The RV and the Wet Season

The RV and the Wet Season

Exploring the northern reaches of our vast country during the 'wet' season can be a rewarding experience. Kakadu and Katherine Gorge are at their best, and there is plenty of vegetation. However, there can be negatives, as rain frequently falls on a regular basis, making roads and tourist attractions unavailable. Camping areas may be closed, and humidity levels may be excessively high.

When the weather is damp, the odds of something going wrong increase. Driving circumstances must be appropriately adapted, and drivers must remain aware at all times. However, with the proper preparation, there can be rewards. Rainy weather, for example, brings out flora that is not visible during the dry season. Don't be put off by the rain, but think about whether other times of the year would be better.

While Australia is often regarded as a 'dry' country, intrepid caravanners may confront wet circumstances numerous times. These can include the 'wet' season in the country's northern areas, rainy wintery conditions, or flooded highways.

In general, any of these should be avoided if at all possible. Wet weather increases the probability of an accident or equipment damage. Driving or, more crucially, towing when it is pouring or the roads are flooded necessitates extreme caution. Road surfaces can become slick, reducing visibility. When water floods the road, the underlying surface might sustain significant damage.

There's also the risk of aquaplaning. This is a condition in which the tyres are elevated off the road by a layer of water. As a result, there is no directional control or braking. Even if the tyres remain in contact with the road, braking lengths rise when the surface is wet.

Preparation

Time spent on planning is never wasted. A significant attention should be given to ensuring that the RV is waterproof. An RV that keeps water out when it is stationary may let rain in when it is aided by high wind pressure while on the road.

When the water level has increased, the average caravan, camper trailer, or motorhome should not be regarded fit for travel through flooded roads or through creek beds. A few manufacturers provide off-road vehicles with features like greater ground clearance that are designed to withstand these circumstances. Modifications to existing touring caravans may be possible in some circumstances, but specialist advice is required.

When having your RV serviced, inform the business owner where you want to go and ask if any parts require particular care. It is strongly advised to inspect the condition of sealants on older caravans.

Summary:

  • Preparation is essential.
  • Ensure that the RV is waterproofed.
  • Drive your ordinary caravan, camper trailer, or motorhome away from flooded roads or stream bottoms.
  • Modifications to existing caravans must be carried out by an expert.
  • When obtaining RV service, tell the mechanic where you're going and if any areas require special attention.

Driveway Conditions

Never leave the house without first checking the road or forecasted weather conditions, especially if traveling in a new region. During the 'wet' season, when rain is expected, a dry road or track might soon become dangerous. Consult locals or someone who has traveled in the opposite direction whenever feasible.

Summary:

  • Know the routes you'll be taking.
  • Speak with a local about the situation.

Tyres

The tyres are by far the most crucial component in terms of safety. Contrary to popular opinion, tyre tread does not generate grip or traction — unless you're driving a tractor, of course. The sole function of tyre tread is to drain water from the road so that the tyre may make contact with the road surface. As a result, the higher the depth of tread, the greater the amount of water that can be eliminated.

Tread depth should be at least 1.5mm, according to tire specialists. Many tyres contain tread depth indicator bars that illuminate when the tyre has reached its minimum depth. Request that a tyre specialist point these out to you.

Correct inflationary pressures are also critical. The recommended tyre pressures for maximum load situations will be displayed on the vehicle's tyre placard. Only after weighing the equipment can accurate tyre pressures for the motorhome or trailer be determined. A tyre dealer should be able to help you determine the best pressures for the load you're carrying. It is not required to deflate tyres simply because the road is slick.

Summary:

  • Check for appropriate tread.
  • Check the tyre pressures. A tyre dealer is your best bet in this situation.

Driving Experience

When it is raining or there is a chance of water on the road, it is necessary to move at a slower speed. Driving at a slower speed minimizes the likelihood of aquaplaning and makes it easier to maintain control. While driving with your headlights on is advisable, make sure they are set to low beam.

Avoid abrupt braking or changing direction. All actions should be smooth and progressive. It is easier to maintain control of the car/trailer combination when engine power is supplied. Applying the brakes on slick conditions can result in a loss of control. When negotiating a corner or turn, never brake.

Any puddles should be regarded as a possible hazard. Drive around or straddle these whenever feasible. You never know how deep a hole is. When approaching a creek crossing or a deep floodway, always stop and assess the depth. There are sometimes depth markings along the route. Alternatively, wait for another vehicle to pass by to determine the depth. If in doubt, walk through the crossing to evaluate the depth and search for snags or spots that may be washed away. If there is a lot of water flowing, don't drive through.

Summary:

  • When there is water on the road, it is necessary to travel at a slower speed.
  • Keep your headlights on but set them to low beams.
  • Avoid abrupt breaks or changes in direction.
  • When navigating a turn or a corner, never break.
  • Avoid puddles; they may be more dangerous than they appear.
  • If the water flow is high, avoid driving or walking through it.

 Other Tips

  • Replace the windshield wiper blades.
  • If the windows fogged up, turn on the air conditioner and heater to eliminate the moisture from the interior.
  • Do not travel along "Closed" roads or trails.
  • If you must travel on unsealed roads, bring enough supplies in case the road becomes unusable and you must wait for dryer weather.
  • If you're not sure whether a road or trail is passable, check with local authorities or a driver traveling the other way.
  • More information is available via state motoring organizations, transportation departments, local police stations, and tourist information centers.The RV and the Wet Season

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