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Caravan Safety For Your Next Trip: Loading, Towing, Hitching and more. 

Category: CTAM News Safety Date: 13 Mar 2024

Have you got any caravan safety tips? Tell us in the comments!

Before you head off on your next camping trip, it’s paramount that you check all important safety element of your caravan. Understanding the towing capacity of your car, the loading limits of your van and checking the condition of your tyres and brakes will help ensure that your next holiday goes off without a hitch! 

In this article, we share some important safety aspects you should keep in mind before you hit the road with your caravan! 

Towing 

First and foremost, it’s essential to ensure your vehicle is capable of towing your caravan/campervan. You need to understand the towing capacity of your car before loading it or your caravan. It is also important to familiarise yourself with some safe towing practices and laws before your trip. 

You can download our free towing guide here for more information. 

Loading 

Loading your caravan correctly is crucial to ensuring a safe and hassle-free journey. All items inside your caravan should be properly stowed and restrained because lateral movement of items during transit can contribute to trailer sway and instability. Distribute the loads evenly, remembering that heavier items should be stored as low as possible and in the centre of the caravan as close to the axle group as possible. 

For more information on weight distribution, check out our Road Safety video. 

Tyres 

Simple, but totally essential- make sure you’ve checked your tyre pressure and condition before your trip. It is vital that your tyres are in good condition. Tyres can deteriorate just as much when a vehicle stands for long periods, as when it is being used. As tyres age, the surface rubber can crack and rubber compounds can deteriorate. 

Ensure you’ve got a spare tyre with you in case of any emergencies. You simply never know when you’ll need a spare! 

For more information on tyres, click here. 

Brakes 

Check that your caravan/campervan has working brakes. All brakes must be operable from the driver’s seat of the tow vehicle except for over-ride brakes. The minimum braking system required for a trailer or caravan depends on its type and weight, as well as the weight of the tow vehicle. 

Ensure your brakes are functioning properly or make certain you’ve installed a solid braking system if required. 

Learn more about braking systems and towing here.

Hitch 

Make sure your hitch is securely attached to your towing vehicle, and that your locking mechanism is engaged and in working nick. Always align the vehicle tow ball under the coupling, have some safety chains on hand and have it connected to your electricals. 

You can check out our Road Safety video on how to hitch your vehicle below. 

Electrical Systems

Make sure your electrical systems in both your towing vehicle and caravan/campervan are in working order. It’s always best to have your car serviced beforehand to ensure all electrical connections are secure. 

Fire Safety 

You need to treat your caravan the same way you would treat your home. Make sure you have smoke detectors installed and proper fire safety equipment in the van. Whether it’s an extinguisher or a fire-blanket, you need something for those unexpected emergencies. 

For more on caravan fire safety check out, Fire Safety for Caravans Information Sheet

First Aid 

As they always say- you’re better safe than sorry. Always think ahead and plan for any potential emergencies you might find yourself in, no matter how unlikely and pack a first aid kit! 

You never know, it may just save you a whole lot of trouble! 

For more on Pre-Trip Safety, check out our Road Safety video. 

Insurance 

Double-check your insurance isn’t about to expire or will expire during your trip and be ready to renew. If your van has broken down, you’ve gotten ill or find the van has been broken into- you could find yourself in a very sticky situation without being insured. 

You can check out the Let’s Go Caravan Insurance here. 

Gas Appliances 

Last, but certainly not least: 

  • Ensure that any gas appliances are in good working order and that they are properly ventilated. 
  • ALWAYS double check any installed gas appliances have been positioned properly and safely. 
  • Make sure all gas appliances have been turned off and stored/restrained appropriately. 

Have you read our Caravan Safety Pre-Travel Checklist?

Before leaving home, or prior to travelling to your next destination, run through this checklist to help ensure a safe and pleasant journey.

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