Centre for Road Safety

Before setting off, this simple checklist can help to make sure you have a safe journey towing your caravan. Make sure your caravan is packed safely, and all brakes, lights and connectors function correctly to help to ensure you have a safe trip.

Brakes/Tyres

Caravan tyre pressure is correct to manufacturer’s specifications

 

Caravan spare wheel is packed and operational

 

Wheel nuts are tightened to caravan manufacturer’s specifications

 

Wheel chocks and jack stands are working in case tyre changes are needed

 

Caravan wheel bearings are correctly adjusted and lubricated

 

Caravan tyres have legal thread depth and the tyre casings are not cracked or perished

 

Check brakes are operating correctly on ALL axles of the caravan

 

Electric brakes (if fitted)  are charged and the charging system is working

 

Lights

Caravan lights, number plate and registration are clearly visible

 

Caravan light connections are secure and all lights are in working order

 

Towing

All towing components are in good order with no cracks or substantial dents that may weaken the structure

 

Safety chains are correctly connected

 

Front and rear corner stabilisers are in the up position

 

Coupling socket and ball match each other in size

 

Coupling is correctly and securely fastened

 

Load

The amount of load in the boot of the towing vehicle is minimised

 

Load distribution between towing vehicle and the caravan is correct and properly balanced, front-to-rear and side-to-side

 

The loaded mass does not exceed ANY of the:

-        Rated capacity of the towbar and tow coupling

-        Maximum towing capacity of the vehicle (GCM)

-        maximum fully loaded carrying capacity of the caravan (ATM)

-        maximum fully rated carying capacity of the tyres

 

 

 

 

Final checks

Gas cylinders in the caravan are turned off and the refrigerator door is closed

 

Any roll out awnings are stored away and locked in the travel position

 

Roof hatches, windows, doors and stone shields are secure

 

240v electrical cord has been disconnected and stored away

 

TV antenna is in the travel position

 

No loose items are in either the caravan or the towing vehicle that could upset the balance of the caravan or injure vehicle occupants

 

Jockey wheel has been removed from clamp and stored in the boot of the car or caravan, or if it’s a swivel mount, locked in the travel position

 

Caravan handbrake has been correctly released

 

More information

Towing

Available online from Roads and Maritime, Transport for NSW

NSW rest areas

Available online from Transport for NSW

Australian Design Rules

National standards for vehicle safety, anti-theft and emissions, available online from the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development

Vehicle Standards Bulletin 1

Building small trailers information for manufacturers and summarised construction requirements for trailers less than 4.5 tonnes aggregate trailer mass. Available online from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Australian Standard AS 4177 safety chains

Available for purchase from Standards Australia

Load Restraint Guide

Available online from the National Transport Commission

Find a public weighbridge

Search online via the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources