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Top tips for towing a caravan

Posted on July 24th 2017 by Towbar2U

If you like the idea of getting a caravan for quick breaks or location hopping holidays, then you need to consider the actual towing of the vehicle. Towing a caravan can make your travelling experience very different to simply driving a car and you should adequately prepare yourself before setting off with, or even buying, a caravan.

In this month’s article, we’ll be helping ready you for towing by giving you some of our top tips for towing a caravan.

Driving licence

The type of driving license you hold determines which caravans you can tow. A standard car license (category B) is all you will need for most general caravan towing; there isn’t an additional test you need to take to qualify for towing.

If you passed your driving test after 1st January 1997, legally you can:

– Drive a car or van which weighs up to 3,500kg with a towed load of up to 750kg

– Tow a trailer/caravan that weighs over 750kg, so long as the maximum total weight of both the trailer/caravan and the towing vehicle isn’t over 3,500kg

If you passed your driving test before 1st January 1997, generally you can:

– Drive a vehicle and trailer whose maximum total weight is up to 8,250kg

Width and length

When towing, you have to comply to dimensional limits as well as weight limits. Your towed vehicle cannot exceed a width of 2.55 metres. The maximum length of the towed vehicle is 7 metres when you are towing with a car/van which weighs up to 3,500kg.

Hitched up

It is important that you have a well-installed, good quality and good condition towbar when towing. You will also want to consider what sort of towbar will be best suited to your needs. For example, if you plan to use your caravan a lot, you should consider a dedicated wiring towbar as this lets you activate more of your car’s towing-specific safety features. However, if you are only an occasional tower, a detachable towbar may be more suited to your needs.

Regardless of the towbar you choose, you need to ensure all electrics and rear lighting are fully functioning before you set off with your caravan.

Driving

Towing a caravan requires you to update your normal driving style. With a caravan in tow, you will need to take more time and give yourself more space to carry out any and all manoeuvres. Getting extension side mirrors for your car to account for the extra length of your vehicles is helpful and definitely worthwhile.

Another big difference in driving with a caravan is that the speed limits can differ. On a single carriageway, you are limited to a maximum of 50mph and on dual carriageways, you aren’t allowed to exceed 60mph.

If you don’t feel confident about driving a caravan for the first time and want to practice before taking to the road, you can find day courses that let you practice towing. This can be helpful in getting to grips with handling, manoeuvres, reversing and how to reduce snaking and pitching.

Towbar2U offer a wide range of quality towbars – including fixed, detachable, swan neck and flange ball options – for clients across England. Our skilled professional fitters operate via a mobile fitting service which allows us to efficiently fit your towbar at a time and location convenient for you. To find our nearest fitter, you can use our handy postcode finder. For any more information regarding our products and service, get in touch with our team today.

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