As we head towards the busy Easter holiday period in the middle of a domestic tourism boom, huge numbers of caravanners are expected to be on the roads in the next few weeks … and police are strongly pushing the safety message.
Caravan parks and camping areas are heavily booked and the pandemic effect means that many travellers will be new to towing, and others will be hitting the open road for the first time in a while.
In Victoria, police say they will be out and about ensuring that people towing caravans, trailers and camper trailers are doing so safely.
Ballarat and Moorabool Highway Patrol Senior Sergeant Stuart Gale told the Ballarat Courier that people should be checking their vehicle before departing to ensure that everything is roadworthy – from chains to brakes and lights and that tyres and suspension are in a good condition.
“We will be intercepting vehicles to check caravans and if necessary weigh them to ensure compliance,” Senior Sergeant Gale said. “These things have been in storage for a long period of time so it’s about preparing for the trip as much as taking the trip.”
He told the Courier that he had particular concern about people travelling off main thoroughfares and travelling on unfamiliar and potentially unsealed roads.
“With everything full, people will be travelling off the grid more and looking at free camping sites and carrying more to do that,” he said. “My concern is that if people are going off the grid to camp, they will be carrying more weight because they still want all the creature comforts.
He said weight and weight distribution were absolutely critical.
“Make sure weight is distributed evenly and you don’t overload it so that it becomes unstable,” he said.
And Senior Sergeant Gale told the Courier that caravanners should remember to take regular breaks if travelling long distances, and to be courteous to other road users.
“If there is traffic banking up behind you, use a turn-off or rest stop area and take a quick break to allow the traffic to flow past freely,” he said.