The antics of some caravanners really make me wonder.

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 20:52
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No doubt there will be endless flak for posting this, but it hurts to keep biting my lip.

In a matter of a few days recently we followed:

(a) a rig pull into the United station in Mataranka. (They have two islands of bowsers, four lanes of vehicles can be accommodated.) The two outside lanes had vehicles in them, so this driver pulls in MIDWAY between the two rows of pumps, and manages to block two lanes and six pumps all in one go.

(b) a rig following a north-bound road train just south of Tindal. Road train doing a steady and comfortable 100kph, rig driver attempts to overtake. Full of ambition but it would have taken a kilometre to get past. Alongside the back trailer (s)he realised it wasn't going to work and had to do serious braking to avoid oncoming traffic.

(c) a rig just north or Katherine in the long 80kph zone doing a rock-steady 56kph, oblivious or indifferent to the growing queue of traffic behind.

I for one wonder what they were thinking, or IF they were thinking.

**flak shield on**
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Reply By: Geoff N (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 21:04

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 21:04
Living the dream...
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Follow Up By: Bigfish - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 08:48

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 08:48
Yep...Living the dream but creating a nightmare...
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Reply By: Member - shane r1 - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 21:05

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 21:05
Good on you for posting this. The only flak will possibly be from similar drivers.
There certainly are unthinking people around aren't there!
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Follow Up By: Legendts - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:02

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:02
Just have to agree and you can follow the dream AND be thoughtful of other road users. I know I try to be.
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Follow Up By: Kazza055 - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:29

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:29
Agree with Legendts, I often travel at 100-110 with the van behind and get really peeved with those towing at 80k/hr.

Don't tar all caravaners with the same brush as we are not all the same.
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:40

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:40
"Don't tar all caravaners with the same brush as we are not all the same."

Exactly!
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:44

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:44
I would prefer to overtake a caravan travelling at 85 kph than at 100 kph (on a 110 speed limit road).

Of course in Western Australia where most highways have 110 kph limit, the speed limit for all trailers is 100 kph.

The inconsiderate or risk taking driver can be found in any type of vehicle - but most often in cars (not towing).


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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:52

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:52
I have been guilty of towing at 110kph. Until I had the axle break away from the van writing the caravan off. I now restrict my speed to 90kph, I feel this is safer when towing. High speed is fine until something happens. So am I classified as irresponsible for travelling at less than the posted speed???
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 01:09

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 01:09
I always towed at the speed limit so I didn't create a hazard on the road which some people deny they are doing when travelling at 85kph etc on good roads with miles of traffic stuck behind them. If you have the correct type of tow vehicle and an appropriate size van to suit your needs there is no reason you need to arrogantly hold up traffic because you were expecting to get fantastic mileage while towing a 2t etc van which is a true fact when you do a lap it's amazing how many people a dumbfounded by how much extra fuel they use they say I wasn't expecting to get such poor fuel econ even when their doing 85 or 90kph research people and a bit of common sense goes a long way something that is lacking amongst quite a few van users.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:38

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:38
Gee the impatient drivers must hate it getting behind a wide load travelling a 40 kph. Better double your blood pressure medication LOL



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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:28

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:28
Wide loads are a completely different thing and cannot be compared to slow van drivers which have no real reason for holding up traffic. I encounter wide loads on a weekly basis when working around areas that have extensive mining operations going on and also on most other roads I have travelled on around the country they have a reason for driving at slower speeds which is usually respected by most unlike some van drivers who switch off to their surroundings and get caught up in their own little world. I have driven trucks with wide loads on and off over the past 25yrs.
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Reply By: Member - Christine and Lindsay - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:45

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 22:45
Probably one of them was the idiot who was parked at free Spirit Resort Darwin this morning with his rig blocking the road as he gesticulated at my sister to hurry up as she was emptying sullage. She was blocked in by him but apparently he was the centre of the universe so she was supposed to somehow do the business at warp speed and then manoeuvre her motorhome around him. However there were also many friendly and helpful caravaners in the park.
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Reply By: Member - Terry. G (TAS) - Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 23:45

Saturday, Jul 11, 2015 at 23:45
Zippo
No agree with you I have just recently traveled up through the center and I must admit that I am no speedster as I sit or try to sit around 88--90 clicks but was following one bloke in his van at believe it or not 47--55 when I managed to maneuver past him he never even had any extension mirrors on so could not see what was behind him had there been 200 other vehicles
Terry
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 01:30

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 01:30
In most of Europe, the speed limit for all trucks, anything over 3.5T and any vehicle towing anything is 80kph.
That applies to the autobahns and to 2 lane roads with 100kph speed limits and limited overtaking opportunities alike.

The Germans have a lot more patience than Australians, it seems to me.

Cheers,
Peter (currently driving a motorhome around Europe at 80kph max.)
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:11

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:11
Yes Peter , and they stick in the right lane unless the need to overtake a slower LKV (truck) and get right back into the right lane after. I will be landing at Frankfurt about 5:30 on Sunday (about 2am Monday Sydney time) but I am not driving this time, decided to use trains instead.,

.
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Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:13

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:13
You can't compare European drivers with a lot of our drivers. We suck, the Europeans have far more patience, road manners and consideration for others. It stands out that far, I reckon every idiot on our roads should be made to drive over there so they can see what good driving is all about. The old Mr Magoo cartoons spring to mind.

And the German trains run exactly on time Doug so don't be late :-)
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Follow Up By: 2517. - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 12:23

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 12:23
Not the ones who drive Brits 4wd up north one word for them mad.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:35

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:35
Australian drivers include some of the most impatient and selfish drivers in the world. We SHARE the road with oversized and slow loads, heavy haulage, caravans, cars and what ever else is legally on the roads. If someone feels unsafe at a higher speed, be it due to inexperience, type of load, road or weather conditions, they should not be forced to drive faster than their comfort level. Courtesy and patience are sadly lacking in Australian drivers.

Drivers with this bad attitude should spend a while in Bali, and learn patience with a smile. Balinese truly share the roads without the Australian impatience and road rage. Traditionally their roads were for pedestrians, animals and bikes. Now these tiny roads, with a water channel at each side giving no opportunity to pull over, carry numerous small motorbikes (carrying the whole family) cars and even tourist buses which hardly fit and all share the road with the traditional users. We often had to fold in the mirrors to edge past oncoming traffic at crawl speed, with wheel almost in the water channel. Pedestrians do not get off the road or become at all concerned with vehicles – they have just as much right to be there, and are not alarmed by traffic idling along behind them or skimming around them. The laden bikes weave and dodge amongst the other vehicles so closely that we gasp. Everyone is happy and smiling. No road rage, no anger, no impatience.





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Follow Up By: Member - John G - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:16

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:16
G'day Motherhen

Just back from three weeks in Bali and agree with you wholeheartedly.

Thanks again for the min-min email.

Cheers
John
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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:02

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:02
Looking forward to being retired so I to can take all the time I want getting somewhere . Seriously how big is Bali, how long does it take to travel from one end to the other ? Something like Tassie I imagine so it is a poor comparison to the long distances people have to cover to reach a destination in Australia, with 2 weeks leave you have to kind of be a saint putting up with the charming manners of some who believe that it is their god given right to head the "convoy " . All good but my pet hate and there a lot that do it is to speed up from 70-80 to the limit on overtaking lanes caravanners are well represented in this habit . With the small margin of leniency on speeding it really does become an issue for the rest of the road users, you know the other 99% of the population that exists .
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:59

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:59
Greg,

I tow a caravan and I too hate the "Mr Magoos" who go unreasonably slowly and don't care about the queue behind them, and the even worse variety who hog the overtaking lane or speed up as you're trying to get past. Been a victim of that myself. That sort of behaviour is unforgivable, but it is not typical, IMO. Yes, you'll get a couple of instances on a busy highway and they'll stick in your mind helping to brand every caravanner as a bleep , but those people are not representative.

I haven't encountered the "convoy" mentality, but maybe my time will come and I will join you in your criticism if it occurs.

With regard to limited holiday time, I think people need to get some perspective.

You can't do Melbourne to the Cape and back in two weeks. Well, you can if you go like the clappers and blast every who's in your way off the road, and not stop and look at anything. Pull up at 6 o'clock set up the camper, all the time yelling at the kids to shut up and do their bit, cook the meal, go to bed, get up a 6am, brekky, pack up and off again hell-for-leather to do it all again 10 hours later. Then, to swap stereotypes, get on a corrugated PDR, lose it on a bend at excessive speed to meet the self-imposed schedule and collect some poor unfortunate coming the other way. Surely that's not what it's about.

As a caravanner, I'll give you a stereotype that really gets up my nose. I'm keeping left in an overtaking zone and some fool in an asthmatic underpowered, overloaded buzzbox feels the absolute compulsion to get past that effing caravan. I watch them in the mirror. The overtaking lane is running out, but they keep going in the forlorn hope that the laws of physics won't apply and that they'll make it. Now it's either me in the trees or they back off. Sorry mate, if I think they won't make it I give them plenty of warning with the blinker and I change lanes so they cannot kill themselves or me. Sorry if that offends you, but my life is more important than their schedule.

If you have limited time, why not pick a destination that doesn't stretch your time resources and gives you time to "smell the roses" and not get stressed by an unrealistic timetable.

Cheers



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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 23:10

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 23:10
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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 20:13

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 20:13
Hi Frank, I am never one to push the envelope as far as distance is concerned, 400 k,s to my little piece of paradise . As you say it is an attitude adjustment . Scott nailed it with his piccy so so true, in years gone by this was not an issue, pass at 120/140 on o/taking lane if you had to but now it is not option .
If you want a perfect example of why the 1% over or whatever it maybe in each state is bloody dangerous here is food for thought. Heading home one time on the Pacific hwy ( nsw ) we were second car back with about 1-1.5 k to go before merge, car in front proceeds to go out and doing just over with us on her tail all is sweet . We are about even with the drive wheels on the prime mover when she takes her foot off just before the merge sign, truck has blinker on we're now sitting about 12 inches off her bum and lane running out fast . Low and behold a hwy patrol car flashes past going south, for the life of me the only reason she did what she did must have been that paranoia that prevails nowadays . He must have come in with inches to spare .
Luckily the one behind us had the option to backpedal we had nowhere to go but forward .
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 20:59

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 20:59
Greg,

You have highlighted what I wanted to say but didn't for fear of corrupting the doscussion and being howled down for promoting breaking the law.

I firmly believe that it is in the best interests of safety to occasionally, with discretion and good judgement, exceed the speed limit to safely complete an overtaking manoeuvre.

Those asthmatic and overloaded buzzboxes that I alluded to trying miserably to complete an overtaking manoeuvre are often not for want of power, but fail because of fear of "breaking the speed limit". In so doing they often place the vehicle being overtaken in danger.

Unfortunately the law and the Plods on the road do not recognise this. It is so much easier to have an absolute rule, police it electronically and rake in the dollars, than it is to allow Plod a bit of discretion, which might be subject to query.

Don't get me started on roundabouts.

Cheers
FrankP

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Reply By: Iza B - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:35

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:35
Most truckies I talk to on the radio prefer me to run at just over the posted limit or well below the posted limit. If they are going to overtake, they can get past a slower vehicle and back on the correct side of the road so much quicker.

Iza
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:20

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:20
Spot on Iza.

How true it is about common sense being an uncommon commodity.

I also use the 2 way and let them know that I will slow down when the the truck steps out, not before. Gives them a bit more safety for overtaking. Most times I get a "thanks mate" or a quick right left right on the blinkers.


Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: Slow one - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:37

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 06:37
Might pay to have a look at all drivers. Caravanners come in for a lot of flack but trust me the bad ones are an extension of all drivers.

The hopeless vehicle drivers of today are the hopeless caravanners of tomorrow.

This one nearly ended his life in a sardine tin.

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 07:39

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 07:39
G'day, your U tube vid didn't post................
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:18

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:18
John,
I just tried it and it ran good as gold from the post
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 13:37

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 13:37
That's a bit breathtaking, Slow!!!

Both trucks over the fog line probably helped the ute driver avoid a Darwin Award.

Funny how the blokes that pull these sort of antics, are often driving asthmatic 4 cyl utes.........they're behind the 8 ball before they even commence the manouevre.

Bob

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 18:59

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 18:59
Bob,
yep, if both hadn't moved it would not have been pretty.

Call would have been, don't bother sending an ambulance just send a hearse with a clean up crew


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Follow Up By: Member - John - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 05:55

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 05:55
Slow, I can see it now, must have been a glitch in my computer, thanks
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 07:50

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 07:50
Truly amazing.

The tragedy of this type if incident is the affect it can have on so many people if there was an accident!

Baz...
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Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:57

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:57
Yes Landy it does affect many others and I know it only to well.

Right from the truck drivers, wives, children, mums and dads, ambulance, firies, police, truck owners and the list goes on.

Impatient, distracted drivers and those that don't drive to conditions push the envelop.

Not trying to light anyones fire here but from some of the responses I think it would be best if some took defensive driving courses.
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Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:34

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:34
I agree that "attitude" is not limited to the driver of a van at a particular time in his/her life. Fair call that they most likely started out driving this way! Interestingly, I have often wondered if that recalcitrant 1% are the same ones that litter etc.

Kind regards
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Reply By: Peter C57 - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 07:52

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 07:52
I am sure I will get some flake for this.

People who tow caravans are articulated terrorists.

Cheers Peter.
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:25

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 15:25
You mean like the one in Slow one's video?

Must have been going that fast he left his van behind.

I hope he buried the "extra" contents of his jocks deep enough......LOL

Cheers
Pop
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Reply By: burnsy - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:01

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:01
It is not just caravanners, there are a few truck drivers and a lot of car drivers that should not have a licence. As I get older I have come to think that some people simply don't realize they are upsetting others . Take Bob filling his car up at the servo while you wait patiently to take their place or mum putting the groceries in the car while you wait for their park. It amazes me how long it can take from them getting in the car to it actually moving.
Sure some do it deliberately but most people like me don't like upsetting others and try to do the right thing.
So surely it is out of blind innocence rather that contempt.
There are a lot of unwritten laws on the road and the more time you spend out there the more you pick up and they seem to make thinks run more smoothly.

Mike.
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Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:07

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 09:07
When I was driving in Canada it was the law that if you got 4 vehicles behind you, you had to pull over and let them them pass. But their roads had a broad enough margin that this was possible.

In Australia I find some roads do not have the clearance to allow you to get right off the road for wide loads and some escorts are not far enough ahead to give you time to find a place where you can pull over.

Alan
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Reply By: vk1dx - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:09

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:09
Driving north in our car and not towing, from Birdsville to Bedourie and eventually the Gulf, at about 8:30 am on 11 September 2011 we are approaching single lane, King Creek bridge near the junction of the Diamentina Development Road and the Eyre Development Road. Around 30-40 vans and motor homes of all types are coming south from the direction of Bedourie. One or two had already passed the bridge and turned east.

So we stop and wait at the bridge. The gaps at the front of the convoy were large but why race. Five damned minutes later we are still waiting. All travelling nice and "cosily" close and not one, yes NOT ONE, would stop and let us cross. All doing about 40-50 KPH. Well you can't rush a "convoy" can you!!! It wouldn't have slowed them up as they were simply crawling along.

So I exaggerated with the five minutes.

And here is the cruncher one of the CB radio operators laughingly says "they can wait" and other radios agreed.

So we sit there and just wonder how damned thoughtless. Looks like they were part of a "gathering", maybe at Bedourie.

I wonder if it was a case of "we do the right thing" as spoken - but in practice, the spoken word is forgotten.

Phil

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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:35

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 10:35
Yes, even us caravanners get offended by other caravanners sometimes. I remember being offended by a Mazda driver a few times too, I got offended by a few 4 wheel drive vehicles too over the years, and truckies, well, I've never been offended by one of em, and as far as I know I've never offended any of them, at least they didn't tell me so. I would hope that we could all be considerate of the other persons needs, share the roads and occasionally just sit back, take a deep breath and enjoy the company of other travellers on our roads.
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Reply By: Gramps - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:03

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:03
Yep - caravanners, truckies, taxis, buses, cyclists, motorcyclists, pedestrians, camper trailers, box trailers, car drivers, 4wds etc etc. They've all offended me at some stage or other and I've definitely offended them equally. Such is life :)
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Reply By: AlanTH - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:07

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:07
I travel at around 90 when towing and if there's a truck coming up behind I look ahead for a spot where I can safely move further left to let them pass. Most give us a couple of left right winks when they're past or if I've told them what I'm going to do on te radio they say "Thanks mate" after.
If cars or others aren't competent to overtake me that's their hard luck as there's plenty of room on most highways and I've left them 20 kay of the limit to speed up and get past.
AlanH.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 00:23

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 00:23
When we have call a truck on the two way and said "I'll pull over and let you past when I can" the answer is "Stay as you are. I can pass you in XX kilometres". They know the road, and prefer to know will continue at constant speed.

Motherhen

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:13

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:13
And it all could be avoided if you were doing the speed limit in the first place. Some people think they're doing the right thing pulling over but quite often don't pick good places to attempt it and their vehicle and van is still in the lane and not completely on the verge because there is not enough room so the vehicle behind crosses illegally to the other side of the road over white lines or painted traffic islands to get around which is not safe.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:28

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:28
So, Batt's, you're saying that if someone were to offer a following driver an overtaking opportunity and that following driver crossed double lines and drove over painted islands to take advantage of the offer, the resulting unsafe situation is the leading driver's fault!

Where in your reckoning does the following (overtaking) driver have any responsibility?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:46

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 11:46
Frank,

Why can't you understand Batt's point of view?

Whether you are comfortable or not towing 3.5 tonnes down the road, swinging off a 50 mm ball, at 100 kph, you just have to do it.

Your's and other road users safety is secondary to his need to do the speed limit.

Ya see, if there is an accident caused by his impatience it's your fault for forcing him to overtake.

As the little meerkat says.....simples. (;=))

Cheers
Pop
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 13:26

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 13:26
Batt's

Further to my follow-up above, the speed limit is not the figure at which EVERYONE should travel. It is the maximum speed in favourable conditions that you're allowed to drive at.

Now, before anyone has a hairy fit, I'm not condoning the Mr Magoos of this world who drive unreasonably slowly, totally unaware or uncaring of the queue of traffic behind them.

But I am saying that "favourable conditions" embrace more than just the weather and road surface. Since this thread is about towing caravans, perhaps the most important aspect of "favourable conditions" is stability of the rig. Stability is affected by load distribution, speed and the geometry of your rig, among other things.

You can't do much about the geometry other than make an informed choice of tow vehicle and caravan and perhaps offset any ill effects with the addition of a weight distributing hitch, yaw damper, suspension modification, etc.

Load distribution is affected by whereabouts in the van you put your heavy stuff - if you're conscientious you can control that. It is also affected by how the van was designed and where the manufacturer has placed built-in heavy stuff - something you cannot control except by knowledgeable choice of van.

So given that you've loaded your van as best you can to retain stability, there remains the issue of speed and its effects on stability.

This video clip shows two things:

One is that a van loaded optimally with weight close to the axle is inherently more stable.

The other is that a van that has less than optimal load distribution is still stable at lower speeds, but quickly becomes unstable at higher speeds.

Batt's, perhaps your van is inherently stable at the speed limit and will settle down quickly after a minor input like a gust from a passing truck. Or perhaps it is unstable and just waiting for something to set it off, as demonstrated in the last part of the video clip where the unstable model was trailing perfectly until it received a single small input that then made it uncontrollable.

This clip recently posted on this site demonstrates my point in real life. On that road it is reasonable to assume the truck was probably doing about 100, but it doesn't really matter. Whatever the speed of the truck, the car and van would have been going a bit faster, all nice and stable, and caught up with the truck. No doubt the car and van accelerated during the overtaking manoeuvre, perhaps not. Regardless, it can be seen that the van had already started to swing before it passed the truck. It was not upset by a quick return to the left lane. More likely it was upset by a change in pressure (read apparent gust) as it moved out of the truck's wake.

That just shows how precarious this stability thing is at speed. There may be absolutely nothing in reserve even for a planned manoeuver like a simple overtake, let alone an unplanned one like a swerve to miss a pothole or an animal or a person, or a gust from willy-willy or a passing truck in the opposite direction.

I think it is totally unreasonable to advocate that all van drivers should tow at the speed limit. (I'm talking highway limits here, 100 and over) It may be ok for some rigs, but I'd be willing to bet the farm that for most it is not, and is probably unsafe - even for you.

Cheers
FrankP

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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 16:04

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 16:04
I was following a car towing a boat once, all seemed fine the boat didn't seem to big for the car we were doing highway posted speed of 100. Then in an instant the boat swayed a little one way then the other then rolled across the oncoming lane. Luckily no one was hurt. The police attended and the driver was not charged with any offence. It shows however that this could happen to anyone. I think if 100 is the max for a car then it stands to reason that when towing something like a caravan then we should reduce our speed. Even more so now when we see the towing limit of vehicles raised stating that the average dual cab ute weighing about 2 tonne can tow 3.5 tonne.
I towed with a Landcruiser for many years but only about 2 ton vans and I believe 3. 5 ton is even too heavy for them to tow safely at speed. Perfect conditions everything is ok but when an emergency stop or direction change is required then disaster
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:35

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:35
That story reminds me of an incident we saw Cruiser. We were once two cars behind a large sedan (Fairlane or LTD) towing a fairly large and new looking boat with outboard motor - nothing untoward for the size of the car. It was a flat smooth three laned dual carriageway, and at peak traffic, no-one was speeding. It was fine and calm weather.

The boat gave a little wag and my husband said "He's going to loose it". As the traffic slowed, within seconds the boat and car were at right angles to the traffic, blocking all three lanes, with a somewhat shattered boat on its side.

It goes to show, it doesn't take much - some tiny unexpected thing can go wrong, and it is all over. In this case, it appeared the boat was rear heavy. A little bit over what I refer to as its "wobble speed" the fatal sway started. Frank P's video clip explains.



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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:51

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:51
Both parties are at fault one for failing to pull completely out of the lane so it is partially blocked causing a hazard and then encouraging or signalling someone to pass and if that causes an accident they will be at fault for prompting a vehicle to pass in an unsafe manner which they should not do they should let the vehicle behind make that decision on their own. If the person does pass in an unsafe manner they are at fault.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 00:06

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 00:06
Batts
You got that very wrong.
The onus is ALWAYS on the overtaking vehicle to ensure that it can carry out the overtaking manouver safely.
If the slower vehicle signals that he thinks that it is safe for you to overtake and you assume that he's right and something untoward happens.............guess what? The overtaking vehicle is in the wrong

As a result of this I will NEVER signal that I think it is safe for a faster vehicle to overtake me particularly when I'm towing a caravan or heavy trailer.
The overtaking driver must ALWAYS make his own decision as to whether or not it's safe to overtake regardless of any signals from the vehicle being overtaken.

Disco.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:37

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:37
Yep got caught out once - stuck behind a vehicle for a while and then he indicated with his indicators that it was OK to overtake and when I started the manoeuvre he turned right.

So these actions can be misconstrued.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:53

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 11:53
Right click of indicator should never be used for any other purpose than indicating a movement to the right.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 12:50

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 12:50
Exactly but in the good ole days it was also used to indicate it is safe to overtake.
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 13:56

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 13:56
Apparently it went out when they dropped "mind-reading" from the driving test...(thankfully!)

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 14:32

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 14:32
"garrycol posted:
Exactly but in the good ole days it was also used to indicate it is safe to overtake.

Back in the good ol' days, I first saw the 'right click' being used by heavy haulage to indicate safe to pass when touring Europe with my family. Note that they drive on the right side of the road. Why or why didn't someone work out the difference when they started doing it here? It should have been a left click, never a right click here in Australia.

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Follow Up By: garrycol - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 14:36

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 14:36
Cause our dummy aussie drivers would try to overtake on the left on the shoulder.
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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 09:12

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 09:12
I have to say something here as that this is close to a topic that I love. This country and any traditions that we have LEFT.

Stuff the good old days in Europe. This is supposed to be Australia even though we seem to speak more American and you wont find a "Butcher" on Sydney Road. But that's another point.

Why do we have to change. It worked for us. I remember Dad telling me about the flip out indicators on the Old Armstrong Sidley when we lived at Mt Beauty, and that was the early 1950 to 1953.

I have used the right blinker to say that you can overtake now if you want for decades. Two blinks only. Just as I did 50 years ago and Dad 15 years before that. Although I have started using the radio only of late.

I will also NOT overtake if the vehicle in front clicks just once or more than twice.

I will NOT overtake if I can't see far enough ahead.

You have to be carefull. The driver ahead may be having a "bad day" or argument with the bluetooth connection. He is full of drugs and bad judgement. The he may be one who is just stuffing you around because that is his nature. And we have the preacher who only says "Thou shall slow down and smell the roses" no matter what distance you need to travel and how many precious days for your short holiday you have left.

Bugger the other countries who drive on the other side of the road.

To those who got caught overtaking at the wrong time I believe that you made three basic mistakes.
1. You didn't wait to see if the blinker KEPT blinking.
2. You didn't read the road ahead properly. and Lastly
3. You didn't use a little patience and common sense.

Remember that stuff, "common sense". Google won't help you there. Especially the commandment that says "Thou shall not trust other drivers unless you are certain".

I trust no one on the roads today. A shame to say that, and I wonder why we have come across more than our share of ratbags.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 10:47

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 10:47
You are right in saying trust no-one on the roads Phil, and I love your "commandment".

We as drivers must make the decision to overtake when we are sure we have adequate time for what we are driving and our driving speed.

We must make sure the person approaching the t-junction really is goring to stop and give way as road rues dictate.

We must make sure that the person indicating to turn into the road we are waiting to turn out from is really going to slow down and turn, not indicating turning into an unnoticed driveway just past the intersection.

We must share the roads with others, what ever their vehicle and driving experience or lack of common sense, and show patience and courtesy to other drivers.


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Follow Up By: vk1dx - Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 16:56

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 16:56
Hi Motherhen

A bit slow clicking the Thanks button. I didn't get any email to say that there was a response.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 20:17

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 20:17
"You have to be carefull. The driver ahead may be having a "bad day" ... " OR, if it's an European vehicle, they may just have put their wipers on and hit the wrong lever!

I swap between a Navara (with the stalks on the correct side of the wheel), company pool vehicles, with stalks correctly arranged, and a VW with "reversed stalks.
I have regularly "flashed my wipers" at people who have driven towards me on high beam, and havbe indicated leaving a roundabout with my wipers more than once!

I am unable to understand why these things are not addressed in the ADRs. They have such things as the size of the bolts to attach a child seat to, and the distance apart headlights are allowed, but not a single word about the fundamental matters relating to driver accuracy.

Seriously, the use of indicators and wipers should NOT be a matter of "thinking about which vehicle you are in" - they are, and should be, a matter of instinct. With over 50 years driving, I use indicators and wipers by instinct most of the time. It is only when, in the middle of a manoeuvre, that I realise that I have flicked the wipers on instead of the indicators!
When did we become a part of Europe?
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 20:34

Monday, Jul 20, 2015 at 20:34
Hi Johnat

We have a built in Brazil for the Australian market F250. My husband regularly indicates with the wipers when changing from driving our other vehicles. They constructed it as right hand drive, but left the steering column in US configuration. Our daughter coped - she used to drive a Ford icecream van that the was the wrong way round too. I have to concentrate very hard against instinct when driving the F250 in traffic.

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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:10

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 11:10
Some good anecdotes there, Zippo! Scarey stuff......

(a) reminds me of a recent trip to Birdsville, 'n Ol' mate has pulled into Gaffney's servo to fuel up. Camper was angled about 30 deg from straight, allowing me "just" enough room to squeeze through, to access the diesel bowser. Or the time in Katherine, some years back at the Shell. Busy, busy, and finished fuelling our 80 series, with big rear tank, and went to pay. Being over 60 at this stage, decided a visit to "little boy's room" might be in order too. :-). Got back, to be met by an irate English gentlemen, who berated me for taking so long, and no doubt spoiling his holiday, by a huge amount.

And seen some (b)'s too! So much so, that on a trip back to Longreach in a road train from Barkly Homestead, decided to time some of the vehicles overtaking my 53.5M unit, @ 90kph. A 200 series took about 22 seconds, from when he indicated(some actually do indicate), until he was safely back left of centre line.

The next vehicle I timed, was a Prado diesel towing a Jayco type camper. Truck still doing 90, and he overtakes across the Inca Creek bridge. As I recall, he took over 45 seconds(!!!!!!) to overtake, and get back safely. A road train doing the legal Qld speed limit of 90(100 clicks in NT) covers 1.5km every minute. And I'd suggest that if intending overtaking vehicles can't do so in less than 30 secs, then they need a minimum of 2 kms of clear highway ahead.

Finally, in 5-6 years I've been running up and down the Landsborough & Barkly H'ways(4,400kms/wk), I've had few incidents with 'vanners. In fact I used to miss them, well, most of 'em, when they'd all gone home. Have seen plenty of examples similar to Slow One's video......just accidents going somewhere to happen!

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 556920

Follow Up By: axle - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 18:47

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 18:47
Disco , Not in a defender any way..LOL.
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Reply By: Kumunara (NT) - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 17:55

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 17:55
Zippo


I live in Katherine and agree with you.

The antics of some caravanners in the NT is appalling.
The majority are courteous and do the right thing.
There are however too many that are inconsiderate idiots.



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Follow Up By: disco driver - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 20:29

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 20:29
Just because someone is towing a van doesn't necessarily make them an idiot.
Here's a good example of one not towing a van who was worse than an idiot.
In WA recently a 17yo driver was caught doing burnouts in a school carpark at night.
He totally lost it, hit a fence and a teenage girl who now has only one working leg.
Then he did a runner.
Shortly after the Police caught up with him with the following results:
No Licence to drive, no rego on the vehicle and he also blew over .05

Now that's a IDIOT!!!!!!

Makes someone towing a van a bit below the speed limit look good don't it.

Disco.
(who tries to tow at around 95-100).
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Reply By: 671 - Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 21:01

Sunday, Jul 12, 2015 at 21:01
Kazza055 posted:
"I often travel at 100-110 with the van behind and get really peeved with those towing at 80k/hr."

There are some car manufacturers (maybe more than I am aware of) that list the maximum towing speed at 80kph in the owner's handbook. That is in line with all the recent overseas research on van stability.

No doubt big vans at 100 to 110kph feel nice and stable but it is only the stable ones that crash, even while traveling in a straight line. The unstable ones are driven at low speed to the nearest place that can fix them. That is why you never hear of a driver stepping out of a crashed van and saying it felt unstable prior to crashing. They always say it felt stable and gave them no warning.

The forces generated by stable feeling vans at high speeds are the same ones that can destroy them in an instant if something suddenly knocks them off their straight ahead course. That is why the heavy truck industry uses the fifth wheeler design. The trailer coupling that sits directly over the axles can not swing the rear end of the truck around like it can when it is back on the end of a tow bar and the trailer has no long heavy end to swing around behind its axles.



AnswerID: 556941

Reply By: Phil 23 - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:34

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 10:34
A little maths is interesting in the case of your comment (b)....

100km/h is 28 metres per second.
Road train length, say 33 metres.

So lets say we pull out from 10 metres behind & pull back in 10 metres in front.
Assuming My total length was 12 metres, I'd need to pass 65 metres......

If I pulled out and instantly hit 110km/h, I'd be travelling 2.8 metres/sec faster than the truck.

That 2.8 m/sec will let me cover that 65m in about 23 seconds.

So while the truck is still travelling at 28 m/sec, its going to cover 650 metres.
Fair stretch, & that's using an instant 110km/h.
Halve that & you are well over a km.

Have always used maths when driving.
Especially when I see "Left Lane ends in 500m"

Cheers.


AnswerID: 556955

Follow Up By: Zippo - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 21:14

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 21:14
And when the road train is 53 metres ....
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Reply By: Alan S (WA) - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 15:19

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 15:19
Hands Up those that have never done anything stupid or not displayed any impatience on the road!

I think you will find that all of us have done something wrong at sometime, even if you think you havent, some one will view it wrong.

i wonder how many of these instances we see are just normal people making their ration of stuff ups.

Alan
AnswerID: 556978

Follow Up By: Member - johnat - Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 08:06

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 08:06
Not seeing a lot of hands in the air! Mine isn't up, I acknowledge the number of times I have escaped with my life, given some of the damn fool things I used to do as a callow youth (over half century ago!) and before I got any form of licence to drive/ride.

Old saying "You've got to make some mistakes, so you learn things" ... Or, as someone once said "nobody never done nothing what never made no mistakes" ... and yes, the grammar has been deliberately mangled to make a point.
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Reply By: Member - WBS - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:12

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 17:12
"Stupid is as stupid does." And that's all I have to stay about that
I'm not sure what that really means but it sounds good.
WBS
AnswerID: 556981

Reply By: garrycol - Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:23

Monday, Jul 13, 2015 at 20:23
I dont think it is the antics of caravan drivers is the issue but it is the antics of some drivers is the issue.

I have seen good and bad caravan drivers, good and bad car drivers and good and bad truck drivers - the latter are the worst and do not seem to care about anyone but themselves.

Time to get over it we are all individuals.
AnswerID: 556989

Reply By: cruiser 3 - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 09:00

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 09:00
From Caravan world;
As with any regulations, speed limits don’t commandeer the driver’s common sense. They are always maximum speeds under ideal conditions, but towing is not considered an ideal condition. Nonetheless, drivers towing caravans generally must conform to regulatory speed signs. But there are some exceptions.

"NSW road rules set a maximum speed of 100km/h for a tow vehicle and caravan with a combined weight of more than 4500kg," NSW Road Transport Authority’s Joanne Box said. As a matter of fact, this is the case nationally.
AnswerID: 556993

Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 13:55

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 13:55
Surely, the starting premise for anyone driving on the road is to do it safely and drive to the prevailing conditions that you judge appropriate. That is your first and foremost responsibility, equal to only following the rules of the road (the official version).

There will be those that will or need to go below the posted speed limit, so be it if that is judged appropriate for their situation or circumstances, get over it…

Mind you, that doesn’t mean the drivers of these vehicles cannot be considerate of following drivers, especially if the speed is well under posted limits. But remember that involves judgement on the lead vehicles part, as it does equally on patience from following drivers.

The problem is that far too many people are simply impatient and, seemingly, are willing to risk their own and the lives of other people without any consideration for the risk involved. The video posted above demonstrates that…

An oft’ had experience of mine is that when towing the TVAN at the posted speed limit it seems I will always have someone “up me bum” trying to pass – and I might add, all too frequently in the last 25 metres of an overtaking lane as I move back out with an indicator that has been blinking away for the past 100 metres…

Now I’m all about consideration to others and I’m not the road policeman, so if these people want to speed so be it, but for the others, why not as an option to passing simply take the foot off the peddle for a few seconds, create some distance (a safe stopping distance is the way it is described) and proceed back to driving at the posted speed limit.

But if that is all too hard or you have little patience and want to drive above the posted speed limit, wait for the overtaking lane, or a straight stretch of road where a passing manoeuvre can be done safely, and go for it...I’d sooner you in front of me than behind!

But take note it isn’t my responsibility to “accommodate” my driving to someone else’s time frame simply because they are in hurry and willing to drive at speeds above posted limits when I’m already travelling at the speed limit…

My couple of bob’s worth (strewth – looks like a rant!)…Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 557002

Reply By: Member - Laurie K (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 18:04

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 18:04
Surprisingly, a few less revs will give a better fuel economy. I tow at 80-90 kph, and get 1 kpl better fuel economy - do the maths, it's a lot in the big scheme of things ....

I also keep an eye behind me, and pull into a rest area (if provided) to clear the line of traffic behind me. I also will slow down in an overtaking lane to ensure that any following trucks get past me - and I talk to them when they are coming up behind me, so that we are on the same page.

And here's another one ..... if there are roadworks, pull over if stopped by a sign man, let all following traffic through and then follow the line ...... Heck, I'm not in a hurry, and at my speed, I also get to enjoy the country side.

If you have a limit of time available to you for holidays, choose a destination that is achievable within that time frame. the idea of a holiday is to stop and smell the roses, or whatever the odour is in the vicinity in which you are travelling...... :-)

It is my opinion that the speed limit for towing a caravan should be 90 kph. Maybe we would have less accidents involving vans.

Just my few cents worth ......
AnswerID: 557011

Reply By: Steve in Kakadu - Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 22:33

Tuesday, Jul 14, 2015 at 22:33
If I feel that it is safe to co 80 then I will do 80, if I feel it is safe to do 100 then I will 100, if I feel safe doing 130 (NT) then I will do 130, if I feel safe doing what ever ( NT) then I will do what ever.

Rest assured I will NOT let the impatient dick behind me dictate my speed, it will never ever happen.

Chill out relax you are on friggin holidays, WT. is the hurry.
AnswerID: 557026

Reply By: landseka - Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 21:02

Wednesday, Jul 15, 2015 at 21:02
As always, those going faster than us are Idiots, those going slower are 'road hogs!
AnswerID: 557064

Follow Up By: Shaker - Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 16:27

Thursday, Jul 16, 2015 at 16:27
....... And all ExplorOz drivers are perfect!



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FollowupID: 843388

Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 01:20

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 01:20
Got to say, recent trip back down the Stuart Hwy (from Ernest Giles junction) was superb, not one inconsiderate or dangerous towing driver, truck, or other vehicle noticed.

The NT section was brilliant, no people passing us (doing 105) at excessive speeds, no drivers doing a constant 130 either, but it was handy to have for passing triples !!

Was more care needed in SA at 110 for such overtaking.

As a side note, why can't all drivers run headlights ?
Makes it so much weasier to see them a long way off, and also easier to judge distances.

I feel fuel costs are one reason 130 was not a constant issue in the NT, most using it for passing as needed, then back to sit around 110 or so.
Noticed my fuel was avg was 10lt/100 sitting on 96 / 97 . . . take it to 105 was 12, 110 12.5, took it up to 130 for a short run on a safe section to compare use, went to 15 . . . so most travellers on long extended driving trips are well and truly within their rights to keep it to 90, towing or not.
AnswerID: 557152

Follow Up By: Slow one - Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 06:10

Sunday, Jul 19, 2015 at 06:10
Les,
big thumbs up for the headlights.
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Follow Up By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 19:44

Wednesday, Aug 19, 2015 at 19:44
Wow yes I always towed at around 80kph , best fuel rate, so I wonder how this Mercedes Cabriolet would rate, I was passenger with a lady driver, on the Autobahn South of Frankfurt, center lane and was overtaken by a Porsche down the left lane .... which is correct.



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