Fire Safety Camping and Caravanning
This is an extract from the ACCVic News letter Aug 2016
Professional Assistance for 'Vanners with Major Compliance & Safety Problems
(Above) Complaint Form - Caravan Issues
The Club consistently hears from members and others of the difficulties experienced in getting dealers and manufacturers to rectify matters of compliance and safety related to their caravans – weight and load issues are very prominent.
We recently learned that there is an avenue for reporting issues to the national legislator, The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development, but it seems that they will only act on issues that arise on a repetitive basis. It is therefore important to make sure that you report the difficulties you experience. The Department encourages members of the public to report possible cases of safety issues and non-compliance through the link on the following website.
Additionally, we are very pleased to see the following information provided by the Caravan Council as a method of seeking resolution for compliance and safety issues and congratulate the Caravan Council on the establishment of this program. This may be of benefit to some of you……
Caravan Council email 29 December 2016:
The Caravan Council of Australia - www.caravancouncil.com.au - is introducing a professional engineering and legal assistance program to help owners of caravans and camper-trailers, who have serious unresolved technical problems with their vehicle.
This service is available only for alleged Major Defects involving Compliancing and
Safety… where discussions with the Supplier have failed to satisfactorily resolve the issues.
Complainants are asked to provide a few (small-size) photos - if applicable - to best-illustrate the issue(s):
The completed form, with photos, must not exceed 5 MB, and must be limited to 4 pages.
A Statutory Declaration from the Complainant will be required before the Supplier is contacted.
Complainants are to email the fully-completed form to the Caravan Council of Australia firstname.lastname@example.org where it will be examined – in strict confidence – by an independent professional experienced engineer, and an accredited experienced solicitor - without cost - to determine whether any legal action is likely to favourably resolve the issue(s), and what the indicative costs*** would be for:
(a) Initiating such action, by a Letter of Demand and
(b) Proceeding with appropriate action, if necessary.
*** An indicative cost for a simple basic Letter of Demand is around $400 - $500 (+ GST).
If the Claim is deemed to be justified, and likely to be satisfactorily resolved, the Solicitor will provide a completely-free – without any obligation whatsoever – initial telephone discussion, for up to 20 minutes!
Caravan Council of Australia 3 Margaret Street, Parkdale, VIC 3195 Tel: 0409 865 399
Vehicle speeds when towing in different states
Whether or not you’re towing, a speed limit is just that – the maximum speed at which you’re allowed to travel. However, you many need to modify the speed at which you’re travelling when towing, regardless of the signposted limit. With this in mind, we look at trailer speed limits in each Australian state.
When towing a trailer, the dynamics of the tow vehicle are changed, especially if you’re towing an unbraked trailer up to a maximum Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) of 750kg. You effectively have up to 750kg pushing your tow vehicle along without any extra braking assistance.
It’s therefore sensible to travel at a speed that is appropriate for the road conditions, regardless of the signposted speed limit.
Trailer speed limits
In most cases, the law states that the maximum speed limit for a tow vehicle with a trailer in Australia is as per the signposted speed. However, there are some subtle variations to this rule across the states.
New South Wales
The maximum allowable speed of a tow vehicle towing a trailer in New South Wales is 110km, as per the maximum allowable speed on motorways and highways, so long as the tow vehicle has a GVM not exceeding 4,500kg. [Understanding maximum trailer mass]
In Tasmania all vehicles towing trailers or caravans must abide by the posted speed limit, unless the trailer or caravans has a GVM of 12 tonnes or more. Highways in Tasmania have speed limits of 100km/h and 110km/h. Therefore the driver of a vehicle towing a trailer or caravan can drive at the posted speed as long as it is safe to do so.
Like New South Wales, Western Australia has a maximum of 100km per hour for a vehicle towing a trailer. However, there is no specified vehicle and trailer weight. Note that the maximum allowable speed on motorways and highways in Western Australia is 110km per hour.
South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria
The remaining states and territories have no trailer speed limits for towing. Instead, they recommend that drivers travel at a speed that is suitable to the prevailing conditions on the open road.