Warning for caravanners ahead of school holidays

RACQ has urged caravanners to check their vehicle ahead of the school holidays, with the Club attending more than 400 calls for help from stranded caravanners in the past six months.

RACQ Roadside Assistance Patrol Howard Strasser said the most common causes of breakdown were wheel changes, tyre punctures and inflations, a fault with the trailer or caravan, and electrical wiring and connection issues. 

“We’ve noticed recently more and more people buying caravans and hitting the road for Queensland-based holidays,” Mr Strasser said. 

“This has also resulted in plenty of people breaking down in harsh conditions, hundreds of kilometres from help, because they haven’t properly prepared their van. 

“We’ve gone to help drivers who haven’t ever towed a trailer before, may not be across the safety risks of not having the right vehicle, or haven’t correctly distributed weight in the van. The risk with towing these often 1500kg trailers is, if you do crash, you can do serious damage.” 

The top locations for breakdowns across the State were Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast, Bundaberg and the Fraser Coast. 

Caravanning Queensland CEO Jason Plant said caravanners needed to prepare themselves for any journey, but particularly important for first-timers.   

“Towing courses are valuable, even for more experienced drivers because they help you refine your towing skills and learn about rules and recommendations,” Mr Plant said. 
“Vehicle safety checks are also a great idea before a trip. They will help identify any potential issues you might have when you are away – no one wants to break down when on holidays.”

RACQ’s top tips for caravan safety were: 

Ensure your vehicle is the right size for the caravan you are towing
Know your caravan weights and distribute weight evenly across the van. Install a weight distribution hitch if needed
Service your caravan every 12 months or 10,000km 
Tyres should be in good condition, at the correct pressure and free from damage/cracks
Ensure the brake controller works and is adjusted according to the weight you’re towing.