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Towing a caravan can be quite a daunting prospect even for experienced drivers, which is why Allen’s Caravans has compiled these helpful tips to ensure you reach your destination safely.
Remember the speed limit
This should really apply to all drivers, not just those with a caravan in tow, but you need to bare in mind that the speed limit for cars pulling caravans or trailers is 60mph on the motorway, and 50mph on a single carriageway.
Is your license valid?
We have no doubt that you’re fully licensed to drive a car, but depending on when you passed your test will dictate whether you are eligible to pull a caravan of a certain weight. According to the Department for Transport, if you passed your driving test before January 1, 1997, then you are fully authorised to drive vehicles up to a combined Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of 8.25 tonnes. However, if you passed your test after this date, you're restricted to a total weight of 3.5 tonnes. This shouldn’t be too much of a worry though as most caravan manufacturers build their caravans to these new weight requirements.
Towing mirrors and indicators
Though it might sound obvious, you still need to be able to check your mirrors and indicate when you are towing a caravan. The majority of caravans have a connective cable which links your cars indicators to the back of the caravan. When it comes to mirrors, you are legally required to have extension mirrors fitted.
Traffic is a pain at the best of times, but it is made a lot more frustrating when you have a caravan in tow. Try to keep abreast of any traffic developments via radio and social media; though not a legal requirement, it will certainly make your life a lot easier as you need to be more aware of vehicles around when you when you are towing a caravan; also, your acceleration and braking will be impaired because of the extra load. Plan ahead, try to anticipate the movements of your fellow drivers and stay safe.
Beware of swinging and snaking
Now that you are essentially driving two vehicles, you need to watch out for swing, especially when steering. It is largely common sense, but you have to be aware of other road users, so you don’t accidently clip them. Also, snaking occurs when the caravan starts to sway excessively; if this should occur, simply slow down and continue in a straight line.
In short, when towing a caravan be sure to use more common sense and pay extra attention to the road and other vehicles around you! If you are looking for high-quality caravan parks in the UK, then www.allenscaravans.co.uk has a number of caravan parks, each with an impressive array of facilities and amenities. Full information regarding our parks can be found on our website, but if you have any specific questions or queries then get in touch today; our helpful team will be on hand to advise you in any way possible.