Motorhome & Caravan Speed Etiquette

Discussion in 'Australian Truckers Forum' started by Mijo, May 19, 2018.

  1. Mijo

    Mijo Bobtail Member

    May 19, 2018
    I am planning on taking a motorhome around Australia and wanted to know the following:

    If I do not intend to overtake but keeping pace behind a truck/road train, would a gap/distance of about 10 Car lengths (50m) be sufficient?

    If I have set cruise control at 100Kmh and see a truck/road train coming in my rear view mirror, do I drop my speed to let them pass?

    Is there a universal acceptable signal/sign you can use to indicate "thank you"
  2. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

    Mar 5, 2016
    White County, Arkansas
    I always follow big trucks three seconds or longer. They pass a sign, I need to get to that sign no sooner than three seconds. A alternative is being able to see their drivers mirrior. If i can see their face, they can see me. I need about half that three seconds time to make a decision and execute should big truck do something seriously drastic. Chances are, where he goes Im going.

    I have the cruise set in our car rather slow around 64 or so for fuel and pothole purposes. (We spent almost a thousand dollars this year in front end and tire replacements so far. Got another 200 to go next wed before completing all the damage) When big truck comes up on governor or whatever we let him by maybe tap brakes and drift while he gets by. Then comes over.

    I generally do nothing to signal but once in a while I'll kill my beams for a moment and let them come back on. I NEVER EVER USE BRIGHTS. NEVER. Sometimes I get a thank you sometimes not. But I always wait until I can see their face before doing so in the right hand mirrior up there.

    I am not talking distances. I am in the American Dixie Deep South of Arkansas. We go by say your 128 kmh for our 60 mph. Our car is capable of displaying KM or miles but we are on miles where we live. Our speed limit is 75 by law which would equal approx 150 kmh or so for your Nation. Some of our other states have 85 mph speed limits about 165 kmh or so.

    Our trucks in America are governed restricted to say 120 to 135 kmh in your speeds. 61 to 67 in miles per hour. It creates a huge problem when 10 or more are governed 1 mph apart and they stack in a herd all jammed together which then stacks 200 cars and small trucks around them all wanting to get by. One screw up and all two or three lanes instantly become a junkyard with a few overturns and burning vehicles.

    Trucking companies are responsible for that problem always have been.

    If you are in a motor home. Depending on your gross weight. (American Motor homes are limited to 54000 pounds gross on three axles.) you will generally have the same air braking, 300 cummins engine and airride etc as well as the same wheels and tires with the big trucks on those) You will be making sure that you are about 8 seconds behind any big truck or vehicle in front of you. You need less than two to react to a problem and about 6 to stop on dry pavement. Those are not always welcome.

    I have driven motor homes when assigned them at work years ago. I take no pleasure at all in them because they are clumsy and are as big as my house in some cases and you can easily hurt someone accidentally moving around in the property. I consider it a chore.

    You do become useful when you slow just a little bit when being passed by big trucks. It is a good help to them to get by you. Some people driving motor homes sometimes get nervous and start shaking. It literally transfers to the vehicle and it starts wobbling when I try to pass one. I want to get it over with quickly.

    That's all I have for you from America. You have road trains in Australia. You give them as much room as you can stand it. They weigh almost half a million pounds and need all the room you can give them. If they are 10 gas tankers for example, they are not stopping for you or anyone. So stay out of their way.
  3. aussiejosh

    aussiejosh Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2009
    Airlie Beach QLd
    Ok just a few tips and this will really help you get along with other road users first its great to see you'll be doing the speed limit unfortunately alot of RV's and caravans chug along at super low speeds to the great annoyance of other road users which of course include other truck drivers because most Australian roads are one lane only this makes it extremely difficult for trucks to pass unlike on a freeway where there is plenty of room a 3 -4 second gap at 100 kmph is about right . I doubt very much if your doing 100 whether a road train will be catching you cause there supposed to be going slower except in the Northern Territory it that does happen only slow down if you see the road ahead is clear and safe for them to over take cause if you slow down and they can't pass you they'll be super angry the other option is to get off the road only if its safe to do so.
    magoo68 Thanks this.
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