Before you tow

It is important to familiarise yourself with the weight of your caravan (MIRO - Mass in Running Order) and the maximum weight your caravan is allowed to weigh when fully loaded (MTPLM - Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass). The difference between these two weights is the User Payload, i.e. the maximum weight of food, clothes, bedding etc that you are permitted to carry in the caravan when towing.

You will also need to be aware of the correct nose weight which is the maximum force that can be exerted on the tow bar of your car. This is the lowest of three values; the caravan chassis manufacturer, the tow vehicle manufacturer and the towbar manufacturer.

Check your driving licence and insurance policy to make sure you are permitted to tow. Full UK driving licences awarded after January 1997 do not automatically include categories B&E and you may be required to take a practical test. Heavier caravans can also require additional tests so check the weight of your caravan and your policy and licence documents.

Loading your caravan

When loading your caravan, consider the weight distribution of your belongings.

Place heavy items such as your awning and outdoor furniture on the floor over the axle of your caravan.

Medium weight items such as bedding and toys can be spread a little further from the axle, although keep below window height and as centrally as possible.

Only place very light, non breakable items in the top lockers of your caravan.

Load your caravan as centrally and evenly as possible. Do not be tempted to fill the storage lockers underneath bunks at the back of your caravan as this can cause instability and snaking. Keep your centre of gravity as low as possible.

Heavy items can also be loaded into the boot of your car, although be careful not to overload your car or exceed the maximum load weight of your car.

Don’t fill the front lockers by the tow hitch of your caravan. Overloading the front of your caravan may cause it to become unsteady.

What to take

Pack sensibly and don’t take everything you own with you on holiday. Think about how many people are going and only take what you will each need for the duration of your stay. Consider taking lighter versions of your usual products such as plastic plates and drink ware, dry packets of food rather than tins, and travel size versions of toiletries. Always empty water containers and onboard water tanks before travelling.

Tyre pressure

Once you are loaded and ready to set off, check the tyre pressure of your tow vehicle and caravan before travelling. Remember that the weight of both vehicles will change dramatically when loaded so tyre pressures will need to be set accordingly. Check manufacturers guidelines for exact tyre pressures.

Plan ahead

Before you travel, be sure to plan your route to make sure that the roads you are taking are suitable for caravans and avoid narrow lanes, low bridges or road restrictions. If you are travelling abroad, check international tow laws, speed limits and any specific equipment that you may be required to carry such as first aid kit or high visibility vests, for example. Check with your insurance company that you are covered to travel in other countries and arrange breakdown cover that will cover the full range of your journey.

 


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Find a Park

Search for your ideal park and visit their website to find out more.

  • Manor Farm Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesWent last year, can't wait to go back. Lovely little place. Hidden gem. Tina the owner is lovely, comes to see you before you leave. It’s the perfect little retreat. Love it.

    5 StarsEllen Candlin

  • Polruan Holidays

    left quotesright quotesMy favourite campsite and one I return to often! Very friendly, clean and well maintained. The owners are very helpful and welcoming. I can't recommend this place enough. Wonderful spot for relaxing. Great location for walkers too. Right near the coast and across the estuary from the usually busy Fowey.

    5 StarsMatthew Batten

  • Tanner Farm Park

    left quotesright quotesI love this site. It's set in beautiful surroundings and there are useful shops just down the road in the village, although I wouldn't touch the Chinese takeaway there with a barge pole (had food from there once and it was vile). The pitches are an excellent size and the park definitely doesn't feel crowded. All facilities are clean and well maintained.

    5 StarsAlan Smith

  • Bingham Grange Touring & Camping Park

    left quotesright quotesJust got back from another great stay at Bingham Grange, couldn't fault a thing, food in restaurant was top class and loads of it, wonderful friendly staff and great amenities. Loved the pitch, so well maintained. See you again soon!

    5 StarsBrian and Anne Willows

  • Forest Glade Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesSuperb hidden gem of a site with just enough to keep all the family entertained while so being a good Base to explore the rest of Devon from. Friendly and helpful staff and a really enjoyable holiday.

    5 StarsJohn Cowell

  • Loch Ken Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesA lovely family friendly campsite. I imagine it's quieter out of season but even during the bank holiday weekend the facilities were clean. Very good facilities for all, great parks for the kids, rope swing, walks and spectacular views. Site is on the loch which is lovely. Recommended.

    5 StarsMat Bailey

  • Riverside Holidays

    left quotesright quotesFantastic site with beautiful surroundings and right by the river. The site is well kept and the wardens are fantastic and will always go out of their way to help you. Also a good base for exploring the south coast. We stay numerous times a year as always made to feel so welcome.

    5 StarsRachel Price

  • Disserth Caravan and Camping Park

    left quotesright quotesHad a lovely long weekend at Disserth this summer. The site has everything you could need and it sits in a wonderful peaceful little valley. The wildlife is amazing and we saw many red kites. We will definitely be going back next year.

    5 StarsRon Edwards

  • Rowlands Wait Touring Park

    left quotesright quotesWonderful site was exactly everything we look for in a site, dog friendly, children friendly nice little play area, lots of space, clean facilities. Walks from site were a bonus and in an ideal location for tourist activities. Highly recommended and were made to feel very welcome by the helpful cheery owners.

    5 StarsLinda Tyson

  • Plas Gwyn Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesFantastic place! Home after lovely weekend, fantastic place to take the caravan for few days. Great site well looked after clean and tidy. Friendly place to stay. Close to Caernafon, Llanberis plenty to see and do, Will be going back again in the spring.

    5 StarsRachael G

  • Westermill Farm Holidays

    left quotesright quotesWent last year, can't wait to go back. Lovely little place. Hidden gem. Tina the owner is lovely, comes to see you before you leave. It’s the perfect little retreat. Love it.

    5 StarsEllen Candlin

  • Holme Valley Camping and Caravan Park

    left quotesright quotesAmazing campsite, really well looked after. The kids playground, river for paddling, duck pond and picturesque walks make this one of the best I've been to in the UK. Huge thanks to whoever runs this place.

    5 StarsRowan White

  • Halse Farm Caravan & Camping Site

    left quotesright quotesThis is an excellent campsite. A friendly and informed welcome in the heart of Exmoor. The site has great facilities and stunning views. WiFi was free and provided a good signal. Don't be put off by the farm tag it's all well managed and separate from the camping area. Overall an excellent campsite and one we will visit again.

    5 StarsNathan Burden

  • Silver Sands Holiday Park

    left quotesright quotesOur favourite family holiday. We've been returning year after year, camping as a group of four families. The site is beautifully clean and tidy, nothing is too much trouble for the amazingly helpful owners and the location is perfect for exploring one of the most stunning parts of Cornwall. We love this place!

    5 StarsJo Cooper

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