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On the road
tyres up again. A portable fridge or esky is also
vital but you will need a dual battery system
because a mobile fridge can flatten a normal car
Some basic towing tips and rules to consider:
• Don’t exceed the towing capacity of the vehicle
and tow bar
• The tow vehicle should be heavier than the trailer
• Don’t overload the trailer, make sure weight is
evenly distributed and that the trailer is level
• The maximum legal speed limit for a towing
vehicle is 100kmh
• Be courteous – if you’re holding up traffic, pull
over and stop when it is safe to do so. If your
vehicle and trailer is more than 7.5 metres long
you must keep at least 200m behind any similar
long vehicle on all roads outside built-up areas,
unless you are overtaking.
If you have little or no experience in operating
your 4WD vehicle on surfaces other than bitumen,
the WA 4WD Association suggests some form
of specific training. There are several reputable
companies listed on the Internet that offer driver
These range from one-day courses to camps
that spread over several days in remote places.
You can choose a general course or specialise in a
particular style of driving (sand and beach driving,
Another option is to join one of the many clubs
that are part of the association. The best thing to
do is contact the WA 4WD Association or one of
the clubs and have a chat.
If you are planning to go off road, the WA 4WD
Association recommends not venturing off the
bitumen without a minimum of ‘LT’ rated tyres and
if possible, always travelling with another vehicle.
Leave an itinerary with a responsible person
and some form of contact schedule
reDuce your carbon footprint
Just like when you’re flying, more and more people
are choosing to offset their carbon emissions when
driving. Your carbon footprint can be worked
out via one of the carbon calculators on various
websites. Think about turning your emissions
Go to www.carbonneutral.com.au.
Travelling with kids
The special pleasure of a grizzling child
asking “how much longer”every seven
minutes or so, siblings who won’t stop
fighting or, worst of all, the toddler who
simply won’t stop howling can be enough to
make you re-think the whole driving plan.
But with a little forethought, it doesn’t have
to be so bad.
Prepare your kids: Tell them it is just going
to take a long while. You’ll be surprised at
how well they can understand this and how
stoic even little kids can be. Really. Encourage
them to look out the window, watch the
clouds, count the horses... Remember the
more you travel with your children, the better
they will get at being in the car. I promise.
Try to think of it as an opportunity to spend
some good fun time together. Play games.
Tell jokes. Take a little bit of time before you
set off to try to find an alternative game to
I Spy (see www.travelmate.com.au for some
good suggestions). Sing. Teach them your old
favourites. You may never have such a captive
Pack notepads and pens, a pack of cards, a
magnetic drawing board, stickers, colouring
and activity books. Take the electronic game
and the portable DVD player for when all
Leave just before it’s sleep time. Take a
pillow and a blanket for them (each).
Be prepared to stop – quite often. Let them
get out and get some air and some exercise
every couple of hours at least.
Pack a big drink and lots of small snacks
which you should dole out sparingly. Pack
Wet Ones and a full box of tissues.
And take an iPod with earmuffs for the
driver – great for your
sanity when things
start to go a bit
the back seats!
SUPER SIGHTS: The Woodie Road towards
Two Sisters (main), Echidna G orge car park
in Purnululu N ational Park (below), images
cour tesy of Tourism WA .
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