Road Safety Week - A Beginner’s Guide to Towing a Caravan

Towing a caravan for the first time can be a bit daunting but like anything in life the more practice you have in doing it the easier it becomes. So don’t let the thought of towing a caravan prevent you from buying one. There are places where you can ‘have a go’ at towing before you buy and the caravan dealer who you buy from may let you take the caravan on the road for ‘a test drive’. There are even courses run by The Camping and Caravanning Club to help improve your confidence on manoeuvring a caravan.

However before you start towing a caravan you must ensure you have the right driving licence for towing.

 If you obtained your car driving licence before January 1, 1997, then you are entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8,250 kg, until that licence expires.

If you obtained your licence after January 1997, you’re able to drive a vehicle up to 3,500 kg, and tow a trailer up to 750 kg behind.

If you wish to tow a heavier caravan you are required to pass an additional driving test. The DVLA can give you information on local training organisations.

Once you are on the road, the following few tips will help you on your way:-

·       Space- give yourself plenty of space to manoeuvre, remember the extra length of your outfit will require you to take corners wider than normal

·       Speed- keep to the speed limit - 50mph on single carriageways and 60 mph on dual carriageways and you may only use the 2 inside lanes on a motorway. Accelerate more slowly and brake earlier

·       Lights- ensure the rear light panel is working correctly

·       Mirrors- have a good clear view to the end of your outfit. Use mirror extensions if necessary.

·       Number plate- ensure your vehicle registration number plate is clearly visible.

·       Snaking and pitching- stabilisers help to avoid the caravan  snaking or pitching but if your caravan does start to sway or rock, take both feet off the pedals and allow the car engine to slow you down and keep steering in a straight line.

If you have any questions, just speak to one of our team at Amber Leisure, we will guide you every step of the way.

Contact Amber Leisure on 01255821190