Are you ready to hit the road and enjoy some time exploring the great outdoors of New Zealand? If so, caravanning may just turn out to be exactly what you need. Travelling in a caravan gives you access to all the creature comforts of home, while on the road or in remote camping spots across the country.
When it comes to caravanning, safety is key. And, if you are new to caravanning or have not been out in your caravan for a while, or simply need a refresher, continue reading our comprehensive caravan safety checklist.
Importance Of Caravan Safety
By practising caravan safety, you can:
- Avoid or reduce the risk of accidents
- Know what to do in case of emergency
- Avoid breaching any traffic, safety or other applicable regulations
- Avoid unnecessary damage to your towing vehicle, caravan or items therein
- Prevent theft or loss of your property while travelling
Things To Check In Your First Caravan Before Leaving For Your First Trip
- Caravan And Tow Vehicle Maintenance
It is important to ensure that your caravan is properly maintained before hitting the road. The same applies to the tow vehicle. Make sure that you check the battery, oil, water and rear-view mirrors before setting off on a road trip. If possible, get a mechanic to inspect your car and ensure that everything is working perfectly.
Remember to also check the tyres on your vehicle and caravan. Inspect their condition on a regular basis to ensure they have the right pressure for towing – by consulting the manufacturer’s manual. You should also check the wheel nuts, to see if they are properly fastened, before driving off.
Be sure to pay close attention to your caravan’s brakes after each trip. As a point of note, the brakes should not run hotter than the brakes on your car; as such, any signs of smoke or weird smells coming from the caravan brakes should be treated and investigated.
- Towing And Driving
For starters, be sure to check whether the caravan you intend to purchase is compatible with your vehicle before purchasing it.
For safe towing, it is recommended that you get some towing lessons if you are not confident in your abilities. If your caravan has electric brakes, you should also have electronic stability control fitted on the braking system by a qualified mechanic.
Remember to check the safety chain and coupling connection at every stop you make along the trip.
You should also stop at a safe distance if there are cars waiting to get past, and always wait for the overtaking lane, instead of going over to the oncoming traffic lane, when overtaking while towing a caravan.
It is important that you keep your caravan and car locked at all times when on the road. Check your caravan to see whether all compartments, such as the fridge, cabinets and cupboards, as well as the doors and windows are closed shut or locked if possible. To safeguard yourself from any losses, remember to update your insurance to cover the caravan as well as the contents therein.
The jockey wheel should be stored away safely, either in the car or caravan or locked into position.
- Fire Safety
As for fire safety, you should always disconnect electrical and water connections when travelling. Furthermore, any gas cylinders should also be disconnected. Your caravan should be equipped with a fire extinguisher and fitted with a smoke alarm – which should be tested every now and then.
- Loading Up
Always avoid overloading your caravan and/or the tow vehicle. As such, you should stick to the tow vehicle’s towing specifications – and applicable regulations – as well as the caravan’s payload capacity when loading your caravan.
Caravanning across the country can be a fun and exciting experience. However, in some cases, a lot can and does go wrong. The best way to prevent the worst from happening is to prepare in advance. By following the above caravan safety checklist, you will be able to prepare for your trip around New Zealand and any eventualities accordingly, ensuring safety at all times.
Check-Out High-Quality Retreat Caravans In NZ
If you are planning your first caravan road trip, you shouldn’t leave anything to chance. Make sure your caravan is in perfect condition, and minimise any safety risks.
If you are looking for caravans for sale in New Zealand, Retreat Caravans has now partnered with Inside Out RV. So if you are looking for the most innovative, reliable, state of the art caravans backed up by friendly service and a reliable dealership, then get in touch with Inside Out RV today!