Caravanning has become a very popular form of holiday in the United Kingdom. Thousands of people take to the roads every summer, hitching a caravan to the back of their car. However, it is not always as easy as it looks and there are some safety measures, beyond remaining alert while driving, that you can observe in order to avoid accidents and enjoy your trip.
The first thing to do is to make sure that your caravan is in good condition. You may take it on holiday with you every year, but that does not mean that it does not have to be serviced regularly. In fact, it has probably been lying idle for most of the year. Therefore, it is a good idea to get your caravan serviced before any trip.
Be aware that attaching a caravan to your car affects what you can see in your mirrors. You are basically extending the length of your car. Therefore, you may have to adjust the length of your wing mirrors or install extension mirrors for maximum visibility while towing your caravan in order to observe the law and avoid a fine.
If your caravan does not have any stabilisers fitted, you may need to consider adding them. A caravan can become a bit unstable and move out of line with your car. Stabilisers will help your caravan to maintain its line behind your car, but it may not prevent this phenomenon entirely. If your caravan does snake out of line, it is best to take your car down a gear and apply the brakes, rather than trying to steer out of it.
When manoeuvring, you will need to provide extra space for the other vehicles around you. This is especially the case when overtaking, as you will need to be sure that you have cleared enough distance to include the length of your caravan. Additionally, if you have to perform a manoeuvre in an area where there is little space, you will need to be very careful indeed. In it important to take your time when manoeuvring, so that you do not make any hasty mistakes that can cause any hasty accidents.
The weight of the caravan can cause serious problems if it is overloaded. Generally speaking, it is better if the heavier items are carried in the car rather than in the caravan. If you do have to have heavy items in the caravan, they should really be positioned over the axel so that the weight is distributed evenly. These items should also be securely attached within the caravan so that they do not change position and affect the weight distribution.
Finally, when you are driving with a caravan, you need to be aware of the rules regarding speed limits. Once you reach speed limits of over fifty miles per hour, the rules change if you are towing a caravan as heavier vehicles can cause worse accidents. You are usually required to drive ten miles per hour under the speed limit. For example, the normal speed limit for a car on a dual carriageway is seventy miles per hour, but if you are towing a caravan this becomes sixty miles per hour.
There are many ways in which you can stay safe while towing your caravan. The most important thing is to make sure that you are driving a well-maintained vehicle and that you observe the rules of the road. Taking some safety precautions with the loading of your caravan can also be essential and help to safeguard you and your family while you are travelling.
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Olivia B, London UK