Caravanners warned to drive to the conditions this winter
With temperatures continuing to plummet, rain gauges starting to fill and snow readily falling in the High Country, it’s clear that winter has really started to bite.
And with that comes the annual mass exodus of southern states caravanners to warmer climes in the north, meaning many big rigs travelling on the roads in adverse weather conditions.
Rain and wet roads means reduced visibility and reduced traction between your tow vehicle, caravan and the road, so extra care is needed at all times.
This might include allowing more time for travel so you don’t feel the need to rush, leaving more distance between you and the vehicle in front to allow for longer stopping times, reducing your speed, braking earlier and more gently, turning your headlights on at all times, don’t attempt to drive through floodwaters and, if you’re at all unsure, pulling over and waiting the weather out.
DRIVING IN SNOW
Driving in snow adds yet another dimension. While caravans are not allowed on most High Country roads in winter, low-lying snowfall is not uncommon in central parts of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, so it pays to be prepared.
Snowy roads will be extremely slippery and it pays to carry snow chains at all times if you’re travelling in these areas, and fit them when advised to, or even as a precaution. Learning to fit snow chains before you travel is imperative as they will give you extra traction.
Driving with chains will limit your speed a lot, so it’s important to remain patient and relaxed behind the wheel.
Where possible, stick to existing vehicle tracks through the snow, as those who have gone before will have compacted the snow and hopefully made it hard enough for you to drive on. Sticking to existing tracks will also help you avoid most unseen obstructions along the path, such as sticks or rocks.
If your vehicle is diesel, you may need to consider using alpine diesel or using a special winter fuel additive in your fuel tank.