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Any Tips/ Advice For A Newbie?


Firediamonduk
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Hi all,

 

Completely new to towing and caravan ownership. I am picking up our new (to us) caravan in a couple of weeks. My first experience of towing is going to be a 150 mile journey from my parents house in Romsey, Hants (its my dads old caravan he is giving me) to home in Stafford. It should be an easy drive where it is nearly all dual carriage way or motor way.

 

Looking for any advice/ tips/ recommendations of anything i might need to buy/ think about/ do for this first journey or generally owning and maintaining the caravan. Its an old ish caravan which has been stood for the last 2 years. It is going to be towed from where it is stored to my dads house and he will check it over mechanically to make sure it is safe to tow so that isnt an issue. He has got mirror extenders to give me and have a rear number plate ready. I know i need to get an adapter for electrics as my car (Mazda CX5 2. 2d AWD Auto Sport Nav) has 13 pin and the caravan is 2x7 pin, was planning on something like this. .. https://www. amazon. co. uk/gp/product/B003V9M366/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&psc=1

 

Anything else i might need? Advice for driving with the van on the back? Any good sources of information about towing etc. ..? What is the situation with insurance? IE does my car insurance cover me? Do i need extra?

 

Cheers

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Check your caravan lights before you depart. Check van tyre pressuresafety. Could be advisable to take out caravan insurance and maybe breakdown Insurance that Includes the caravan. Take it easy, don't worry too much, ignore the car drivers cutting you up. Enjoy the drive!

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Welcome. My goodness, where to start,with your Dad I presume. Click on the Advice section at the top of the page, then come back to us with what you really want to know about.

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Check your caravan lights before you depart. Check van tyre pressuresafety. Could be advisable to take out caravan insurance and maybe breakdown Insurance that Includes the caravan. Take it easy, don't worry too much, ignore the car drivers cutting you up. Enjoy the drive!

Thanks!

 

Not worried about other cars. Pretty sure my breakdown covers having the van on the back but def worth a check :)

 

Tyre pressures and condition etc. .. will all be checked before i tow it and planning on checking my car pressures nearer the time also.

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Things to check! Check your bank balance, things never work out as cheap as you think they will. Haha

Haha dont i know it!

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Strongly suggest insurance on the caravan as the car insurance only covers the caravan for third party claims while it is being towed. If it has been stood for awhile consider having new tyres fitted before you tow even if the tyres look good. The last thing you need is a side wall blow out while towing it home.

Hopefully the MTPLM of the caravan is less than 1380kg unless you have a B+E licence. Can you please give us some details on the caravan?

Otherwise enjoy your new hobby and if you do you will probably be trading it in for something a bit more modern. :D

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Strongly suggest insurance on the caravan as the car insurance only covers the caravan for third party claims while it is being towed. If it has been stood for awhile consider having new tyres fitted before you tow even if the tyres look good. The last thing you need is a side wall blow out while towing it home.

Hopefully the MTPLM of the caravan is less than 1380kg unless you have a B+E licence. Can you please give us some details on the caravan?

Otherwise enjoy your new hobby and if you do you will probably be trading it in for something a bit more modern. :D

 

Believe the caravan is 1300 so should be just within my limit. Dont have a B+E licence. Not sure on caravan details as recently changed my phone which had them on. Waiting for my dad to confirm the details and check the weight plate on the van when he goes over to it to sort it out. I know its a 93ish single axle 5 birth 18ft but cant for the life of me remember the make/model

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As said above, check your bank balance and buy a pair of trousers with deep pockets :D

 

it doesn't matter which caravan you buy (or get given), top of the range twin axled mega van or trailer tent, caravaning/camping WILL cost you more than you planned. It is addictive and the more you get into it the more 'stuff' you need :o

 

Great fun though and a fantastic hobby to have. I hope you enjoy it. :D

2015 3. 2 Auto Mitsubishi Pajero tugging a 2016 Tabbert Pucinni 2. 5e

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check the handbook of the car it may advise letting the car idle before being turned off after towing.

allow greater braking distances, slower round tight corners, bigger gaps for overtaking. if caravan starts to snake don't apply brakes harshly. as for what to buy, depends on what you have :)

 

macafee2

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check the handbook of the car it may advise letting the car idle before being turned off after towing.

allow greater braking distances, slower round tight corners, bigger gaps for overtaking. if caravan starts to snake don't apply brakes harshly. as for what to buy, depends on what you have :)

 

macafee2

Dad has been using the caravan for several years and had a caravan before this one and i am getting everything included so like to think will have most things for the caravan hopefully but always good to check/ get suggestions :)

 

Have driven very long wheel base vans before so comfortable with the longer braking distances and going slightly wider around turns. Does a caravan cut in a lot on a turn or does it broadly follow the track of the car? If snaking occurs do you just let off the gas and gently control it?

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A caravan does cut in a bit as most articulated vehicles do.

 

Never had a snake but easing off a bit seems to be the advice from forum members

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Snaking is caused by incorrect loading, excessive speed, strong winds and the effect caused by passing HGV's at speed.

 

If you get a snake on do not try and accelerate out of it, and only brake if you really have no option, just take your feet off the pedals, hold the steering wheel straight and pray :o:rolleyes:

 

Yes, the caravan will cut quite a bit into a corner, always follow the outside of a bend, if the bend is to the left follow the white line, if the bend is to the right follow the curb.

2015 3. 2 Auto Mitsubishi Pajero tugging a 2016 Tabbert Pucinni 2. 5e

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Snaking is caused by incorrect loading, excessive speed, strong winds and the effect caused by passing HGV's at speed.

 

If you get a snake on do not try and accelerate out of it, and only brake if you really have no option, just take your feet off the pedals, hold the steering wheel straight and pray :o:rolleyes:

 

Yes, the caravan will cut quite a bit into a corner, always follow the outside of a bend, if the bend is to the left follow the white line, if the bend is to the right follow the curb.

Those instructions seem to be more appropriate for towing with a LHD vehicle in Moenchen Gladbach :o;) or other Furrin places.

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Those instructions seem to be more appropriate for towing with a LHD vehicle in Moenchen Gladbach :o;) or other Furrin places.

No, they would be the other way round here :P

Always follow 'the outside' of a curve

2015 3. 2 Auto Mitsubishi Pajero tugging a 2016 Tabbert Pucinni 2. 5e

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No, they would be the other way round here :P

Always follow 'the outside' of a curve

Please define "outside"

 

The mirrors on my tug are adjusted so that the curb, which is almost invariably on the N/S in UK, and N/S caravan wheels are visible at all times.

Edited by DeeTee
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Given your beginning and end points, you'll probs be using the A34. Be careful, especially on the stretch between the M4 and Oxford. ..watch your speed as there's hills where it's easy for the van to run away from you - whatever you do, don't attempt an HGV overtake on a downhill stretch there.

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Please define "outside"

 

The mirrors on my tug are adjusted so that the curb, which is almost invariably on the N/S in UK, and N/S caravan wheels are visible at all times.

The 'outside' of a curve is the longest way round so in the UK if the road curves to your left the 'outside' of the curve will be on your right and vice-versa

That's how I was taught to drive when I was learning for my C+E licence

2015 3. 2 Auto Mitsubishi Pajero tugging a 2016 Tabbert Pucinni 2. 5e

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Given your beginning and end points, you'll probs be using the A34. Be careful, especially on the stretch between the M4 and Oxford. . . watch your speed as there's hills where it's easy for the van to run away from you - whatever you do, don't attempt an HGV overtake on a downhill stretch there.

 

Thanks, yes will be M3, A34, M40, M42, M6 Toll which gets me within 5 miles of home.

 

 

When you say, caravan running away. .. I presume the van will try and push the car down the hill, will gentle braking not bring this under control or will that cause the can to try and step out on you?

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The amazon gadget is what you need.

There are only a couple of rules really, start off carefully until you gain confidence and secondly and far more importantly enjoy it - it really is a great way to enjoy the great outdoor!

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Apart from others advice, as you are going to be using a pigtail for the 13 pin / 7 pin connections, this will make the cable very long & risk it dragging on the ground. Take a bungee cord with you & attach one end to the pigtail & the other end to the jockey wheel winding handle. This will keep the cable off the ground whilst still allowing enough give when manoeuvring. I'm sure your dad will give you plenty of advice when you collect the van. Enjoy

Les.
2. 0ltr 150TDCi TITANIUM X KUGA + 2016 Elddis Crusader Mistral ( Misty )

" I could agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong "

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check the handbook of the car it may advise letting the car idle before being turned off after towing.

 

What's that all about, Macafee?

 

John

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Turbocharged engines need to idle for a few minutes after use to let the turbo spin down while maintaining the oil supply. They run at very high rpm, some cars have a sticker on the door to this effect.

Advice,use your mirrors,take it easy and watch out for cyclists sneaking up the inside in towns,especially if turning left at junctions in uk.

 

On site if you are'nt sure about something on the van,ask. Most vanners are pretty helpful.

Putting up awnings can be fun,why does wind appear as you get it out?

Edited by DavS

Hyundai Santa Fe+Bailey Unicorn Cadiz

Mini Cooper convertible -fun Car!:)

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Turbocharged engines need to idle for a few minutes after use to let the turbo spin down while maintaining the oil supply. They run at very high rpm, some cars have a sticker on the door to this effect.

Advice,use your mirrors,take it easy and watch out for cyclists sneaking up the inside in towns,especially if turning left at junctions in uk.

 

On site if you are'nt sure about something on the van,ask. Most vanners are pretty helpful.

Putting up awnings can be fun,why does wind appear as you get it out?

 

Most modern turbocharged engines have a method of keeping the turbocharger cool as it spins down so letting the engine idle is not required and the most engine vibrations and internal wear is done at idle so it is unwise to let your engine idle unnecessarily. However it is wise not to rev the nuts off of it and turn the ignition off straight away. Also modern oil clings to the bearing surfaces and does not allow the turbo to overheat like older style oils and bearings might have done.

 

RE awnings, been tenting for several years as we spend weekends away working on displays for a professional firework company so know only too well the awkwardness of the fact the wind seems to be coming from whichever the open end is :)

 

Lesbunny, thanks for the tip about the cable. Will make sure i pack the bungy cable

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Thanks, yes will be M3, A34, M40, M42, M6 Toll which gets me within 5 miles of home.

 

 

When you say, caravan running away. . . I presume the van will try and push the car down the hill, will gentle braking not bring this under control or will that cause the can to try and step out on you?

 

Easing off the gas will help, but gentle braking otherwise - too harsh is when it'll get out of control; whatever you do don't try to accelerate out of such a situation.

 

I wouldn't like to overstate this so as to worry you - it's just something to be aware of that on that stretch lorries slow to a snail's pace on the up then pick up speeds on the down - so if you try to overtake near the brow, you can be caught in the outside lane. You'll learn that in general the riskiest times when towing are when overtaking/being overtaken by a lorry or a coach, and worst of these are car transporters because they throw out lots of turbulence. Unfortunately the A34's like a conveyor belt for Jaguar and Landrover transporters heading down to the port - on the plus side they're empty going northbound. Take things easy & you'll be fine. ..being aware of the risks is good, letting that stress you isn't!

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