If you’re travelling to a secluded spot to enjoy some time in your caravan with friends and family, you might want to gather a large group to make it more fun. But this means cramming everyone into your car and even if you have a larger vehicle, this might not always be possible. But you’ve got all the room in your caravan so surely some people can hop in, right? But you need to ask yourself are passengers allowed to ride in a caravan being towed?
The short answer is NO. You cannot legally transport passengers in a caravan while it is being towed. Caravans need to be well balanced when moving and with people inside, this could cause a shift in balance which would result in a nasty accident.
Your safety and that of other road users should be the most important priority. If there are too many people to fit in your car then you’ll simply have to take another vehicle.
What’s The Deal With Taking Passengers In A Caravan Being Towed?
When you think about it, the inside of your caravan is super comfortable and far preferable for long journeys than being squashed into the car. Heck, you see it in movies all the time where people are sitting in RVs and kicking back down long roads. But that’s the movies, and it’s an all in one vehicle rather than one being towed.
Travelling in a towed caravan simply isn’t safe. There’s no two ways about it and while it might seem silly at first, when you think about the physics of it, it starts to make sense. For starters, just imagine if there is an accident and the caravan tips onto its side. When you’re in a car, you might sustain an injury from a crash but being in a caravan could be fatal.
These vehicles aren’t designed to take severe impacts and if they do, you’ll be thrown around inside like a ragdoll. It just isn’t worth it.
But even before this, you have to consider that your very presence in the caravan will throw it off balance, increasing the risk of an accident. If you’re in there moving around, the caravan instantly loses stability. Not only is this dangerous but it makes the driver’s job a lot more difficult.
A Note On Insurance
It’s a legal requirement to have insurance when using the roads and that includes when you are towing a caravan. However, the moment you allow a passenger into the moving caravan, you void your insurance as you aren’t holding up your end of the contract.
In the event that you’re stopped by the police, you could find yourself in a whole world of trouble so it’s just not worth risking it.
What About My Pets? - Can Animals Travel In A Caravan Being Towed?
While you aren’t allowed to carry human passengers in your towed caravan, you are allowed to put your pets in there while you’re on the road.
However, you’ll probably want to give this some thought before you make a decision. If you have a large dog, for example, this might throw off the balance just as much as if you had a person moving around in there.
For smaller pets like small dogs and cats, the balance of the caravan probably won’t be affected much. But that said, you have to think about how well the animal will handle travelling in there. Some animals may become frightened and panic, which is not good for their wellbeing. If you have a pet, it’s often worth allowing them to travel in the car with you.
Keeping Your Caravan Balanced When Being Towed
When you are towing a caravan, you need to make sure that it is level as this will make it easier to brake and keep everything much more stable. If it isn’t level then you will find that it wobbles a lot and, over time, the tires will wear much more quickly than they should.
To keep a caravan stable and balanced while you tow it, there are a few things you can do. For starters, make sure that you don’t put too much weight into the nose but at the same time, there shouldn’t be too little weight here; that’s where balance is essential.
You should try to make sure that weight is evenly distributed between the axles, the front and the back. Choose a tow ball that isn’t overly light as this will help enormously. Also consider towing your caravan with all of its tanks full as this will certainly improve stability.
When you are driving, make sure that you do everything smoothly. Try not to accelerate or brake suddenly, although we realise that in an emergency, this may not be possible. When you come to a corner, don’t rush it. Taking it slowly will ensure the caravan doesn’t tilt and will keep you and other road users safe.
Other Safety Tips For Towing A Caravan
We know that you’re going to want to get to your destination as safely as possible but towing a caravan does come with risks, especially if you aren’t careful. But following these tips will ensure that you and everyone else on the road is safe and happy.
Drive in a lower gear than you would when travelling without your caravan. You’ll be able to have better control over the caravan and your speed which is ultimately safer.
Some insurance companies require you to have a special licence to tow a caravan. While this isn’t the case across the board, it’s worth checking to make sure you’re covered in the event of an accident.
When driving on a single carriageway, the legal maximum speed for a caravan is 50 miles per hour. This increases to 60 miles per hour on dual carriageways and motorways.
Travelling with a full water tank will increase the stability of your caravan. However, do keep in mind that this will also use up more fuel and limit how much other cargo you can carry.
If you are going to use a stabiliser to tow your caravan then make sure that it is correctly installed. If you are unsure, get help from a professional.
It is not legal in the UK to tow a caravan with passengers inside. Anyone travelling with you should remain in the car as having people in the caravan can throw off the balance which could cause an accident. That said, it is legal to have animals in the caravan but whether you do this or not is more of a moral issue relating to the welfare of the animal.