it's a brave or foolish individual who ventures out onto the road with a caravan on tow and no experience or training in how to handle one safely. common sense dictates that attaching more than 1,000kg of caravan to the back of a car is going to seriously effect the way your vehicle handles and performs. then there's the age-old problem of parking and manoeuvring your van around campsites and onto pitches. to the inexperienced tower a tight parking space can represent an accident waiting to happen.
Fortunately, the Caravan Club runs regular practical caravanning and towing courses at their 14 training locations around the country. These are open to caravan club members and non-members alike and they're very popular so you may have a short wait, but once you've got your certificate you'll feel far more confident with your caravan on tow.
The Club has been running its one-and-a-half-day Practical Caravanning course for over 35 years now. It costs only £155 and is perfect for those new to towing. Whatever your level of expertise, the courses should prove extremely handy and once you've taken them, you'll feel much more confident about towing out on the roads and parking-up on site. For more information, contact the Caravan Club Events Department on (01342) 336 666 or alternatively, visit www.caravanclub.co.uk to book your course online, but don't forget to take a look at the Club's course terms and conditions before you do.
It's very important to have the right tow car for the weight of the caravan that you wish to tow. It's no good trying to haul a large and heavy double axle model with a compact hatch like the Ford KA or even a MINI. You'd need something at least as large as a Land Rover Freelander, Toyota RAV4 or Subaru Forester to tow with confidence but it's not always necessary to own a 4x4. Good towing cars include models such as Ford's Mondeo or Volvo's S80 Indeed, most family-sized hatches, saloons and estates will do the trick but it's advisable to find out more about tow bars and the related equipment available to allow you to tow safely. Once again, Caravan Club will be able to assist or one perhaps, if you are a member, of one of the motoring organisations such as the AA and RAC.