It is very common for 2 or more RVs or caravanners to be travelling together or one caravan may have just caught up with another slower caravan on the road.
The golden rule of convoy travel is to leave plenty of space between the vehicles.
I cannot understand why anyone would want to follow closely to a vehicle in front for any distance. As soon as the vehicle in front touches their brakes the vehicle behind has to also brake. There is not an adequate view of the road ahead to see signage and make decisions.
If travelling in convoy, often caravanners communicate by UHF radio. If your UHF is so weak that you cannot communicate with another caravan 1/2 a kilometre further down the road then it may be time to upgrade your radio or check your aerial.
Most caravan clubs have strict policies about distances between vehicles travelling in convoy.
Leave enough space for a truck or b-double to safely leap frog around you and move between you and the vehicle you are following. Keep in mind that they need safe distances to slow after they overtake and there should be a safe distance between all vehicles when the overtaking is completed.
A safe distance between cars on the highway is 2 seconds; however this should be extended to at least 4 seconds for heavy vehicles or or vehicles towing a caravan or trailer.
Pick a marker on the side of the road and as the vehicle in front passes count 1,000 and 1, 1,000 and 2. If you have passed that same marker before you finish counting then you are following too close. For towing or wet weather repeat for 4 seconds instead of 2 seconds. as a minimum.
Check to see if there is a second vehicle that is also overtaking. If so, leave extra space for them.
Queensland laws state that vehicles (this includes caravan and tow vehicle) over 7.5 metres must have a distance of at least 60 meters between following vehicles increasing to 200 metres if in an area used by road trains.
Many trucks, cars and other road users get frustrated when they are following two or more RV’s or caravans, travelling slower than the rest of the traffic and that have not left enough space to pass.
To overtake, a driver therefore needs to overtake the two caravans and tow vehicles at the one time. This is extremely dangerous for all involved including the vehicles being overtaken and has resulted in many fatalities over the years.
One truck driver tells of when he came up behind 6 caravan’s following in convoy together that had not left any safe distance between them for other vehicles to overtake. They were travelling at approx. 70-80 km per hour in a 100km zone on the open highway out western Queensland. It took him an extra hour to get home and that was an extra hour out of his regulated 14 hour legal driving allowance. He nearly didn’t get home to his family before he had to stop, by law, for his regulated rest break.
This situation is a frustration for ALL road users.
Pull over if you are holding up traffic. It is safer for you and the other road users.
How do you know there is a safe place to pull over coming up?
3-2-1- Green Reflectors
There are now in place on highways throughout the country many locations where heavy vehicles, caravans and RVs can safely pull off the road for a short rest or to allow other traffic to pass.
NOTE:- THESE LOCATIONS ARE NOT FOR OVERNIGHT OR LONG STOPS. THEY ARE FOR SHORT OR EMERGENCY STOPS ONLY, TO LET TRAFFIC PAST, CHECK YOUR VEHICLE OR REST BREAK IF TIRED ETC.
The locations are clearly identified by the use of 3-2-1 Green Reflectors on the guide posts leading up to the rest area.
While these areas are not always full maintained they are usually a flat level and off the road rest spot.
They can be identified by 3 green reflectors on a guide post 500 metres before, two reflectors 250 metres before and one green reflector as you come to the rest area. Therefore giving the driver plenty of time to indicate and slow from highway speed to safely pull over. Communicate your intentions early to other road users by UHF and indicators.
For more information of 3-2-1- Green Reflectors please click on the following link.
Be Truck Friendly and think about the distance you follow other vehicles and allow plenty of space for others to get around you. Pull off the road and let other vehicles pass whenever possible.
The Qld Government has provided some excellent information on how to calculate safe following distances when driving. Watch their video and read more by clicking the link below.