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Amphibious cars were all the rage in the 1950s and 60s after World War II engineers proved the viability and reliability of such vehicles. Then they faded away as cost-conscious consumers realised they had better things to spend money on. Could that be changing? Perhaps, if a new amphibious caravan now being developed by a German company takes off. Our only question is whether such a caravan would require a special towing licence or not.

Germany’s Sealander has introduced a very modern looking caravan that appears fairly normal as it is been towed down the road by an SUV or mid-size saloon. Things change when the driver backs the caravan up to a boat launch and unhooks the trailer. With the flip of a switch, an electric motor and rudder are engaged to allow the caravan to navigate around the local bay or lake. Seeing it in action gives an entirely new meaning to the idea of glamping.

Sealander says its revolutionary caravan is built on a 380 kg waterproof chassis with a motor capable of reaching speeds of up to 9 km/h. The rear hatch of the caravan opens to create a sun canopy of sorts, protecting occupants from glare on those bright, sunny days on the water. When the crew is done for the day, they simply return the caravan to the boat launch, hook it to a tow vehicle, and drive away. It is fast, simple, and requires little effort.

A caravan like this could really make the difference for someone who enjoys the water as much as the land. But beware; the first model from Sealander is by no means big enough for a family. Four could certainly enjoy boating on the lake together, but it will be nearly impossible to sleep them all. Any family choosing to purchase a Sealander would also be using tents or other arrangements to accommodate additional sleeping.

Trailer Towing Licence

As for the question of whether or not the amphibious caravan would require a special towing licence, probably not. The images we have seen make it appear as though the caravan is neither long enough nor heavy enough to exceed government regulations. As with any caravan, as long as the total weight of the tow vehicle and trailer does not exceed 3500 kg, and the trailer itself does not exceed 750 kg, no special licence is needed.

Having said that, the HGV Training Centre still believes annual trailer training is a good idea for all caravan owners. The nature of caravans as seasonal use vehicles dictates that owners do not get enough practice towing them to remain proficient for a lifetime. Annual lessons refresh an owner’s skill and keep him or her abreast of any changes in the law that may have occurred since the previous season.

The HGV Training Centre offers trailer-towing classes for those who need a special towing licence as well. Contact us for more information about cost and training locations.

Sources:

AOL – http://travel.aol.co.uk/2015/07/15/floating-caravan-for-land-and-water-sealander/

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