There is no better feeling than packing a suitcase and heading off on a holiday. Australians have a love affair with holiday travel and caravans are the accommodation of choice. However, there are laws that you need to adhere to when towing a caravan. In Victoria, these laws are stringent and must be abided by.
Victorian Towing Laws
Regardless of whether you are an experienced caravanner or you’re new to the scene, all drivers must follow the rules. If not, you face hefty fines, a loss of demerit points and an increased chance of a traffic accident.
To ensure you’re always in the right, here are the rules you must follow:
Just like any vehicle, caravans must be roadworthy and registered. To register a light trailer or caravan, you must be at least 17 years old. For heavy trailers and caravans, you must be 18 or older. Prior to your holiday, have a mechanic inspect your caravan. To ensure it is compliant with Victorian road laws, the caravan must meet the following criteria:
• Brakes and external lights are working
• Safety chains and couplings are in good condition
• All tyres are the same and have a tread depth of 1.6 mm or more
• Wheel, tyres, bearings and suspension are in good condition on both caravan and trailer
If the trailer is less than 200kgs (tare mass) and smaller than 3 meters, it is exempt from some of these rules. Just ensure the suspension and tyres are in good working condition.
Number Plate Visibility
When towing a caravan, it must never hide the number plate. Even when the caravan has been detached, the towbar must not obstruct the number plate.
You can register a caravan on your learners, but under no circumstance can a learner drive with a caravan attached. Red p-platers are only allowed to drive with a caravan under certain circumstances. When driving with a caravan, the same general road laws apply.
No Travellers Are Permitted in the Caravan
When travelling with a caravan, no one is permitted to be inside it. Not only are you putting your life and the lives of others at risk, but you are increasing the weight of the trailer and caravan. This will make it more difficult to drive and handle your car.
Before setting off, you must know the weight of your caravan. The manufacturer will provide this information when you purchase it. Make sure the weight of your caravan never exceeds:
• The weight rating of the tow bar
• Towing limits that are recommended by your car’s manufacturer
If you are travelling interstate, it is best to check with the local authorities about the towing capacity. Each state has their own laws on caravans, so just be vigilant when travelling.
Driving with a caravan requires a strong and reliable towbar. At Advanced Towbars, our products are compliant with Australian safety standards. If you are interested in our range, feel free to contact us on 1300 238 869. Our experts will assist with all of your enquiries and we’re experts at fitting your towbar, too!