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Towing Course?


Poppymay
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Hi,

 

we have now been away in our new (to us!) caravan a couple of times and love it. Everything is going really well but I am very nervous towing it. I wondered if a towing course might be a good idea or whether this is something that gets better over time?

 

Has anyone been on a course?

 

Thanks a lot. :Thankyou:

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It certainly does get easier the more you do it. A towing course could help though, I did one years ago with the CC (now CMC)

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It certainly does get easier the more you do it. A towing course could help though, I did one years ago with the CC (now CMC)

 

Did they take you out on the road? Some I found seemed to concentrate on loading, setting it up, and reversing.

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Same as Uther1, I did the CC course a number of years ago, mainly because I had switched to a twin axle and wanted to improve my reversing skills. You are correct in what you say about emphasis placed on loading, setting up etc, I would say it is more of a manouvering skills course. The one I attended was entirely held in the car park of a local college with a course laid out with traffic cones, no actual on road driving. It was more being taught about reversing in a straight line, reversing around a corner but I would certainly recommend it. Although I had been towing single axle vans for a number of years prior to the course I still found it helpful and would give you more confidence when out on the road.

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Both my wife and i did a towing course, no you don't go out on a road but they do give you pointers on reversing and turning and it does give you confidence. you will also build up confidence over time.

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The camping and caravan club run an advanced course. This is a one to one course on the road. Covering Hill start, narrow roads, motorways and dual carriageways and pitching on site.

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When I got back into caravaning after a 25 year layoff, I decided to take a course as I was purchasing a twin axle as opposed to my 12' - 6" Award in my previous life.

 

All of the training was on the roads around Stoke on Trent, quite busy, with the exception of maneuvering and an emergency stop! which were done on private ground.

 

The guy who did the training fed me a few on road tips which I have used over the years since.

 

Different to the normal training mentioned and was arranged by the dealer from whom the caravan was purchased.

 

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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As per previous posts, it seems most towing courses tend to concentrate on reversing round corners etc which you can quickly learn yourself if you have a retail outlet handy that has a large car park. Simply get family members to be " the corner " & practice reversing & cornering - slowly :) .

 

As for actual towing on the road, the more you do it the easier it becomes, just give yourself a little more room at roundabouts, drive a little further forward before taking left hand corners & keep one eye on your drivers side towing mirror when on dual carriageways or motorways. Above all, treat it like what it is - part of the holiday, so relax & take your time.

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Towing on the road is very little different to driving solo except that your outfit is wider and longer. If you are doing your observations properly and remember to think "caravan" you will have no real problems. If you are unsure about observations there are advanced driving courses available, you may want to contact the Institute of Advanced Motorists, they offer courses to improve your general driving skills which are all you really when towing on the roads.

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Did they take you out on the road? Some I found seemed to concentrate on loading, setting it up, and reversing.

That would be solely tha manoeuvring course.

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Hi,

 

we have now been away in our new (to us!) caravan a couple of times and love it. Everything is going really well but I am very nervous towing it. I wondered if a towing course might be a good idea or whether this is something that gets better over time?

 

Has anyone been on a course?

 

Thanks a lot. :Thankyou:

If you attend the NEC Show in October, one of the clubs do a course where they take you out on the road, I think it's the CCC Club

Edited by Les Medes
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If you attend the NEC Show in October, one of the clubs do a course where they take you out on the road, I think it's the CCC Club

Yep I did that in a very nice auto jeep!!!

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If you attend the NEC Show in October, one of the clubs do a course where they take you out on the road, I think it's the CCC Club

I did that a few years ago. At the time it was the Camping & Caravannng Club, but you don't need to be a member. Les booked it online in advance of the show and only told me the day before! It was very busy around the NEC and i was more worried about the electronic handbrake on the automatic car I was driving, than the caravan behind me! To be fair, the Caravans they use are really lightweight and I did learn a few tips in the short 15 mins lesson - as did my Husband who was sat in the back seat!

Edited by Glen and Les
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you can ring most training driver centres and ask if they have a trailer specialist. this will get you the on the road experience and tips you will only get after many years towing.

 

2 decent hours with an instructor will serve you very well. Make sure you tell them its for caravan use. SOME use a car with a box trailer. ....not as useful as say a jeep and twin horse box. So ask what they train in.

 

You may even find someone has a small caravan!!

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If you attend the NEC Show in October, one of the clubs do a course where they take you out on the road, I think it's the CCC Club

 

Also at the Manchester show in January.

 

Ian

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Also at the Manchester show in January.

 

Ian

I'll look into that!

 

It's strange, I am a confident, calm and experienced car driver but I am really nervous of towing. All sorts of potential scenarios go through my head, of what might happen etc. In the end I am too nervous to tow and my husband has to do it all, whereas usually, I do most of the driving!

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I'll look into that!

 

It's strange, I am a confident, calm and experienced car driver but I am really nervous of towing. All sorts of potential scenarios go through my head, of what might happen etc. In the end I am too nervous to tow and my husband has to do it all, whereas usually, I do most of the driving!

 

 

It is practice and confidence which can be gained by doing some driving and reversing in a closed supermarket carpark and then driving round local streets that you know .

 

It is just driving slower and reading the road ahead and making adjustments for braking and giving a wider turning allowance for the trailer .

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave
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On the course I did, the instructor asked me if I knew where the rear corner of the caravan would swing out to if using full lock, I didn't.

 

He got me to align the caravan, a large single axle and the car, a Discovery 2 against a straight line, put the car on full lock then drive away and he would mark the point to where the rear corner swung.

 

It swung out just over 3ft.

 

I did the same with my twin axle when I got it and it swung out just over 4ft so whenever I turn with my D4 of which gives the same result and if I can, I will leave at least this gap irrespective of amount of lock and I know I am safe.

 

Interestingly, on pulling away, my TA swung 1ft to the inside of the turn before swinging to the outside of the turn.

 

The rest other than the emergency stop and reversing was done out on the highway.

 

I felt cautiously confident at the end of the course and before I picked up my caravan for its 150 mile maiden.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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I also went on the Caravan club course.

 

I was the youngest there at age 42!...I read extensively about towing before attending.

 

The course mainly concerned reversing as previously mentioned BUT what really surprised me was people who had been towing for years were oblivious to noise weight and correct loading!! :o

 

Opps nose. ..not noise :D

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I also went on the Caravan club course.

 

I was the youngest there at age 42!. . .I read extensively about towing before attending.

 

The course mainly concerned reversing as previously mentioned BUT what really surprised me was people who had been towing for years were oblivious to noise weight and correct loading!! :o

Opps nose. . . not noise :D

As a relatively new peeps to caravans I'm amazed how many people don't even know HOW heavy their van is or seem to care what's in it. . All because ,"we've been caravanning for years" statement, like that covers it!!!!
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Exactly Lozzyf

 

I was amazed/still am by the amount of unstable units I see out on the roads-Not pinpointing any particular age group-it maybe a family with luggage filling the side windows of the car pulling a caravan nose down jockey wheel almost on the tarmac ranging to the driver with car rear end down and caravan nose down who is making constant steering inputs to stay in a straight line. ..scary :o:blink:

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I am very new to caravanning (took the van away for the first time last weekend, only the second time i have ever towed anything before). I did a lot of reading before hand.

 

I was a car mechanic so am very in tune with the way the car feels/ reacts and noises etc. .. so i think my biggest problem is that it feels completely different with the van on the back, this puts me on edge as i am feeling and listening for things that might be wrong and it takes me a while to "tune in" to having the van on the back.

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I am very new to caravanning (took the van away for the first time last weekend, only the second time i have ever towed anything before). I did a lot of reading before hand.

 

I was a car mechanic so am very in tune with the way the car feels/ reacts and noises etc. . . so i think my biggest problem is that it feels completely different with the van on the back, this puts me on edge as i am feeling and listening for things that might be wrong and it takes me a while to "tune in" to having the van on the back.

 

I was the same, every bump, corner or manoeuvre I was thinking "wassat"!??? Then after a few times I settled down lol
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I was the same, every bump, corner or manoeuvre I was thinking "wassat"!??? Then after a few times I settled down lol

Usually find i settle down once cruising on the motorway and am fine after that :)

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