Tips for first-time Caravanners
We are often asked about our tips for first-time caravanners. Here’s ten pieces of advice for people about to set off on their first trip.
First things first
Make sure you have the right driving licence for towing a caravan and ensure you are familiar with the speed restrictions relating to vehicles towing. Are you happy you have the correct weight match between car and caravan, so your drive will be as safe and steady as possible?
When towing the extra weight of a caravan car maintenance becomes more important than ever. Check also the brake cables to the caravan and that the brake lights work on both the car and caravan. The best approach is to get the experts to give these the once over.
Don’t forget the essentials
Make a list of the essentials you will need to take with you on your trip. This is likely to include a gas bottle, battery, main leads, as well as a tool box for unforeseen eventualities, tow rope and torch.
Think about insurance
Although having caravan insurance is not a legal requirement, it will give you piece of mind and protect you in the unfortunate eventuality of an accident or a theft.
Make sure you are aware of the procedures that will keep you safe while staying in your caravan. Key areas you should gen up on are fire and gas safety and theft prevention.
Consideration for other road users
Caravanners often get blamed for holding up traffic, so do all you can to help your fellow road users. If you are towing a caravan you will probably be going slower than most other vehicles, so if there is a build-up of traffic behind try and pull over from time-to-time and let them pass when it is safe to do so.
Learn how to tow
Driving while towing a caravan is a different experience to driving untethered. Remember it will take longer to slow down at junctions and to pull away. You need to leave more space when overtaking and know what to do if the caravan starts snaking.
Practice makes perfect
Towing a caravan can take some time to get used to, so it is wise to practice some of the more complicated manoeuvres - like reversing and parking - before you hit the road. This way you will be confident when you come to do it for real.
Short first trip
Don’t be over adventurous on your first trip and plan a short journey in an area you know well, so you only have to focus on towing the caravan without the stress of navigating strange roads. A short journey will ensure you arrive in good time at your destination and enable you to set up early to make the most of your stay.
Relax and enjoy
Despite all the considerations above, caravanning is a great pursuit that will allow you to travel widely and meet lots of great people. Before you know it you will be a seasoned caravanner with numerous trips under your belt.