In the UK, if you have a full driver’s licence, you can tow a caravan, given the caravan is within the towing limits authorised as per your licence, your insurance, and the vehicle’s towing limit.
Motorhomes are the perfect way to have a prolonged yet adventurous road trip. However, if you are travelling with a large family or group of friends, you may want to add more space to your motorhome.
Alternatively, you may also wish to add more space to your traditional motorhome if you want to extend the motorhome lifestyle. In such instances, towing a caravan with your motorhome is an ideal option.
If you have not previously explored the concept of towing a caravan with your motorhome earlier, you may want to consider it, as it is the most effective way to add extra space. If you are wondering about the technical and legal perspective on the matter, here are the answers you are looking for.
Is It Legal To Tow A Caravan With A Motorhome?
Let’s address the legal aspect first. The UK allows anyone with a full driver’s licence to tow a trailer or caravan up to a maximum authorises mass of 3,500kg. Previously, individuals who had passed their driving licence test after January 1st, 1997, and had the category B licence; could tow up to 750kg trailer.
However, the recent rule changes on December 16th, 2021, allow the drivers to tow a trailer with their vehicle, given the total weight does not exceed 3,500kg (MAM).
If you wish to drive a larger and heavier motorhome with a B category licence, you need to pass an additional test to have your licence added to category C. The test includes aspects such as reversing a vehicle, trailer, or caravan, hitching and unhitching, etc.
However, most motorhomes fall into the C1 category. These vehicles have a weight of between 3.500kg and 7,500kg. If you have the C1+E category on your driving licence, you can tow most caravans or trailers, which are typically suited for motorhomes.
So, simply put, the legal aspect of towing a caravan with your motorhome is subject to the same law that applies to towing a caravan with a car or an SUV.
Can I Tow A Car With My Motorhome?
Yes, you can, and a lot of people do. For example, when you’re touring with a motorhome it can be difficult to continue for day trips or simple things like going to the shops.
Cars such as a Smart car, Toyota Aygo, or VW Up for example are ideally suited for towing on an A-frame behind your motorhome.
Providing all the weights are within licensing laws then of course you can tow a car with a motorhome.
Is My Motorhome Suited For Towing A Caravan?
Usually, motorhomes such as vans that have been converted and usual campervans can easily tow vehicles.
Most motorhomes are built along the lines of commercial vehicles and are designed to haul heavy loads.
Their diesel engines can bear the impact of towing, and the torque makes it less straining on the vehicle and the driver behind the wheels.
At the same time, it is also important to consider that many motorhomes are front-wheel drive, while an all-wheel drive or a rear drive is better suited to tow a caravan or a trailer. You may also want to check the tail overhang. It is the point between the vehicle’s rear and its rear wheels’ middle. The less tail overhang there is, the better it is for towing purposes.
Another important factor you need to consider is the maximum towing limit of your motorhome. Most modern designs can tow up to 2,000kgs. However, it depends on the vehicle type you are towing. The most important factor at play here is the Gross Train Weight of your motorhome.
Usually, manufacturers add the maximum towing limits in the user’s manual. They also offer towing restrictions in detail. The MAM and the GTW are mentioned in the user’s manual as well or in the doorframes of the motorhome. Contact your dealer for detailed information if you do not have a user manual.
While it is one thing to consider the maximum towing limit, you may also want to deliberate over what would be the sensible choice here. For instance, according to many experts, it is better not to tow more than 75% of the combined Maximum Authorized Mass of the motorhome and caravan. Some experts recommend a percentage of 85% as well.
While you can carry unto the authorised limit, it may affect the brake functions of your motorhome and may make it difficult to manoeuvre the vehicle in certain instances, so you may want to weigh your options.
Does My Insurance Cover Towing A Caravan?
You are obligated to ensure that if you are towing any vehicle or a caravan behind your motorhome, it must meet the legal requirements and that you adhere to the towing limitations on your driving licence.
That being said, motorhome or campervan policies are quite explicit, and you need to check if yours automatically covers you for towing a caravan or any vehicle. You may need to discuss with your insurance policy company to check if your insurance allows you to tow at the back of your motorhome.
Insurance companies usually apply weight restrictions and the types of vehicles you can tow, so you may want to check with the company first before towing a caravan with your motorhome.