VIDEO: How to correctly load your caravan for towing

Published in Caravan Guard News, Caravanning Top Tips, Videos on   - 20 Comments

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  1. Vaughan Hencher says:

    Because the one on the caravan could be irelevant. There are THREE nose weights to take into account: The car manufacturers, the tow bar manufacturers and the caravan manufacturers. The lowest is the one that should be chosen regardless of which one it is. Printing it on the caravan although helpful could be misleading.

  2. Rob Gregory says:

    Why is so little importance made to the nose weight? That makes a huge difference to the stability. I think positioning everything forward of the axle then moving things backwards till the nose weight is correct. If you can get away with not having the awning over the axle but forward a bit that’s far better.

  3. Brian Ashmead says:

    I agree with Dave excessive speed is a problem but like Dave I have also been towing for over 40 years and in my opinion overloading is the major problem that cause accidents, we have all witnessed the caravans arriving on site and unloading everything but the kitchen sink .Modern caravans are not designed to carry all of this additional equipment, the caravan manufacturers have all reduced the MPTLM to enable their vans to be towed by the smaller more economic cars which are not capable of pulling heavy weights. I have paid extra to Swift to upgrade my rating plate to enable me to comply with the law. I carry as much as possible in my car which is a medium 4×4 with an engine that is more than capable of towing my van, yes it’s not economical but it’s kerb weight means that I can tow safely within the specified limits and allows me to tour with out worrying that I am a) breaking the law and b) that I am still insured if God forbid I do have an accident, because as good as Caravan Guard are at paying out after an accident if the caravan is shown to be overloaded then I am sure that the insurance would be null and void !
    As stated in my previous reply last night todays modern caravans are not fit for purpose if you want to tour with them.

  4. Brian Ashmead says:

    I actually weighed my caravan whilst on holiday in Cornwall and was surprised to find that I was 200kg’s overweight even though I carry the awning, chairs barby etc in the back of my 4×4. I only have the empty clean and waste containers in my van plus clothing and food. When I got home I weighed each individual item and was very surprised at the results. So I sent a copy of my findings to both the caravan club and camping and caravan club, neither of which have made any comments apart from acknowledging my letter and the reason for this is is that I have surmised that the the MPTLM of today’s modern caravan is to cater for the smaller enginned cars and the caravans are not fit for purpose ie if you want to tour don’t take any clothes or food with you.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for your comments Brian. We’d suggest passing on your concerns and findings to the national body for caravan safety the National Caravan Council.

  5. david hart says:

    Clearly safety is the issue here and having caravanned for over 40 years,our first caravan was a Sprite 400 with Gas Mantles and a foot pump for water, Speed is ,in my view, the most dangerous current problem. The new cars, much more powerful than those of old are capable of towing trailers and caravans at very dangerous speeds. That is why the authorities impose rules on towing, a speed limit of 60mph and overtaking rules on 3 lane highways. The number of caravans and those towing trailers that overtake me on motorways is frankly idiotic. Far in excess of 60mph and in the 3rd lane blatantly breaking the law and putting everyone at risk. I assume the speed cameras used by the relevant agencies are designed to interpret this and fines dispatched, as do the Toll Booth cameras on the Autoroutes on the continent identifying if you are towing or not or am I wrong.

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for your comments David. It is important for everyone’s safety that caravanners stick to the speed limit and tow responsibly.

  6. Dave Sumpter says:

    I have just insured my new caravan with yourselves and I question your ruling about discounts for drivers who have proof of attending a towing coarse.
    Firstly, I was never asked this question?
    Secondly, I have been towing trailers for over 45 years, 18 years with a double axle and over 40cwt in tow when I was self employed.
    Why am I classed as un-experienced and not given the discount?

    • Liz @ Caravan Guard says:

      Thanks for getting in touch Dave . I have looked into this for you. A towing course is one of several ways of achieving a 10% introductory no claims discount, however looking at your record, you have received the full 3 years 20% no claims discount as a result of your claim free caravanning experience.
      As you initially went online to obtain a quote, the information about towing experience is found within the help section relating to the question “How many years have you held claim free caravan insurance?”. As you qualified for the full no claims discount online, the adviser would not have asked you about your towing experience.
      Thanks again for taking your caravan insurance with caravan Guard and if you have any other queries please give us a call.

  7. Hemming says:

    Talking to other caravaners, getting the nose weight down to 75Kg is a common problem. Loading the rear of the caravan can cause stability problems, even with IDC. I notice that some manufacturers have moved the fridge to alongside the cooker, perhaps causing heat transfer from the oven. Why do the manufacturers not move the body of the caravan rearwards on the chassis? An unloaded nose weight of approximately 60 Kg would solve the problem.

  8. scootercar says:

    noseweight is a legal requirement why is not stamped anywere on caravan or car

  9. Graeme Sherris says:

    Looking for reply to m glaser question 20th Feb please ? Thanks

  10. Michael Glaser says:

    I have a caravan with an mtplm of 1470kg and a car with a curb weight of 1475. However the manufacturers permiitted towing weight is 2000kg. Is thisd an exception. I dont understand the following. There is an exception to this rule. If your car’s recommended maximum towing weight (i.e. the amount it can pull safely as advised by the car manufacturer) is lower than 85%, you should stick to this lower amount as your upper limit for your loaded caravan’s weight.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Michael
      I ran your query past a leading caravan journalist.
      He said, “The towing limit as set by the towcar manufacturer is one which has been calculated under ‘laboratory’ conditions. If it is below the ‘van’s MTPLM we would strongly recommend that the owner consider changing the car. If it is above the MTPLM – the most likely case – we strongly recommend that the owner sticks to the 85 per cent rule, i.e the total weight of the caravan does not exceed 85 per cent of the car’s kerbweight.”
      I hope this helps but let us know if you’d like further clarification.
      Kind Regards
      Caravan Guard

  11. stanley battell says:

    why is there no mention about twin axle trailers when it comes to weights and nose weights ?

  12. Ian Ottley says:

    Your article is very comprehensive but it fails to mention probably the most effective way of reaching your destination safely and in one piece.Having loaded your car and caravan with great care, finally setting off on your journey, feeling safe and confident with the stabiliser fitted and ATC on,
    Remember that they are speed limits, not targets….

  13. Mr Robert Ramsden says:

    The best advice to give to anyone about to concider towing anything is to take a proper driving coarse to include reverseing proceedure, I have full HGV Class 1 and full PSV licences plus over 1,000,000 miles driving experience driving these classes of vehicle. My question is when is an insurance company going to take things like this into account when quoteing premiums.

    • Craig says:

      Hi Robert

      Sorry for the delay in responding. If a person is new to caravanning but has completed a towing course, we reward them with our 10% introductory no claims insurance discount.

      Kind regards
      Caravan Guard

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