Pre-trip safety tips from Jayco Australia

Supplied — 16 June 2023
Safety should be at the top of every traveller’s mind, and those with a caravan in tow must be doubly careful.

To ensure a safe and enjoyable journey in your caravan, it is essential to prioritise regular maintenance and safety checks. So, to help keep everyone safe on the road Jayco Australia has created some tips and guidelines to ensure your caravan and tow vehicle are in optimal condition and ready for the road.

Caravan service checklist

  1. Coupling: Inspect the coupling mechanism for any signs of damage or wear. Ensure it is securely attached to the tow vehicle.
  2. Safety chains: Check the safety chains for any damage or weak points. They should be properly attached and capable of supporting the weight of the caravan.
  3. Brakes: Regularly inspect and maintain the caravan’s brakes. Ensure they are in good working condition and adjusted properly.
  4. Brake safe: Have the brake safe system checked to ensure it is operational and functioning correctly.
  5. Suspension: Check the caravan’s suspension system regularly for any signs of wear or damage.
  6. Gas plumbing: Have the gas plumbing system inspected to identify any leaks or faults. This is crucial for safety during cooking or heating.
  7. Check the electrical system of the caravan to make sure it is working correctly. Verify that all connections are secure, and the system is functioning properly, operating at 240V.
  8. Tyre pressures: Regularly check and maintain the correct tyre pressures — refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations for the specific load of your caravan.
  9. Wheel alignment: Ensure the caravan’s wheels are regularly correctly aligned to prevent uneven wear and improve towing stability.
  10. Check tyre wear: Inspect the tyres — inspect the tyres for any signs of wear, such as uneven tread depth or damage. Replace worn-out or damaged tyres promptly.
  11. External running lights: Test and confirm that all exterior running lights are operational. This includes brake lights, turn signals and taillights.

Tow vehicle maintenance

  1. Regular maintenance: Keep your tow vehicle in good condition by following the manufacturer's maintenance schedule. This ensures its reliability and performance while towing.
  2. Tyre wear/condition: Check the tyres on your tow vehicle for wear and damage regularly. Replace worn-out or damaged tyres promptly.
  3. Inflate tyres properly: Consult the owner’s manual and inflate the tow vehicle’s tyres to the recommended pressure to account for the increased load when towing.
  4. Towbar tongue and pin: Inspect the towbar tongue and pin for any signs of deterioration or wear. Ensure they are in good condition and securely connected.

Pre-trip safety checks

  1. Hand brake tension: Verify that the hand brake is properly tensioned and can securely hold the caravan in place.
  2. Exterior lights: Test all exterior lights on the caravan to ensure they are functional. This includes indicators, brake lights and taillights.
  3. Tyre pressures: Check and adjust the tyre pressures of the caravan, including the spare, according to the pressure indicated on the compliance plate.
  4. Wheel nuts: Inspect all wheel nuts and tighten them to the appropriate torque. This ensures the wheels are securely fastened.
  5. Brake away cable and system: Ensure the brake away cable is free from damage and properly connected. Test the brake away system to verify its functionality.
  6. Brake controller: Adjust the brake controller in the tow vehicle to suit the specific requirements of the caravan being towed.
  7. Rear/side-mounted cameras: If equipped, test the functionality of any rear or side-mounted cameras to enhance visibility when towing.
  8. Jockey wheel: Inspect the jockey wheel and make sure it is in good working condition. Lubricate if necessary.
  9. Towing mirrors: Fit and adjust towing mirrors to provide an adequate field of vision for safe towing.
  10. Gas bottles: Ensure the gas bottles are turned off and securely fastened during travel.


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