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Planning to take the caravan or boat out?

Before you go, there’s some important things to consider.

These will help you to arrive at your destination safely and hopefully avoid a fine along the way.

Firstly, you need to make sure your tow vehicle is suitable for the job at hand and that you know the overall towing and load limitations of your vehicle and trailer combined. For some vehicles, if you add accessories like bullbars, roof racks or long-range fuel tanks and tow at maximum capacity it can really reduce your vehicle’s payload i.e. weight left for passengers, fuel, cargo and the pet dog!

So before you hitch up and hit the road, stop and consider the overall weight of your vehicle and trailer combined. You might need to alter your load to keep within the required weight limits.

In addition to sticking to the load capacity of your tow vehicle and trailer, there’s also a few other requirements that need to be met to avoid a fine or worse. This includes making sure your vehicle and trailer are registered and in roadworthy condition, that you have a rear number plate fitted to the trailer, and any load you are towing is properly restrained.

If you’re towing a caravan, it’s important to make sure it is loaded safely and legally to reduce the risk of an accident. This includes loading heavy items over the axles, placing water tanks at the back of the trailer and not overloading the front of the caravan.

Prior to your trip, make sure you perform a safety check of your tow vehicle and trailer including tyres, oil, water, brake fluid and battery, remembering that towing puts additional strain on your vehicle.

Once you are all loaded up and ready to go, it’s a good idea to make one or two test stops from low speed to confirm the trailer brakes are properly adjusted and operating correctly.

For more safe towing information, visit our loads and towing page.

Are you looking to buy a caravan?

Visit our van aware page to help make an informed decision about what you are buying. There are significant risks associated with buying a stolen or rebirthed caravan, including not being able to register it or recover purchasing costs. Our van aware tool explains the signs to look out for to avoid buying a stolen or rebirthed caravan.

Last updated
31 May 2018
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