Caravans are a great holiday option, and every weekend hundreds if not thousands of caravanners head out on the roads to get away from it all for a day or two.
Off road hybrid caravans are perfect for longer holidays too, especially if you want to visit a few different spots or take your creature comforts with you when you go away for a while. If you are thinking of owning a caravan, or you have recently bought one, then there are definitely some things that you need to know.
Here are our top three things you need to know about owning a caravan:
Know Your Towing Limits and Vehicle Dimensions
Both you and your vehicle have towing limits. Depending on what kind of driving licence you have, you may be limited by the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) allowed on your level of licence.
Most people in the UK will have a standard class-B licence, which allows them to drive a vehicle with the Maximum Authorised Mass of 3500kg. This amount includes both your vehicle and the trailer or caravan it is towing. Some people with an older driving licence may have a ‘C+E’ level, allowing them to drive a vehicle with a combined weight of 8250kg. Anyone with a standard B class licence can upgrade to a C+E, though this will require a test. Some new drivers like to take this test as a way of getting some towing practice and training done before going out on their own for the first time.
Not Just Any Car Can Tow, Match Your Car to Your Caravan
The car you choose to tow with is just as important as the caravan you choose to tow. Your vehicle should have the power and size needed to be able to safely move the caravan and slow it down again.
Many caravanners suggest that your caravans’ weight should never exceed 85% of your vehicle’s weight. This means for every 1000kg of your car’s weight, you can tow 850kg of caravan or trailer. This ensures your caravan is not heavier than your car and won’t overpower it under braking or be too heavy to tow.
You Should Consider Separate Insurance for your Caravan
You’ll obviously insure the car you plan to use to tow your caravan, but you should really consider separate caravan insurance as well because your standard car insurance might not cover the cost of your caravan is damaged in an accident. A caravan is a home on wheels, so make sure your contents are covered by your caravan insurance too.
Joining a Club is a Great Idea for Newbies
One of the best ways to develop your caravan knowledge and skills is to join one of your local caravan clubs. You don’t need a caravan to join either, so if you are just getting started, you should try starting here.
Caravan club members will have decades of experience, and they are always happy to pass on skills, tips, and tricks to newbies. You may also find a lot of information that will help you choose the right caravan for you, and even caravans for sale from trusted club members. This is a great purchase option, as you are able to keep in touch with the seller in case there are any problems later on.
Caravanning is a lot of fun and a great way to explore our wonderful country and beyond! If you are thinking about getting a caravan or preparing for your first trip, keep our guide in mind when you are making your decisions for a more fun trip!