To help keep you safe on the roads, we have put together some helpful tips:
- Ensure your caravan has been serviced before heading off on holiday and checks have been carried out for gas leaks and electrical issues. If you have a break away brake system fitted make sure it’s battery is fully charged.
- Inspect tyres carefully and make sure they are inflated to the correct pressure. Tyres not only wear out they also age. Tyres that look okay for tread can delaminate due to age causing serious damage to your caravan or camper.
- Check that the couplings and safety chains are correctly connected and securely fastened.
- Ensure the brake and light connections are secure and all lights work.
- Check that the wheel nuts on both your vehicle and caravan are tightened to the manufacturers specifications.
- Make one or two test stops to check that the brakes are working properly.
- Adjust the mirrors to make sure you have a good view of the road behind your caravan.
- Check the awning is stored away and locked in the travel position. Remember to store away in wind and never leave your caravan unattended with the awning out.
- While you are travelling ensure that the gas cylinders are turned off and the refrigerator door is locked.
- Do not overload your caravan or camper. You can check the ATM limit on the compliance plate and if unsure check your weight at a weigh bridge. Ball weight is also imperative as this may cause damage to the towing vehicle and cause an accident if exceeded.
Towing a caravan changes the way your car will perform, so it’s important to take extra care on your next caravan holiday. Here are some tips to keep in mind when towing your caravan.
- Towing a caravan decreases the acceleration and braking ability so it’s important to be aware of this. Ensure there is more space between you and the vehicle in front, to allow for a longer stopping distance. Overtaking safely requires more time and distance.
- Accelerate, brake and steer your caravan smoothly to avoid caravan sway. This is especially important in wet and slippery conditions.
- If the caravan starts to sway avoid applying the brakes. If you experience sway use the hand control on your brake controller as this will stabilise your caravan.
- Where possible pull over to allow other vehicles to overtake. Keep to the left and give overtaking vehicles space to pass safely.
- Take extra care when driving in poor conditions, high winds or passing larger vehicles. Slow down to reduce swaying of your caravan.
- Reversing a caravan can be difficult so practicing before hand is essential. Reversing with a person guiding you outside the vehicle is very helpful.
- Load your caravan correctly to reduce the chance of sway.
- Towing a caravan can cause additional stress when driving so plan lots of rest stops to avoid fatigue.