by Peter Manins Motorhome Information: The Basics Motorhome basics for those who are occasional motor-homers, who live in a built-up area, and are considering changing to a different motorhome, or who are considering making some improvements to their present one....
by Rob Caldwell - Updated May 2017 Truck wind forces on This paper explains how overtaking a fast moving truck, or being passed by one can exert dangerous truck wind forces on . The original of this paper ‘ and Trucks Sharing Roads...
Potential buyers of caravans need to be extremely careful to ensure that their proposed caravan is, in fact, fully compliant with Australia’s vehicle safety regulations, as stated in the national Australian Design Rules. The Federal government’s Vehicle Safety Standards branch has recognised the problems in the caravan industry. It is introducing a new Road Vehicle Standards Act in July 2021. This Act replaces the Motor Vehicle Standards Act, which has been in force since 1989.
The current (February 2018) Australian RV rules and regulations are outlined here by Collyn Rivers of RV Books. Those for trailers under 4500 kg (9920 lb) will change in late 2018 but details are not yet available. These rules often change and this article will be regularly updated to reflect those changes.
Caravan and motorhome compliance can confuse. Imports are often not 100% compliant. This article shows what is required. Total caravan and motorhome compliance is rarely an issue with locally-made product. It can be, however, with imported caravans. This was particularly so of fifth-wheel caravans. There can also be problems with private imports. They may legally be used but only by the original buyer. That buyer often truly (but wrongly) believes them to be 100% compliant. They must not be sold, nor even given away, unless brought to 100% compliance.
This article is a précis of my discussion with Sergeant Graeme Shenton (Orbost Police Station) about two years ago. Sergeant Shenton is a caravanner and is taking a leading role (via ongoing road side checks etc) in establishing accurate data on the extent of overladen RVs on Australian roads. Most rigs checked are caravans – as there are about six times more of those than campervans and motor homes.
The current (February 2018) Australian RV rules and regulations are outlined here by Collyn Rivers of RV Books. Those for trailers under 4500 kg (9920 lb) will change in late 2018 but details are not yet available
Australia has two main and seemingly interdependent caravan industries. One makes caravans of varying stability. The other makes devices (of varying effectiveness) intended to increase that stability. Both are curious. Not all makers appear to understand the more basic laws of physics involved. Or perhaps assume immunity from them. So presumably do owners of ultra-long caravans. With a few rare exceptions, there is a caravan design need for change. And for caravan owners to realise a caravan’s inherent stability issues.
A weight distributing hitch is not needed if the laden weight of the tow vehicle is equal to or exceeds that of the laden caravan. Nor is a weight distributing hitch needed for any trailer under about 4 metres.
Caravan suspension has requirements that are very different from tow vehicles. This is only too often misunderstood. Here’s why and what it should be.
Lighting for caravans has changed. Now, by far the most practical and least energy drawing are LEDs (light emitting diodes). This article shows why.
Speeding battery charging from generators is cheap, effective and relatively simple. This article by RV Books’ Collyn Rivers explains how to do it.
Quietening caravan water pumps is simple to do at no or trivial cost. This article from RV Books’ Collyn Rivers shows how.
Lightning frightens but lightning risk in caravans is very low. That risk however is far from random. Here’s how to reduce it yet further.
To make caravan fridges work as claimed, and draw less energy, is cheap, simple and easy. Many can be transformed. This article shows how.
Tow ball weight pushes down the rear of the tow vehicle – thereby increasing the weight on its rear tyres. A WDH, in effect, is a semi-flexible springy beam that levers back up the rear of the tow vehicle and levers down its front. In doing so, however, it reduces the imposed load on the tow vehicles rear tyres and partially restored it on its front tyres. Reducing the load on the tow vehicle’s rear tyres reduces their ‘cornering ability’. This is why a weight distributing hitch limits cornering.
A major LP gas risk in caravans is carbon monoxide build up. Low levels cause brain damage, and death at high levels. Here’s how to eliminate the dangers. A carbon monoxide build up as a direct result of burning LP gas in any inadequately ventilated confined space. The risk in RVs is high enough to take seriously. Since 2009 about 12 people (in Australia alone) died in caravans due to the above. In the USA it typically exceeds 1000 people a year. Far more have suffered brain damage.
Fuel cells for RVs are non-polluting and ultra-quiet. Whilst initially promising their initial and running costs still excludes general RV use.
Electrical converters in RVs supply 12 volts from 230 volt power. They work well from 230 volts, but not for long-term camping. Here’s how to fix the problem.
This article explains safe caravan and motor home heating using diesel or gas. It explains how it works, what is available and how to safely install it. To ensure safe caravan and motor home heating it must be done correctly. Apart from a build-up of carbon monoxide, there is a risk of oxygen deprivation. For a full technical and medically-referenced explanation see article Gas Risk in Caravans.