One in nine caravanners have confessed to speeding when towing their tourer on the motorway, despite the dangerous practice potentially resulting in a £2,500 penalty, points on the licence and a driving ban.

A survey, conducted by Ripe Caravan Insurance, saw 500 caravan owners asked whether they’d ever surpassed the upper towing limit of 60mph on the motorway, with 11% of respondents admitting to doing so.

Speed limits when towing a caravan vary depending on where you are, with dual carriageways and motorways having a limit of 60mph, compared to the limit of 50mph when towing on a single carriageway. The limits, which are 10mph slower than most other vehicles face, are in place to prevent potential issues such as a snaking caravan, something which could result in a severe collision. When driving in built-up areas with street lights, the limit is 30mph, unless there are signs indicating otherwise.

The survey also revealed there is a need for some to recap what the Highway Code says concerning towing, as 18% admitted to not consulting it in at least five years.

Now, as the Easter Bank Holiday weekend approaches and caravan owners traditionally set off on their first tour of the season, Ripe is urging caravanners to familiarise themselves with the various rules, such as avoiding the right-hand lane when on a motorway.

John Woosey, founder of Ripe Caravan Insurance, commented: “We understand that caravanners will be eager to arrive at their destination and get the upcoming long weekend started as soon as possible. However, while it may be frustrating to stick to a lower speed than fellow vehicles on the road, it’s important to remember that limits are in place to keep us safe.”

“There are too many terrifying examples of caravans flipping over on the motorway or being involved in crashes. So, besides the obvious financial costs of being caught travelling too fast, caravan owners must bear in mind that the best holidays are those where everyone arrives in one piece.”

Don’t forget to have a pair of the best caravan towing mirrors too – these will ensure you meet the legal requirements and play a big part in safely arriving at your destination.

John is also sharing his top caravan towing tips to help users stay safe on the road:

  • Have an appropriate type-approved towbar: your caravan towbar needs to have been specifically designed for your car, unless it was first used before 1st August 1998.
  • Check your breaks before departure. Your tourer is legally required to have a working brake system if it has a weight of more than 750kg after it’s loaded. A breakaway cable should also be used to secure it – this will lower the chances of an accident in case it becomes detached.
  • Drive carefully, giving yourself and others more time and space. The same will apply when taking corners too – give yourself space and drive carefully.

You’ll also want to ensure you don’t have any passengers in your caravan when you’re towing, something that 10% of caravanners have admitted to, even though it is a dangerous and illegal practice.

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