The Daily Telegraph - Saturday

Top tips: practical advice for caravannin­g novices

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Check your licence

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If you passed your driving test on or after 1 January 1997, then you have a B licence which restricts what you can tow. The combined Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) of car and caravan cannot exceed 3,500kg, or 4,250kg if the caravan weighs no more than 750kg. If you want to tow a heavier car and caravan combinatio­n, it’s possible to take a towing test to upgrade your licence.

Match car and caravan

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Any car that has been legally approved for towing will have a towing limit. You should be able to find it in the car’s manual or the manufactur­er’s website. This figure should not be exceeded. Both major UK caravannin­g clubs recommend towing no more than 85 per cent of the kerbweight of the tow car, especially if you are new to towing. This will make both car and caravan more stable, and should make for a more relaxed journey.

Make more space

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A simple way to double your living space when caravannin­g is to buy an awning. Think of it as a tent that you attach to the side of the ’van. In the past these were a faff to put up, but inflatable awnings have made the job quicker and easier.

Join the club

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Not everyone is attracted to the social aspect of caravannin­g, but joining either the Caravan and Motorhome Club or the Camping and Caravannin­g Club gives you access to discounts, magazines, advice and cheaper stays at two huge campsite networks all across the country.

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