So, you’ve bought yourself a caravan and a 4WD and you’re planning to trip around the country. You’ve set everything up, packed up your suitcases and you’re ready for an adventure. You’ve also been driving for quite some time so you’re not thinking much about it. You have your license and believe that you are aware of all the road rules.
But are you though? The laws that govern towing a caravan can be quite different, when compared to driving a normal vehicle. Below are five laws that come into play when towing a caravan.
Caravanner driving slowly is one of the major causes of traffic on highways. Many drivers complain about slow caravans blocking the lane. Some drivers claim that driving this slowly is illegal. However, it is not illegal to drive slowly but if you are obstructing the lane unreasonably you can be booked.
All states will have their own interpretation of this law. However, in Victoria, the law states that unreasonable obstruction of the path is illegal. An example of a driver driving ridiculously slowly is as follows,
If the road has a maximum speed limit of 80 kilometers per hour and the caravanner is driving at 20 kilometers per hour when he has no reason to. If the driver is doing this just to maybe conserve fuel this is considered illegal.
Breakaway Breaks and Battery Monitors
This does not only apply to the state of Victoria and is considered a requirement throughout Australia. A trailer over 2000kg should have an electronic breakaway system along with a battery back-up.
In NSW, this requirement goes a bit further and states that you should have a battery monitor and you should be able to monitor the battery from inside your tow vehicle. The monitor should feature alarms if the battery falls below-standard operable levels.
This one is one of the most important towing laws but is often forgotten by most drivers. According to the ADR’s vehicle standard 2006, a side mirror should have a minimum field of vision. So, when you have a caravan attached to the back of your vehicle this field of vision is reduced. Therefore, you need to install towing mirrors. There is a hefty fine if you don’t comply with the ADR’s.
Number Plate Height
Section 188.8.131.52 of the ADR’s (Australian Design Rules) 61/02 vehicle markings states that there are several number plater should not exceed more than 1300mm off the ground. So, before you start on your adventure you might want to check this out because number plates of big vehicles tend to go beyond this limit.
No matter what type of car you are driving or whether you’re towing a caravan or not this rule is a must to abide by. However, since this article is about towing laws, different states have different speed limits. For example, in NSW if your caravan and tow vehicle have a combined weight of 4500kg, then the maximum speed is around 100 kilometers per hour.
These are some of the most common towing laws that you need to be aware of. Some other laws you might want to check up on are overtaking, and overtaking signs, and the type of license you require.