Increasing concern about the lack of towing knowledge among RV owners has spurred the Caravan Council of Australia (CCA) to raise more awareness — and it's doing it via the medium of bush poetry.
Honorary CCA Manager Colin Young says the organisation receives many calls from "unhappy campers" who have serious concerns and problems with their caravan. He says owners need to be well educated about all the technical aspects of towing their rig.
"Ratings and masses are by far the number one reason for (both VSB-1 & ACL) non-compliance problems, complaints… and subsequent litigation,” Young told Caravan World.
“There are gross misunderstandings and ignorance (and bad 'old-husband's' tales) regarding the critical terms.”
The CCA's poem below was written to remind 'vanners of the important issues to be aware of when towing. CCA also offers an online test for RV owners, available under the 'Technical Articles' menu on the CCA website: www.caravancouncil.com.au.
It’s a good life for the ‘vanners, who live out on the road,
Seeing our great country, without a fixed abode,
But there’s danger ever lurking, on our highways when you drive,
So be careful when you travel, so you get back home alive.
Towing sure can be a problem, if something isn't right,
It may be out of mind, but it’s never out of sight,
So check that all’s OK, both the tow-rig and the ‘van,
And enjoy the pleasures of your trips, as safely as you can.
Is the ‘van in sound condition, are mechanicals still good,
Are you never over-loaded, does it tow the way it should,
Is the Ball-Load as it should be, not too high and not too low,
To give the safest handling, on whatever roads you go?
Are the tyres still road-worthy, and still have lots of grip,
Have you had the brakes adjusted, so they’ll never lock or slip,
Are the pressures set correctly, as the makers recommend,
To give the needed traction, on a hill or on a bend?
Are all the lights still shining, and the coupling’s done up tight,
Are the safety-chains and shackles, still connected safe and right,
Are your heavy goods stored safely, in the middle of the ‘van,
Are the wheels and bearings still turning well, as smoothly as they can?
Do you understand the meaning, of each rating and each force,
Of the tow-rig and the caravan, and their legalise of course?,
There’s the ATM and ball-load, the Tare and GTM,
There’s the GCM and towbar specs, you need to know 'bout them.