How well do you know the etiquette of on-road caravan towing? These tips should help keep you well within the bounds of courtesy while you’re out following the lines on the road.
Always be aware of the drivers around you
When a large vehicle is approaching from behind, keep your current speed as it’s likely they will have calculated the best way around you.
Conversely, on a narrow or dirt road it’s customary to pull over and give way to oncoming vehicles larger than your own.
Caravan towing means it’s likely you’ll often travel under the speed limit, accounting for weather conditions and steep inclines. While safe, this can become a source of frustration for other motorists behind you if they are unable to pass easily.
Keep left unless overtaking
Keep to the left-hand lane whenever possible. When vehicles begin to build up behind you on single-lane roads, pull over and allow them to pass. Your caravan makes it hard for other drivers to see around you and it’s better to diffuse situations that could prompt them to take risks.
Give ample notice
Always leave plenty of distance between your vehicle and those in front of you. You can’t control how close vehicles come behind you, so always give plenty of notice when changing lanes or pulling over.
Installing quality mirrors will ensure you know where all other vehicles are and allow you to signal to them if needed.
Give yourself space
Whether parking or reversing out onto the road, wait until any approaching vehicles have passed. If there is a steady flow of traffic, indicate clearly so that oncoming cars can create the space for you to pull in or out.
Here are some useful tips on how to tow a caravan in the city.
In some situations, having someone standing outside to help guide you and communicate with other vehicles is ideal, so long as it’s completely safe.
Engage fellow travellers appropriately
The age-old nod and wave are traditional signs of respect when passing other caravanners and are always appreciated, if not expected.
If you need to use your radio, keep messages and conversations appropriate, as they’ll reach a wide audience. For more personal or longer conversations, find an unused channel that both you and the other party can continue to speak on without disturbing everyone else on the road.
These are some of the unwritten rules; it’s also important and courteous when travelling interstate that you take care to observe local traffic laws.
Do you know the rules about where you can park your caravan?