If you are a new caravan owner the thought of towing your caravan for the first few trips can be quite daunting. We’ve put together our top tips to help you with this and if you’d like some practical hands on assistance, please do visit us in Southwater, Sussex and we’ll be happy to help you.
Towing your caravan legally
Please check you can legally tow your caravan. This will depend on when you passed your driving test, when your licence expires and the weight of the caravan you are towing. You can find out more about this in our towing and driving licences blog.
Make sure you are aware of the different speed limits when you are towing and be careful to stick to them. The limit is 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways. You need to display your car registration on the rear of your caravan. This number plate must comply with British Standards and needs to be lit at night.
Loading your caravan
It is illegal for anyone to sit inside the caravan whilst it is being towed so please ensure all passengers are in the car with you.
How you pack your caravan for your trip will also affect how it handles under tow. To avoid snaking and pitching place heavy items down low and close to the axle. Try not to travel with too much water on board as not only will this impact your towing but also your fuel consumption.
Manoeuvring your caravan
When you are manoeuvring your caravan you need to have plenty of space. Make sure you have lots of time and try not to rush as this is when mistakes happen. If your car has parking or reversing sensors fitted these can be distracting whilst moving your caravan so switch them off if you are able to.
You should have extension mirrors fitted for a clear view so do use these to assist you when manoeuvring. If you can have someone guide you and monitor your progress then this is advisable as they may be able to see things you can’t.
Your caravan under tow
Your car and caravan should be well matched as this is an important factor when towing. The team here at Roundstone Caravans can advise you on this when you purchase your caravan. When towing you need to be confident and positive with your driving.
Your car will handle differently with a caravan attached and you must allow more time for accelerating, braking and more room for cornering. Accelerating and braking will take longer when towing so wait for a bigger gap when pulling out. Allow more room on roundabouts and when pulling in. This will ensure you have given yourself enough space for the car and the caravan to pass the other vehicle.
Do have a good awareness of your vehicle and others on the roads. Use your extension mirrors to ensure you have a clear view around you. If a queue builds up behind you, pull over safely into a lay by when possible and allow others to pass you.
If when driving the slipstream from an HGV causes snaking, let the engine brake slowly for you and steer in a straight line to correct the snaking. We would also advise you check the weather forecasts when setting off to avoid towing in high winds, which can also cause snaking.
If you’d like some personal advice regarding towing your caravan or have any questions then our team here at Roundstone Caravans have expert knowledge in all aspects of caravanning. Come and visit us in Southwater, West Sussex or call us on 01403 730218.