Other

Tips For New Caravaneers

If you’ve just taken the plunge into the wonderful world of caravanning, then congratulations are in order – you’ve just secured yourself a means to a series of fantastic holidays at any location you can drive to.But at the same time, it’s worth treading carefully, as there are several things which might conceivably go wrong along the way.Let’s examine some of the mistakes commonly made by new caravaneers, and see how we might avoid them.

Driving

If you’re accustomed to driving without an enormous weight attached to the rear of your vehicle, then the experience of towing a caravan can be a little bit unusual.This is all the more so if your first journey sees you travelling hundreds of miles, across borders and language barriers.

Ideally, you’ll want some experience under your belt before you set out on your first holiday.That’s why it’s important to practice before you go.This goes especially for your uncoupling and coupling procedure, since doing this wrong can easily result in serious injury, extensive property damage and death.In order to avoid problems later on, be sure that you’ve properly learned the ropes.

In some cases, it might be necessary for you to take an additional driving test in order to tow your caravan.This will largely depend on the weight of the caravan and the date at which you passed your test.Newer drivers will be prevented from towing heavier loads without first proving their competence to do so.

Of particular concern is reverse parking, which might at first seem brain-bogglingly counterintuitive – but with the right practice in a controlled environment, you’ll quickly get the hang of things.

Speed limits       

It’s important for those towing trailers to be aware of the reduced national speed limit – it’s ten lower than it otherwise would be.So, for a dual-carriageway with a central reservation, it’s 60mph.For a single carriageway, it’s fifty.Since you’re obliged to drive slowly, it’s worth being extra courteous to other motorists, whose path you might be blocking.Stick to the left on the motorway unless you’re overtaking, and bear in might that you’re forbidden from using the right-hand lane entirely.

Tyre pressure

In order to carry the caravan’s maximum weight at the required speed, it’s vital that a caravan’s wheels be kept properly inflated – much the same as it’s vital that the towing vehicle’s wheels be properly inflated.Carry out frequent checks of your tyre pressure, and be sure to check before commencing any long journeys.

Mirrors

Since you’ll have a new and enormous object fitted to the rear of your car, your vision of the rear of your vehicle will be slightly impeded.In order to cope with this, you’ll need to garner some experience – which can be earned by simply practicing driving around.In order to make things even easier, it’s worth also investing in mirror extenders – which will help to expand your view of the rear of your vehicle.

Stabilise

As you drive around, you’ll notice that the caravan accentuates any minor re-adjustments you make to the steering column, to produce a distinctly unnerving ‘snaking’ motion.This is something you’ll want to avoid.Practice can go some way to solving this problem, as it can with so many others.

You should be aware of the dangers of slipstreaming from passing lorries. You’ll also want to ensure that weight is distributed evenly across your caravan, and to invest in a stabaliser that’ll reduce snaking by boosting the friction between your trailer and your car.

Choose the right towbar

If you’ve invested in a caravan that’s rich in features – and that comes with a price tag to match – then you’ll want to ensure that you’ve bought a towbar that’s fit to pull it.Towbars come in a variety of different shapes and sizes – there are the traditional flange-designed ones, and there are the more recent European-style swan-neck versions.Some can be detached, while others are fixed – and the best of them can double as bike-carriers, allowing you to easily take both your caravan and your selection of bikes on holiday with you.

Make sure you fit your towbar properly

Of course, even the world’s best towbar won’t be up to much if it isn’t fitted to your vehicle correctly.While getting it right doesn’t require a degree in rocket science, it’s still possible to get it wrong – and that’s why it’s worth educating yourself on the rudiments of towbar fitting before you get going.

Leave a Reply