I regularly see boat trailers stopped on the hard shoulder with tyre and wheel trouble. It seems to me that people fail to check infrequently used trailer tyres.
Rolebama, the reality is that, even as a percentage, far fewer caravan owners neglect their vehicles as do car owners. In simple terms, a broken down/crashed caravan is more readily observed than that for a car.
Originally Posted by Rolebama
As for maintaining tyres, these are usually more expensive than those of similar size that are used on cars. For example, the tyres on my caravan are 195 x 16" radials (OE equipment). When owners pay upwards of £18,000 for a caravan, they are hardly likely to tow it before fully checking that everything is absolutely safe and satisfactory. Have you seen what a tyre blow out can do to a caravan? At its worst, it rips open the floor and wrecks internal fittings and appliances.
Yes, I admit that you will see occasional instances where neglect has occurred but, like our own shadow, the idiots will always be around.
Quote........."far fewer caravan owners neglect their vehicles as do car owners."
I've seen some really bad neglected cars on the roads, which is a scary thought when you consider that they are passing you in the opposite direction at 60Mph, with just a few feet between the vehicles.
This is even worse on motorways, when you consider the speeds on there?
Very true, smudger, and if the two opposing vehicles are both travelling at 60 mph, that's a closing speed of 120 mph. And, on single carriageways, that 'few feet' can no more than one foot.
Originally Posted by smudger
Fortunately, on motorways the opposite-bound lanes are separated by substantial crash barriers. Even so, cars have been known to somersault over these, or heavy vehicles plough through them.
One of the most important components on all vehicles is the tyres. But one of the most neglected items is, you guessed it, TYRES.
Why I believe most caravanners are better than the average driver in maintaining their vehicles is because of the necessary lengthy procedures in setting up their outfits to meet both vehicle safety and loading regulations. Compared to these necessary chores, routine daily/weekly checks of the solo vehicle are quick and simple. Additional incentives are that the caravan represents the family's dependence on having holidays, and that the average cost of an outfit (tow car plus caravan) is in the region of £40,000 plus. The caravanner is also more likely to have a quality torque wrench and use it regularly; both for the caravan and the car. Regarding tyres, pressures have to be adjusted on the car each time it is changed from solo to towing, and vice versa. Tyre conditions and tread depth are important factors, and caravan tyres rarely have low tread depth because, if industry recommendations are followed, they should be discarded at about 5 years old, and definitely at 7 years.
Originally Posted by Dennis W
Admittedly, as with very old cars (bangers), there will be some old caravans on the road that do not come up to standard in terms of good maintenance and roadworthiness, but I think these are very much in the minority, and a very low percentage relative to cars in general.
To get back to the original post, I would suggest to any caravanner that they join one or other of the two main caravanning clubs. They run the best sites, offer reasonable insurance and recovery dears, and various other benefits.
They both also run excellent training days for people new to towing, attendance at which, in my view, should be a condition of their insurance
I belong to a camping forum (I have a tent or several!) and a good deal of the discussion on there is about caring for the caravan and regular maintenance checks. Seemingly if you buy a new 'van annual maintenance checks (these seem to comprise all the items you would expect in a 'van MOT plus a few more) is a part of warranty - just like getting a new car. There's a lot of discussion on loading correctly with many folks asking advice.
Originally Posted by Santa
I do think that the towing courses are important; even though I've towed in the past, the roads are so much more congested nowadays and caravans so much bigger, if I were intending to tow I would go on one. However, the Camping and Caravanning Club don't run courses north of the Border - just in case any aspiring caravan owner in Scotland is interested.
I haven't had the experience of many who use the M5 heading for the ever popular Devon and Cornwall for example of seeing a lot of 'vans snaking though the M74 and A9 can be interesting. I've said in other discussions that, whereas the caravan used to be the butt of many derisory jokes in the past, most I encounter nowadays are well- and considerately- driven. The current target of equivalent hatred is the motorhome - especially the larger ones and those who trail a car on an A frame on the back.
A friend was heading back the other day on A82 to have one of the latter bowling along very happily at 70mph - yeah, mate also broke the law in checking speed but with no hope of passing and how the Smart car was behaving - he backed right off. Sensible as about a mile down the road, the Smart car was off the road; A frame had twisted and done something to the chassis of the 'van. Mate's wife only caught a glimpse whilst overtaking the carnage (others had stopped) and they preferred to catch last ferry home!
FJ, we have been caravanners for many years, with about 8 years break when we had motorhomes. Our first caravan was less than 7 feet wide. When we returned to caravanning, the van which suited our needs was 7'-1" wide, and our next one 7'-4" wide. A couple of years or so ago, UK caravanners were clamouring for 8 foot wide vans (like the Hobby) and to be allowed to pull them with a passenger vehicle, rather than having to be a commercial one.
We are Caravan club members, and I wrote in an article on why caravans should not be allowed to be so wide. I said my current one was 7'-4" wide, but we would have been just as happy had it been 7'-1" wide.
As an example for my reasons for wanting the width to be limited, I gave the following:
(a) Most caravan sites are down country lanes that are twisting and narrow.
(b) Moving up from 7'-1" to 8 foot would mean that two vans of this width passing each other would demand an extra 22 inches of road width for the purpose.
Sounds sensible? Wow, from the response you would have thought that I had suggested a ban on caravanning. One member said that I could have my little caravan (7'-4" wide for a touring caravan is little?), he wanted SPACE.
I wonder how long it will be before these 'must have' owners start whining about not having wide enough country roads to get their beasts on site? Perhaps farmers will be expected to rip out hedgerows so the lanes can be widened.
Once I travelled through or around Australia with a friend. We built too small beds into it. We had great time but after five months living in that box we had enough...