Preparing to Tow
When you are thinking of towing a trailer or caravan you need to first make sure that the vehicle that will be doing the towing is up to the job. Ideally, a car with a long wheelbase and a short rear overhang -
Things to do Before You Go out on the Road
Before you take a car out on the road with a trailer or caravan, you should practice 'coupling' and 'uncoupling' the caravan to make sure you know what you’re doing, Also a full check of the caravan lights is essential.
Check Your Plates
The trailer or caravan must be fitted with the correctly styled and numbered plate.
Be safe at night by making sure you have the following:
Red rear side lights
Number plate light
One rear fog light
Two triangular red reflectors
Caravan tyre safety...
Speed Limits Differ when You're Towing
The maximum speed you can go to on a UK motorway or dual carriageway with a trailer is 60mph. Assuming there are no roadworks or lower speed limits in force, the fastest you can go is 50mph. The speed limit will vary across Europe so if you're heading out from the UK, check the restrictions before you travel. Whatever the speed limits are, your towing vehicle must be able to support the laden weight of the trailer or caravan when travelling at the maximum speed allowed, so tyres and tyre pressure MUST be checked carefully before setting off and at regular intervals.
Understand restrictions on the length and weight of the trailer/caravan allowed. The weight of a braked trailer should not exceed 85% of the kerb weight of the tow car (you can find the kerb weight in your vehicle manual), and an unbraked trailer carries a gross maximum weight of 750g or half the kerb weight of the towing vehicle, whichever is the lesser. The overall length of the trailer or caravan should not be more than 7 metres, (with the exception of the A frame and hitch), and the width should not be more than 2.3m.
Check Your Insurance Policy
Make sure that you are covered by your insurance policy. Most policies do cover you 3rd Party when towing but it is your responsibility to make sure that this is the case. If you're in any doubt about your cover then don't go out on the road with your trailer or caravan until you've spoken to your insurance company. Stabiliser information...
Know the Law!
Finally, it is illegal to carry humans inside a moving trailer or the caravan. You are allowed to have animals in there, although it is not recommended that you should do so. Make sure you know what is and is not covered by the law before you head off onto the open road.
Caravan Club Towcar of the Year 2008...