Guide to towing with a motorhome 

Published in Caravan Guard News on   - 16 Comments

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  1. Matt Lee says:

    Thank you Liz for that detailed write-up. My dad is looking to purchase a motorhome shortly so I may send him a link to this as well as Tony’s blog. Useful info indeed

  2. Bob Edge says:

    A couple of corrections.

    1. Driving licence category B1 covers a motor tricycle/quadricycle, eg. a Reliant Robin.

    Category B is what you need.

    2. The prohibition on using the outside lane only applies to motorways, with three or more lanes.

  3. Tony Maris says:

    Dear Liz, unfortunately, Towtal, in common with other A-frame suppliers have a vested interest in selling A-frames.
    All the suppliers will claim their product is legal! The most common system in the U.K. is to use inertia (overrun) couplings yet not one of them complies with the trailer regulations as is required and stated by the DfT on their advice page. All the A-frame suppliers conveniently ignore that fact! It’s not them that is breaking the law, it’s the end user!

    As I have retired from the trailer industry, I have no axe to grind and now have my own towing blog which many are finding useful.
    I have an article there on towing with an a-frame which may be helpful. It can be found at
    #TowLegal #TowSafe

  4. Tony Maris says:

    @ Don Sadkowski, The towing of one motorised vehicle behind another is specifically illegal in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and some other European countries. Fines have been issued that I’m aware of in Germany, Spain and France. There have also been questions in the EU Parliament by British MEP’s regarding Britons being fined for A-framing.
    There was a reply by Mr Kallas on behalf of the commission in 2012, :- “ The specific technical provisions for passenger cars that may freely circulate on public roads in the European Union are not defined by EU legislation but by an agreement under the auspices of the UN-ECE, the so-called ‘Vienna Convention on Road Traffic’ to which the individual Member States are contracting party.

    According to this Convention the vehicle combinations admitted to circulation in international traffic must be made up of a motor vehicle and a trailer DESIGNED to be coupled to a motor vehicle.

    As this is not the case in the situation described by the Honourable Member, a vehicle combination of two motor vehicles attached to each other by an A-frame may only circulate in those Member States where the relevant national legislation contains respective provisions.”

    #TowLegal #TowSafe

  5. Tony Maris says:

    @Barry Carter, Each to his own! There are numerous reasons why one might wish to take a small vehicle with them, disability/mobility for one…

    We have motorhomed for many years and previously taken a car with us on a tilt bed transporter trailer. It has proved invaluable on occasions when visiting out-of-the-way places!

    My preference would be a trailer rather than an A-frame, there are no legal issues in the U.K. or abroad. #TowLegal #TowSafe

  6. Ian Styles says:

    If you tow a trailer with a car then you must add the weight of the trailer and car, the total must not exceed the towbars or vehicles limit. But towing a car without a trailer keeps the weight down and offers the option of towing a slightly larger car. I tow a Hyundai i10 which weighs around 1000kg which is less less than a smaller car and trailer added together has 5 doors and seatbelts.

  7. Christopher Neave says:

    This article is very good for anyone interested in towing with their motorhome. We had a towbar fitted to our motorhome as we had already bought a Citroen C1 (ideal for towing and same as Peugeot 107, Toyota Aygo and Smart car). We had been fed up whist touring Cornwall with the many narrow roads but leaving the motorhome on the site and using the car to tour Wales we were so pleased.

  8. Barry Carter says:

    I really can’t understand why a Motorhomer would want to tow a car, to my mind their not Motorhomers there’re frustrated caravaners. I have been Motorhoming for 15 yrs now into 3rd MH, length 7.5 Mtrs requires C1 license. My wife and I have travelled mostly in UK visiting 100’s of sites we do our homework before we set out to visit a sites area for access to public transport, taxis, and food shops if not nearby then on route, most of time we’ve walked or cycled in vicinity of sites. If you want the use of a car buy a caravan in most cases they are cheaper and have far better layouts particularly if you feel the need for a fixed bed. Motorhoming is for freedom of touring not hitching and pitching up

  9. Dylan says:

    Covers all the basics in an easy format, with links to explore more detailed explanations in relation to what is required to comply with the LAW for towing.
    We had a hitch fitted to our Motorhome to tow a small car, which allows greater freedom to explore an area and a means to get access to medical help in a hurry. This decision was a no brainer when my wife tripped over a mooring peg along the Canal at Devizes and fractured her wrist, we were distance from the campsite and at a time of day when the local A&E was closed and the nearest Hospital was Bath.

  10. Peter ward says:

    and what if towing a car on an A frame in the U.K. are you insured? and to what limits?

    • Hi Peter, you’d need to check with your motorhome insurance provider if they provide cover for the A-frame.
      Caravan Guard motorhome insurance provides third party cover whilst a car is being towed behind your motorhome by a trailer. It is your responsibility to make sure that if you use a device to tow a vehicle behind your motorhome it meets any legal requirements and you are towing subject to any limitations on your driving licence or cover might not be in force.
      Under the Road Traffic Act, we cover any legal liability for damage caused by a car on a trailer to third parties whilst being towed using the motorhome. If towing with an A frame we do not provide cover for this as equipment. Our motorhome insurance policy would not provide cover for damage to a car itself whilst it was being towed behind a motorhome.
      There’s more information on the legal issues of towing with an A frame here:

  11. Don Sadkowski says:

    What are the restrictions particularly Towing in Germany?

  12. John Brumfield says:

    While I totally agree with the contents and advice given in the article regarding towing a trailer with a motorhome, you have not made any reference to those who tow a small car (Smart car, fiat 500 etc) which effectively becomes a 4 wheeled trailer drawn by the use of a detachable ‘A’ frame.
    This method appears to be gaining in popularity by the numbers seen on the roads at peak holiday periods. This also means that there are no storage problems when not in use, but also that there are no additional cost on most sites for a trailer, the combination of motorhome with towed car is the same as a car and caravan, just 2 units.
    One final point, when towing either a standard trailer or small car, in addition to the number plate being the same as the prime mover the towed unit must also display 2 red triangles.
    It would be appreciated if at some time in the future you might consider writing a article looking at this method of towing with a motorhome covering any pros and cons which might encountered.

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