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Driving & Towing

Category: Practical Advice Driving and Towing | Author: |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 25260   6429

Driving and Towing Comprehensive Manual to Safer Towing.

If you find yourself getting aggravated while reversing a caravan, stop! Ask yourself if you really do have to do it here. Seek assistance: maybe even get someone else to do it. Or have a cuppa and try again.

Try to cultivate a smooth braking technique in which you press gently on the brake pedal several times so that the driver behind you is alerted by your flashing brake lights before you get more serious about deceleration.
Reset your odometer (trip meter) as you leave each major town or intersection to make it easy to determine your location if you experience an accident or breakdown.

When you start off on your travels each day, listen carefully with your window down to make sure everything sounds normal. (I once saw a caravan drag a metal mesh tree guard behind it for some 20 or 30 meters, the driver apparently oblivious to the noise it was making on the gravel road. Fortunately, the guard became disentangled as the rig turned a corner before leaving the caravan park.)

Activate your hazard lights when forced to stop on the road — at roadworks, for example — so as to give ample warning to the next vehicle to arrive behind you in the queue.

When travelling in convoy with another rig, allow ample room for overtaking vehicles to slip in between the two rigs.
If planning to travel in convoy with another rig, have them both fitted with CB radios. You will be surprised how useful they are.
Ensure that the rear wheels of the towing vehicle are on the same level as the caravan before you unhitch. You want the front of the van sufficiently far back from any kerb or hump that, when reversing to hitch up, you don’t smash into it as you rev the engine to surmount the obstacle. Note that well-meaning caravan park staff do not always direct you properly, especially in this situation. Get out and satisfy yourself that all is well before unhitching.

Road workers are allies in your travels. Acknowledge their efforts with a smile and a wave.

People usually use sun visors (the things you swing down from the roof to cover part of the windscreen) to shield their eyes from direct view of the Sun. However, they can also be used to minimize glare when driving, even when the Sun is not in the field of vision. This can help to alleviate the strain of driving long distances in open country under the glary South African skies.Of course, leaving sufficient unobscured windscreen for adequate visibility for safe driving should be your highest priority.

A windscreen washer brush (a smaller version of those you use at service stations) is almost a necessity for serious travel in South Africa. Use it to remove splattered bugs so you can start each day with a clean windscreen. It can also be handy on the side of the road if you find yourself driving into the late afternoon Sun with a dusty windscreen.

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