Just before you go...
If new to caravanning, follow these tips and you'll have peace of mind:
- Make sure that your caravan is not overloaded. For a novice caravanner, a fully loaded caravan should weigh no more than 85 per cent of the kerbweight (MRO) of the car.
- Load your caravan carefully, check the nose weight and place heavy items directly and securely on the floor close to the caravan axle. Travel light for greater fuel efficiency.
- Make sure you hitch up safely, follow a systematic routine every time and ensure the gas is turned off.
- Check the breakaway cable - all caravans with a MTPLM (maximum technically permissible laden mass) of more than 750 kgs must be fitted with a breakaway cable. This will include the majority of family caravans.
- Then check all lights, indicators, reversing lights etc on the car and caravan.
- Keep on the right side of the law by:
- Observing the national speed limits for a car and caravan (50 mph on a single carriageway and 60 mph on dual carriageways and motorways)
- Fitting two functional rear view mirrors; as the side mirrors are unlikely to provide a clear view down both sides of the caravan, extension towing mirrors may be needed.
- New owners should already have checked they have the right driving licence to tow the caravan they have bought – see www.direct.gov.uk for details; it is advisable to take your licence with you on holiday.