Tips When Caravaning or Towing
Here is some helpful advice to ensure that your caravan or trailer is safe on the road.
Top 10 Caravanning and Towing Tips
- Help yourself especially if you’re nervous about towing your caravan by going out and practicing before you hit the open road!
- When towing your caravan, you need to know the speed limits, you are restricted to a maximum of 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on motorways or dual carriageways, that is, providing no lower speed limit is in action. Maximum speed limits vary acrossEurope. Remember you are not allowed to use the right-hand lane of a three lane carriageway while towing.
- Make sure you secure your load in your caravan properly before you set off, make sure nothing can move. It’s also a good idea to recheck after a few miles travelling to ensure everything is still secure.
- Reversing can be tricky so try to ensure you have someone on hand to help out – to watch and check what’s happening and to spot any possible problems before too much damage is done.
- A stabiliser is another thing to consider as they increase the turning friction between the towing vehicle and the trailer which will reduce your risk of snaking.
- Remember that your car with your caravan will take longer to stop, accelerate and turn than your car without the caravan. Remember when turning corners or manoeuvring in a confined space to allow for the extra length and width of your vehicle and trailer.
- Fitting extended door mirrors will improve visibility along both sides of your vehicle and caravan.
- Make sure you load your caravan as evenly as possible also ensure the nose end is carrying the correct weight to reduce the risk of snaking, but watch out for the slipstream from passing lorries and strong side winds.
- Reversing into a space can be difficult with a caravan, you should turn the steering wheel the opposite direction to normal to start the trailer turning first, next is the important part – slacken off and turn it in the normal direction to ensure the car will follow the trailer. Things can easily go wrong, if they do, don’t panic! Just be reading to stop, go forward and start the entire process again.
- Lots of space and time – don’t be too ambitious about turning or manoeuvring until you’ve had lots of practice! And don’t go too quickly!
Although you might be tempted, carrying passengers in your trailer or caravan is actually illegal. Although it is not illegal to carry animals in your caravan it is not recommended.
Weight Restrictions and Trailer Size
The maximum overall length of a caravan or trailer should not exceed 7m, that is excluding A-frame and hitch. The width of your trailer or caravan must be no more than 2.3m.
The maximum gross (fully laden) weight of an unbraked trailer is 750kg, or half the vehicles kerb weight – whichever is less. The gross weight of a caravan or trailer should not exceed 85% of the tow car’s kerb weight. To find out your tow car’s kerb weight refer to your manufacturer’s manual.
It is important to frequently check your tyre pressure whilst towing, as speed limits vary. Your tyres must be capable of supporting the maximum laden weight of the caravan at the highest speed limit.
All trailers or caravans travelling in the dark must ensure they have the following;
- Number plate light
- Two red side lights at the rear of the trailer
- Brake lights
- Direction indicators
- Two red triangular reflectors
- A minimum of one rear fog light (if the trailer/caravan is wider than 1.3m)
All these tips should ensure you’re safety whilst towing a caravan or trailer, but if you’re caravan does come to any harm, just come and see us at Bodyguard we specialise in motor home and caravan body repairs, including dents, plastic welding, paintwork, fibreglass and aluminium repairs.
The information on this Site is provided on the understanding that Body Guard is not rendering legal or other advice. You should consult your own professional advisers as to legal or other advice relevant to any action you wish to take in connection with this website.