Many people are put off caravan holidays by the thought of towing the caravan itself! Get it wrong and you could jack-knife, snake or overturn. But with a bit of preparation and careful driving you should be able to get your caravan to your destination without incident.
At Adrian Flux Insurance Services they are used to listening to tales of caravan misery when people ring in to make insurance claims after towing mishaps. They’ve even heard of those who plan their whole route so that they don’t have to make any right hand turns!
To make it easier for prospective caravaneers Flux has put together these five top tips for safe caravan towing.
- Check you are legally entitled to tow your vehicle. If you passed your driving test on or after January 1, 1997 you may be breaking the law when you tow your caravan. It’s all about weight of trailer and towing vehicle. Get it wrong and you could face nine points on your license. Visit the relevant page on the government website DirectGov for the details.
- Incorrect loading of the caravan is the cause of many accidents. Try to put heavy items over the axle and fasten items so they don’t shift about as you drive. Aim to put the lighter things in the caravan and heavier ones in the car if there is room. www.caravan-advice.co.uk is the place to get further help on loading caravans.
- Remember your extra length for maneuvering. The Camping and Caravanning Club runs manoeuvering courses to help first time caravanners feel confident on the road.
- Before you set out run a full service check. Caravan brakes and linkages can cause major problems if they cease up or snap. If in doubt consult an expert and book an appointment at a local dealer. Go Caravanning has produced a useful service checklist.
- When you hitch up, double check everything and make sure the car and caravan sit level on the road. At this stage you may well have to make adjustments but it is worth taking the time to get it all correct. Follow the advice from The National Caravan Council.