Weather is one of the most difficult things to predict. However, Australia is a country that is use to varied temperatures, weather, and climates. This is the reason why you need to be aware of the different weather conditions around your destinations during your caravan holiday. It’s best to stay safe and avoid traveling during extreme weather conditions.
However, even while you’re not traveling during severe weather conditions, your holiday home may still be at risk because even caravan and camping parks are not exempted from natural disasters. The good news is, you can take different precautionary measures to keep your caravan safe during bad weather, or at least limit its damages. This article will walk you through the different sets of precautions for every natural disaster.
You can take the following safety measures during Australia’s extreme weather conditions:
Cyclone and Strong Winds
Cyclones and strong winds are considered the biggest threat to caravans. Most insurance claims are damages caused by strong winds. This is why it’s discouraged to tow a caravan during strong winds. It’s important to park the caravan in a safe place where it can be protected from the winds. Other things you can do to protect your caravan from cyclones and strong winds include the following:
- To increase wind resistance, dig holes on the ground directly under your caravan wheels where they’re parked.
- Sink posts of angle iron at the tyre corners.
- Tie the caravan down firmly using chains or 6 to 8 pins, depending on the size of the rig.
- Store your caravan in a sheltered location and away from potential hazards if cyclones are predicted.
- If you’re in a campsite, take your awning down as soon as possible.
Flood and Storm Surges
Rains and storm are a great disaster, and it’s best not to go on a campervan holiday during the wet season as you would never know when a flash flood happens. But if you’re already on the road, make sure to maintain driving in low speed as the roads are slippery. Here are other precautionary measures you can take to get your caravan protected from rain, flood, and storm surges:
- Secure all objects that have the tendency to be blown away, such as your awnings and other small objects.
- Unplug all electrical devices and place them on a higher level rather than on the floor to prevent them from getting wet.
- Switch all gas supplies off.
- Chain your rig securely.
- Try to find a shelter uphill.
- Tie the whole van down to prevent the frame from getting blown away or smashed.
- Avoid parking under the trees especially during lightning and thunderstorms.
Extreme Summer Heat
The extreme summer heat can be unbearable and dangerous especially to the caravanners. While your caravan may not be in direct danger during the hot summer season, the people who are camping in it are prone to dehydration and heat stroke if you don’t make sure your caravan is cool enough to give you a comfortable ride. Below are few tips to ensure your caravan keeps its cool even under the scorching heat of the sun:
- Ensure that your air conditioning is properly maintained so it can keep the caravan cool during the hot season.
- Use proper insulation to help keep the air inside your caravan cool while preventing the heat from getting in.
- Cook outside as much as possible as indoor cooking can make the caravan feel even hotter during summer.
- Use fluorescent or LED lighting to generate less heat while producing light more efficiently.
- Make sure that you have all your caravan’s fluids and oils checked and that the caravan is well maintained to prevent it from overheating.
When exploring the wilderness, caravanners should be prepared for different possible fires such as bushfires and wildfires. It’s important to be mindful when visiting such areas, and avoid leaving your rig unattended. You can do the following to protect your caravan from fire:
- Make sure to park your caravan at a leveled site that is close to the exit.
- When you’re campervanning with children, make sure to not leave fires unattended especially around them.
- Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide in your rig for an added safety measure.
- Keep a fire extinguisher near the door inside the caravan.
- Make sure to open a door or window when the heater or cooker is in use to ensure the area is well ventilated.
Though it is highly discouraged to tow a caravan or go on a campervan holiday during the peak of winter, there are instances when you can’t help but get trapped in the snow. To protect your caravan from damage during the cold season and heavy snow, make sure to do the following:
- Increase the visibility of your rigs as snow has the tendency to erase its outlines, and this can cause accidents.
- If you really need to tow your caravan during the extreme winter season, try to minimise its weight. Remember, an extra laden weight – every gram of it – can cause the grip of your caravan’s rig to slip.
- Bring extra rock salt and/or chains as they are helpful to melt the snow and increase traction.
- When keeping your caravan parked during the winter, it’s best to cover it with a weather-proof cover or an insulated caravan cover.
- You may park your caravan in a covered or indoor storage during winter.
- Clean your caravan and remove moulds from crevices because they can spread and multiply.
- Coat the bodywork with overwinter wax coating to protect the caravan.
- Grease the hinges, towing ball and hitch, corner steadies, jockey wheel and winder, and brake cables.
- Lower the corner steadies to take the weight off the tyres.
Always Keep Yourself and Your Caravan Safe
Australia is a country that encounters extreme weather. With this, it is important to know the weather conditions along your route when you travel, and to know a safe place where you can park your caravan during severe weather. Invest in accessories that will help secure both you (the caravanners) and your caravan. Weather-proof your caravan and make sure it’s regularly maintained to avoid certain risks during bad weather conditions.
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