Caravan safety for first-time buyers

What you need to know before hitching up and hitting the road.

With travel still restricted, a lot of us are looking at alternative holidays for the foreseeable future and caravanning is being considered for the first time by many families.
 
When looking at your proposed caravan or camper trailer purchase, there will be a lot to consider and one of these is the weight of the caravan as your tow vehicle may not be up to the task. Remember, the combination must be legal to tow.

The vehicle towing capacity should be confirmed either in the owner’s manual or with the vehicle manufacturer.

If the information is not available you can contact our Motoring Advice team for vehicle towing specifications.
 
We generally recommend the ATM of the van does not exceed about 75% of the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity if regular or long-distance towing is envisaged.
 
You can find further explanations of  towing weights and specifications via our fact sheet here.

When you have found the correct vehicle and caravan combination, it’s time to hit the road. Or is it?
 
Before you head off, it would be a good idea to take a towing course so that you can learn about correctly loading and hitching  your vehicle and van, as well as how to reverse and other general road safety advice related to towing.
 
We would also recommend  that before you start your family’s new adventure, you practise hitching and unhitching the van and reversing it with an assistant, if required. Also, practise and agree on any hand signals that you and your travel assistant will use when reversing the van.

This would also be a good time to check that you are loading the van correctly and everything is secure.

 With all this in mind it’s time to enjoy your family’s adventures and the memories it will provide for years to come.