Towing a van for the first time can feel like a daunting prospect for a newcomer to touring. To give you a helping hand and set you on your way, we’re sharing seven simple tips that could help you take your towing to the next level…
1 The Camping and Caravanning Club and the Caravan and Motorhome Club run towing and caravanning courses, and they’re an excellent way of getting to grips with what you need to know. You can then get the best basic training in caravan world, arming you with all of the essential information and techniques you need to tow and tour with confidence.
2 Always aim to reverse your caravan to the right, to give yourself the best view of proceedings through the driver’s side window.
3 Download a levelling app on your phone, to use instead of a spirit level. Some have a beep to let you know when the van is level, so you don’t have to run back and forth if you’re levelling alone.
4 Reversing a caravan can seem tricky, but here’s one simple rule to apply to all eventualities. With your caravan aligned with the tow car, begin reversing. Do this slowly, watching carefully in each wing mirror for a few seconds in turn.
5 As soon as one side of the caravan starts to fill the mirror (that is, the van is turning that way), pull down gently on the steering wheel at that side. You will immediately see the van begin to correct itself.
6 If the van gets out of line, pull forward a few metres to align the outfit and go again.
7 If you’ve pulled over on the side of the road, but the rear of your van sticks out into the carriageway, apply full right-hand lock and carefully pull forward a metre or so, then quickly apply full left-hand lock, and return the car to the correct kerbside position. Your van will be neatly aligned. This useful tactic was learnt on a Camping and Caravanning Club towing course.
Are you looking for more great driving advice and tips? Then head to our Back to Basics: Driving category, where we’re giving you the information you need to tow your caravan with confidence.
Future Publishing Limited, the publisher of Practical Caravan, provides the information in this article in good faith and makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Individuals carrying out the instructions do so at their own risk and must exercise their independent judgement in determining the appropriateness of the advice to their circumstances. Individuals should take appropriate safety precautions and be aware of the risk of electrocution when dealing with electrical products. To the fullest extent permitted by law, neither Future nor its employees or agents shall have any liability in connection with the use of this information. You should check that any van warranty will not be affected before proceeding with DIY projects.
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