Many years of experience, both within the industry and on trips of their own has given both Gary and Clint a wealth of useful advice for families to ensure the safety of their loved ones on the busy holiday roads.
Ten tips from Kratzmann Caravans for a safe Christmas Holiday Season:
- Check tyre pressure, wheel bearings and nuts, and coupling bolts BEFORE embarking on your travels.
- Check stop lights, tail lights, and blinkers are all working BEFORE leaving.
- Make a point of breaking your journey every 200 kilometres or 2 hours.
- When towing, avoid hard acceleration from traffic lights or up hills to lessen fuel consumption.
- Towing aids such as level riders or torsion bars can be fitted to most vans and camper trailers to assist on your journey.
- Ensure vehicle and caravan are compatible for towing in terms of size and weight.
- Always service your 7 point pin plug on trailer and tow vehicle, keep it clean and lubricated. (Do not use oil)
- Check coupling handle is in the lock down position, safety chains are fitted, pin plug is plugged in and tow ball is tight.
- Always check brakes are working in first 50 metres of travel.
- Do not over adjust your brake controller as this will overheat the brakes.
"With the holiday season upon us and families about to head off to enjoy their camping trips, it's important everyone is diligent in ensuring the safety of their families," said Gary Kratzmann. "It doesn't take much to check your vehicle and caravan to make sure you arrive at your holiday destination safely."All these things can be done with minimal effort, and it's a matter of piece of mind to know you have done everything you can to make certain you have a safe trip. One solution to an overloaded vehicle - especially a working vehicle that is driven over rough surfaces is a Ride-Rite air suspension.
A solution being offered to this problem of instability and excessive wear and tear is Ride-Rite air suspension kits by Firestone that can iron out difficulties presented by unevenly loaded vehicles by putting additional and suspension support where it is needed (under tool boxes, lumber, or heavy materials being taken to a work site). Distributed throughout NSW and the ACT by All Air Suspension, Ride-Rite kits are designed for leaf spring vehicles typically used by farmers, builders and maintenance workers operating across areas ranging from the suburbs to the Outback. Complementary kits for coil sprung vehicles are available through national Ride-Rite distributor Airbag Man.
Ride-Rite air suspension helper springs - the same type of tough Firestone air springs used underneath semi trailers - fit between vehicle chassis and leaf springs to absorb the increasing weight of loads that cause vehicles to sag or lean. This imbalance results in hazardous driving conditions and wear and tear on the vehicle's tyres, suspension and frame. In all these cases, Ride-Rite springs work with the existing suspension to re-level loaded vehicles to their ideal configuration, which is with frame and body parallel to the axle, as in an unloaded vehicle. The kits have benefits when the vehicle is loaded or empty, because the air pressure takes the strain off existing metal springs, preventing sagging and helping them to last longer.
Not only do the Ride-Rite and On-Air kits designed to give better ride and handling, but also their air springs can be inflated to different pressures to cope with uneven loads and varying weight distribution. Many farmers and tradesmen will have huge toolboxes, generators, batteries or stocks of materials permanently located on one side or corner of the vehicle.Using a simple tyre pump or compressor air can be added to overcome the inherent imbalance. Vehicle loading heights can also be adjusted, with the suspensions being raised or lowered to match loading dock heights, for example, or to enable a vehicle to slip out from under special trays it carries for particular jobs but which it doesn't need to use fuel carrying around the rest of the time.
This inflation pressure flexibility can also be an asset when dealing with different ride surfaces, ranging from roadway to soft, muddy and sandy. It can also be an asset when towing, which is an additional stress to which many work vehicles are subjected (including when their owners are on holiday, towing a boat or camping gear). Ride-Rite springs can handle 0-7 bar (0-100 psi) and will support loadings of up to 1100kg each (subject to chassis gross vehicle weight limits). They are simple to install using ordinary workshop tools. Ride-Rite kits are available for a wide range of popular work vehicles including most 4WDs and utes.