Towing A Caravan or Trailer – What You Need to know
Diving a car is not so straightforward when towing a caravan or trailer. You need to understand the regulations governing towing, including the type of car to use, licenses, and the speed limit. In this article, we provide some crucial insights into the requirements for towing a caravan or trailer.
What are the License Requirements for Towing a Caravan?
You need to have a specific towing license if you already obtained a valid Category B (small vehicle) driving license. Traffic authorities will first inquire when you got the license to determine the weight you are allowed to tow.
- If you obtained your license before the beginning of year 1997, you can drive a car and trailer with a combined 8,250kg Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM)/gross vehicle weight (GVW).
- For drivers who received their driving licenses after January 1, 1997, the law allows them to drive a car that does not exceed 3,500kg MAM, towing a caravan of up to 750 kg MAM. This licensure also allows them to tow a 750kg MAM trailer, so long as its combined weight and the towing vehicle does not exceed 3500kg MAM.
- Drivers whose license date from 19 January 2013 can tow smaller trailers weighing below 750 kg MAM. If the trailer weighs more than that, then the total vehicle-trailer weight must not exceed 3500kg MAM.
The Importance of a Stabiliser When Towing a Caravan
One of the critical things you need to do before towing a trailer is to fit a stabiliser. The purpose of it is to prevent any unwanted movements and vibrations. That movement is usually called snaking, and it is normal. Nonetheless, too much movement may signal a problem. These movements are caused by:
- Yaw (lateral movement) – This occurs when a strong gust of wind hits the trailer side or a car overtakes the trailer at high speed.
- Pitching (vertical movement) – It is the up-and-down movement and occurs when the trailer hits a pothole or runs over a rock.
Caravan Towing: Road Safety Tips
When towing a caravan, you need to understand that the trailer system extends the length of your outfit. It would help to give yourself enough time and space to carry various functions.
- You’ll need to drive at a slower pace than normal and brake earlier with a caravan behind you. Furthermore, you need to take wider corners than usual to ensure that the trailer system does not go over the kerb.
- You also need to adhere to the speed limit. In the UK, a driver towing a caravan/trailer needs to maintain a speed of 50mph on single carriage roads and 60mph on dual carriageways. When towing on a three-lane motorway, you are not required to drive on the furthest right.
- Fit extension mirrors on the towing vehicle to ensure that you have a clear rear view of the trailer. Remember to remove once you are done towing. That’s an issue that traffic authorities strongly reinforce, and anyone who doesn’t use these specific mirrors can be fined £1,000 or receive three points.
- Ensure the caravan is as light as possible. Do not carry any persons in the caravan when being moved. Place any heavy cargo or objects close to the axle.
Where to Get Caravan and Trailer Training
If you got your license before 1997, then you are eligible to tow a caravan. However, individuals who obtained their driving licenses on or before 1 January 1997 need to take an additional Category B+E training to allow them to tow larger trailers.
At L&T Driver Training, we are proud to offer quality and client-centric drive tests, whether it is a car, lorry, bus, or trailer. We have been operating since 2012, providing a conducive customer site with familiar road surroundings to offer test drivers authentic experiences that they can expect on a real road.
To start your Category B+E training, you need to be 17 years and above and have a Category B license. Our professional instructors will assess your needs and tailor the test the training to suit you. We open every day. Due to our long list of clients, we encourage you to book your session in advance to get the best experience.
We have two state-of-the-art Volkswagen vans that we use for training. Each vehicle is coupled with an Ifor Williams trailer that meets the legal requirements. Every qualified driver gets the chance of having their photo taken and added to our “Wall of Fame” and a chance to win a gift hamper.
What you need to know
CLICK HERE to view larger video
Start Your Enquiry
Fill out the details below to start an enquiry:
Stay in the Loop
To receive information about courses and special offers that can save you money, please add your details here.