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It is certainly a good time to be in the caravan business. According to the National Caravan Council, sales of new caravans are up 9% from last year; motorhome sales have increased some 18%. We suspect trailer lessons are not keeping pace, although they really should.

Those in the know say that caravanning is making a strong comeback in the UK thanks to younger families deciding it is a better way to take holidays. Families find it less expensive than flying – especially compared to going overseas – as well as an excellent way to spend quality time together when the weather is nice.

Estimates suggest that there are as many as 750,000 motorhomes and caravans now on UK roads. That translates to a lot of people driving vehicles that are larger and heavier than that which they are used to. Is it any wonder we see an increase in traffic accidents relating to caravans and motorhomes during the late spring and early summer?

We do not mean to dampen anyone’s holiday spirit by bringing up the subject of trailer lessons. However, holidays could be made worse by an accident that leads to property damage or injury. Investing in trailer lessons is a quick and affordable way to minimise the risk of accidents for new caravan owners. Lessons are very helpful even if an owner is not required to have a special licence for his/her class of caravan and tow vehicle.

Not the Same

Current regulations do not require caravan owners to get special licences as long as the combined weight of their tow vehicles and trailers does not exceed a certain threshold. Having said that, even vehicles that fall within the guidelines are heavier and more unwieldy than cars by themselves are. Towing a trailer is simply not the same as driving a car by itself.

As we have written in the past, the driver towing a trailer has to be concerned about a number of different factors. For example, bringing a fully loaded tow vehicle and caravan to a complete stop takes considerably more distance than a car by itself. A tow vehicle travelling too fast could end up jack-knifing if the brakes are applied too quickly and with too much force. Other considerations include accelerating, cornering, backing, and driving in windy or rainy conditions.

The HGV Training Centre encourages all caravan owners to take basic trailer lessons before towing for the first time. A refresher lesson or two every spring is not a bad idea either. We make trailer lessons easy and convenient thanks to our nearly four dozen training facilities around the UK. When you train with us, we will teach you everything you need to know to tow safely. Moreover, if you do need a special licence, our training can prepare you to pass your test the first time.

Please do not take to the road the first time without trailer lessons. Getting a little training will make for a safer holiday.

Sources:

City Talk – http://www.citytalk.fm/news/uk-and-world/20150529-young-families-driving-caravan-comeback/

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