Can I still tow a caravan after age 70?
Can I still tow a caravan after age 70?
In the United States, you can still tow a caravan after the age of 70, but you will have to apply for a licence renewal every three years, no matter your experience as a driver. You may think that three years is too often, but one must take into consideration that with age both our reflexes and our eyesight are reduced.
Additionally, to tow a caravan after age 70, you have to hold both the E and B licence category. If you don’t hold both categories, you will have to pass a driving test and get qualified!
Driving after age 70
Maybe you think age is just a number, that it doesn’t matter? You are not entirely wrong. But when it comes to driving, it is above all your health that is essential.
Indeed, once you have passed your 70s, your eyesight will begin to weaken and become more and more sensitive to glare. Your reaction time increases without you even realizing it. Your ability to concentrate decreases over time.
Finally, remember that with age you become more and more vulnerable. In the event of an accident, the consequences are often far more serious than they would be for an adult in their prime.
Certain pathologies are incompatible with driving. Even if the medical examination is generally not compulsory, certain pathologies are still incompatible with driving, and that, whatever your age: epilepsy, loss of balance, etc. If you are in this situation, be aware that you must pass a check-up with a licensed doctor to assess your abilities. Otherwise, you incur a fine.
Think about your safety and that of others. Paying attention to your behaviour is to ensure your safety, but also that of others. Because we must not forget that you are not alone on the road. So, if you feel that your abilities have diminished, it is essential that you talk to your doctor so that he can check your driving ability.
In any case, to ensure your safety, consider:
- avoid driving at night;
- go out during off-peak hours, because the fewer people there are on the road, the less tired you are;
- stop and take a nap regularly to regain strength;
- make short journeys;
- be accompanied to pass the wheel in the event of fatigue;
- choose a recent vehicle equipped with a blind spot detector and a lane departure warning system to make driving easier.
Towing a caravan: regulations and advice
To tow a caravan, it is necessary to choose the most suitable car in order to drive in complete safety and serenity. The diesel engine lends itself best to such an exercise. Indeed, to pull a caravan, an automobile needs an engine with a high level of torque.
However, diesel naturally has higher maximum torque at low revs than gasoline engines. The new engines with turbo also have relatively high torque.
It is also necessary to have an automobile adapted in size to the size of the caravan.
There is no question of towing a large trailer with a Citroën C1 or a Renault Twingo! It is best to take a vehicle designed to pull caravans and trailers. The manufacturers indicate in their descriptions the mass that the model can tow.
Most of the time, station wagons, SUVs and other pickups are best suited for this task. Indeed, in addition to a significant body height for hooking up, their frame is often reinforced.
Some vehicles (such as the Volkswagen Tiguan or Amarok) can even be optionally equipped with an electronic towing assistance system to facilitate driving, especially when cornering and manoeuvring.
There remains the choice of the mode of propulsion. Traction, propulsion or four-wheel drive: which system is best suited to towing a caravan? The understeer character of traction (drive wheels in the front) provides reassurance. It helps to avoid the risk of spinning. For maximum safety when towing, an integral system is the most valuable.
On each trip, it is imperative to check the technical condition of your caravan. The tire pressure and the lights (indicators, side lamps, fog lights and brake lights) should be checked. Are they working perfectly? No question of hitting the road with a burnt-out bulb.
Another sensitive point: braking. The caravans are equipped with braking dependent on that of the car. It is essential to check it for a few kilometres before taking the road for a long journey.
Towing a caravan: GVWR, driving license, speed
In the event that the GVWR of the car with the caravan is less than 3,500 kg, the regulations are identical to that of a car. The set can be driven with a B license and the speed limits are the same as for a single automobile: 130km/h on motorways, 110 on separate roads, 80 km/h on roads and 50 km/h and 30 km/h in the city.
If the GVWR is greater than 3,500 kg, the limitations are 90 km h on motorways and 80 km / h on roads. According to the highway code, trailers over 500 kg must be registered. This means that most caravans must have their own registration card.
For driving, there are also special rules to follow when towing a caravan. The first step is to carefully follow or even increase the safety distances from the vehicle in front. Driving in the left lane is prohibited (overtaking very slow vehicles is tolerated). And it is mandatory to give way to vehicles of smaller size.
Due to the weight and characteristics of a caravan and/or motorhome, it is necessary to take into account some driving recommendations.
- As in any vehicle, before starting a trip you should check the condition and pressure of the tires and the fluids. It is always advisable to carry travel insurance for a safer vacation.
- You will have to use mirrors that protrude a maximum of 20 centimetres from the width of the vehicle; the further apart they are, the better visibility you will have.
- It is important to check the hitch and emergency grips.
- Driving must be smooth, without sudden acceleration or braking, to prevent the vehicle and trailer from becoming unstable.
- Drive at a stable speed where you feel comfortable, but not too slow because unnecessary risks are generated with other vehicles. If you are surprised by strong wind during the trip, the most prudent thing is to reduce the speed and even stop the vehicle until the weather improves. In the same way, you have to act in case of adverse weather conditions.
- Overtaking are risky situations, even greater when travelling with a caravan. Avoid them and, if necessary, never pass more than one vehicle at a time.
- If you are not used to driving caravans or large vehicles, it is advisable to practice some manoeuvres, for example, parking, reversing, tight turns …
- And do not forget to bring the documentation of the vehicle and the caravan, a mobile phone and the insurance and roadside assistance service phone number. Now you just have to plan your route, get behind the wheel and enjoy a caravan holiday.
Finally, if you are aged 70 or above, make sure you have all your papers in order and that you are fully prepared for a long trip with the caravan. Enjoy your trip!
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FAQ on Can I still tow a caravan after age 70?
Is there an age limit for towing a caravan?
There is no age limit for towing a caravan, however, those aged 70 and above, have to have their licences renewed and hold both E and B categories.
Can you drive after 70 years old?
You can drive after 70 years old, although technically your driver’s licence expires when you turn 70. This means that you have to apply for a new licence and get your eyesight and reflexes checked every three years.
Can a 70-year-old drive a motorhome?
A 70-year-old can drive a motorhome as long as they are cleared by their doctor. The driver has to meet the minimum requirements for eyesight and reflexes. One also will need to declare that they don’t have any disability or health condition preventing them from driving.
Do you need a special Licence to drive an RV in America?
You don’t need a special Licence to drive an RV in America as long as the vehicle is under 26,000 pounds.