There’s a stark difference between driving a caravan on the highway and going off-road. If you plan to explore more adventurous remote destinations beyond the regular highway, there are certain things that you should know and pay attention to.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the basic things to know about taking your caravan off-road. This includes basic tips for preparing for your trip and how to handle your caravan when you’re driving off-road.
Choose the right tow vehicle and hitch
Only some vehicles are built to withstand the stress of travelling in rough and rugged off-road conditions. This is why you have to pay close attention to the type of vehicle you’re using to tow your caravan. Consider the vehicle’s towing capabilities, power, and weight. You should also check the tow package installed on the vehicle. Generally, a weight distribution hitch is the best choice for off-road caravaning because it offers better stability and handling compared to other types of hitches.
Prepare your caravan for off-road travels
Since you won’t be travelling on a regular paved road, you need to set up your caravan properly for an enjoyable experience. Inspect the vehicle and caravan to make sure everything is in the proper order.
In loading your caravan, weight distribution is of utmost importance. The heaviest items should be loaded close to the axle to improve stability. Make sure the weight is even on all sides, and try to secure loose objects or devices in place to keep them from shifting around when you’re on the road. You also need to reduce your tyre pressure. As a general rule, your tyre pressures should be reduced by about 20% of normal highway pressure during off-road caravaning.
Taking the path less taken comes with different kinds of challenges. You need to be mentally and physically prepared for your off-road adventure. When you’re off-road, the difference between a terrible experience and an adventure is your attitude. Try to maintain a positive attitude throughout the trip.
Plan your trip properly and make sure you inform someone about your destination and possible waypoints if you’re going to a remote place. You should also have a general map of the area and figure out the nearest places to get help if you ever get stranded on the road.
Packing for an off-road experience is different from packing for a regular camping trip. In addition to the basics, certain things, such as basic tool kits, medical kits, electronic GPS units, and recovery kits, are important. You should pack clothes suitable for the conditions you’re likely to face.
No matter how good you are at handling a caravan on the road, driving on dirt or gravel roads will be a lot more challenging (and dangerous). Your vehicle tires will have less traction on the road, which makes it easier to lose control if you’re driving too fast. You’ll also have to dodge ditches and potholes and be wary of animals that can stray into your path. All of these means it’s best to drive slower than usual to maintain control of your vehicle.
As mentioned earlier, it’s important to prepare your mind for emergencies when you’re off-roading. That includes packing basic tool kits for repairs and recovery, having a first aid kit with you, and making plans for emergency contacts. A satellite phone, personal locator beacon, and GPS devices will be very valuable if you ever get lost or stranded.
Going off-road is all about proper planning and preparation. You also need to be aware of your capabilities and that of your vehicle and try not to push too hard to avoid getting into trouble.