6 Top Tips for Towing A Caravan or Motorhome

a 4 wheel drive car towing a caravan
Published on Jun 19, 2022
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Due to the unprecedented implications of coronavirus over the last few years, we have seen a huge influx of people purchasing motorhomes and caravans.

Holidays in the UK are becoming hugely popular. Even those who had never before considered a staycation are now embracing the idea of camping or caravanning in some of the beautiful destinations that can be found right here at home which can be booked via places like Canvas Holidays, and at a fraction of the price!

With this, we are seeing a huge influx in the sale of caravans and motorhomes. If you’re new to caravanning, then you may be feeling slightly overwhelmed by the planning of your first trip, including how exactly to tow your new vehicle. 

So, we’ve decided to do the hard work for you, and have put together a simple guide of the most important tips for towing your caravan or motorhome.

1) Choose A Suitable Tow Car

a car towing a caravan down a road

We all know that choosing a car, in general, can be a task in itself! However, there’s a lot more you should consider when choosing a car for the purpose of towing.

It’s crucial that you do your research and ensure that it will be your car controlling your caravan, not the other way around. 

You should choose a car that can both carry the weight of your caravan or motorhome and is functional for use when you arrive at your destination. 

As a rule of thumb, your caravan should weigh no more than 85% of the car’s kerbweight. A heavier car such as a four-wheel drive that has good pulling power may be a good option. 

Obviously, buying a new car is a huge investment on top of purchasing a caravan and all your new bits and pieces to make it feel like a home from home like sleeping mats and outdoor stoves, which you can pick up at bargain prices at places like Bell Tent Boutique – just as an FYI. So we'd always recommend hiring one beforehand or using a transportation service to be absolutely sure that it's what you want. 

2) Purchase Relevant Towing Items

a tow bar on the back of a car

When it comes to towing items, most obviously, you will need a suitable tow bar that is compatible with both your car and caravan or motorhome. This needs to be fitted by a professional.

You are also required by law to purchase a tow mirror for improved vision and safety, you can pick these up at bargain prices at stores such as Camping World. The design of these mirrors with the extra long securing straps makes them suitable for larger vehicles with large wing mirrors. 

A simple, lightweight nose weight gauge for measuring the nose weight of your caravan or trailer before hitching to be sure of safe and legal towing is also crucial. You can buy all of these towing items easily online. 

You can also save money on your caravan or motorhome's insurance costs by installing certain security and safety devices. 

3) Take A Towing Course

a woman smiling driving a car

If you’ve never towed a caravan or motorhome before, then chances are you may feel slightly distressed about the situation.

But with patience and learning, you’ll soon be feeling confident enough to tow all over the UK and even abroad!

There are a wide variety of courses you can take just to help you feel more experienced and comfortable behind the wheel. You can find a list of courses local to you at Caravan and Motorhome Club online

4) Practice & Make Checks

a man checking his connecting tow bar from his car to caravan

Even when you’re feeling confident and have realised just how easy it is to tow your caravan, you can never do too many checks! 

Be sensible and put your mind at ease by doing numerous checks and practising. Be mindful of any difficult conditions such as rain and strong winds.

You should ensure that all of your towing accessories are securely attached. Also remember to check your tyre pressure and tread depths, caravan driving lights, and wheel nut torque, and ensure your road-legal registration plate is securely attached. If you are missing any important towing items you could take a look at OLPRO for any bits of towing equipment that you need to make sure you are legal. 

Lastly, be sensible when loading your caravan. You should always place heavy objects as low down as possible and over the axles, place items strategically to gain an ideal nose weight and don’t travel with full water tanks that could cause swaying. 

5) Ensure You’re Licenced

a van towing a caravan down a road

You don’t need a specific licence other than your normal driving license to tow a caravan or motorhome per se, but you should be aware of limitations. 

Your car’s manual will give guidance on whether you can legally tow your caravan or motorhome. If for whatever reason you can no longer tow either due to health or licensing restrictions, then you may look to employ a transportation service. 

This is a service to cater for those people so that everyone is still able to enjoy caravanning. The service starts from collecting and driving to your destination, to a complete setup service. As we mentioned above, if you do find that you need to purchase a new car to tow your caravan or motorhome, then using a transportation service could also be a good option before making the big investment. 

6) Lighten the Load

the interior of a caravan with wooden features

Last but not least, a simple money-saving tip for towing your caravan or motorhome is to always lighten the load as much as possible. 

Reducing the weight of your caravan or motorhome will be much more efficient for your car's fuel. And what with the increasing prices of petrol and diesel at the moment, this one could be a godsend for your next trip! Get rid of some of your heavier older items and upgrade for some new lightweight equipment and necessities from places like Winfields Outdoors.

Remove any excess weight and baggage from your caravan before setting off. The best way to do this is to completely empty your caravan or motorhome after every trip, so that you really only pack what you need for your next adventure.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!


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