Towing a caravan for the first time might seem like a daunting prospect. But providing you know what to do and how to do it, it’s not as frightening as it seems. Read up on all you need to know below.
Make sure you’ve got the right driving license
If you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997 and you’re under 70, you will automatically be able to drive a heavier car and caravan combination than if you passed after this date.
If you passed your test after this date, the standard driving license issued to a driver today covers categories B and B1. This means you can drive a vehicle up to 3,500kg (B) and tow a trailer up to 750kg behind it.
If you have a lighter car, you can tow a heavier caravan, but the whole weight of everything together cannot be more than 3,500kg. It’s the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) that’s considered, irrespective of the luggage you carry, assuming you do not exceed those vehicle limits.
Know the rules on towing bars
If you purchase a tow bar for your car, it needs to be ‘type approved’. This means it adequately meets EU regulations and is designed for your car. To check if a caravan tow bar is type approved, look out for an approval number and details of the vehicle it’s approved for. If your car was first on the road before 1 August 1998, your tow bar doesn’t need to be type approved.
Don’t underestimate the importance of caravan towing mirrors
While it might sound obvious, when you’re towing a caravan, you need to have a clear view of the road behind you. Make sure you fit suitable caravan towing mirrors, especially if your caravan is wider than the back of your car. Not only is it safer to have the correct caravan towing mirrors, not having proper caravan towing mirrors can land you with a £1,000 fine and three penalty points.
Make sure you’ve got enough caravan towing spares
Making sure you have enough caravan towing spares and parts is crucial to keep safe while towing a caravan. From spare tyres and towbars to chassis and axle spares, there’s a lot to consider. Write a list before you make your trip, and if in doubt, speak to a caravan expert who can advise you on what kinds of caravan towing spares you’ll need.
Think about the caravan’s brake system
Your caravan must have a working brake system in good order if it weighs over 750kg when loaded. Sometimes, smaller trailers have brakes, but these are optional. Always be sure to use a breakaway cable or secondary coupling in the event your caravan becomes detached from your car.
Caravan number plate
You must display the same number plate on your caravan as on your towing car, and it must be illuminated at night.
Buy the caravan accessories and caravan towing spares you need at Caravan Crazy
Here at Caravan Crazy, we have a whole range of caravan towing spares and accessories ready to help you set off on the trip of your dreams. If you can’t find something you need, or just need some advice on all things caravanning, our friendly team is on hand to help. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and one of the team will come back to you as soon as possible.