We've compiled a selection of the Club's top towing tips and expert advice. Their experts will show you how to get the most out of your towing experience, whether you’re a complete beginner or an old hand.
Before you get started, it's important to check your driving licence!
Your ability to legally tow a caravan or trailer will depend on the driving licence you hold, whilst the category entitlement on your driving licence will determine the type of trailer you can tow. It’s paramount you’re fully covered by your driving licence for towing your caravan, as your caravan insurance can be invalidated if you are not.
If you obtained your car driving licence before January 1, 1997, 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, however, new rules apply if you’d like to keep towing.
If you obtained your licence after January 1997, you’re able to drive a vehicle up to 3,500 kg, and tow a trailer up to 750 kg behind. Again, be sure to check what you can and can’t do before you drive, particularly if you’re looking to tow something heavier than 750kg.
To be able to tow a heavier caravan, you’ll need to pass an additional driving test. The Camping and Caravanning Club runs courses to help people reach the required standard, or local training organisations can be found through the DVLA.
Once you are on your way...
- When you’re towing, you’ll need to give yourself more time and space for everything. It’s best to brake earlier than normal and you’ll probably accelerate more slowly with a caravan on the back.
- The extra length of your outfit means you will need to take corners more widely than normal so the back of the caravan doesn’t clip the kerb or cut the corner.
- Remember the legal speed limits are often lower when you’re towing. Don’t exceed 50mph on single carriageways or 60mph on dual carriageways.
- You may not tow in the furthest right (‘outside’) lane of a three-or-more lane motorway unless instructed to do so.
- Always make sure you have a good view to the rear of your unit, which will probably mean using extension mirrors. And don’t forget to take them off when you’re not towing – it’s illegal to drive with them on if you don’t need them.
- Never carry passengers in the caravan when you’re towing it. It’s theoretically legal to transport animals inside a caravan, but it’s definitely not recommended.
- Your number plate must show your car’s registration number, conform to the relevant British Standard and be illuminated at night. This means no felt-pen on cardboard!
Find out more about the Camping & Caravanning Club's expert advice at the show this January.