How do I hitch my caravan to my tow car?
Hitching the caravan up may seem daunting at first; it has got to be safely attached to the car. Bring the car as close to the hitch as possible, making sure you have a reliable helper stood to the rear of the car (though not directly behind!). Raise the caravan up with the jockey wheel (make sure the caravan handbrake is on) and reverse your car slowly. Get the car’s tow ball under the coupling slowly, then drop the caravan hitch onto the car. Look out for the green marker on the hitch coupling indicator popping up as you wind the jockey wheel down. A click will usually be heard when it happens – pull the jockey wheel clear into place on the drawbar and tighten the side handle. Take the caravan’s hand break off; attach the red safety cable to an attachment point on the car’s bar - an eyelet usually.
You need then to put the lights plug in, this means turning it for the 13 pin design until it clicks into place. Then check that all the road lights are working with someone standing behind the caravan. Once hitched up make sure your fridge’s switch control is on the battery sign. Also make sure all lights etc are turned off.
You're ready for the off! What you must remember though is the car won’t accelerate away as it normally does. Also the extra length means you need more room to get through gaps and for overtaking. You will need to use the gearbox more, changing down to allow the car to pull away.
Once on the road all speed limits need to be kept to: 60 mph on, motorways’ and dual carriageways’ and 50 mph on B roads. Also don’t forget the third lane is out of bounds and you need to concentrate on what is happening behind, as well as in front. Large vehicles passing you can cause air turbulence resulting in the caravan being sucked. This can cause instability – don’t brake, just take you foot off the accelerator. Following a large vehicle can also cause stability problems. Getting used to the caravan and car’s handling will come with experience. Going down a hill though can be a problem if you let the outfit gain speed. Use the gears to help keep the speed down – putting less strain on the car's breaking.
Once you get to grips with towing the easier it becomes, I say keep to main roads first and get used to the extra width and length before going to caravan or campsites which may mean narrow roads to get to them.