Caravanner Safety Practices

  1. Each member should ensure that his trailer/motorhome, tow vehicle and hitch equipment are always maintained in sound condition (Use enclosed safety check list as a guide).
  2. Pull trailer onto the parking wedge. Then if something should go wrong, the trailer will roll away from the tow vehicle.
  3. Treat the smell of gas as very dangerous. If you suspect a leak, find it and eliminate it immediately. Locate with soapy water–not a match!
  4. Maintain an even speed when towing on hilly roads. Engine speed drops rapidly. Learn to shift into lower gear before losing too much speed. Otherwise, you may “crawl” over the hill and your tow vehicle will get hot. Set speed for comfort of all in the caravan and remember the stretch effect.
  5. Use ONLY 3-wire grounded power cords. NEVER use 2-wire cords!
  6. Keep proper polarity. NEVER allow reverse polarity.
  7. Use hoses marked “Safe for drinking water.” NEVER use rubber hose. Proper hose keeps all our water safe and good tasting.
  8. Pull off the highway at first safe turnout to allow back-up traffic to pass. This is a State Law in most states.
  9. Stay within the speed limit and a safe distance behind other traffic. If you are following another Caravanner and can read his numbers, you’re too close!
  10. Carry a fire extinguisher in your Airstream and tow/towed vehicle.
  11. REMOVE detachable mirrors as part of unhitching the trailer.
  12. Tow Vehicle breaks down, now what:
    The one time we needed to be towed, they put the truck and trailer on a
    long flat bed tow truck and we rode in the cab to the repair center.

    Disconnect the tow vehicle from the trailer and just have the tow truck tow the tow vehicle. Have the tow truck come back with a ball hitch to tow the trailer off the road to wherever you want it parked. If you are carrying a WBCCI Directory see if there is a member nearby who can assist you by using their tow vehicle to move your trailer,

    When our tow vehicle broke down they put our tow vehicle on the flatbed and then hooked up our trailer with a trailer hitch that was part of their flatbed truck.
    I broke down in northern BC. The Tow vehicle was put on the tow truck and the Airstream was hooked on the back of the tow truck.

    I have Good Sam tow insurance. When my 1956 Bubble was re-ended, my car insurance tow policy did not work. They only wanted to tow the vehicle and not the damaged Airstream. So I called Good Sam and they came and only towed the damaged Airstream. It all comes down to what tow insurance you have.

    Perhaps it is easier with a standard ball hitch? But with a Hensley it might be more difficult.

    A few years ago, the belt broke on our tow vehicle while towing the Airstream.
    With the Airstream still hooked up to the van, the tow truck raised the van’s front axle off the ground. Down the highway we went.

    We have Good Sams towing; the time they towed out ’69 they knew exactly how to hook up, except for the load leveling, which they did not use. Watch and assist as needed, would be my advice.

    We never had one of our Airstreams towed, however we once owned a 24-foot Avion on which a spring broke (one spring similar to a car’s spring) per side. The trailer was pulled onto the bed of a long “tow” truck and brought to our house, where we made the necessary repairs.

    We had a problem but the tow truck operator did not want the responsibility of towing the airstream. We limped to the garage on three wheels.
    I would say get a long lowboy flatbed and have it loaded on it by a commercial tractor trailer moving company.
    We had a 8 1/2 hour debacle with a broken Hensley and no back up hitch. We have since purchased a 4″ drop standard hitch, so there is no waiting around. The back up hitch weights about 10 pounds, but is well worth the price and weight in our piece of mind.

    DO NOT let them wrap around the “A” frame. They can bend the “A” frame!
    Use a standard drop down ball hitch like suggested above.