Going out in a caravan with your loved ones is an amazing way to explore the great outdoors. It offers the freedom to travel at your own pace while enjoying some beautiful landscapes.
According to Statista, every year, from 2009 to 2019, over nine million people in England went caravanning. In England, caravanning is a major way to enjoy vacations. Compared to England, the US sees a lot less caravanning.
However, according to Mordor Intelligence, the camping and caravanning market in the US is expected to grow at a CAGR of 5.5 percent over the next four to five years. This suggests that caravanning is slowly becoming popular amongst Americans. The activity would’ve gained more popularity had the need to tow caravans from place to place not been there.
However, towing the caravan is a part of the caravanning experience. Thus, although towing a caravan can be intimidating, especially for beginners, it shouldn’t be seen as the most difficult part of this experience.
That being said, let us explore a few caravan towing tips for beginners that will ensure a smooth and safe journey.
Before you even consider hitching a caravan, it’s vital to understand your vehicle’s towing capacity. Every vehicle has a maximum weight limit it can tow, which includes the weight of the caravan and any items loaded inside. You don’t want to exceed these limits. Doing so might strain your vehicle’s engine, brakes, and suspension, which might further lead to serious safety risks.
To find your vehicle’s towing capacity, refer to the owner’s manual or consult the manufacturer. Once you know your limits, ensure your caravan’s weight falls well within them to maintain stability and control while on the road.
Another question you might have as a beginner is regarding the type of towing vehicle. EV towing vs. diesel towing – which one to go for? In the past, everyone relied on diesel trucks or vehicles for caravanning. With electric vehicles gaining popularity, people have the option to use EV trucks as towing vehicles. They no longer need to rely on a diesel engine to tow a heavy load.
However, as Diesel Power Products explains, towing with a diesel truck provides better fuel economy and range. It’s also more cost-effective, convenient, and reliable compared to EV trucks. Thus, as a beginner, go for a diesel truck to tow your caravan. With a bit of caravanning experience, you can then try out EVs as well.
Equipping your vehicle with the appropriate towing gear is a critical step in ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey. A reliable towing hitch, brake controller, and sway control system are indispensable.
The towing hitch connects your vehicle to the caravan, providing a secure attachment point. A brake controller, on the other hand, helps you manage the caravan’s braking system, enabling smoother stops and reducing wear on your vehicle’s brakes. Sway control systems help prevent unwanted swaying or fishtailing, particularly in adverse weather conditions or during sudden maneuvers.
Never compromise on the quality of towing equipment. Doing so can significantly impact the overall safety and handling of your caravan.
Proper loading and weight distribution inside the caravan are crucial for both safety and stability. Ensure heavy items are placed low and centered, distributing the weight evenly from side to side. This prevents the caravan from becoming top-heavy, reducing the risk of rollovers.
Also, make use of storage compartments efficiently, securing loose items to prevent them from shifting during transit. Remember, an imbalanced load can cause handling issues, increase fuel consumption, and put unnecessary stress on the towing vehicle.
Towing a caravan significantly changes your vehicle’s handling and stopping distance. Therefore, it’s essential to adjust your driving style accordingly.
Staying within the speed limits will not only ensure your safety but also minimize fuel consumption, providing better mileage. Be patient, and give yourself ample space between other vehicles, allowing you enough time to react to unexpected situations.
Uphill climbs may require a lower gear to maintain engine power, while downhill descents should be approached cautiously to avoid brake overheating. Remember, slow and steady wins the race when towing a caravan.
Before each journey, conduct a thorough safety inspection of both your towing vehicle and the caravan.
Check tire pressures, including the spare tires, and inspect for any signs of wear or damage. Ensure all lights are functioning correctly, including indicators, brake lights, and taillights. Test the brake controller and the caravan’s braking system to ensure they respond appropriately.
Don’t forget to inspect the coupling between the vehicle and caravan, verifying its secure attachment. Regular maintenance and pre-trip safety checks are a must for ensuring safe towing and caravanning.
Gitnux reports that caravan and RV sales in the US have been on the rise in recent years. Thus, it’s easy to assume that more people are slowly growing an interest in caravanning. If you want to experience it as well, you too should go out and give caravanning a shot.
Don’t be scared of towing the caravan. If needed, you can always turn to the tips above and then start your caravan journey.