A lot of people prefer generously proportioned caravans to compact models. It's easy to understand why; a 24-foot Golden Eagle caravan, for example, can comfortably accommodate a large number of people and offers plenty of room for activities such as food preparation, dining and bathing.
However, larger caravans can be very tricky to tow. If you've recently purchased a bulky caravan and are a bit concerned about the idea of taking it out on the open road, here are a few tips which should help.
Take extra care when driving on a busy motorway
One of the most challenging places to try and tow a large caravan is on a motorway filled with hundreds of other speeding vehicles.
One of the key things to bear in mind is that your braking distances will increase when you're towing a big caravan; as such, if there is heavy traffic on the motorway, it's important to keep plenty of distance between you and the vehicle ahead in order to avoid a pile-up.
It's also crucial to maintain an awareness of surrounding vehicles, particularly larger ones such as vans, buses and trucks. This is because when a bulky vehicle passes by your caravan, it can generate a powerful gust of wind, which could potentially cause your caravan to swing out of control.
Given this, if you notice a large vehicle about to overtake you, try to move to the side in order to create as much distance as possible; this should help to reduce the force of any gust that is created by their movement.
If the presence of heavy traffic means that you cannot move over and your caravan is, therefore, subjected to a very strong gust of wind, press down very gently on your brakes; this should help to re-stabilise the caravan.
At some point, you will almost certainly have to reverse your vehicle whilst towing the caravan. This can be a very challenging process. The most important thing is to move slowly and smoothly; this will give you time to make small adjustments to your angles and reduce the likelihood of you bumping into other vehicles.
If you're travelling with passengers, it's a good idea to ask them to get out of the vehicle and act as a guide throughout this process, as your line of sight will be obscured by the caravan.
There is little to no point in using the rearview mirror, as you will not be able to see very much through it. Instead, use your side mirrors or simply pop your head out of the window to help you determine where to go.