Can a motorhome tow a caravan?

In this article, we will discuss: Can a motorhome tow a caravan? We will discuss the basics of towing a caravan with a motorhome, for example: what type of driving licence you need and what type of caravan to choose.

Can a motorhome tow a caravan?

A motorhome can tow a caravan, trailer, boat, car or truck, as long as the tow doesn’t exceed the maximum towing capacity of the motorhome. 

  • A Class A motorhome can tow up to 4500 kgs (10000 lbs);
  • A Class B motorhome can tow up to 2250 kgs (5000 lbs);
  • A Class C motorhome can tow up to4500 kgs (10000 lbs).

Thus, a motorhome can tow any type of trailer, caravan, car, scooter, luggage rack, boat, etc. Yet it is still necessary that it be equipped with a coupling, and that its characteristics correspond to the weight of the vehicle.

Before choosing the shape, the colour or even the number of axles for a caravan, you should consider the towing capacity of your motorhome. This key information appears on the grey card in box F3. This is the sum of the road assembly, i.e the sum of the motorhome weight and the caravan’s weight. By subtracting from this sum the GVWR of the motorhome, we determine that of the trailer (empty weight + payload).

In general, it should be noted that most motorhomes have a towable weight of 2.0t, which opens up wide possibilities for coupling. It may be 3.5 t if the vehicle concerned is in propulsion mode (Ford Transit, Mercedes Sprinter, Iveco Daily).

General rules for towing a caravan with a motorhome?

Generally speaking, a motorhome could tow any type of caravan or trailer, as long as it respects the maximum towable weight of the motorhome. Nonetheless, practical and technical aspects are also important in making the right choice.

  • Aluminium or steel: The construction and materials used are of this order, with in the first place the chassis. In this area, aluminium has many advantages, especially in terms of weight compared to steel.
  • AeroDynamics: If you are looking for a box trailer, the material of choice is polyester in the form of panels or a unibody structure. The other bodywork elements will be made of composite materials. 

Considering the often generous volume of the box trailer, the body lines are the subject of special study to offer the best possible aerodynamics. The front end is often inspired by the shape of the bow of a boat, limiting turbulence thanks to better airflow to the sides, which also promotes handling.

  • Suspension: To a lesser extent, we can also mention the driving comfort linked to the suspension. In most cases, trailers are fitted with an axle with independent wheels, which is the must-have in this area. The presence of handles installed on the body to make manoeuvring easier is also an advantage.
  • Safety distance: When it comes to traffic, coupled motorhomes over 7.00 m in length must follow a few rules. Thus, outside built-up areas, the driver must maintain a safe distance of at least 50 m from the road assemblies that precede him. In addition, when a road has three or more lanes, it should stand in the two rightmost lanes.
  • A suitable speed: Finally, the driver must respect the speed limits linked to his size, in particular for heavy-duty motorhomes. Thus, according to the rules of the road,  the speed of vehicles that are intended for the transport of persons and whose total authorized weight is greater than 3.5 tonnes and less than or equal to 12 tonnes is limited to 110 km/h on motorways, 100 km/h on two-carriageway roads separated by a central reservation when they are of a priority nature and marked as such, 80 km/h on other roads. 

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What type of driving licence do I need to tow a caravan?

If the GVWR of your motorhome is less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes, license B is sufficient on the condition that the GVWR of the trailer is less than or equal to 750 kg.

Does your trailer weigh more than 750 kg? Do not panic. If the weight of the motorhome + the weight of the caravan is more than or equal to 3.5 tonnes, the B permit is still sufficient. Beyond and up to 4250 kg, you will need to certify a training that you will obtain in seven hours. It consists of an uncirculated sequence and a circulating sequence. Contact a driving school near you.

Beyond 4250 kg, you will need to pass the B+E license. It consists of three tests: code, driving in traffic, driving outside of traffic. The B+E license is valid for 15 years. If the weight of your trailer is greater than 3.5 tonnes, you will need the C+E permit.

Remember that your trailer must have a license plate. The same as your motorhome if its GVW is less than 500 kg. Finally, note that the heaviest trailers (over 750 kg or over 50% of the motorhome’s empty weight) must be fitted with their own braking system. 

Final advice for towing a caravan with a motorhome

On the road, anticipate your braking even more and respect the safety distances: outside built-up areas, at least 50 meters with the road assemblies in front of you. Motorhomes are prohibited from driving on the leftmost part of a road with more than two lanes if the length of the vehicle is greater than 7 meters or if it is a heavy vehicle. 

Use the engine brake, it provides better safety in the event of emergency braking. Practice manoeuvring your trailer at home, especially in reverse. The exercise takes some practice!

To choose a trailer, install it, know the rules in force, do not hesitate to turn to a professional.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content!

FAQ on Can a motorhome tow a caravan?

How do I know how much I can tow?

If you can’t find a scale, calculate the weight of the vehicle by adding the total of the empty car, the weight of the passengers, and the cargo. Subtract the loaded weight of your vehicle from the total gross weight. The resulting figure is your towing capacity.

What is the towing capacity?

Towing capacity is the maximum amount of weight your vehicle can safely tow. Many types of vehicles can tow as long as you meet their specific guidelines. … A good way to find out your towing limit is to find out what the gross combined weight ratio (GCWR) of your vehicle is.

What is the weight of a truck?

The average gross weight of a small truck is approximately 5,000 and 7,000 pounds (2,250 and 3,150 kg). Heavy-duty trucks weigh up to 7,500 and 12,000 pounds (3,375 and 5,400 kg).

How much weight can a car tow?

With the B license, you can take a trailer that does not exceed 750 kg of maximum authorized mass. The set, including the vehicle and the trailer, must not exceed 3,500 kg of maximum authorized mass, which is what the driving license B establishes.

References

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