Towing - it's not easy I have seen caravans swaying about!
It’s still a big issue for some. Towing a caravan can look daunting, but it’s not that difficult at all. It’s down to common sense and also having the right choice of car and caravan. Don’t be tempted to pull the biggest caravan your car will allow. First time owners should look at the 85% of car’s kerb weight guide quoted by all the experts and work off that as a way to get a good balanced outfit. Also most tourers will have a hitch stabiliser fitted – this will help the van’s stability in windy conditions and when large vehicles pass.
Our advice is to get yourself booked on a towing course, organised by one of the two UK Clubs (both well worth joining) and if you are able to visit the two major caravan exhibitions at the NEC they have a “tow a caravan event” where a qualified instructor takes you out and gives you the key factors on towing – its well worth doing.
Caravans will also only go basically where you take them, so it means driving with more care and attention due to the extra length and width. Of course stopping distances are longer too but once you have taken to the road a few times the art of towing is mastered and you can take the job in your stride.
If I can afford it, it’s best buying new isn’t it?
If you’re able to afford a new tourer as a first-time buyer then my advice is this: If you definitely know that you will like the caravanning lifestyle and you must have something nobody else has lived in, then sure go for it. But if you’re still not 100% sold on the lifestyle or if you cannot use the caravan to its full advantage, then we say go for a good, recent used model. New is great – but for the same money a used caravan may have several retro-fitted extras that will save you hundreds on fitting them to your new choice.
Buying used also means that teething problems will have generally been sorted out to. Also caravans come with longer warranties than they used to so in most cases these will be current, and also shows the caravan has been kept serviced over its few years. So apart from saving you a bucket load of cash, a good used model will in many cases offer better value.