what is the policy that all van sales yard have re towing vehicle. And of course, how about when you buy private. A lot of other factors come into play when buying a van.
          Our Cruiser tows a 22ft dual axle semi off road and I very rarely travel more than 90 kph. I shake my head in wonder when rigs of all shapes and sizes pass us doing well over 100 klms.
          90% of Truckies after we have given right of way acknowledge by flashing their indicators as an appreciation.
          Last but not least, let’s not forget the amount of growth we currently have in the RV industry. More vans of the road more the percentage of an accident. Same policy applies to normal motor vehicles.
          But what a great life on the road in this great country.
          Safe travels to all road users
          John

          • Well said John. We tow at 90 km’s per hour and make every effort to let people pass safely by backing off as they pass and even pulling off the road whenever there is a pull of area or other safe spot, to allow any traffic behind us free passage. Common sense and courtesy go a long way.

      • Everybody is born with the self belief they are an above average driver, sorry you are not !
        As for “professional” truck drivers, you are conducting your business on a public road not a closed circuit and the posted speed limit is the maxium speed not the manditory speed limit , if you don’t like dealing with the general pubic, go and work in an underground mine instead of using your 60 tonne vehicle to intimidate legitamate road users.
        Why don’t you all just slow down. l’m getting sick of looking at crosses by the road side.

        • OMG. Truck Drivers are the worst offenders, we all no that’s what goes on . First in best dressed.Thats how all truck drivers make their living.Quoter,stuff whoever else is on the road.We all have to make a living and feed our families. Truck Drivers are not the King of the Road,just the roaches that deliver our stuff.

          • Have to disagree with your truckies comment .
            Recently did a 23000 k trip melb across up the centre then down the eastcoast .Kept to the left as safe as possible trucks had clear view to pass as I was on holidays n not doing 100 racing to the next park never had a incident. The only clowns on the road where impatient car drivers .Truckers
            are working have some respect , iam not a trucker but was involved in picking up the pieces after a mishap .

          • Hi Cheryl,
            Calling all truck drivers “roaches” is a bit harsh, isnt it?
            If you called into a supermarket to get your food & the shelves are empty, l would hate to think what you would call them then.
            Yes there are a few rogues out there, but not all are in that category.

          • I agree with you to an extent, but I think your being a bit harsh when you say ALL because that is not the case.
            As for caravanners, I believe they should have to do a course which includes not only towing but weights, how to load up their Van’s, tyre pressures, driving in different weather conditions and maybe lower their speed limits.

          • We used to be one of those so called roaches and now we are grey nomads so pull your head in because you have no idea what the transport industry goes through. A 30 ton semi against a 4 ton caravan/car what do you think is going to happen

        • Any articulated vehicle should require an articulated licence. A reversing test would be great. As for truckies, they do 6000kms a week with you idiots but they have to make a deadline imposed by YOU, the general public.

          • We the public don’t impose the deadlines, their bosses do and they are unrealistic, not to mention dangerous, it’s all about the money.
            Do you really need to resort to name calling, everyone is entitled to their opinions and not everyone knows or sees the full picture.

        • My thoughts exactly!

        • You are saying what a lot drivers not just caravaners are thinking in regards to trucks. Thank you. Omarover.

        • well said john trucks think they are above the law . we work all our lives doing all types of jobs and yes now its our turn to travel and look at our countyr that we have beennpaying taxes on for the kast fourty years . again well said . come on nomades stick it at them

        • I didn’t think you understand, truck drivers are on a log book they have set hours they can drive in 24 hours. If you don’t like the trucks don’t go on the roads.

          • Well said Craig, I have done many kilometres in the last 14 months and I have a UHF in my car. I let the truck drivers know that I’m happy to back off so they have plenty of room to pass me when it is safe with no cars coming the other way. I drive at 80kph and have plenty of time where as they don’t.
            What it comes down to is having respect while travelling on the road and drive to the conditions.

          • Well said. Stop whinging. You might just enjoy yourself a little more.

          • Totally agree with you, I was driving behind a caravan the other day he had his right indicator light on,my husband said the road is clear pass him I could see a road train coming next to him, then he turned left into a parking bay, just wondering about ppl towing large vans ,give the truck drivers a bit of respect xxx

        • Underground is no place for idiots we have operators not drivers I spend 12 hours a day working underground glad to be away from clowns that cant drive

        • Well said!

      • That’s so true I work for a caravan company years ago he show me how to set up a van properly and it’s true iff not done properly and packed properly you end up in trouble

    • Light euro van, tow vehicle is sufficient

    • After travelling to Townsville from Victoria late last year for the first time it was hard to believe that from Rockhampton the volume of traffic heavy users in particular are governed by one lane either way. This causes frustration for some and this causes unsafe driving.

      • Mate all you have to do on Bhwy is slow down and chrck your wright. You will never get durl carageway. This accident was reported as involving another vehicle coming from opposite way.

    • it looks like a hyundai tucson and the van looks to be about a 20ft
      i think you have hit the nail right on t by e head
      if the above is the case the tow capacity would have been exceeded
      the towing capacity of the 2018 version is approx 1600kgs

    • Looks like a Hyundai Santa Fe soft roader not really suitable to tow a tandem rig. But then again not all nomads can afford a $100 k Land Cruiser. Do your homework people and slow down.

      • I’ve seen cruisers not loaded properly going past my place with to much weight dragging at the rear with the front wheels with hardly any weight on them they need the Wright hitch for towing and load the van froperly with the weight loaded between the axels not front or rear off them

      • I agree that everyone just needs to slow down. I drive a coaster and sit on 90 to 95 is. Yes some people get a bit agitated but i will pull over when safe to do so and let them pass. We need more patience and more courtesy when using the roads.

        • We also drive a coaster and like to drive around 85 to 90 few months ago down near seal rocks had 6 cars behind me so pulled over to let them go and a highway patrol pulled me over and gave a fair talking too and said cannot do that its against the law ,makes one think what do you do ??

      • I drive with a manual diesel Nissan Patrol. Wonderland 19/6 dual axle. Stick to 85km. Slow down and ignore bullies.

    • Waytra, it looks like a European caravan if so are very light in weight. Best not to come to early conclusions

    • I agree with waytra, that Hyundai does look a little light. However, lots of basics come into questions and it would be nice to know the outcomes of these events so the rest of use may learn a thing or two.

    • Spot on … huge van with what looks like a Hyundai Sante Fe. Just been on long trip to NT and cant believe what some quite small tugs were towing!

  2. When will it end??
    There is plenty of information out there now about weight distribution, GCM of a tow tug, how to handle a tow when a sway starts etc. etc.
    It probably wont end until people take responsibility for their own safety and;
    1. Learn how to set up, monitor and tow sately and,
    2. Follow the rules and obey the law.
    It is all very well blaming caravan manufacturers and dealers for some of the problems in our lifestyle but surely, responsibiklity ultimately resides with the individul in charge of the tow!!

    • I agree,. As long as setting up a caravan is unregulated, and no checks are made on the roadside , people will take the cheap, easy way. Why are people always blaming the road, not the driver.

    • Look what this person is towing a 2ton plus gear with a small SUV really it happensore in Queensland because they are slack up there

    • Too many caravanes have no clue about towing. Also do not have uhf to communicate with truckies. They forget they are on holiday. Others are working and need not to be held up. Communication is the way to go.

      • Well said Gary.
        I have done this and have had the respect and thankyou’s from the truckies

    • Making a judgement call on very few facts.

      • Totally agree. Unknown weight being towed.

    • Absolutely agree with you. It’s the responsibility of us all to know our weights and buy the right combination of tug and van. I still feel that there should be a licensing requirement for caravanners.

      • I agree Heather having caravanned for 40 years it really does need s specific licence BUT caravan manufacturers would not allow it would effect sales

      • I agree. We’re new to towing and are trying to learn everything we can through reading & friends etc. it would be good to go somewhere & be taught properly & have our set up checked. People who say it is easy are not being fair – it’s easy if your Dad/Mum/Uncle tows & taughte you how – if you don’t have that it is quite difficult to learn by yourself.

  3. Because the Bruce Highway…or as some signs now indicate the “Pacific Coast Way” ..has a constant flow of caravans..and in places if you drive at 100 km/hr (the speed limit)…which can be too quick for some rigs…you will have cars and trucks climbing all over the back of you trying to get past …so its a case of having a very busy highway, with lots and lots of vans many travelling at higher speeds and larger, heavy vans…especially in relation to the two vehicle…and unfortunately, the end result is all too common.

  4. Road looks wet and also looks like they were about to come into some road works, looking at the photo anyway. In my opinion, SLOW DOWN. Make it law to have a max speed of 90kmh when towing anything and only when safe to do so. A special licence is not needed. They don’t work with heavy vahicle drivers in some cases. Just SLOW DOWN.

    • 10 km makes little difference if you fast asleep.
      The slower you go the less focused you are.

    • Exactly .. SLOW DOWN & BE PATIENT you’ll still get where your going and you will be safe and ALIVE.

  5. As Marrtin Maklin says, when will it end?? I agree mate but let’s take it a step further……… Towing safety will only be seriously understood when the Authorities slap a ‘ Licence to tow regulation’ on everyone concerned.

    Unfortunately for those responsible drivers who already take courses and drive to the conditions, (I can see lots of head nodding here) this new regulation will only mean adding extra costs and inconvenience to an already over regulated society!

    But hey, if a National Towing Licence means safer roads for everyone concerned, lets send the Governing bodies a serious message……. Stop the TALKING and take some ACTION please!, Gwynnie.

    • Gwenda I don’t think a national towing licence will help because there will always be drivers that have a gun-hoe attitude, and many that will think their weight distribution is correct, but not actually check it. You cannot change someone’s temperament or attitude.

  6. The Bruce Hwy seems to keep popping up all too regularly in these accidents.
    Obviously the road conditions are such that people need to adjust their driving to these, and if that means having a line of traffic behind until you can let them through then so be it. Its better than lying in a ditch.
    Just because the law permits you to travel at 100kph doesn’t mean you have to.

  7. Speed and inattention is mostly to blame. In all reality caravans are not built to be towed at 100kph. They are very prone to wind, rough and slippery roads as well as being buffeted by fast moving Semi’s from the opposite direction or in fact being overtaken by them from the rear. We have all felt the suck in conditions when that happens. The only way we can cut down on these incidents in to bring in a lower speed limit based on caravan weights. Having said that, when you compare the number of Vans on the road, especially this time of year in Far North Queensland, these accidents are in very small proportion.

    • Proper towing sway bars Hayman hinch and loaded van and towing vehicles the van should follow that said towing vehicle we proved it with a 20 foot van on a Holden v8 Ute and this was at a caravan sale yard you could swing the wheel ful left and right the van wouldn’t even sway it just would keep straight towing with the rwright equipment they shouldn’t be a problem but car size too with the right centre off weight and good electric brakes and proper tower set up it should be a breeze with out hassle

  8. Is it any wonder about all the accidents! As soon as there is a compulsory driving course there will be less accidents.

    • Agree totally.
      Some people go from never towing anything in their lives to towing a caravan. Obviously it changes the way you drive.

  9. All these roads need more slow turnout lanes. We always try to move over into these if available. We travel at 90 with our van and have never had a problem but I we have been passed by vans doing 100 plus and the van swaying very scary

  10. Hi All my wife and l tow a 26ft van around 15000ks every year and have done for a long time. I have noticed over the past few years the speed at which we overtaken. We travel between 90 to 95 kph and down to much lower depending on the road conditions. Even though we have cruise control we dont us it. I am concerned that the modern worlds desire to rush all the time is leading to more accidents. But also our generation are out and about more. Still the lucky country.

    • Whats wrong with not using cruise control?

  11. Maybe people towing a caravan, campervan, trailer no matter what size, should be limited to a maximum towing speed of 90km/h?

  12. Thats why I drive a motorhome. Nothing hanging of the rear end. I feel safer and if trafic builds up behind I just pull over at th first possible opportunity to let them pass.

  13. Personally i think max speed limit whilst towing a van should be 90kph.

  14. The national maximum speed limit should be 90-95km/hr

  15. u got to have licence to drive a rigid truck why the hell wouldnt you have to have a licence to drive an articulated vehical

  16. Bruce highway was the worst highway we traveled. Uneven and bumpy and yes you have into slow down on it. Needs a major upgrade. But do agree small vehicles overloaded Van’s gunna cause problems. Glad they are all safe.

    • Wait until you travel the Newell between Moree and Goondiwindi above 80 it is dangerous. Fresh aired all 4 wheels on motorhome at 90 landing angled across the white line..

  17. I agree that there is plenty of info out there re the does and don’ts of caravan towing but it seems that some people are either ignorant of this fact or arrogantly choose to ignore it.. I think that a special licence category should be created that requires caravanners to (a) be properly educated on the subject and (b) have to pass a test to obtain the licence. I think if this practice was installed you would find the accident rate would plummet.

  18. Don’t tell me its not speed! Speed, Fish tail and hit the brakes you loose you van. It rarely fails. “I’ve been driving for 50 years, never had an accident” just won’t cut the mustard. 100klmph is to fast speed should be limited by education at the time of a special licence to pull a van over 1.5tonne.

  19. People should drive to the road conditions we were run off the road coming up from Brisbane this week by a impatient truck driver he came up from behind us passing on the inside lane put his blinker on gust came over we had to another lane otherwise we would have run into us he gave us the finger. Nice man.

  20. May be it’s time to make it law that a new delivered van has to accompany a weigh bridge certificate including full tanks and with all of the customers fitted extras. Not just some made up weight by the manufacturer. And then the owner of the tow vehicle understands how the tow weight reduces when they load the vehicle to the hilt.
    The Toyota Landcruser is a classic example of poor load carrying capacity yet the grey nomads think they have to have one based on size.

    • The Toyota Landcruiser is the only vehicle available that can get a GVM Upgrade to tow 4t (braked) everything else is 3.5t (braked) if you’re in a newer rig otherwise the older tugs max out around 2.5 to 3t (braked). QLD Transport does need to do more in the way of setting up mandatory check points for caravans to ensure that dangerously overloaded vehicles are stopped and drivers get the message that you are responsible for your load.

  21. Get off the Highways with heavy traffic, you’ll still get there and may even see a lot more and actually enjoy the drive without the stress.

    • I totally agree. We have been on the road for over fourteen years and only use the main highways if there is no other option. Travel time is similar and we get to enjoy the drive without the stress of holding up other vehicles. Use a CB to talk to the trucks behind you, they appreciate the courtesy and knowing when it’s safe to pass and will thank you. we are on holiday; they have a job to do.

  22. There must be some education of Caravan tuggers. It’s really simple if you don’t have sufficient weight on the Towbar by loading up the back of the van then once you reach the “harmonic “ speed then. The uncontrollable sway starts an d disaster results. Get the weight distribution correct and it will be happy travelling !

  23. Some time ago I was driving up to Nambour on the Bruce Hwy I was doing just over 100kph a caravan being towed by a Land cruiser overtook me must have been doing way over 100kph and just kept going in right hand lane
    See it all the time on the Bruce
    Way to fast for the size of caravan he was towing
    Brainless and you wonder why and how they get away with it
    People are going to die unfortunately if this is alowed to continue
    A sorry state of affairs

    • This happens on any highway. I passed a car and van on the Hume,I was doing 110kmh(minus van) and it took about 30 k’s before they weren’t visible in my mirrors. If anything had happened to the car or van it would have been “goodnight Irene”.

  24. When I am travelling towing my van or not I see far too many people who are towing going way too fast and their van is swaying. Also another observation is the amount of stuff like bikes and tool boxes hanging off the outside of the van it only makes me wonder what’s packed on the inside. I followed one caravan with almost flat tyres and was listing to the left and I’m surprised it didn’t roll over going around the round about. Maintain your van and your car and stop thinking your caravan is your house and taking everything you think might you will need. Please slow down.

  25. When I am travelling towing my van or not I see far too many people who are towing going way too fast and their van is swaying. Also another observation is the amount of stuff like bikes and tool boxes hanging off the outside of the van it only makes me wonder what’s packed on the inside. I followed one caravan with almost flat tyres and was listing to the left and I’m surprised it didn’t roll over going around the round about. Maintain your van and your car and stop thinking your caravan is your house and taking everything you think you might need. Please slow down.

  26. Why is it the Bruce H’way because that’s where 90per cent of where they are travelling. In a hurry to get out of the cold?

  27. These accidents are becoming way to frequent and it doesn’t surprise me at all. I believe there are many people that should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle any vehicle. One just has to observe some people getting in or out of their vehicle with great difficulty and they can barely walk, its common sense that they could never react to a dangerous situation in an instant if it arose. I don’t think people with these health issues that prevent them from reacting quickly should be driving at all, let alone towing caravans. They are a menace to themselves and everyone else. And just to add how many elderly people do you hear of that think they are in reverse instead of Drive, they put there foot down and cause all sorts of problems, going into peoples homes, into shops etc., and the list goes on.

  28. Duplicate the Bruce highway. Save lives AND create jobs.

  29. All vehicles towing Caravans should have decent stabiliser bars fitted i.e. Quik lift bars have a bit more grunt and do their job.

    • Lots of views about this accident from all of us who don’t know the facts, however the photo suggests the vehicle may not have had the towing or ball weight to tow this van fully loaded. People also get confused about stabilizes and weight distribution hitches they are 2 different things. Sadly we all feel we can control our caravans, it is only when something goes that you are going to find out how good a driver you are. If roads are poor, slow. Get a uhf and talk to the truckies however I do feel we need more regulations (sorry ) re weights etc.

  30. There have always been accidents but with social media we are just seeing more being reported plus the fact that the caravan population is growing…just slow down

  31. The tow vehicle is way too light for that van. Accident waiting to happen.

  32. Sad to say but there really are to many old men who think they are 25 driving rigs that require skill and good reflexes, skills many oldies have long ago lost, I am constantly shocked at how inept many drivers are sailing along in there dream world, it’s not surprising why the transport companies and drivers are angry, we need to make sure these old men are educated on what towing a van entails, enough said.

    • And to top it off most of them never towed a van before they retired. We had a 14f van and updated to a 17 footer just recently . we sit together and sleep together. Why do people need these huge vans anyway. And we go off certain highways like the Newell. Amazing what great little places and beautiful scenery we have come across. Sure costs a bit more in fuel. But well worth it. Enjoy your trips. Omarover

  33. Maybe A truck drivers licence for towing larger vans.

  34. Too small a car, too big a van. Get a bigger vehicle or get a smaller van.

  35. Speed limits are not the maximum target speed that anyone can do wet or dry it is only a recommendation. Safe driving should be under the speed limit and this goes for towing and not towing. Seems that most accidents are showing common sense not being applied to suit conditions.

  36. Yes half of these people who retire buy a van have a lesion in parking. Never towed a Trailor ,these vans nowadays are like semi Trailor’s of yester year we had to have a Hc license then .have towed a van around this country for 16 yrs . Maybe some have not heard of common sense

  37. I think articles like this are putting grey nomads in a bad light. How many cars and trucks were involved in accidents on the same highway in the same time frame?

  38. Years of caravan travel have shown is that too often beginners will not accept the need for sway bars .thecattotude seems to be that they are an unnecessary expense .over time I have witnessed caravan related accidents & in EVERY one vehicle incident the one item missing is sway bars .how dumb.

    • Disagree. That is a broad incorrect statement. A properly balanced van does not need WDH. Ball weight is the issue and there are too many ignorant of the weight factors when towing.

  39. Cars are getting lighter while vans are getting heavier with all the air cons, home appliances etc… it makes no sense.

    Giving consumers what they want i guess, but half the people out there are half wits when it comes down to common sense.

  40. Drivers need to look at their tow vehicles and weight distribution I tow a 2.5 tonne van with no movement what so ever, wake up and look at your load

  41. HI,I don’t tow a caravan and never have, but I recently purchased an Amarok and one of the many features of this vehicle is through the towbar wirung harness this vehicle knows when the box trailer in my case starts to lose grip or in other words starts to lose grip and slides and through the wiring the Amarok compensates with ithe traction control, either with towing or not.

  42. Pass a law to slow them all down! It is not possible to have huge rigs powering on at 100 kmh plus, with others that should be going at a much lower speed. Do it before people get killed.

  43. Some Caravan owners think they need to travel at the speed limit Why? Just keep left and let everyone go by. You are on holidays. We have caravans pass us all the time. You need to travel at the speed that is suitable for the size and weight of your caravan and vehicle. Please slow down.

  44. The so called #1 highway everywhere in Oz is nothing but a national disgrace. Between Mt Glorious and Croydon the #1 highway is only a single lane for 1 car requiring cars and their vans to get off the bitumen to pass on coming traffic. Where does all the money go!!

  45. Stop & think about this
    There are more caravans accidents since they started making of road vans
    The wind gusts has more space to get under the vans
    Just ban ALL off road vans or make them have them lowered

  46. Two caravans today travelling in convey nose to tale 110-115 in 100 Khmer zone.in and out of traffic and tailgating cars. No wonder we get a bad reputation

    • yep seen that the day between hardwood and woodburn and a lot of that road is 80 klm ph with the roads works and yet they drove like complete fools

  47. I firmly believe that if you are towing a caravan you MUST learn what the weight limits are and how to correctly distribute the load inside your van AND the tow vehicle because these things greatly effect the stability of both vehicles not only while cruising along the motorway but under braking and cornering also. We have far too many self righteous drivers out there who believe that because they have a car license and they’ve been driving a 4 cylinder buzz box for 50 years they have a right to tow whatever they want behind their car. I agree that a license to tow should be brought in with a practical driving test that includes reversing a trailer or caravan, mandatory speed reductions are not needed if people use common sense and tow with an appropriate rig that can safely handle the maximum weight of their van including contents plus 10%. If you are not able to maintain the posted speed limit then you need to rethink what you’re doing on the road because you are a hazard and unlike heavy vehicles that are carrying oversize loads with pilots, escorts and curfews for when they can travel there is nothing to warn other road users of the slow moving hazard they are approaching when it comes to caravans. And as for communication, please don’t be a twat… get a uhf and turn the damn thing on so others can contact you so they can pass you safely.

    • No warning of the hazard of a slow moving vehicle?? Means you aren’t paying attention, plain and simple. I can plainly tell when I’m approaching a slow moving vehicle, because I gain on them.. And slow down accordingly. The greatest hazard to those of us who travel slower. Is morons who don’t give us room to pull off the side safely and let them through. Instead, they park their vehicle in your back seat and wonder why you move over! The speed limit is the maximum safe speed deemed for given stretch of road. It’s not the “mandatory” speed that everyone must do, at any and all costs to safety. BTW, I know truckies and the like are on a schedule, it’s why I pull off and them through, given the chance(and the room to slow and pull off). When there’s a safe place to do so, of course! I agree, uhf radios are a handy device. Not everyone thinks of them!

      • Here, here. I agree wholeheartedly. Pay attention and slow down, you’ll still get where your going.

  48. Hi, maybe we need some form of informal/formal training that needs to be completed which is linked to transfer of registration. This could be done online or at a road transport authority. Which could include naw laws, new technology, how to pack your tow vehicle and van. etc

  49. We just travelled for 1month up north in pilbara WA did 5420km
    Road trains lots of grey nomads not one problem
    Need the right 4wd and towing system and not be in a hurry keep yo the 100km speed limit or under and be.mindful of other’s on the road.

  50. no qualifications no idea
    make caravan licence essential
    dont blame the road
    it is driver error and ignorance

  51. Possibly there is a perceived obligation to run at the speed limit to avoid delaying others. The posted speed is the regulated maximum for good conditions and appropriate vehicles, not a target running speed. Any vehicle travelling just under the limit makes it almost impossible to overtake legally on other than a multilane road. If vans were limited to 90 km/h at least there would be a speed differential facilitating other traffic to overtake without exceeding the limit. Excessive speed for the conditions is the cause in many of these crashes not the lack of a special licence.

  52. Caravan insurance company statistics show that most Serious caravan accidents happen when vehicles towing vans exceed 96kh. So the answer is simple, keep it under 96 and be safe

  53. I towed a 2.5 tonne oversized load from Perth to Darwin to Brisbane with an old Toyota Ute. I was appauled by the driving of most of the great nomads towing caravans, they were a danger to me and themselves. Speeding and barely in control. My top speed was 90km an hour, they were passing an oversized load at well over 110 With little regard foe what might be approaching. I had my radio on with the channel posted on the back of the load, the only calls I got were from trucks.

  54. Gee – this always stirs the pot doesn’t it! I am new to caravaning and, guess what, before we hit the road we have booked a towing course through Tow-Ed. Common sense, and yes, I know it costs $500, but at the end of the day, what price on your life and the lives of others? Can I also say, there are well over 500,000 caravans, camper vans and camper trailers registered in Australia…so when we have a few van roll-overs, it really is a small (but highly visible!) number of accidents. Perspective.

    • Congratulations for having the common sense to learn about something you’ve not done before!! And I agree that for everyones safety including our own $500 is nothing.

  55. Have read all the comments and still have to say no license will change attitudes . Just look at the donkeys driving cars and the risks they take including speed and unsafe overtaking. How about some road curtesy .

  56. When you see drivers (towing a van or not ) needing a frame to get in and out of the drivers seat is makes my blood boil. How on earth will these people be able to react in an emergency. Also I see vans loaded to the hilt . SOME . Truckies thinking they own the roads by tail gaiting vehicles. Just saying.

  57. 80 to 90 km/h is fast enough to tow a van regardless of size of your van or your tow vechicle ,your on holiday remember that,it isnt a race of who has the best van and tow vechicle,ya show off at high speed & lack of concentration, this is what happens ya circus clowns

  58. Now the towing capacity of a vehicle is 3500 kg for argument sake. The towing capacity will included the load in the vehicle and that includes passenger’s, any accessories like bull bar, tow bars (thats 100 kg for a start) plus whatever other gear is loaded in the vehicle. So the towing capacity in reality is closer to 3000 kg. If you have extended fuel tank the weight of the fuel is a factor. So the claims of 3500kg is a great sales pitch but the reality is harsh. So it is worth getting the vehicle and van weighted and see where the GVM is. How do I know this? I sold cars for a while.

  59. Interesting about other vehicle involved. Yesterday travelling from Ban Ban springs to Goomeri I was approaching a large truck and trailer approximately 200 metres coming at me. The truck made a violent short swerve to the left and straightened up and as it went past I noticed the driver was reading something like a tablet resting on the steering wheel. I could easily have been in the ditch as per the above but who is at fault. Drive safely one and all.

  60. Sorry but don’t always blame the grey nomads I have seen too many accidents with younger age groups pulling vans and campers stacked up with heaps of bikes and all sorts of things for the kids holidays.

  61. I don’t understand why you don’t have to have a special licence. I drive a coaster and it’s just over 4500 and I had to get an LR licence, which is as it should be. Heavy vehicles and towing ISN’T like driving a car on it’s own also there are lots of other things one needs to know eg weights and distribution and more.

  62. I have just driven up from Geraldton to Exmouth the caravans on the road was surprising but the speed some where traveling at was coursing a bottle neck but no one was pulling over to let the traffic build up past. I was a truck driver for a lot of years and gave the road a way, after having a number of close calls with inexperienced drivers. Just for some information a lot of ex truck drives do tow caravans in there retirement. And I do believe there should be a license or a requirement to tow a van. I for one will have my van next year and be back on the road. Be safe and be patient on the road and you will get to your destination.

  63. Problem. .city dwellers retire..buy a big car and a caravan.
    No lessons on road safety..no tests.. just crazy! Been towing horse floats. And trailers most of my adult life. NEVER had problems with truckies..nothing but courteous drivers and helpers when me or mine have needed help. Respect anyone towing..they can’t stop when drivers cut them off! ! Dont cut in then slow down. .dont pass unless your vehicle has the power to get out..get round safety. Bring in mandatory licensing for towing a trailer of any description. .ESPECIALLY caravans

  64. There are idiots in every group, I dont believe in special licences becaus where do you start, bogie trailer, horse float, campervan, caravan, trailers behind LR, MR, or HR trucks. I do believe in restricted speed limits like trucks. I also donot understand how a lot of these comments attacked truck drivers wher the subject was caravan accidents. I would like to see some facts like accidents per group.

  65. As iv said i travel to mel.on the Hume and the caravan people are a real danger they speed overtake even in the pouring rain and even on the Black Spur they wont pull over into the slow stops they hold up all traffic and im always glad when theyr gone.Truck drivers are FANTASTIC and patient with these silly old men.There needs to be a TEST FOR TOWING….most would not pass.

  66. Just coming back from geelong yesterday and this patrol towing a dual axle van passing us ,fully loaded with wife & kids with his mate playing catch up behind him towing the same and we was doing the limit,the van was starting to sway but it didnt bother him 1 bit he kept the power on until he caught the next car and had to slow down,it just makes ya wonder “WHATS THE RUSH” Just stupid

  67. We travelled the Bruce Hwy today and couldn’t believe how bad this Hwy really is. It has this roll off camber in the straight line that leaves no room for error and if you do leave the road your into a fairly steep ditch that’s some 4 meter lower than the road. This road is not flat like most other’s, the left lane is slightly better than the right. Weight on the toe ball is important and having correctly turned suspension on the caravan is also very important.

  68. If l can start by saying that many comments lve read are a bit below the belt and insulting. If you have an opinion then have a good debate and keep it civil. There’s alot of good points raised from different angles and l hear the frustration from all sides. My wife and I have travelled to many overseas countries, mainly in asia, and seen how they navigate their road system and there’s no way we would cope with the freedom of driving and how they meander together on the road like a river with no malice or road rage, just everyone going about doing their business. Sorry for the sidetrack, now we are doing the long awaited trip around Australia in our trusty coaster and to be totally honest we not addressing the main issue, the Bruce Hwy. The Queensland government should be ashamed that they proudly call this the A1 or pacific coast motorway. Im not sure what racket is going on but its apalling and priority is urgent so all road users can feel safe navigating the long haul up the coast. We have travelled this stretch up to mission beach so far and the prevailing weather with winds and rain are challenging on the best of roads but this has been beyond challenging, its scary. I can imagine how much more difficult it would be towing a van that hardly fits in the lane of this so called Major Hwy, it defies logic. I agree that some truckies push the limits and plenty went passed me doing over 110, but the same can be said for the vanners doing the same thing. Maybe they have time constraints, maybe they just like going faster and yes these are contributing factors but the pure fact is the state of the road.. this is the killer! I also think that drivers towing caravans, cars, boats, goosenecks etc need to be regulated and put through a series of tests like truck drivers so they have the knowledge, safety and awareness when towing. My personal experience witnessing drivers with 35 to 50ft setups struggling to reverse or keep their rig on the road straight tells me they are inexperienced. Looks are not everything, driving something that you are capable and experienced to drive is common sense. Let’s make a noise to get things changed for the better to make everyone’s journey safer and enjoyable. Safe and happy travels to all road users. Cheers

  69. How many of these accidents are caused by people overloading or incorrectly loading these vans. People who have never towed before suddenly get an urge to travel with their vans. Why can’t we have a license to tow? People need to have some idea how a caravan or trailer effects driving in the open road.

  70. Funny how one caravan accident causes so much grief yet in the same time frame from the last to this their has been many many many car accidents some fatal and many major.

  71. We all have a map, then you can see, there is more then the Bruce Highway, we try as much as possible avoid the Bruce Highway and travel inland, more quit, nice 90 km speed, look around and use less petrol, even cheaper the living style, counter meal etc.
    We let the Bruce Highway to the Truckies and the people who live there, when we see a Truck we have Radio and let him know when he can pass, or we go on the side, Och.. we don’t work, we have the time.
    And the caravanners ?, yes they should have lessons, in towing, in load, back driving, weight, etc. for sure they learning from this,

  72. Well, there you have it, I have followed this discussion very closely and have read everyone’s replies and have completed the maths.

    There is an overwhelming agreement (20 in the ‘yes’ camp) that agree there should be a ‘Licence to tow’ regulation brought in. With education comes a deeper understanding of the dangers in driving an articulated vehicle, especially for the ‘new to towing drivers’ that will let them stand a greater chance of avoiding being ‘just another road accident statistic’.

    Twenty (20) responses to this forum have agreed that if drivers completed an education process via a licence regulation in knowledge & safety on driving an articulated vehicle there will be a change in attitude..
    This education program should include, but not restricted to, the following subjects:
    Towing TUG to Van Ratio
    Weight distribution
    Speed restrictions & its effecst
    Wind resistance & its effects
    Aerodynamics- Vehicle and van passing in opposite directions
    Wet weather and uneven driving conditions

    I hear you….Yes,our roads are getting busier and yes, SPEED has become a definite factor on road safety. But there will always be those who flaunt the law whatever speed the regulators place on them.

    However only through regulated driver education and a licencing program will there be inroads made into driver safety in Australia. Gwynnie

  73. Firstly we have been towing our van around OZ for the last three years and have only had one truckie that caused us any concern.Secondly if you have a CB turn the bloody on and communicate it really helps.Then you have to take into account that we have very poorly maintained rural highways so drive to the conditions.When you get a chance pull over and let the line up of vehicles behind you pass, most of them will be working. If there are 2 or 3 of you travelling together use your brains and put 10 minutes between your vans and make it easier for others to get around you it ain’t rocket science people.For those of you new to caravaning do some research about the dos and don’ts there is plenty of help out there. Cheers

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