Caravanner gets car park manoeuvre badly wrong

Published: August 31, 2017
Caravan reversing accident in car park

Towing a caravan in busy towns and cities can be quite a challenge. There can be narrow streets, sharp turns, unhelpful other drivers and, of course, some terribly awkward parking spots.

CCTV footage of an incident at a McDonald’s car park in the New South Wales Central Coast town of Tuggerah shows just how easy it is for things to go wrong.

The film shows a driver in a 4WD towing a caravan trying to exit a parking spot in which he has cars parked on either side of him. In trying to negotiate the tight turn and improve his angles, he reverses the caravan and hits a car belonging to a young employee of the restaurant.

While there is no suggestion that a grey nomad was behind the wheel of the 4WD, most caravanners will be familiar with the challenges he faced in trying to navigate out of a tight spot.

The driver left the scene without stopping or leaving a note and it is thought might not even have known that another vehicle had been struck and damaged. The footage of the incident was not clear enough for police to see the driver’s number plates.

Unfortunately, the owner of the damaged 2007 Suzuki Liana, 17-year-old Ruby Burgess only has third party compulsory insurance, and looks set to be left hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars out of pocket.

“It was my first car and I just paid it off a month ago,” she told the Central Coast Express Advocate. “I had just put a lot of money into it to get the radiator fixed and now this. It’s devastating.”

The teenager said she first noticed the damage when she went out to get something from her car on her break.

“I went to open my (passenger side) door and it opened two centimetres and jammed,” she told the newspaper. It was then she noticed her side mirror was pushed in.

Failing to stop and exchange details after a collision is an offence in NSW and carries a maximum penalty of a $2200 fine.

* What’s the biggest caravan manoeuvre challenge you have faced? How do you try to make sure you will be able to get out of a parking spot again? Comment below


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Joe davis
4 years ago

What idiot would take a car /caravan into any shopping centre cars park. Get out of your rig and walk.

4 years ago

That looks like a parking spot meant for a car only. There are larger parking bays for long vehicles in all McDonalds restaurants. For me mind, it is easier to grab a parking spot on the street than to try and negotiate tight parking spots. The person responsible needs to make this right for the poor young girl.

4 years ago

Just another case of being to lazy to walk a few metres . I always park on the road no matter how far i have to walk. Exercise never killed anyone the shit they brought more likely to kill them

4 years ago

Surely someone knows who this is!

Rick Avey
4 years ago

Joe,Max and Garry have pretty well covered it. 🙂

4 years ago


4 years ago

This is why drivers need to be tested (and I mean correctly tested) before they are issued a special permit to tow a caravan. Australia is full of these idiots and it is getting worse.

4 years ago

‘What’s the biggest caravan manoeuvre I have faced?’ – Trying to stay safe on the roads with all my fellow travellers driving their rigs overweight, poorly loaded and no training on tow vehicle dynamics

4 years ago

Nothing more annoying when you go to park your caravan in a designated area at a service centre and they’re filled with single cars……also annoying is when two cars park behind you in the designated space and the first car behind you asks you to move your van!!! I really sympathize with the young driver above and, yes, there are many drivers on the road who could not care less about other drivers.

4 years ago

We frequently park our 30ft motor home in parking areas such as this, but we park across 4 marked bays. Sometimes there is no street parking, and you have no choice but to park with other vehicles, but it needs to be done safely and with some knowledge of your rigs capability.

4 years ago

Finding a spot to park anything bigger than a buzzbox is increasingly harder to do- some McDonalds on major trucking routes have some parking for trucks/vans- unfortunately normally blocked off by a car or two…. Anywhere else forget it- and ‘park in the street’- really??? I haven’t seen a McD for years you could park nearby in a street
My normal practice (drive a tilt-tray) is to just park over 4 spaces- that leaves me enough room to get out without any risk of damaging other cars- and that gets me abused by car drivers too (I have been SOOO tempted to ‘accidentally’ graze the complainers car with the tilt tray on some occasions. the language used would have made a docker blush, let alone a trucker…)

Jacquie Overton
4 years ago

I recently saw a camper van trying to park in the Woolies car park in Wangaratta! Not only was the step down on the rig (which the family had just hired that morning!), which he just missed hitting a vehicle with, he backed into my car (no damage done) and then parked in a space that partly blocked a driveway. He eventually found a place on the edge of the road (taking up 3 car spaces as he paeked across all 3). I suggested he not attempt to park this huge rig in small supermarket car parks!


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