A Guide to Modern Towing Ep. 10: Taking Your Caravan Off-Road
Australia is a beautiful country, with countless amazing destinations for us to travel to without leaving the blacktop. However, there is a whole world available to us by heading off the beaten track. If you’re up to it, going off-roading in your caravan can be extremely rewarding – but you have to be prepared. We’ve got the advice you need to ensure your trailer or caravan are set up correctly, no matter where you want to travel to.
- What is ‘Off-Road’?
If you’re going off-roading, then you’re heading off the bitumen or ‘made roads’. However, there is a huge difference between traveling a few kilometres down a gravel road to a national park and heading into rough and rocky terrain for a few weeks. The more difficult the road is to traverse, the more you’ll need to be prepared for tricky conditions.
- Preparing your Vehicle
If you’re taking your caravan off road, your tow vehicle will also need to be capable of handling off-road travel. A bulbar can be a good addition to the front of your car, offering protection in case you come into contact with an animal. You’ll need to choose all-terrain or mud tyre to increase your cars off-road abilities. If you plan on traveling on a dusty road, a raised air intake can be a good idea to provide your engine with fresh, clean air. A satellite phone and UHF radio will come in handy if you’re heading out of range, and you never know when you’ll need to rely on them.
- Preparing your Caravan
From the front of the van through to the back, the first thing you need to do is invest in a tow hitch that can give you an extended range of motion. You should also consider installing a stone guard at the front of your caravan, which will protect the shell from any rocks flying up from your car’s wheels. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean the underbelly of your trailer should go ignored either. A strong chassis will come in handy here, and you should also check to make sure any electrical leads, water pipes and other exhausts are well protected. If you notice your spare tyre is mounted below your van, consider having it relocated to the rear to ensure it won’t get damaged and is easily accessible.
- On the Road
Whilst preparation is key to reducing your risk of accidents and incidents, it’s important that you know how to get yourself and your van out of any common situations that may arise. Only two things can stop you from moving when you’re on the road – traction and ground clearance. If you find yourself stuck, get out of your vehicle to assess the problem. It may be as simple as removing a rock from your path, or if you’re bogged, there are a couple of things you can do. You can remove some pressure from your tyres, turn off your stability control, or get out your recovery kit for a snatch recovery, to name a few.
No matter what off-road means to you, it’s important that you take all the steps necessary to increase your chances of traveling safely. If you’re unsure what your car or caravan need to become better suited to off-road conditions, then speak with our friendly team for some expert advice. We can recommend the tools and equipment you’ll need for your next holiday – and even suggest some new destinations to travel to!