Caravanning is one of the most enjoyable ways to see the country around Europe. Just pack up the family and hit the road to enjoy beautiful campsites and new horizons. But what should you consider when you plan to buy a new caravan? Do you want one which your car tows (and is your car powerful enough to tow it) or a mobile home? Or maybe you just want a static caravan on a site you already know and love?
When looking to buy a caravan, first look at your car. Manufacturers will tell you maximum towing weight, but that’s not the only factor to consider. The lower the weight of a caravan the safer the outfit is and it should never go over the curbside weight of the towing vehicle. This may seem very confusing, but when you buy your caravan the dealer can help you make sense of it. It is also good to know there is no legal weight ratio requirement, except for those who first passed their test after 1 January 1997.
How big should you go? There are a number of things to consider, not just how many people you’ll have, but for easy maneuverability it is a good idea to buy the smallest one that will fit your needs. The longer the caravan the more awkward it is to maneuver and the maximum length caravan a car can tow in Britain is 7 metres. Depending on the sites you plan to use you may not want to buy the most compact one you can find. While many sites have toilets available, some specific caravan sites do not and require that you ‘bring your own’. Most caravans over 3 metres have a toilet, unless they are shorter and do not have the required space. You may also want to consider one with a built in awning to give you extra space for dining or enjoying a summer’s evening.
Once you’re ready to purchase your caravan, make sure to have it insured. There are a number of policies available, but consider getting the best one you can afford. Also think about where you’re travelling: if you never plan to leave Britain with your caravan you may be able to save some money, but if you think you might head farther away look at more comprehensive plans. It should include accidental damage and collision cover, public liability and legal protection. At http://www.towergateinsurance.co.uk they also offer worldwide cover and RAC recovery abroad, so that you’re not stranded even when you head farther away from home.