The Caravan and Motorhome Club says the results of a random spot check survey of trailers published this month by the DVSA show that caravanners are “far and away not the greatest concern” among all trailer users – although there is no room for complacency.

Some 12% of the 730 caravans the DVSA’s Advanced Analytics Division spot checked between 2019 and 2021 were found to have a prohibitable defect.

In comparison, half of the other 3083 trailers the unit tests had such defects. The DVSA warns that data recording was slightly compromised by the onset of the pandemic lockdown in the second half of the survey period. It is currently running further spot checks on 2,000 vehicles.

Martin Spencer, technical manager of the Caravan and Motorhome Club, welcomed the publication of the report, which he said was “good and provides credible insight into what the real issues are (or aren’t)”.

The club has in the past called for the DVSA to look more comprehensively at light trailers, which Martin said were “often criticised in a very general way for their safety, without evidence to support those views”.

The report, he added, “shows that caravans are far and away not the greatest concern within the sector”.

Some 57% of the prohibitions issued for caravans were for faulty exterior lights. Then 22% related to the chassis, 11% were for running gear, 8% for bodywork and 2% for brakes.

Martin added that a large proportion of the faults uncovered were “things which owners really should be readily aware of”.

But he added that there was no room for complacency, and was glad to see that the DVSA was already running such surveys again in the near future.

  • Are you looking for a way to improve your towing? Our guide to caravan towing tips is a great place to start, as we share our advice for staying safe on the road.

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