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Check your Caravan

Category: Practical Advice Final Check Lists | Author: |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 120384   9151

Check your Caravan before each journey

The driver, that’s you, of the tow vehicle has the responsibility for the safe operation of the caravan you are towing, and you need to carry out the following checks:

  • Is the caravan load correctly distributed i.e. not too much or too little nose weight? Heavier items, tent etc. to be placed over the axle of the caravan.

  • Is the load within the caravan’s official GVM. (Gross Vehicle Mass)? I.e. not overloaded. To check the Gross Vehicle Mass, the GVM is stamped on the tag on the tow hitch of the caravan.

  • Is the actual Gross Vehicle Mass (Loaded weight of the caravan) being towed within the towing vehicle manufacturer's recommended maximum towing limit? The towed vehicle (caravan) GVM must not exceed the Tare of the tow vehicle (your car). To check the Tare (unloaded weight) of the motor vehicle, you will find the Tare details on your motor vehicles’ license disk.

  • Is the cable and plug connecting the lights from the tow vehicle and caravan undamaged and plugged in?

  • Are all the caravan lights (Tail lights, stop lights and indicators) undamaged and working correctly? You should check this every time you hitch the caravan to your motor vehicle.

  • Is the correct number plate fitted on the rear of the caravan? (Check just in case!)

  • Is the breakaway cable or chain undamaged and correctly connected, to a suitable point on the tow bar of the towing vehicle?

  • Have you fitted the stabilizer correctly and according to the manufacturers’ specifications?

  • Are the tyre pressures correct? You will find the recommended caravan tyre pressure on the wheel arch of the caravan. If not, contact your nearest Caravan dealer for tyre pressure of your make and model of caravan.

  • Also make sure that your motor vehicles tyre pressures are correct.

  • Are you satisfied that the wheel nuts of the caravan are tightened correctly– have you checked?

  • Is the caravan correctly coupled to the motor vehicles’ tow ball?

  • Is the caravan level. Not excessively nose down or nose up. The caravan should preferably slightly nose down, as opposed to nose up.

  • Make sure the nose weight of the caravan is as per the tow hitch recommended specifications. This information is usually found on the caravan’s tow hitch. If not, please consult your nearest caravan dealer for this information.

  • Are the jockey wheel and any corner steadies fully wound up and secure?

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