Caravanning has been a popular choice for those looking to enjoy the English riviera, and with such convenience, you won’t be disappointed when you decide to make the purchase. Offering freedom and flexibility, it’s a comfortable and practical addition to many adventurers’ lives. Currently, with more than 2 million people taking holidays in caravans and motorhomes, it’s becoming an ever-growing choice for many. With so many beautiful staycation destinations in the UK and the ability to conquer Europe and beyond, caravans are an ideal alternative to hotels and B&Bs.
In this guide from Advance Insurance, you will find out everything you need to know about towing a caravan.
Can I Tow A Caravan With My Car Licence?
As stated on gov.uk, the rules have changed since the 16th of December 2021, and if you have passed your licence after the 1st of January in 1997, you can tow trailers of up to 3,500kg MAM. With licences issued before the 1st of January 1997, drivers aren’t affected, meaning you can drive a vehicle and trailer up to 8,250kg MAM.
If you would like to double check whether your car licence is appropriate for caravan towing, head over to the gov.uk site where you will be able to check.
What Size Caravan Can My Car Tow?
When choosing a caravan, it is important to ensure that your car is fit for purpose. In general, you will be able to check in your vehicle’s handbook, and based on this guide, you can choose your caravan to tow. If your caravan is too big, or your car is too small, you may come across multiple issues, and it may even lead to a car breakdown, turning your trip away into a nightmare.
If you are still uncertain, you will be able to work it out by having a look at the mass of the caravan. If it’s 85% or less of the car’s kerb weight, then you will be able to tow it with ease. Any number above that may cause some issues and only experience caravaners should attempt to tow caravans over 85% of the car’s kerb weight.
Width and Length Rules of Towing a Caravan in the UK
You’ll need to familiarise yourself with a couple of additional measurements to ensure that you are safe on the road. The maximum trailer width for a towing vehicle is 2.55 metres, and the maximum length is 7 metres. The maximum length is applicable for a trailer that is being towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3,500 kgs.
Additional Towing Good-To Knows:
- Tow bars will need to meet the EU regulations and be designed for your car to ensure that they are appropriate.
- When towing your caravan, be sure to give yourself more space and time than usual to take corners and general road manoeuvres.
- Be aware of the speed limits when towing a caravan – gov.uk
- Ensure that your vehicle’s and your caravan’s tyres are appropriately inflated before heading off on the trip.
- Ensure that your numberplate is highly visible on the vehicle that you’re towing.
- Use towing mirrors ensuring you have an adequate view of the road behind you.
- Only use the caravan when stationary.
- Ensure that if your trailer weighs over 750kg it has a working brake system.
- When getting ready for your trip, be sure to place heavier items close to the axle and as close to the ground as possible.
- Ensure that your rear light panel is working and visible.
When taking your caravan abroad, you’ll need to keep in mind a couple of factors to ensure that you are travelling safely. To begin with, you’ll need to make sure that your passport has at least 6 months until it expires, and you’ll also need to double-check whether you require a visa or any additional entry requirements. Also, keep in mind that a green card is required for your vehicle and the caravan. For any more information, feel free to visit the gov.uk website for the most up-to-date information.
What Should Be The Speed When Towing a Caravan?
When towing a caravan, elements such as the wind may have an impact on the stability of your car and the vehicle you’re towing, to ensure that you stay as safe as possible, keep at 50mph on a single carriageway and at 60mph on a dual carriageway.
Tyre Pressure When Towing a Caravan
When towing a vehicle, you’ll need to ensure that your towing vehicle is as prepared as possible. Tyres play a huge part in the efficiency of the towing, so be sure that they are inflated to the load pressure advised on the tyre or in your vehicle handbook.
Does Towing a Caravan Affect My Car Insurance?
In general, your car insurance will cover your towing vehicle, however, it is unlikely that your caravan will be covered against damages. For more information, this will be detailed in your policy. We recommend you consider getting caravan insurance to ensure that in case of an accident, your caravan is protected too, as otherwise damages to your caravan and its contents may not be covered, leaving you with an unexpected financial burden.
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