So what is all about? Well... hopefully, by the time we are done, it will be a comprehensive journal about a family of 5 who have travelled around Australia to see the sights and also do some volunteer work around the country! In Mid 2010 we started thinking about what it would take to fulfil a life-long dream... We wanted to bundle up our 3 kids, pack-up the house, jump in the car and hit the road - probably for about 12 months. It sounds so simple ... At the start of January 2013, after almost 15 months on the road; we finally completed Our Big Aussie Road Trip. We hope that you enjoyed following our adventures, trials and tribulations as much as we enjoyed having them!

22 August, 2012

Caravan Safety Checklist

We haven't kept count of how many times we have hooked and unhooked the caravan so far on our trip, but I can tell you, it's a lot!

Before we left Sydney, Mike's dad (a caravanner with lots of years experience) suggested that Mike create a 'Caravan Safety Checklist' to use whenever we hooked the caravan up to the car.  Mike's dad had a checklist which he had written up for his van, so Mike copied that and modified it to suit our own car and van setup.  We use this list religiously whenever we hook up to ensure that we give ourselves the best chance of arriving at our next destination in one piece!

Our checklist is literally a double sided piece of A4 paper that has 2 separate checklists:  One checklist that can be done before the car is hooked up, and then a second checklist for once the caravan is hooked onto the towball of the car.

We wanted to keep a copy of these checklists, so we thought that we'd post in on the blog.  Obviously, every car/caravan setup is unique, but we've certainly found these checklists helpful to ensure that we do everything that we need to (especially when we're rushing a little bit!).

Our 'Pre-Hookup Checklist' (ie things that can be done before the car is hooked up to the caravan):

1) Close Awning and check it is securely locked in
2) Check and Inspect Tyres and Tyre pressure
3) Stow the Aerial
4) Stow the Clothesline
5) Close all windows and check the front window cover is locked in
6) Close top vents inside the van
7) Slide the kids door across (we travel with the door to the kids room closed so the weight of the door is spread across the width of the track it hangs from)
8) Stow items on the floor in the correct position (we travel with some items on the floor of the van and put them in certain positions when we travel)
9) Turn off water pump
10) Fill the water tank if required
11) Disconnect the power cord and stow
12) Disconnect the water hose (and remember to take the fitting from the tap)
13) Disconnect the waste water hose and stow
14) Turn fridge off
15) Turn off hot water system and put cover on
16) Wind up support legs on the van
17) Close and lock the front door of the van
18) Stow the step


 Our 'Post-Hookup Checklist' (ie things that are done when the caravan has been hooked onto the car):

1) Check that the caravan drawbar is securely clipped onto the towball (AND that the safety clip is clipped down (so that the drawbar doesn't bounce off the towball!))
2) Connect the safety chains (and cross them over each other to create a 'cradle' that would catch the drawbar in the unlikely event that it does pop off the towball)
3) Connect the Power Cable (via an Anderson Plug), the 7-Pin trailer plug, and the Rear View Camera connections
4) Remove the jockey wheel and re-tighten the housing
5) Release the van handbrake
6) Connect the weight distribution hitch
7) Connect the electric brake emergency breakaway cable
8) Remove any wheel chocks
9) Lock the caravan boot
10) Connect the caravan mirrors to the car
11) Check the indicators and lights on the van are working
12) Walk around the van for a final check

Although these checklists look quite long, we've got them down to a fine art and it doesn't take very long to do, but it gives us good piece of mind that we're ready for travelling.

No comments: