Communication with towing caravan

Submitted: Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 14:29
ThreadID: 20141 Views:4981 Replies:6 FollowUps:4
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I have recently purchased a off-road caravan and have big plans to do a lot of semi-offroad travelling around our great land.

I note that many of the caravans I see in the outback have a UHF channel printed on the rear of the van, I assume to enable other travellers to contact them while on the road. I also notice that most vans seem to select UHF channel 18 as their preferred channel. I am aware that the general highway channel is 40.

Can anyone advise if there is a designated travelling channel for those towing a caravan? Where might I find more information on this, and general communication etiquette when towing a van?

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Reply By: Member - Raymond - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:12

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:12
Hi Gamefish
I find the easiest way on the highway is to have the radio on scan, in some radios you can set it to scan just a few frequencies or the whole 40 that way I hear what is on the air waves around about. Generally 40 for trucks, or on the Newell often channel 29 Many caravans and motorhomes are on 18. Of you have 18 on the back of the van if they want to call you they will call on 18, if you are listening or scanning you will hear the call
Regards Ray
AnswerID: 96801

Follow Up By: gamefish - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:20

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:20
Hi Ray
Thanks for it generaly the rear overtaking vehicle that should make contact with the vehcile and van that they are planning on overtaking?

Also, do the truckies generally communicate with the vans when travelling behind them (when they want to overtake)?
FollowupID: 355468

Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:36

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 15:36
gamefish, if you use the 'general highway channel' you describe - UHF channel 40, you will find mostly truckies and the language can some times be best described as colourful. UHF channel 18 is the caravanners channel as much as 40 the truckies. They sometimes crossover to make sure the other is aware the former is 'coming around'. Overtaking in other words, perhaps for conversation.

I think there is a caravanners and motorhomes forum gamefish, one at You will find it is friendly enough that you would need a password to get any info though! Good luck, it looked very friendly {:-(

Etiquette when towing a van would mean not being a mobile road block to the community you are driving through and advising others you are coming round to start the ball rolling. That being the case if you have a big van you have a tow vehicle strong enough to keep up the pace of traffic.
AnswerID: 96802

Reply By: Member - Raymond - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:11

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 20:11
I try to keep a good eye on the rear mirrors to see if a truck is coming up behind and often will switch to channel 40 and acknowledge that I have seen them and that either I will pull over to let them through or tell them that I will slow down as they start to go past to lessen the time they are on the wrong side of the road. I have found them to be very grateful and helpful
AnswerID: 96849

Reply By: rickwagupatrol - Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 22:59

Saturday, Feb 05, 2005 at 22:59

go here mate,,,a plethora of knowledge is at hand,,,

AnswerID: 96878

Follow Up By: Ray Bates - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 01:33

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 01:33
I tried that caravaners foram on MSN. I applied but got denied. I don't know what they want but I have been caravaning for over 35yrs and realized that I did not need them anyway so I deleted them from my PC
FollowupID: 355522

Follow Up By: motherhen - Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 01:02

Monday, Feb 07, 2005 at 01:02
Try again - i had no trouble registering on the site - didn't have to prove myself. You should still be able to read forum without membership. If not, let me know, coz i took notes from a thread on the topic. Basically, most preferred 40 in line with the truckies, some scan 40 & 18 (so we set ours up like this). Truckies appreciate you saying you know they are looming behind you, and you can steady up as they say "coming round you now", you will remain informed of trouble spots up ahead. We only ever picked up one conversation on 18 - a conversation between two caravanners travelling together - and a clown butting in and telling them to "get a life" and another comment which i switched over from. We have 40 printed on the back of the van.
FollowupID: 355638

Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 12:08

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 12:08
A lot of "groups" have their preferred channels, but I find that you can access a whole lot more info (some very worthwhile) by scanning.... you can capture all users within range. Because it takes a short time to scan all 40 channels (maybe more on some models) it is possible to miss somebody who is transmitting very briefly, but most people take a couple of seconds so you should grab them. If you are about to buy the radio, consider a little extra and get the latest up market .... $390 should get something like a GME 4400 - good display, selcall, extra (rec. only) channels and group programming etc. Other makes would have similar features.
AnswerID: 96929

Follow Up By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 12:10

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 12:10
er.... forgot to may be aware....UHF can be unusable in the city due to infestation of disgusting ferals on every channel. And you may not want to hear some of the truckies while on the wallaby.
FollowupID: 355549

Reply By: gamefish - Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 15:45

Sunday, Feb 06, 2005 at 15:45
Thanks guys, seems like UHF 18 is the go. I will display both 18 and 40 on the rear of the van, and yep, will set the group scan function on my GME4400 to scan both 18 and 40.

Thanks for the clarification, and hope to see you on the tracks somewhere.
AnswerID: 96948

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