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Picking Up My First Ever Caravan Next Weekend.


Phillippa42
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I'm very excited and a little bit scared as I've never towed a caravan before.

 

I've only got to get it 3 miles back to the storage place so should be OK but have booked a weekend away the following weekend about 30 miles away. Going to a big c&cc site as I thought if I had trouble with hitching, working the electrics, etc the warden might help me!

 

One thing I was thinking yesterday what if you're travelling a route you don't know or maybe take a wrong turn and you're faced with a massive hill? My route to work goes down road which has a right angle bend in and then a really steep hill with traffic lights at the top. I'd hate to come round the corner and see a hill like that with a caravan on the back. No space to turn round before the hill either.

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Am picking it up next weekend so expect some daft questions from me over the next few weeks. :D

 

Got a Elddis Hurricane Ex2000. Bought it from a local dealer and it looks in really good condition, went all over it with a damp meter and it seemed fine. Fingers crossed everything works on it as I wasn't able to test electrics, etc. They're doing a full service for me and have said they'll check all of that in the service.

 

I am planning when I pick it up to see everything is working as they're going to show me how to work everything like the heater, cooker, fridge.

 

Bought a second hand aqua roll, hitchlock and wastemaster today.

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Welcome to the forum Phillippa. Why don't you do a street view of the route in advance? ;)

2011 Land Rover Freelander 2, Lago grey 2013 Freelander Dynamic Black, followed by a 2013 Elddis 574 Magnum GT white

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That's a good idea, thanks. Have just checked out the last bit of the route for the site and it looks OK. I know exactly what the entrance to the site looks like now which is great!

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Can anyone please explain towbar weight to me?

 

I previously did a free tow match report which just gave me a ratio. Have now done one on the c&cc website and as well as a ratio it's given me a towbar weight of 117%

 

I have bought a nose weight gauge and I know the max nose weight for my car is 75kg. Don't under stand this 117% figure but its flagged up as bad.

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I've just found a similar post from someone who had the same match but using the CC matching service and even t hough their figure was 117% they got a green tick and told that the nose weight should be fine to tow the caravan. Just said about when loading to make sure you don't exceed the limit for the car towball and to aim for between 5-7% of total weight to be nose weight.

 

Which is clearer than what the c&cc said, c&cc also said my unit might have instability which worried me.

 

I've got a weigh bridge near me so think after I've loaded it up I'll try and get it on the weigh bridge. If I weigh it with all the caravan on the platform and then weigh it with the jockey wheel off the platform I should be able to work out the nose weight and then the percentage shouldn't I?

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On the subject of towing, you won't have much of a problem with hills, sometimes if you have to stop moving off needs to be done with care, especially with front wheel drive and a wet surface, easy does it.

 

The weights of interest are the nose weight, that's the weight pressing down on the tow ball, you have a gauge and you know what it should be, move weight fore and aft in the caravan to achieve the correct weight. The other weight which is of concern is the weight of the caravan compared to the weight of the car (it's slightly more complicated than that but in principle this is what it is), it's recommended that the weight of the caravan should not exceed 85% of the cars weight. So if your focus weighs 1500 kg your caravan shouldn't exceed 1275 kg. you can tow above this figure (i do) but it's not recommended especially for inexperienced. If the 117% is the ratio it really can't be recommended. Are you also aware of driving license requirements ?

 

Ap

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I'm Ok with my licence as I passed my test pre 1997.

 

My car to caravan ratio is 88% so I know I'm a bit over the 85%.

 

The 117% is a different figure. It says est towbar weight - 117%

mltpm/kerb weight - 88%

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Phillippa - take it slowly, don't get stressed by other drivers (some of whom will do anything to get past you), take bends and corners a bit widish and don't cut a corner. Fit your mirrors, don't forget the extra numberplate (about £8 with your V5).

Most of all - enjoy it - we've all been there and it's a doddle!

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/caravan-finance/buying/checks-when-buying-a-caravan

 

You might want to download the checklist on this link.

Ford C-Max and Coachman Festival 380/2 SE 2006    Motto  Carpe Diem

Still trying to find the perfect pitch. ..110 amp Battery+ 65 watt roof mounted Solar and 25 watt Wind Turbine. LED lighting. Status Aerial 315. Loose chattels marked with UV,. Safefill Gas Fitted.

 

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I had a similar worrying first time out picking up the van from Southampton and driving back to cornwall, just take it easy and don't forget your towing mirrors!

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Am picking it up next weekend so expect some daft questions from me over the next few weeks. :D

 

Got a Elddis Hurricane Ex2000. . .

 

Nice caravan. We recently bought an EX2000 Jetstream, and although we're almost as new to caravanning as yourself, our first couple of trips have convinced us that it was a good first choice.

 

Enjoy!

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Glad you like your Jetstream Melbourne.

 

I've got towing mirrors, a spirit level, an aqua roll, a waste master and sorted out storage now.

 

Going go get some Calor lite tomorrow and when I pick the van up will get some levelling blocks.

 

Then all I need is wine and I'm good to go.

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I'm sure you'll have thought of this already, but have you got a hook-up cable for the electrics?

Edited by Highlandman

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

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Some excellent advice above,

 

Once you've got the weights and mirrors sorted the rest is just to take it easy and when turning take it wider than you would without the caravan on the back.

 

The rest can be sorted out once parked up!

 

And yes you do seem to have the right attitude wrt the wine!!!!!

 

Enjoy and be sure to tell us how it goes. .. which I am sure will be a lot better than you fear!!!!

 

G.

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I'm Ok with my licence as I passed my test pre 1997.

 

My car to caravan ratio is 88% so I know I'm a bit over the 85%.

 

The 117% is a different figure. It says est towbar weight - 117%

mltpm/kerb weight - 88%

Mines around 92% and it's as steady as a rock on the A1

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What's it like on the other roads #8o)

It's very stable. I keep the nose weight down. ..store all the heavy items on the car to increase its weight, with some over the axle in the van. Last outing of 2013 up to Durham . A mixture of A1and bumpy country B roads. ...it did very well. If you are careful with loading and careful how you drive it should be ok.

Edited by Guest
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