Tips, ticks and courses...
Both the Caravan & Motorhome Club and Camping & Caravanning Club offer towing and manoeuvring courses at various locations around the country. Visit their pages below for further details:
Caravan and Motorhome Club
Camping and Caravanning Club
If you’ve yet to book a course, these simple tips could prove useful:
- When towing a caravan, the speed limit on single carriageways is 50mph instead of 60mph. Dual carriageways and motorways are 60mph instead of 70mph.
- The caravan adds length and width and towing mirrors are generally a legal requirement. Like a cat’s whiskers, they are incredibly handy for judging gaps and because the car / caravan combo is longer and the wheels on the caravan are anything up to 10 ft in front of the back of the van, special care needs to be taken when turning with tall things like walls or petrol pumps next to you. If possible, it’s best to wait until the rear of the caravan is clear of the obstacle before turning the steering wheel.
- Like anything else, reversing a caravan is just about practice. There are many ways to approach thinking about reversing a caravan, and over time you will probably get to know many of them and choose the one which suits you best.
For me, it’s like this:
- To start off, it helps if your car and caravan are straight before you begin
- Then, as you start reversing, remember that your caravan will turn the opposite way to the way you steer.
- A good tip for reversing in a straight line is to turn the steering wheel towards the mirror that shows the larger part of the caravan.
- Small, slow movements are important and always try to pick a point behind the caravan to ‘aim’ at. If you’re reversing onto a pitch and using the pitch ‘peg’ as an aim point, remember that the caravan will pivot around the wheels.
- Reversing with the pitch on your driver’s side will give a better view.
If my wife or kids are watching my blind side and I have a good ‘aim point’ I find a simple ‘Stop’ if I get too close to something works well. Don’t worry if it doesn’t go right first time, just pull forward, straighten-up and give it another go. Practice makes perfect.
Or, a motor-mover is a great get-out-of-jail-free-card for those times when things just don’t go as planned.