Practical Caravan

Lengthy debate


In response to Amanda Grant’s letter (Do you speak Caravan? Issue 459), I believe we should add ‘length’ to her list of touring terms that require explanatio­n. We have shipping length, body length, internal length and best of all, just length, which is not very helpful when reading on that: The maximum length for a trailer towed by a vehicle weighing up to 3500kg is 7 metres. This length does not include the A-frame. Your Buyer’s Guide explains ‘Technical Terms’ very well, but there is nothing about the rules on length. It’s even more confusing when comparing informatio­n supplied by manufactur­ers, dealers and so on. Could you please explain the rules about caravan length and towing? Tony Maybury Reviews editor Peter Baber replies… If your tow car weighs less than 3500kg, you can only tow a caravan up to 7m in length. But that length does not include the A-frame – which is why many manufactur­ers quote different lengths for the same vehicle. The shipping length (which you may need to quote when you are arranging storage, for example) is the length of the whole caravan, from tow hitch backwards. The body length (the important measuremen­t here) is the length from the outside of the front panel to the outside of the rear panel. Interior length is the same, minus the thickness of the front and rear panels. That’s why, for example, the Buccaneer Aruba, one of the longest caravans you can buy, has a shipping length of 8.19m, a body length of 6.97m (just within the 7m limit), and an interior length of 6.39m. Hope that helps!

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