There is nothing quite like taking to the open road with your caravan and having the freedom to stop anywhere you like, for as long as you like. If you are new to towing a caravan however, you can feel a little intimidated to tow something so large, so it pays to do your research before you set off for your first trip.

To help you have a carefree drive and a wonderful holiday with your new caravan, we have put together a list of quick tips that should make your next driving trip go smoothly.

Caravan and Driving Courses

As a caravan newbie, you might want to book into a hands-on driving course run by the RACQ. They have a course designed for people who tow caravans and trailers, which includes towing, hitching, unhitching, manoeuvring and parking, giving you the confidence to hit the open road safely.

Extension Mirrors

If you can’t see the vehicles travelling behind you on the road, you will need to purchase and fit extension side mirrors on either side of your vehicle. This ensures the safety of you, your passengers, your caravan, and other road users.

Hitching and Tow Aids

Hitching a caravan to your vehicle isn’t that difficult, particularly if you have someone to help. If you are on your own however, you can purchase hitching aids that make the process much easier.

Load Levelling Devices

These redistribute the load between the front and rear axles of your caravan for safer driving, but they can only be used on specific tow bars. Check with the manufacturer of your tow bar to see if your tow bar is suitable.


When you stop for a lunch break or to enjoy the view, try and park on the level or on a downward slope to make starting again easier. If you have to start on a hill, you need to reduce the load and strain on your vehicle by easing back slightly, allowing the caravan and car to sit at an angle, before heading off.

Caravan Weight

You need to check that your vehicle can safely tow the weight of the caravan. Just because you think it is fine, your vehicle may struggle to pull a caravan that is above its towing capacity.

Extra Gear

Some vehicle manufacturers recommend that you fit an extra transmission cooler when you are towing a caravan, as this reduces the additional heat load imposed on the vehicle’s cooling system.

Stop for Checks

When you are new to towing a caravan, it is a good idea to stop after an hour or so to make sure that nothing is out of place and everything is still stowed away and secure, both inside and outside the caravan.

Service Your Caravan

Some people buy a caravan and never realise that they need to be serviced! Just like a car, tour caravan must be regularly serviced in an effort to keep everyone safe on the road. Make sure that the wheel bearings, brakes and lights are checked frequently before each trip.

Head Lights

Once your caravan is hitched, if the front of your vehicle rises significantly, you might need to alter the vertical height of your headlights to compensate for this difference. Visibility while towing at night is essential!

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