Below is a list of frequently asked questions:
There are a number of steps that you can take – and you need to remember that it is at risk both when stored and when in use. The most recent addition is the immobiliser, which is available on some new models and can be retro fitted to certain older models – check with your dealer.
Older caravans are still at risk from thieves - see the security section of the website for a list of security devices.
A list of members and a search facility by postcode is available from the Caravan Storage Site Owners Association (CaSSOA) .
A list of specialist insurance companies can be found on the NCC website - www.thecaravan.net.
Yes – this is possible. Contact CRiS on 0203 282 1000 for details of how to do this.
I am considering buying a caravan but it isn't approved by the NCC Certification Scheme? What does this mean?
If the caravan is not Approved by the NCC, then you should satisfy yourself that it meets UK legal requirements and best practice health and safety standards. It might be initially cheaper to buy a non Approved caravan, but there may be risks to you and your family. Even if it is made by a well-known Continental manufacturer, you may find it more difficult to find a service centre that will look after it.
The regulations differ from country to country and are beyond the scope of this website. The Caravan Club and DVLA websites have useful information on driving abroad.
Both the Clubs offer towing courses, which will provide a very good basic training and give you more confidence. You may also like to read the Highway Agency’s Hitched magazine.
Most major manufacturers offer light-weight caravans that provide the perfect mobile base for touring holidays. The 85% guide match is generally recommended for beginners i.e. restricting the laden weight of the caravan to 85% of the towcar's kerbweight.
There are folding and slimline caravans such as those made by Gobur Caravans that can be towed by smaller cars.
A touring caravan with: a maximum laden weight not exceeding 3,500 kg, overall width not exceeding 2.55 metres and overall body length not exceeding 7 metres (excluding drawbar and coupling) is the maximum size that can be legally towed by a motor vehicle whose maximum gross vehicle weight is less than 3,500 kg (so most 4x4s and even Transit type vans are not allowed to tow caravans that exceed the above dimensions). There are very few such large caravans in the UK, but it is as well to be aware of this.
Yes (possibly!), but with significant reservations as it is difficult to generalise. You will need to check very carefully the weights your vehicle can tow and you should have sight of the vehicle being towed, which is not possible from many models of motorhome. For driving licence requirements, see the Directgov website. For general advice on towing, read 'The Caravan Towing Guide,' published by the National Caravan Council. This offers guidance on correct towing techniques and explains the terminology. N.B. The laws on towed trailers vary significantly across Europe.
Your car insurance will only provide third party liability cover whilst towing. It will not cover your unit or personal belongings. Your caravan is at risk of damage when towing, hitching or in storage, so having insurance will cover you for any of these risks. Unfortunately you also have to consider the possibility of your caravan or motorhome being stolen, this is where insurance can play a big role.
This is a great question and with so much choice, how do you know you are getting the right cover? Well, you should research the company and their offering, it is important to check exactly what you are covered for. It is easy to be swayed by the cheapest quote and the thought you probably will never have to use it. The problem with these types of policies is when an incident occurs and you need to claim, you may find you're not covered. Getting good value insurance is about getting all the insurance benefits you require at a competitive price, not just going for the cheapest option.
Most insurers recognise the value in offering discounts to customers that have fitted recognised safety and security devices. Further discounts can also be obtained for secure storage when your caravan is not in use.
As this varies from vehicle to vehicle, the manufacturers specify the number of designated passenger seats for travelling, all of which will all have seat belts fitted. . Passengers should only use the designated passenger seats, as specified by the motorhome manufacturer, when the vehicle is being driven. Seatbelts in the rear of a motorhome, where fitted, must be worn.
Overloading a car, touring caravan or motorhome can invalidate the insurance cover, the vehicle manufacturers terms of warranty and be in breach of the road traffic regulations, so it is important check that you do not overload the vehicle, or exceed the permitted axle weights.
The biggest motorhome you can drive in Great Britain is 12m long and 2.55m wide. There is no height limit but if the motorhome is over 3m tall, the height must be on a notice visible to you as the driver. If you need to measure a vehicle, there are some parts that don't need to be included in your measurements. If you want to be sure, look for the NCC Badge of Approval, as that will confirm the vehicle is legal for use on UK roads. See details of the NCC certification scheme. More information about what is legal is also available on the Directgov website