Caravan holidays can be fun and interesting. However, before driving off you must ensure your caravan is hitched correctly to your car. This is a fairly easy process. Depending on which caravan you have the instructions in the manual may vary slightly. The safety procedures that need to be followed include: check tire pressures (the correct tire pressures will be listed in the manual); check that wheel locks are secure; retract television aerial; open all blinds and close and lock windows; and stow away all possessions securely. Also, the towing vehicle will need towing mirrors.
Check nose weight prior to hitching. Lock all doors. Engage caravan handbrake. Raise all four of the caravan steadies to get ready for hitching up.
Reverse tow vehicle in position. Lower hitch onto ball by winding down the jockey wheel so that it sits fully in place.
Check that the green coupling head is visible to verify the coupling is secure. Lower the stabiliser pad lever and ensure the jockey wheel is fully wound up. Lock firmly in "In transit" position.
Clip the breakaway cable into position. Release caravan handbrake.
Check the hitch by driving forward a few yards (which is also an opportunity for someone to check if the lights are working). Enjoy your trip.
- Having someone with you to assist when doing this task is helpful. Check the manual for tire pressures. If these are incorrect it can be a bumpy ride and destabilise the caravan. Also ensure that any heavy objects are over the back axle to help with stabilisation.
- When undertaking any of the above tasks ensure everything is locked tightly.