There’s been a recent boom in the sale of motorhomes, camper vans and caravans, as people in the UK seek to make their own holiday arrangements and not rely on others to deliver on their accommodation contracts. But if you have never towed a caravan before, it can be a bit daunting and of course, don’t forget to inform your insurer about the new valuable item parked on your driveway.
Clare Egan, Head of Motor at Admiral said: “As staycations are likely to be a popular
choice for holidaymakers this summer, we’re expecting to see many people packing up their belongings and hitting the roads with a caravan in tow. For some, this could be their first time driving with a caravan, so there are a lot of things they need to bear in mind for the benefit of all road users.
“Analysis of our claims data reveals almost half (48%) of road accidents involving caravans take place in the summer months between June and August, which is perhaps not completely unexpected with more holiday makers on the roads. The number of accidents reaches a peak in August, with more than 20% of them happening this month.
It’s really important to make sure motorists feel confident behind the wheel, are clued up on towing regulations and have the right insurance to protect both the car and caravan.
“Before setting off on their journey, motorists will need to double check that their driving
licence covers them to tow and they‘ll need to make sure that the vehicle used to pull the
trailer is up for the job, so they can have a safe and enjoyable trip. Remember, you could be fined up to £1,000 and get three penalty points for failing to use suitable towing mirrors which would put a real dampener on your holiday, so make sure you’re fully prepared before you set off.”
Admiral’s top tips before towing include carrying out the following essential checks:
• Close gas taps and lift connectors off the gas bottle(s)
• Switch off all interior lights and other electrical equipment
• Disconnect the mains supply and carefully stow the cable
• Empty the fresh and waste-water tanks.
• Stow all loose equipment and belongings with heavy items as low as possible
• Make sure windows and roof lights, doors, hatches and aerials are secured
• Lift all the prop-stands and make a final check of nose-weight
• Check that all the caravan’s road lighting functions are working
By law you should also have a visual or audible warning on your vehicle to show the caravan indicators are working. Admiral has also produced this useful guide on towing in the UK and abroad.