UHF Radios are popular with caravan owners.

UHF Radios are popular with caravan owners.668 x 380 px. 87.9 Kb.

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UHF CB Radio

Many trucks, 4WDs, caravans, campervans and em­er­gency service vehicles carry UHF CB radios. They offer a handy alt­ern­ative to mob­ile phones for com­munic­ation or if you need em­er­gency assist­ance.

UHF CB Radios do not re­quire a lic­ence to own or use, and there are no call charges. The range will vary with the power of the de­vice and the antenna used. A hand-held unit may only work over 1 - 2 km, en­ough to keep in con­tact with a travell­ing group, while a vehicle moun­ted one can work much further.

UHF CB Radios use set frequencies called channels, to talk to each other. Con­versations are not priv­ate and anyone with­in range and on the same channel, can listen in or join the con­vers­ation. Some peo­ple welcome new con­versations, some don't. Many channels have a specific purpose, such as being for em­er­gency calls only.

Call­ing Channel - 11
Channel 11 is used to con­tact other UHF CB users before mov­ing to a free Chat Channel to con­tinue your con­vers­ation. You can meet nearby peo­ple here, but be polite and move the con­vers­ation to another channel.

General Chat Channels - 9, 12-17, 19-21, 24-28, 30, 49-60, 64-70, 79-80
These channels can be used for general chatt­ing. Move your con­vers­ation here after meet­ing someone on the Call­ing Channel. Re­mem­ber that con­versations are not priv­ate and can be heard by anyone with­in range. Others may also join in un­ex­pec­ted­ly.

4WD Clubs and Con­voys, National Parks Channel - 10
Channel 10 is used by 4WD groups and clubs to stay in touch with each other. Use this channel if part of the group, otherw­ise use the general chat channels.

Caravan and Camper Con­voy Channel - 18
Channel 18 is used by travell­ing groups of caravans or campervans to stay in touch. If you're not part of the group, you may be able to in­troduce yourself if you're like-minded or have some­thing to add to the con­vers­ation. It's a great way to meet other groups travell­ing nearby.

Road Safety Channel - 40
Channel 40 is used Australia-wide by truck drivers, pilot vehicles and oversized loads to let each other know about special road con­ditions. Many travellers monitor this channel.

Repeater Channels - 1-8, 31-38, 41-48, 71-78
Repeaters re­lay your voice over a large area for long dist­­ance com­munic­ation, but this also pre­vents other peo­ple using the same channels. Do not use these for general chat.

Special Purpose Channels - 22, 23, 61-63
These channels are re­served and not avail­able for voice chat. They are often dis­abled on your radio.

E­mer­gency Channels - 5 & 35
Channels 5 & 35 are for em­er­gency calls only. If you have a real em­er­gency use these to call for help, as you would by diall­ing 000 on a phone. Volunteers, police and em­er­gency services monitor these channels and will re­spond. There are heavy penal­ties for misus­ing the em­er­gency channels.

UHF Channel Signs
Often you will see a caravan or camper with a UHF Channel number on it. These peo­ple often happy to chat with locals or fellow travellers nearby. In­troduce yourself!

Article updated 16/06/2017.