Here's my top 5 biggest issues that caravanners face today.
Cheers - Fred
1. SELF CONTAINMENT
Vanners are only getting more and more confused about self containment regulations throughout Australia. The issue there’s no official state, federal or even unofficial definition of what “self-contained” is by the RMS – and it purely comes down to the region, camp, or what’s worse, DISCRETION, of a ranger or individual at the time.
The other side of the coin here, is that many RVers, camp hosts and park owners still consider grey water to be harmless – and actively encourage grey water to be emptied on their gardens and grass.
Our tip is to start preparing yourself and van to be self-contained – it will cause a heap of issues once you’re on the road. You don’t want a bit of grey water stopping you from camping where you want!
2. ROAD REGULATIONS
We've had a massive response to a new rule regarding the 1.5m rule for cyclists on our roads.
What concerns me are three factors:
Firstly, if we're fair dinkum why not increase the width of the all roads to increase safety, or provide more lanes for cyclists?
Secondly, I'm concerned that when we slow down to stay behind cyclists, motorists will become frustrated and overtake in a dangerous way.
Finally, I'm worried that this new rule hasn't been advertised and promoted enough, and there's still a huge amount of motorists clueless about the new rules they must obey.
These kind of regulations are important to get right for all parties involved. The best thing for caravanners to do is stick to the rules, yet ensure our opinion on the rules is heard.
3. WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION
We’re seeing a lot more accidents involving caravans recently – a huge surge even. More vans on the road means more accidents. But when you can hitch up 3 tonnes of caravan behind you without any kind of licence or qualifying test – how are these people supposed to be aware of the implications surrounding weight distribution? I reckon that in all these dash cam clips of caravans spontaneously jack-knifing before going into a roll, improper weight management and distribution could be a massive contributing factor. And it’s not through stupidity – so many people out there just don’t consider it.
There are just so many reasons why everyone should take the time to visit a public weigh bridge to make sure they’re towing within their limits.
4. THE RUBBISH EPIDEMIC
More and more I find that we’re arriving to beautiful free camps left in a disgraceful state. Now, I know there’s the push for more bins in free camps – more bins means more space for rubbish and there’s no excuse for having it strewn around the base of bins. But I don’t think that’s the only way forward – consider removing all the bins.
Now hear me out now, it’s not as outrageous as you first might think. Consider this – who’s responsibility is it to pick up the rubbish once it hits the ground? I’d like it to be ours, as it’s our responsibility to maintain these beaut campsites. But no – it becomes the council’s responsibility.
No bins might mean putting that responsibility, that sense of ownership, back on the vanner that might leave refuse around the base of a bin thinking “council will clean it up” or “it’s council’s problem now”.
5. THOSE AGAINST FREE CAMPING
Over $500,000 injected into the local economy, a free camp teeming with caravanners, a 14-month camp trial successful by all accounts – you’d call this a pretty resounding victory for the beaut city of Ballarat, right?
I reckon most people from Ballarat, especially small business owners, would agree with you. That’s why the premature closure of Ballarat’s free camp has so many asking – why?
We are seeing a lot of this across the country – now I’m not pointing fingers, but there has to be hidden agendas at play in these cases. Is it local caravan parks? That’s a question that needs to be asked – I sure hope it’s not
THE FUTURE OF CARAVANNING
While we are all facing a number of challenges, it’s not all bad news. Owning a caravan is still the number one ticket to adventure and freedom, and I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for quids. See you somewhere in the great outdoors!