Caravan Strategy and Tactics
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- Still maybe a little raw, but better. Please do let me know if you're not seeing something here that would be helpful. <firstname.lastname@example.org> --Elsa (talk) 10:38, 30 April 2013 (PDT)
Things to Consider
- All Vehicle Drivers are responsible for following all traffic laws independently.
- Most drivers are okay with going 5 over the posted speed limit ("5 you're alive, 9 you're mine"). Check with all drivers before assuming so.
- Not all vehicles will accelerate at the same rate.
- Not all vehicles are comfortable at a high cruising speed.
- Cruise Control holds to an average engine speed, NOT a set distance-per-time.
- Trailers and the age of a vehicle are major contributors to variances on vehicle capabilities.
- Keep caravan lengths to <4 cars if possible so the speedy drivers aren't bogged down with slower followers.
- Consider splitting into two caravans if some cars require detours and others don't.
- EVERY car should be able to contact every other car. Driver switches, food, bathroom breaks, emergency stops (ie tires, vehicle overheating).
Lead, Follow, Get Out of the Way
- Drive so the last Follow Car can make it through a traffic light or gap in traffic.
- May be the vehicle with the most inhibitions: low MPG, big trailer, history of problems.
- This car SHOULD have Cruise Control.
- Navigation plan and a non-driver dedicated to staying conscious in case the other vehicles need to make contact.
- Telegraph all lane changes early so all cars can get in position before, say, an abrupt exit in heavy traffic in five same-direction lanes.
- An idea of where to go and how to get there would be helpful - in case traffic separates the party.
- May not use cruise control much even if they have it, to keep up with the Lead during times of traffic, weather, and uneven terrain.
- Serve as a mediator for the Lead Car: when a lane change is signaled, move into place and then hold the position so the Lead knows it has the clearance it needs. This is particularly relevant when the Lead has a trailer in Dallas traffic.
- Second follow car should watch to make sure nothing falls out of the trailer in front of them, and keep an eye on the tarp/tie-downs.
- Last follow car should maintain visual contact with at least one car ahead, if not more, at all times.
Get Out of the Way
- If one car in the party gets pulled over for any reason, break away and wait at the next point of visual interest out of immediate view (usually a gas station in the next town). It has been known to happen that the whole caravan will get tickets if one car does.