Caravan community rocked by two more rollovers

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Caravan rollover
A car and caraven veered off the road south of St George. PIC: Balonne Beacon 

There have been two more caravan rollovers in the last couple of days, as grey nomads are once again urged to take care on the roads  heading into the busy Easter holiday period.

This afternoon, a car and caravan were involved in a rollover  in south west Queensland.

Paramedics and police rushed to a stretch of road seven kilometres south of St George on the St George Dirranbandi Road.

The Balonne Beacon reports that a four-wheel drive towing a caravan is believed to have veered off the road, before it flipped over. A small boat on top of the car also flipped, as did the caravan.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokeswoman said a male was assessed on the scene, with some cuts and abrasions. A female was also assessed on the scene, presenting arm lacerations.

And yesterday in New South Wales, a four-wheel-drive and large caravan tipped onto its side on the Pacific Highway between the Brunswick Heads and Ocean Shores exits.

The Echo Net publication reports that one person initially feared trapped in the car managed to extract themselves by the time the Fire and Rescue crew arrived on the scene.

The Fire and Rescue team were able to deal with fluid that was leaking from the vehicle and ensure that the gas cylinders on the caravan were disconnected to reduce the fire risks said a spokesperson for NSW Fire and Rescue.

Echo Net reports that the driver and passenger were assessed at the scene and no one required transport to hospital.

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50 Responses to Caravan community rocked by two more rollovers

  1. Licensing for towing a caravan, is not far away if this continues

    • being a caravan traveler my self for many years and seeing some of the reactions of inexperience on the road my comment concerns the inexperienced drivers who hook up and go with vans a vehicles not knowing what happens at tail-wagging time and how to react ,see it all the time. panic and tap the brakes and over you go ,we all know what happens most do not think it will happen to them? human nature to think this .it wont happen to me 16 years in the mines and a large number of investigations tell me this, please be safe out there everybody. I have stopped to pick up the pieces a number of times.
      I didn’t think that would happen.

  2. Glad no-one was killed in either accident but what’s going on. Far too many accidents involving caravans. Speed? inattention? God only knows, but please take more care. One thing I do notice is when I sit on 90k/h heading up Forrest Highway to Perth heaps of vans pass me. I have a fairly new 200 series Cruiser with the power of a sports car but I don’t drive it like one.

    • I agree. I have even overheard drivers bragging over how fast they can get from A to B towing a 3 ton plus caravan. Crazy.

      • Hi, I thought you were not allowed to do over 100 kph towing a vehicle. (I am quoting something from memory from many years ago ) I remember my father saying something about going over that speed could cause the trailer/caravan to jack knife??

    • That’s why they overtake you, your probably not doing the 100kmh speed limit, instead holding the traffic up till they get impatient and overtake you and cause a bloody accident! if your in a 100k zone do a bloody 100k’s

      • People who drive beyond their comfort zone cause accidents. 100kph is the maximum,not the rule.Chill,or stay home.

      • Bob, Forrest highway is a dual carriage way.Max speed limit is 100k/h in WA towing anything and there is nowhere in the WA road rules that says I have to do 100k/h.

      • There is no law that says you must do the speed limit, so it is time some people had patience and allowed those who want/need to drive slower to do so. Those who drive slower should be aware of those behind and show courtesy where they can.

      • Bob If you would read and digest our road rules when in a speed zone that is the MAXIMUM you are allowed to drive. one does not have to drive at the MAXIMUM SPEED It is very often not safe to do so as could have been the case with these two accidents.

      • It’s a limit – not a challenge!

      • This is a silly remark as the 100k is the maximum speed and not all drivers need to push the limit Cant you remember the add take of five and stay alive

      • So, the overtaking driver is impatient, overtakes and causes an accident? Sounds as if the problem is the impatient driver……

      • Amazes how this stupid attitude keeps raising its ugly head. It’s a speed limit – limit meaning it’s the max you are allowed to do. It doesn’t mean everyone has to go this speed.

      • There is no law which says you have to do 100km/h just because the speed limit sign says you can! Too many road rage incidents occur because there are drivers like you think 100km/h means you can do 110km/h! That’s the main reason people get inpatient because you are considered going too slow and holding up the traffic if you’re not prepared to exceed the SPEED LIMIT!

      • Its not the ones doing 10k under that get on your nerves but the ones 20 and 30k under that should have their licence removed

      • Bob, if “they get impatient and overtake you and cause a bloody accident” then “they” are the problem!
        If a driver can not safely overtake a slower van then they need to learn how to do so! Be patient and you and your loved ones, and the people in the other car, will arrive safely.

      • 100 is the maximum not the minimum, just drive to the conditions and your ability. Bob impatient people cause accidents.

      • A 100 kilometre per hour speed limit is a limit – not a requirement. Why do you think that everyone should travel at that speed? I repeat, it is a speed limit – not a high speeding law that must be obeyed

    • I agree re being glad no one got hurt in these accidents l, but disagree re there being far too many accidents involving caravans. Yes, any accident is I’ve too many, but relative to the number of vans on the road, there is certainly not nearly the number that sensational posts about accidents, like this one, hope to portray.

  3. Sounds like more reports of drivers losing control of their rigs.There could be a variety of causes to such outcomes but it still is the drivers responsibility to maintain control of their rig.

  4. Never hear what the investigators found just speculation. Did they forget to plug in electric brakes or was rig set up wrong?

  5. This will continue whilst ever we have these Grey Nomads who have had no experience in towing a box trailer, let alone a caravan, drive around untested. Too many cannot reverse, cannot control a swaying van, overloaded as well as not having the correct towing equipment. I see it continually on the road & in caravan parks. Something has to be done or every second article on this site will be a caravan accident.

  6. I was witness to a caravan rollover south of Grafton a few weeks ago. Towing a caravan myself at the time I was surprised to have this van pass me before Ulmarra on an overtaking lane (heading South). My wife and I both commented at the time about how the van was flicking side to side and concluded that they were going too fast and the balance of load must be too tail heavy. We took a short cut and had this van pass us again on a dual carriageway road with clear smooth road ahead.As they tore past I slowed down from about 90kmh, I saw the van start to flick side to side ok with more intensity. As it drew beside a semitrailer all it took was the disruption of air by the truck to complete the disaster. 1,2,3 and it was all rolled and the vehicle ,on it’s side slid to the left of the road in front of the semi with the caravan pushing it further. The car ended upright with its rear held in the air by the caravan on its side. The semi had locked all its wheels as the driver with incredible skill avoided running over the car and kept his rig in line. Pulling up the road to see if all was ok others on the scene were amazed there was no severe injuries. There were no reports on the local news or media of this incident I was aware of. Is this because this type of incident is becoming commonplace and not “newsworthy”? The conclusion my wife and I came to was the woman driving the car was inexperienced, did not understand the van wagging its tail was an indication something was wrong, and just because the speed limit is 110 doesn’t mean you have to drive at that speed .(I think this speed limit may have been exceeded as they tore past.). Quick as a flash these people had their lives changed. Thankfully there were no other vehicles involved because of their stupidity and ignorance of safe driving practice.

    • Western Australian speed limit for towing is 100km

  7. How many of these accidents are caused by speed or fatigue?
    I see it time and time again where caraveners tow at speeds of 100k plus.
    Just because you can d doesn’t mean you should.

  8. Great to hear that the occupants are all ok! After travelling from Emerald to Moura yesterday some of our roads contribute heavily to some of the accidents we had to keep our speed to below 80klms an hour due to the undulations in the road in lots and lots of places also the rutting caused on the left outer edge of the road from heavy laden trucks travelling on these roads too soon after wet weather causing severe subsidence.

  9. Quote “”The Balonne Beacon reports that a four-wheel drive towing a caravan is believed to have veered off the road, before it flipped over. A small boat on top of the car also flipped, as did the caravan.””

    My thought on this being the case, is that the driver may well have swerved the tow vehicle to miss a animal, like a kangaroo.
    Never !!! Never!!! swerve to miss a animal. I have held the wheel tightly in position and taken out the animal. Like when I hit a ‘Roo south of Gladstone Qld a few years ago. One dead Roo… one slightly damaged bull bar, and I am here to relate the story.

  10. Not for one minute suggesting weight.over loading,wrong vehicle for the job or stupidity caused this accident. But the more we travel the more we see big vans being towed by cars that should n,t.The sooner they bring in random weight testing and some sort of licence saying you are competent in towing such vehicle the better.Stevo.

    • Correct.
      In Qld licence states a car licence is 4.5 ton GVM with or without a trailer.
      Many 4WD have a GCM of 6000kg or more. It is a grey area and opens a whole can of worms but somebody on a car licence with vehicle and trailer over 4.5 ton is over their licence limit.

      Have not found any information that states otherwise. A Qld car licence your limit is 4500kg.

  11. Because we follow caravanning sites we read about these, not the many more car crashes that are commonplace so not newsworthy. There may be more caravan crashes happening, but proportionately related to increased numbers of larger caravans on our roads perhaps, or maybe just more are reported.

  12. Hi Andrews,
    Nothing grey about the licence class in Qld, a Qld Class C. ( car) licence allows you to drive “. A motor vehicle ( with or without a trailer), other than a motor cycle, that :
    Has a maximum weight of 4.5 tonne (t) gross vehicle mass. (GVM) “
    The reference here is only to the vehicle and its GVM, not the gross combination mass. GCM. ( Combination = tow vehicle and trailer).
    It refers to the vehicle not being over 4.5 tonne, whether it has a trailer or not. ( IE: the trailer behind is not included in the 4.5 tonne GVM)
    Correct that many 4WD`s do in fact have a GCM over 6 tonne, and if the tow vehicle is under 4.5 tonne , it can be driven on a car licence.

  13. Ive spoken to people who have bragged about driving @between 90/110 ks /they were driven for 9hrs/only a short brake /beggers belief

    • John,
      In 5 states of Australia it is permissible to tow at the posted limit, which can be 110 kph, and its not hard to believe that some drivers are capable of driving for 9 hours a day- heavy vehicle operators are permitted to drive for 12 to 14 hours a day ( in most states, depending on their accreditation).
      Fatigue affects different people at different times- some may be quite ok driving for 9 hours with a small rest, and others may be fatigued after only a few hours.

      Know your limits and pull over when tired!

  14. It’s the weights and how they are distributed not so much the speed as they should be able to do the posted speed limit safely without holding up other travellers.

    • Trevor, with you 100% on that one- there is absolutely no reason why a correctly set up tow vehicle and pig trailer ( read caravan) cannot travel at the allowable speed limit.
      The towing speed limits vary slightly from state to state – as licenced drivers we are required to know the regulations for the state we are driving in, so do some research and learn the applicable laws.
      There are plenty of education courses available if drivers feel they do not have the skillset and experience to be able to tow at a speed that does not impede traffic flow.

      Keep the shiney side up!

    • Agree with Trevor. Far too many people take the vehicle manufacturers tow rating as gospel. “If Ford says my Ranger can tow 3,500kg, then by god THAT is how much I’m going to tow!!” and words to that effect. There is a HUGE difference between towing a fully loaded box trailer to the local council tip with 3,500kg @ 50k/h…compared to towing a 10 meter long caravan weighing the same and scooting down the highway @ 100k/h whilst simultaneously mixing it with B-doubles and the wind-sheer etc. Maybe the “C” license should cover a GCM of 4,500kg….not a GVM of 4,500kg. I drive a Chev Silverado with GVM of 5,171kg and a GCM of 11,113kg. I only tow a 3,500kg caravan and because it is WELL WITHIN the vehicle’s capability, I have no issues….. Of course I need a truck license to be able to drive this outfit.

  15. More people towing Caravans on the Road means more accidents. Its not an exclusive just because you are older and towing a Caravan you cant drive issue as some depict. Yes there is an element of training for some, particularly loading your van, speed and recovery from sway but lets not get carried away at bagging people towing caravans. Statistically speaking better drivers than most.

  16. How many of these vans have ESC fitted?

  17. It’s funny how people complain about caravaners. Over 80 Victorians killed on Vic roads in 3mths not greynomads. How about the complainers direct their attention to all drivers

  18. People buy the vans and then don’t drive to the road conditions, country roads are not as good as motorways. We travel around 90kmh with our van on, that way if anything goes wrong you have some time to adjust your speed.

  19. People towing vans should do what happens in New Zealand once an RV or a van had 4 cars behind them they moved over to let them pass. No issues and on the South Island most roads were single lanes. This stopped the frustrating feeling drivers feel when stuck behind a van

  20. Reduce the speed limit for those towing trailer or vans and don’t say they hold up traffic which they may do but is it a life death situation that you risk your own life passing them because you can not stand not going 100Km an hour all the time.
    Saw it time and time again while travelling, people towing caravans and heavy trailer going like a bat out of hell passing everything including long trucks and their vans swaying all over the road putting theirs and everyone else’s life in danger.
    My message is slow down!! Most of Australia’s roads are not in good condition and the message to those who can not wait for a safe place to overtake, Think before you put your life and everyone else’s in danger just because you are an angry meat ant and can only think of how this person is holding you up for a bit , do you need to be dead on time?

  21. People need to understand that everyone is different, everyone’s skill level is different, everyone’s set up is different. Yes 110 is too fast for some people, for some skill levels, for some set ups, but for others it is not and this is no different to car accident which are happening every minute of every day. I can safely travel with our set up doing 110 if I want to, it’s much more comfortable and less demanding on my set up to do 90, and I might ad that for those clowns out there demanding that people stop doing 90 and do the speed limit, you might want to revisit the rules, you are obviously a dangerous driver. While speed limits are in place they are just that, a limit, it is our obligation to travel at a speed that is safe according to the conditions whatever those conditions might be and that does legally include your set up.

  22. Firstly I would like some facts regarding these accidents. Surmising is not helpful. Caravaners should be able to travel as fast as they want, provided it’s under limit, with in the applicable laws and they have their rigs PROPERLY set up. My fear is my wife and myself could be the innocent victims of these cowboys. If the situation can’t be self regulated maybe the answer is more government enforcement in the form of policing and road side inspections.

  23. Inexperience, is usually the main reason that these type of accident/incidents occur. A lot of grey nomads (which I am one) have never driven anything larger than a shopping trolley. They retire, buy a large 4WD and a great big caravan and hit the road without a clue about “any” of the handling characteristics of what they are driving or what they have behind them. I, for such a long time have been advocating that to tow anything larger than a box trailer, a driver should have to undergo a mandatory driver training, and receive a “modified articulated licence” Not a semitrailer licence, but a certificate of competency. This would not stop every incident from occurring, but it would dramatically reduce the number such events happening. The benefits are many, such as, reduce the number of Deaths, Injuries, strain on families and friends and our medical system, and reduce insurance premiums. If you have been towing a caravan or large trailer for already for some given time, you should be able to apply and get your certificate with just a simple written test. A driver who has never tow a large trailer must complete an actual driving skills/competency course. Your thoughts please!

  24. I love the driver at 85 or 90, with a build up of traffic behind, who gets to the overtaking lane -“aka as the speed up zone.” Suddenly he/she is doing 100 or more, until the end of the overtaking lane. Then back to 85. This applies with or without a caravan attached.

  25. I wonder if manufacturers have some role in these rollovers? It’s like the double cab utes that supposedly can tow 3.5t and yes I know it’s all about weights etc and you should know what you can carry in it including your ball weight addition. These issues were a lot rarer years ago and I also accept the greater numbers of vans on the road these days.

  26. How many owners think about the physics involved: I believe that more caravan rollovers will occur in the future as most new caravans are now built at “off road ” height and take 3 steps to get in them. This increase in center of gravity magnifies the rollover moment of full height vans with 300+ w of solar panels, TV and Satellite antennas and a large A/C unit to suit the larger vans on the roof 2.5 m in the air. Add to this the windage on the side of a large van towed by a vehicle which is only 2/3 the weight of the caravan.
    Also there is a multiplying effect if you have several tanks of up to 300 kgs of water sloshing around when the swaying starts or if you have to avoid something on the road.
    I just drove around NZ and noticed they do not have the current Aussie obsession of needing a huge van, 3 steps off the ground.

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