Before leaving on your next caravan journey, or prior to travelling to your next holiday, run through this checklist to help ensure a safe and pleasant journey.
1. Inside your caravan, make sure that:
- all the cupboards are securely closed
- the refrigerator door is locked
- all hatches are secured
- the TV antenna is wound down and secured in the travel position
- loose items in the caravan secured (eg wedge TV under seating or bed do not leave on bracket)
- window mechanism locked but shades open
2. Ensure the caravan is correctly coupled to the tow vehicle. Then check your safety chain/s. Two chains are normally fitted. Crisscross the chains and use ‘D’ shackles to connect them to the secure points on the towbar.
3. Ensure that the electrical plug between the caravan and tow vehicle is connected. Then, check the brake lights, tail lights, turn indicators, clearance lights and electric brakes (if fitted) to make sure they are working.
4. Check that the wheel nuts on all wheels have been tightened to the manufacturers specifications. These should be tightened with a torque wrench to 90ft lb or 125nm and they should be retightened at intervals of 100km for the first 400km and every 1000km after that.
5. Ensure that the tyre pressures are correct as per manufacturer specifications. Adjust if required. (tyre pressures can be found on the side wall of the tyre)
6. Before moving off, make sure that:
- the gas is turned off
- door locked
- picnic table locked
- jockey wheel removed and secured in a safe location
- levelling jacks (drop legs) fully wound up
- step near the door raised
- caravan handbrake released
7. Finally, walk around the caravan for one last check. It can be very embarrassing to drive off with the electrical lead still connected!