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Is your caravan roadworthy?

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Keeping your caravan in tip-top condition means playing by the rules. There’s plenty of important information you need to know to stay on top of your legal obligations. To help, we’ve broken down some main points for you to consider in order to keep your caravan roadworthy.

Registering your caravan

Your caravan must be registered so that you can legally drive it on the roads. If you need to tow an unregistered caravan, be sure to first obtain permission, and (if applicable) get an unregistered vehicle permit from your local highway authority.

Before registering your vehicle, contact your local highway authority to get any information you can regarding vehicle standards, such as vehicle standards information sheets. Generally, once you’ve met the requirements and paid the fees, you’ll be issued with number plates and can be on the road in no time.

How to get your caravan roadworthy

To get your caravan in roadworthy condition, it’s wise to have it checked over by a mechanic. Make sure they look at the following:

  • Coupling and safety chains: Check these are in good condition.
  • Brakes and external lights: Ensure that these work correctly.
  • Wheels, tyres, wheel bearings and suspension: Check that these are in good condition, particularly if the caravan has been stationary for some time.
  • Tyres: Make sure that these are all the same type and size and have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm. Additionally, check that the tyre placard has the recommended tyre size, load rating and tyre pressures.

Condition of your towing vehicle

In addition to your caravan, it’s vital that your towing vehicle is in sound mechanical condition.

Be sure to check that:

  • The wheels, tyres, steering, suspension and brakes are in good condition.
  • The battery is in good condition and fully charged.
  • All lights and reflectors are clean and working correctly.
  • The windscreen wipers are working properly and the windscreen washer bottle is full.

State highway and road authorities

For specific information on registering your caravan, getting your vehicle up to a roadworthy standard and obtaining a roadworthy certificate, familiarise yourself with the specific process as required by your state or territory’s highway or road authority:

ACT: http://www.rego.act.gov.au/

NSW: http://www.rms.nsw.gov.au/

NT: http://www.ntlis.nt.gov.au/roadreport/

QLD: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/

SA: http://www.dpti.sa.gov.au/

TAS: http://www.transport.tas.gov.au/

VIC: http://www.vicroads.vic.gov.au/Home

WA: https://www.mainroads.wa.gov.au/Pages/default.aspx

Be smart: do a bit of research and be prepared for your first trip. Register your vehicle and make sure that it’s roadworthy.

Find further tips on servicing your caravan [servicing your caravan or motorhome] and brush up on safety with our pre-travel caravan safety checklist.

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