The safety of you, your family and other drivers on the road is always paramount, but there are extra considerations to be aware of when towing a caravan. Our caravan safety checklist will help ensure you have a safe and relaxed holiday.
- Even if your caravan is regularly maintained, you should always do an extra maintenance check prior to and during a trip.
- Your car should also be well maintained and checked over. Keep an eye on the oil, water, brakes, rear-view mirrors and battery. If in doubt, have it looked over by a professional mechanic.
- Tyres are of absolute importance when towing a caravan. See the manufacturer’s handbook for the recommended towing tyre pressure, and check their condition regularly.
- As part of your caravan safety checklist, remember to regularly monitor the caravan’s brakes to make sure they’re not overheating, remembering that caravan brakes do run hotter than car brakes.
- Disconnect all gas, electrical and water connections in your caravan while traveling.
- It’s a legal requirement to fit a smoke alarm and fire extinguisher in your caravan.
- Test it regularly to make sure you and your family are kept safe.
- If you have a portable heater in your caravan, make sure you’re careful about where you place it – keep it away from furniture and all gas, electrical or water fittings.
- When traveling, always listen to local radio stations so you’re aware of any fires or other emergencies nearby or on your intended route.
- Whether you’ve stopped along the way for lunch or are staying in a caravan park, keep your caravan and car locked whenever you’re away from them. If you are travelling with valuable items, you might like to consider installing a safe in your caravan.
- Make sure you have up to date insurance on your caravan and its contents, just in case anything happens.
- Keep all items in the caravan secure while driving. Close the fridge door, ensure all cupboards, windows and doors are well sealed and closed, and the awning is packed away and locked in.
- Store the jockey wheel safely, either locked into position or securely packed in the car or caravan.
Towing and driving safety
- If you’re not 100 per cent confident in your towing ability, have some caravan towing lessons.
- For further safety and peace of mind, have electronic stability control fitted to your electric-braked caravan by a certified installer.
- Before purchasing your caravan, ensure it’s compatible with your vehicle. While traveling, check on the coupling connection and safety chain at every stop.
- When driving, pull over in a safe are if there are cars who want to overtake you. If you wish to overtake someone, wait for an overtaking lane rather than crossing to the lane of potential oncoming traffic.
- Leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front to allow extra braking distance. Safety should always be your first priority.
Before any trip, always do a pre-travel safety check.