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Top tips for a smooth road trip with your caravan this summer

Top tips for a smooth road trip with your caravan this summer

9th May, 2023

As warmer weather finally starts to make an appearance here in the UK, there’s no better way to make the most of it than heading off on a staycation in your caravan. So, we’ve rounded up some of our top tips on how to make sure you have an unforgettable (for all the right reasons!) road trip in your caravan this summer…

Plan your route beforehand

Before you get on the road, make sure to carefully plan where you’re going. Driving with a caravan isn’t always as easy as it looks and instances such as reversing, driving down narrow roads and taking tight turns can be particularly difficult - especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

It’s better to spend a little extra time planning your route to make sure it’s as easy as possible, rather than dealing with the hassle of potentially getting stuck and prolonging your journey.

Check your car

To tow the caravan your car will need a tow bar which is something that not all cars support, or it will need to be professionally fitted to make sure that it complies with the required standards.

Even if your car does support a tow bar, does it actually have the power to pull a caravan? Depending on the size of your car compared to the size of the caravan, you may end up damaging your car in an attempt to pull the caravan.

Make sure that you have the right license

Did you know that the date you got your license will determine how heavy of a trailer or caravan you can tow?

If you got your license before 1st January 1997 then you’re able to drive a car and a trailer with a combined weight of up to 8,250kg maximum authorised mass (MAM), whereas getting your license after 1st January 1997 will mean that you can tow a trailer up for 3,500kg MAM.

So, avoid getting caught out by checking the weight of your caravan and that your license will actually cover you towing it.

Invest in a caravan stabiliser

It’s not uncommon for your caravan to move behind your car, this is known as snaking and a little is to be expected. However, too much movement can cause problems. For this reason, it’s worth considering a stabiliser to help prevent unwanted movement and excess snaking.

Unwanted movement can either be side-to-side, which commonly occurs as a result of sudden gusts of wind or when another vehicle overtakes you on the motorway, or it can be up and down as a result of things like hitting a pothole or a drop in the road.

If the movement of the caravan becomes too much then there are many potential risks, including the caravan veering into another drivers lane or you losing control of the caravan as well as the car.

Make sure you have the correct mirrors

By law you must have specific mirrors fitted to your car when towing a caravan so that you’re able to see an area that’s four meters wide from the side of the caravan and 20 meters behind the driver.

This is taken very seriously and, if not complied with, could result in you receiving up to three points on your license and a £1,000 fine – definitely not what you want whilst on your travels!

Consider whether you’ve got the right insurance

While caravan insurance isn’t a legal requirement, it’s definitely worth a consideration. Caravans are often a large investment and can still fall victim to the likes of damage from a motoring accident, theft or fire – so why wouldn’t you want to make sure that it’s covered?

If anything like that did sadly happen and you chose to go without insurance, then you would have to pay for it out of your own pocket which wouldn’t be cheap!

So, especially if you’re relying on your caravan to make lifelong memories on holiday with your loved ones, don’t forget to consider whether you’ve got the right cover.

Take all of the necessary safety precautions

Make sure that you stick to the speed limit when you’re towing your caravan. When on the motorway this is 60mph and 50mph on a single carriageway. It’s important to remember that the faster you go, the more likely the caravan is to move. Plus, your stopping distance will be longer as you’re travelling with extra weight.

Other important points to remember are that you should never allow passengers in the caravan whilst it’s being towed, always check the tyres of both your car and the caravan, and also ensure that your number plate visibly shows the registration of your car and is illuminated at night.

While we all want to head off on our fun-filled road trips, ready to make memories as soon as possible, it’s not worth cutting corners that could cause a lot of hassle and potential damage later down the line. Spending a little extra time to consider all of the important factors now will ensure a smooth journey for yourself and all involved.

Written by: Shannan Errington

*Please note that the above information has been gathered through secondary research. The information provided is not based on our opinion. You should seek further guidance and information before making an informed decision.


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