Caravan Pre-season Checks

23 Apr 2018

Spring has finally sprung and if you own a caravan it’s time to start thinking about getting it prepared for your next adventure. Along with chasing out the spiders and stocking up on tea bags there are a few checks you should do to make sure you’re caravan is safe to tow on the road.

  • Tyres:  Regularly turning your tyres during the winter months helps prevent them perishing in one spot. Now spring is here, give them a thorough check for any signs of cracking, bulging or general wear and tear, and ensure they’re inflated to the correct pressure. While you’re looking at the wheels check the wheel nuts are tight too.
  • Lights: Make sure all the road-lights are working correctly.
  • Coupling: Check the coupling and jockey wheel for signs of wear and tear, and ensure the breakaway cable is in good condition.
  • Get a Service: Book your caravan in for a service at the start of the season so you know it’s in good working order. It’s not a legal requirement to get it serviced, but you are legally required to ensure it’s roadworthy.
  • Fire Safety:  Make sure your fire extinguisher and fire blanket are in good condition, and test your smoke alarm.

It can take a bit of time to get back in to the swing of driving while towing as your vehicle will respond differently. Remember to increase the normal distance you would leave between your vehicle and the one in front because even if your caravan has its own braking system your stopping distances will be much greater than normal.

You also need to remember that the bigger the unit you’re towing the larger your blind spots will be. Smaller more vulnerable road users can easily become hidden in blind spots to you’ll need to keep checking your mirrors and blind spots to avoid putting them at risk.

Caravans are absolutely entitled to use the road, but do be aware of traffic behind you and it starts to build up find a safe place to pull in to let it pass.

If you’re new to caravanning, or feeling a little rusty, the Camping and Caravanning Club runs both beginner and advanced courses designed to help increase your confidence in towing and manoeuvring. Visit their website for more information and for further articles on how to have a safer caravanning experience. http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/membership/benefits/courses/manoeuvringcourses/

For more tips and information visit our towing advice webpage: http://www.somersetroadsafety.org/page/towing-advice/184/

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