While grey nomads in several states are effectively ‘grounded’ by Covid lockdowns, there is no such restriction over in the west where record numbers of caravanners and motorhomers have been hitting the road.
Indeed, with so many ‘novices’ joining the ‘veterans’ on the open road, there is serious concern over a feared spike in the number of RV accidents.
These concerns are heightened by the fact that September is a notoriously bad month for caravan-related incidents.
RAC claims manager Glen Walker told Perth Now that the company’s statistics recorded a worrying 87 caravan-related incidents in September last year — the worst month on RAC record.
“There are more people out on the road and of course with our Covid lockdowns and people not being able to travel internationally, or more recently across Australia, people are investing in caravans,” he said. “More caravans on the road invariably means more propensity to having collisions, and I think the other thing is people not perhaps being prepared for towing their caravan and inexperience, as well.”
Perth Now reports that there has already been an estimated 50% jump in caravan collisions this year, and the number of holidaymakers on the road is only going to surge when the WA school holidays start on September 25.
Mr Walker emphasised the importance of being prepared in order for motorists to keep themselves and others safe.
“The first thing to do is actually think about your tow vehicle and its capacity and condition to tow,” Mr Walker said. “Then when you’re hitching up the caravan, really think about how you’re loading your caravan because that can make an absolute critical difference to the way the caravan tows behind you.”
Mr Walker encouraged drivers to practice towing a caravan before hitting the road.
“Caravanning is an extremely rewarding way to travel but it’s also very different to normal driving and can be dangerous if you’re inexperienced,” he told Perth Now. “So why not get a little bit of practice.”