Frequently asked questions
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Most Popular FAQs
If you passed your driving test before 1 January 1997, you are entitled to tow any outfit where the combined maximum authorised mass (MAM) does not exceed 8,250kg.
If you passed your test since the 1 January 1997 then you are restricted to the entitlement of licence category B, which restricts you to driving a vehicle with a MAM of up to 3,500kg and towing a trailer of 750kg – or a heavier trailer or caravan as long as the combined MAM of vehicle and caravan/trailer does not exceed 3,500kg and the MAM of the caravan/trailer does not exceed the unladen weight of the tow vehicle.
You can upgrade your category B entitlement by taking a further test to obtain category B+E, which will enable you to tow larger caravans with any vehicle having a MAM not exceeding 3,500kg. Details of the test are indicated in the Driving Standards Agency publication, The Official Guide to Learning to Drive.
There is no such thing as a caravan tyre, although some tyre sizes are supplied specifically to fit certain caravans. The same general specification is used for all road vehicle tyres and all are subject to the same rules on tread depth and construction. However, since the whole of a caravan’s weight is carried on just two tyres, the load carrying specification is usually higher. You should always ensure that the tyres fitted can carry the weight of the caravan at the speeds at which it could travel. A tyre fitter should have access to tables to work this out on the basis of tyre size and maximum weight of caravan, but if in doubt consult one of the Approved Caravan Workshops.
When you have the correct tyres fitted it is also important to inflate them to the correct pressure. If you do not have the caravan's handbook available, again your Approved Workshop should be able to help you. Remember that using a tyre which is ‘unsuitable’ for its use is against the law. To locate an Approved Workshop visit www.approvedworkshops.co.uk
There is no easy answer to this. When caravans were lightweight (less than 1,000kg) and the many cars had a noseweight of 75kg, this was not a problem. A 1,275kg caravan is now thought lightweight, but it gives an 85 per cent match with a diesel Mondeo. The ideal seven per cent noseweight of 89kg exceeds the Mondeo’s 75kg limit. This overloads the car, making it illegal and could void the driver’s insurance.
In practice it has been found that the typical outfit indicated above with a noseweight limited to the Mondeo’s 75kg will be stable, given the caravan loading is distributed well and the overall weight is not exceeding the 85 per cent limit.
At some point when reducing the noseweight below the ideal, a situation will come when the effect of the lower weight will show up and the outfit will not feel stable, particularly at the higher end of legal towing speeds. If you also ignore any other stability factors, such as loading, the noseweight will become even more crucial.
Some caravans have nose weights of 75kg before they are even loaded. Once forward lockers are full of gas cylinders and the battery installed it is not unknown for the caravan hitchweight to be 90kg or more. Sometimes this hitchweight can be reduced to 75kg or less by positioning a heavy awning a short distance behind the caravan axle. However, to counterbalance a high noseweight by putting a heavy weight at the very rear of a caravan (back-loading) is inadvisable. Not only will your noseweight be less than ideal, but you have also created a dumb-bell effect, which will encourage your caravan to swing.
So when matching car and caravan, don’t compromise on the car’s towing limit or legal limits. Aim to meet the recommended 85 per cent weight ratio, but accept there may be a slight compromise to the seven per cent noseweight. Check your car noseweight limit is reasonably close to the ideal caravan noseweight and that you can easily balance the actual caravan noseweight within the car limit without excessive back-loading.
Usually if we publish a website address in the magazine we publish it in full e.g. campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/competitions. This means that you do not have to search for the page and can go straight to the page you want. Therefore firstly check if there is a direct website address and type that into your internet address bar in full, if there is a full stop on the end of the website address leave it out.
Alternatively you can always use our Search button on the top right hand side of the website where you will see 'Enter keyword'.
Complete the online enquiry form on the Contact Us page. Choose My Membership as your subject and advise us you would like to cancel your membership.
Alternatively telephone the Membership Department on 0845 130 7632.
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