How to Tow a Caravan
Legalities of towing a caravan
It's essential that you understand certain legalities before towing a caravan and that you are confident in yourself of towing a caravan, after all a caravan is a big object and is very heavy so will be different to anything you have done before.
Let's start with the legalities and making sure your driving licence covers you.
If you obtained your car driving licence before the end of 1996, then you will retain your entitlement to drive a vehicle and trailer combination of up to 8,250 kg MAM (Maximum Authorised Mass), until that licence expires. When you reach your 70th birthday slightly different rules apply if you’d like to keep towing.
If you obtained your licence on or after 1 January 1997, you will be able to tow a car/caravan combination weighing 3,500 kg or less, that’s the total gross mass of car and caravan or trailer combined as identified on the vehicle weight plates. In addition, you’re able to drive a vehicle up to 3,500 kg, and tow a trailer up to 750 kg behind it.
To tow a caravan that is heavier, you will need to have passed an addition driving test know as B+E.
Learn the towing speed limits which are 50mph on single carriageways and 60mph on dual carriageways/motorways and of course drive within these limits.
Also, know that no one should sit inside the caravan while it's being towed, even animals inside is potentially very dangerous.
Practicalities of towing a caravan
Load your caravan bearing in mind the maximum weight you can tow, see here for more details on maximum towing weights:
Don’t fill up your water tank, it adds weight so will affect fuel consumption and can cause instability.
Give yourself extra time for things like braking and extra space for over taking.
Keep eye on the road ahead more than you normally would, look for vehicles further down the road.
Taking corners should be done differently, try to go wider to give your caravan clearance around a corner.
In high winds, if you have to travel be even more cautious, cutting your speed helps.
Fit extension mirrors to existing so it gives a clear rear view.
If a queue of vehicles are catching up with you behind you, pull over somewhere like a safe lay by to allow them to pass.
Make sure your number plate is visible and comply with British Standards about being illuminated at night.