Tips For Towing a Caravan

Tips For Towing a Caravan

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Caravan Towing Tips

For 99% of caravan owners, towing a caravan is a necessary part of the holiday. It is a skill that needs to be perfected but providing that you are careful and follow some basic guidelines, you shouldn’t have any problems when towing caravans. This guide offers some useful tips to be able to safely tow a caravan.

Advice for Towing a Caravan

These simple guidelines will make towing a caravan a much more pleasurable and relaxing experience.

  • The first thing to do is check the condition of both the tow car and the caravan. You wouldn’t drive a car that can’t pass and MOT and the same goes for a caravan, it must be in good, road worthy condition. The tires and brakes should be in good condition with no excessive signs of wear. Check that all the electrics are fully functioning. Towing caravans puts a lot of excess strain on the car so make sure it is correctly maintained.
  • When towing a caravan, a stabiliser will make a huge difference and the whole rig will feel better to drive. The caravan should not be overloaded and the weight should be evenly distributed. Heavy items should be placed on the floor and over the axle to keep the centre of gravity low. Refer to the caravan’s handbook for the maximum amount of weight you can carry, known as the payload.
  • Caravan towing mirrors are a necessity. The caravan is wider than your car and you need to be able to see what is next to and behind you. Caravan towing mirrors clip onto your existing mirrors.
  • Remember that you are now driving something that is nearly double the weight of the car alone. Allow extra time and space when slowing down and stopping. The same goes for when you are pulling out of junctions; your acceleration will be reduced so you need to leave a larger gap to pull out into.
  • When you are towing a caravan, you need to allow a lot of extra space to do everything. Most caravans are over 2m wide so need to leave extra space to each side when turning. Use your caravan towing mirrors to check the amount of clearance you have on each side.
  • The rules of the road change when towing caravans. The 70mph motorway speed limit becomes 60mph and the national 60mph speed limit drops to 50mph. You mustn’t use the ‘fast’ lane of a three lane motorway unless the other two are closed or you are instructed to by the police.
  • Slow down when going down hills or experiencing cross winds. This will reduce the chances of the caravan becoming unstable and possibly causing an accident. On a dual carriageway, keep an eye out for any large vehicles overtaking you at speed as these can cause your caravan to sway.
  • If you start to feel the caravan swaying or snaking, ease of the accelerator and allow the vehicle to slow down gently until you have regained control.
  • On motorways, allow enough room from the vehicle in front to allow anybody to overtake you. If you are towing a caravan on a single track road and you notice a long trail of cars behind you, find somewhere safe to pull over and allow them past.
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