* Lay out your route beforehand and do one or two dry runs – if possible in the same traffic conditions you’ll encounter the day of the event.
* Schedule adequate bathroom breaks – every 1 to 2 hours.
* Be sure to allow extra time over that required for a dry run. A caravan will always take more time.
* Allow for a gathering place to regroup the cars after going through areas where the group could likely be broken up.
* Optional – Make up written directions and provide copies for all cars.
* Plan a starting point with ample parking. Restrooms, gas and food should be nearby.
* Make arrangements for larger meals ahead of time and let the restaurant know how many to expect and when.
* Check prices of any meals and any admissions, etc. so we’ll know how much money we’ll need to bring along. * Get necessary information to Gary Rahl (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that final plans can appear on the web site. It also helps to get preliminary info onto the web site at least one month ahead of time.
* Send out a mass email to the club members at least 2-3 weeks before your cruise with trip details. This will allow others time to ask questions and generally share information about the cruise.
* If this is your first time as leader feel free to contact Randy Shellhammer (email@example.com) for any tips or advice.
Leading on the big day:
* Communication! Bring your FM radio. This is very strongly recommended. The leader must have use of an FM radio. If you don’t have one, get one. They are not expensive.
* And more communication! Make sure that the last car in line has a radio so you’ll know that the end of the line didn’t get lost or hung up. It also helps if the last car is a distinctive color (i.e. not red) so you can make a quick check in the mirror to see that we’re all there. If the group is large, try to get radios spaced throughout the line.
* If there are more than 20 cars, consider splitting the group in two.
* Watch your speed, especially when the caravan is going through areas where there are lights and stop signs. It can get like crack the whip.
The end car has to really motor to catch up to the lead car after waiting for 15 cars to get through a stop sign. You may have to go under the speed limit (gasp!) for a while until everyone catches up.
* Keep the group together. Slow down – or pull over – until everyone is back in line.
* Observe all traffic rules and regulations. Be courteous to other drivers. Don’t expect that everyone will let the entire line of cars go at once. If they don’t that’s ok. They don’t have to. Don’t block public access or block traffic trying to get the line together.
* If you’re in a high traffic area, bite the bullet, accept that your line will be broken up and regroup at an appropriate location where you can get back out without creating a traffic hazard.
* Bring your FM radio (Talkabout, FRS, etc). It adds a fun dimension to the trip and really helps keep everything going smoothly.
* The official FRS radio channel of the LHBCC is channel 7.
* If you don’t have a radio and you have a problem flash your headlights. The car in front will pick up the signal and flash their headlights until someone with a radio gets the message and radios to the leader to stop.
* Check now and then in your rear view mirror to see if the person behind you is frantically flashing their lights.
* After regrouping along side of the road, pull out onto the road while the line gets under way as quickly as reasonable.
* Stay together. Don’t let large gaps open up between you and the car in front.
* If you’re new to caravanning, get a spot near the front of the line.
* Start the day with a full tank of gas.
* And start the day with an empty…um… Visit the restroom before you hit the road. Especially if you’ve been drinking coffee while socializing for the last hour.
* Have Fun!!