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Before Setting Off
 
Sunday, 24 Oct 2021

Before Setting Off


 

Safety Advice for Caravanners Setting Off

  • Before setting off, check your caravan’s and tow vehicle’s tyres, particularly the pressure and tread - follow the advice from www.tyresafe.org/
  • 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.
  • Finally, for peace of mind, your caravan should be insured. Most car insurance policies allow you to tow, but they will not cover damage to the caravan or its contents – or any damage that the caravan does.
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