Are caravaners the worst motorists?

Boris and Mary Paris at a Ulysses AGM caravan

While caravans may not represent much of an obstacle for motorcycle riders, they can still be among the worst-behaved motorists on the road.

Have you ever been stuck behind a slow-moving caravan on a mountain road, but where there is a passing opportunity downhill, it speeds up preventing traffic from passing?

It’s one of several inconsiderate practices by caravaners that must make them the most frustrating and hated motorists on our roads.

While motorcycles can dispense with slow-moving caravans quicker and more safely than other vehicles because of their acceleration abilities, it still forces riders and other motorists to make some rash and dangerous overtaking decisions.

The problem is that there is no special testing for motorists to tow caravans.

If you have an open driver’s licence, you can start towing a caravan and wreak havoc on our roads.

I have reported for caravan magazines and, as a motorcyclist, I understand the wanderlust of caravanners and appreciate that not all are clueless.

Boris and Mary Paris at a Ulysses AGM caravan
Boris and Mary Paris at a Ulysses AGM

In fact, many are motorcycle riders and are courteous and respectful of riders and other traffic. You only haver to look at how many caravans turn up at a Ulysses rally these days or have a motorcycle or scooter attached to the back of the caravan or one inside!

Several caravan manufacturers are aware of this and make special models that accommodate motorcycle storage inside and outside.

Lee Huddleston with his caravan and Ducati Multistrada
Lee Huddleston with his caravan and Ducati Multistrada

However, there needs to be an education program for caravaners to teach them how to behave in a manner that does not frustrate other traffic, especially motorcycle riders.

Here are a few tips for caravaners:

  • Keep an eye on your wing mirrors and make sure your mirrors are wide enough to see what is behind;Caravan
  • When the road divides into two lanes for a short passing section, the caravan driver should not only pull immediately to the left, but slow down and allow the build-up of trailing traffic to pass;
  • Give trailing traffic an indication of a clear road ahead by a flick of the indicator switch and maybe a wave of the hand to encourage them to safely overtake;
  • Don’t pull out into traffic until it has all passed; and
  • Place a “motorcycle aware driver” sticker on the back of the caravan.

The same goes for motorcycles towing trailers. Be respectful and mindful of other motorists. Pull over for a while. It won’t add much time to your travels!

12 Comments

  1. Hi there all caravans should have a camera on the back of the caravan so they can see what is behind them.
    I wait until it’s ok to go around a couple of minutes don’t matter.

  2. What is it about overtaking lanes that causes their vehicles to accelerate to 10 kph above the speed limit, before dropping to 10 kph below the limit once they’ve passed the overtaking section?

  3. I leave the rudest drivers title to people towing horse floats. In the hundreds of thousands of kilometres I have ridden and driven over the last 40 years I have never ever seen anyone towing a horse float show consideration to myself or anyone else. Never ever. Horse people, very very selfish.

  4. Nearly got taken out by a wheel that came off an old boat trailer on the North Coast Highway on Sunday. Just missed by a little bit. As for Grey Nomads… I call them Grey Gonads. You go nuts trying to pass them!

  5. Yeh you get em in all driving groups but I never rely on anyone else to tell me its safe to overtake. Unless I can see for myself then I simply wait.

  6. caravans are at worse a moving roadblock
    The most dangerous by far are 4wd’s
    which are driven by the most arrogant, inept
    and plain stupid people on the planet, who
    think that encasing themselves in something resembling
    a tank will protect them from the consequences of
    their dangerous and selfish driving behaviour

    1. We used to call them Volvo drivers.
      The Volvo driver mentality has of course migrated to other vehicles but the common thread is a perception of personal safety bourn from the belief that they are driving a tank. Because they drive what they believe to be a safe vehicle they believe they are good safe drivers but often their claims of never had an accident are meet with, BUT LOOK AT THE CARNAGE You LEAVE IN YOUR WAKE!
      The Volvo drivers of this world are often spotted driving away from scenes of mass destruction oblivious to all but what they are texting, eating or lighting up.

      1. I would have added mercedes but there aren’t that many
        same as volvos for all the same reasons and for some reason
        silver ones seem to be the most dangerous.

  7. I agree. Ignorance plays a big part as well. Boats trailers often don’t have enough weight on the towball, which induces sway, and caravaners often have too much weight with no load sharing device, and they don’t steer too well. But by far the biggest problem is ignorance. I came up behind a convoy of slow moving caravaners once, only to hear them on the UHF planning to sit in the middle of the road so I couldn’t overtake them. They weren’t even aware of UHF scanning functions so I could pick them up. That night, they pulled into the same park, and they were all walking around with walking frames! Good luck to them, but they’d be needing the help of other road users if they had any trouble, yet their attitude to other road users was “stuff them!” Anyway, point being, doesn’t matter what the mode of transport, there are dickheads amongst all groups.

  8. Those who tow boats can be worse especially if it is only occasionally
    They often forget they are towing and do some really deadly things.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *