We all have them, don’t we? Those friends or relatives in our lives that just seem to get on and do things. You know the kind of things, like driving vans and towing caravans. It doesn’t seem to bother them that they have never done it before. They’ve got that confidence to just get on and do it, with little or no worry at all.
Not all of us are like that friend or relative, though, are we? As much as we’d like to be. For some of us, driving a transit van doesn’t come naturally.
So, when it comes to caravanning, some of us need lessons before we hit the road. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and touring caravan lessons are more popular and sought-after than you may think. When you consider the fact even average-sized caravans can weigh as much as 1300kg – it’s hardly a small thing.
As well as the concerns that come from towing something that heavy, you need to think about manoeuvring not just the caravan or your car, but both, in smooth and safe movements. When we put it like that, even if you are reading this as one of those over-confident folks, you can see why it would be nerve-racking for someone lacking that confidence, can’t you?
So, if you are fretting about towing a caravan but want to have that quintessential British summer holiday experience, you may want to consider caravan driving lessons.
Are such things available?
Caravan Lesson Providers
To help you improve your skills or teach you the basics, you need to invest in high-quality caravan towing lessons from a reputable caravan lessor provider. To help you find one in your area, we have provided details of a few of the most popular and reputable training companies currently operating in the country.
We have provided details of the type of lessons they provide and where they are based. For more information, like how much their lessons cost, you can take a look at the provided links for each business or speak directly to them.
Towing Solutions – Towing Courses – Caravans
Towing Solutions is a training provider that has been approved by the Caravan and Motorhome Club and is based in Macclesfield and serving the North West. It has been in business for 15 years and have had the role of the National Trailer & Towing Association’s official training provider and are also fully approved by the Institute of the Motor Industry.
The main course they provide for caravanners is the Towing Your Caravan with Confidence which is designed for all caravan owners and covers various important aspects of towing a caravan such as health and safety, towing laws, pre-towing inspections, hitching up, nose weights and safe loading, snaking and instability, reversing, manoeuvring and good caravan driving practices.
Diamond Driver Training
Diamond Driver Training is a company that has been in operation as a specialist driving training firm for more than 15 years and is based in the East Midlands. They offer high-quality caravan manoeuvring, handling and towing lessons and courses in Newark at a purpose-built training facility. These are aimed at newbie towers but will suit anyone looking to sharpen their skills. It conducts training and lessons on behalf of The Caravan and Motorhome Club.
Kris Blundell Towing Courses
Based in Manchester and serving the North West area, Kris Blundell TTowing Courses offers carn and trailer towing courses to anyone looking to sharpen their skills or build confidence in their abilities before hitting the road on a caravan holiday. The company was established by Kris Blundell who has worked as an ADI or Approved Driving Instructor since 2008 and has run courses teaching car and trailing driving since 2015.
There is a wide range of different courses of varying lengths and they also provide what they call the Car and Trailer (B + E) Driving Test.
Help is at Hand – Touring Caravan Lessons
Ordinarily, for this kind of thing, where there is no legal need for you to have a special license or anything official like that, you’d turn to a friend or relative. Despite was we said at the outset, what if you don’t have anyone available who could teach you how to tow a caravan properly?
Fortunately, there are a lot of places out there that offer lessons to tow a caravan. So, if you are completely new to the world of caravans and have never towed anything before, there is help out there. What’s more, even if you are a more experienced caravan but are lacking confidence in certain skills or areas of travelling with a tourer or have had a few hairy moments, whatever the reason, you can also benefit from touring caravan lessons.
What Can I expect from Caravan Towing Lessons Near Me?
Now that you know the existence of caravan driving lessons, you are probably wondering what happens and how intensive they will be.
This is where it depends really on how much experience you have already under your belt. If you have, after all, given caravanning a go in the past and are just looking to sharpen your skills or take them to the next level, you won’t require the same amount of training and practice as a complete newbie.
Although it will very much depend on the course you choose to take and what’s available in your local area, you can expect to learn, if a beginner:
- Everything you need to know about hitching up and towing safety
- The current laws regarding towing
- How to inspect your caravan outfit before towing
- All you need to know about nose weights and loading both the towing vehicle and your tourer up safely (including how load affects towing)
- Hitching up (and depending on the course you choose; this might include both hitching up as a team and a solo task)
- Safe, easy and confident manoeuvring
- Caravan reversing lessons
- How to handle snaking and other things related to control and instability
- Both road and off-road training
In addition to the above, some more advanced lessons to tow a caravan may include:
- Curved, both offside and nearside, as well as straight-line caravan reversing lessons
- Levelling, covering lateral, fore and after
Most touring caravan lessons and courses are split between the theory side of things – that normally involves a classroom situation with a lecturer and discussions, and the hands-on practical side of things – i.e. the actual hitching, driving and towing.
Training Can Be Tailormade
Again, depending on the training provider, you can often tailor the course for your needs. So, if you don’t need to learn how to hitch up or are confident with basic manoeuvring, you can get more focused training. Like the caravan reversing lessons. For many caravanners that’s the hard part. After all, it’s straight-forward enough driving with a caravan hitched up to your car, when you are driving, well, straight ahead. Turns and reversing and trickier manoeuvres tend to cause problems.
Do You Need a Caravan?
The good thing is that, no you do not need to own a caravan to get the benefit from touring caravan lessons. Most training centres provide the use of caravans for the lessons. Now, if you have already taken the plunge and bought one or have been driving and towing for some time, depending on the training centre, you may be able to take your own along. It would be wise to confirm that with the training provider before you attend though.
Do You Need to Bring a Car?
This very much depends again on the training provider and their own setup. Some require that you bring your own car along, even going so far to ensuring it is fitting with an appropriate towing bracket and either a 12N or 13-pin electric socket.
Whereas there are others that just require that you have a standard, clean driver’s license. However, as a word of warning, it’s worth checking you are covered to tow larger caravans on your current license, after you’ve completed the course.
So, you might not be able to be like that friend or relative we discussed at the outset. Taking to anything new like a duck to water. However, with touring caravan lessons you can become a confident and safe tourer in no time.
And as confidence and safety are large parts of what it takes to get the most enjoyable experience from touring, you’ll be able to hit the road for memorable caravan holidays you and your family won’t forget.
If you are not moving your caravan much (once every few years) you might want to look at a caravan towing service who will do it all for you.