Can I tow a caravan longer than 7m?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can I tow a caravan longer than 7m? We will talk about towing rules in the UK vs the US. 

Can I tow a caravan longer than 7m in the UK?

In the UK, you cannot tow a caravan longer than 7m with a category B driver’s licence. The 7 meters limit refers to the body length and not overall length, which means that it doesn’t include the ‘A’ frame in front of the caravan which can be quite long on some models.  

More specifically, the law states that if the length of the trailer exceeds 7 meters, then it must be towed by a vehicle that exceeds 3500 towing capacity, thus by a commercial van. 

Can I tow a caravan longer than 7m (22 feet 111932 inches)  in the US?

In the US, the total length of the caravan varies by state. Please see below the legal requirements for trailer/caravan length:

  • Alabama: trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Alaska: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Arizona: trailer length: 28.5 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Arkansas: trailer length: 28 feet; motor home length: 40 feet; 
  • California: trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 40 feet; 
  • Colorado: trailer length: 45 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Connecticut: trailer and motorhome length: 40 feet;
  • Delaware:  trailer length 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • District of Columbia:  trailer and motorhome length: 40 feet;
  • Florida:  trailer length: 48 feet; motor home length: 40 feet;
  • Georgia: trailer length: 53 feet;
  • Hawaii:  trailer and motorhome length: 45 feet;
  • Idaho: trailer length: 48 feet, motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Illinois: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Indiana: trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Iowa: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • Kansas: trailer length: not specified; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Kentucky: trailer and motorhome length: 45 feet;
  • Louisiana:  trailer length: 30 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • Maine: trailer length: 48 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • Maryland:trailer length: 35 feet; motor home length: 40 feet; 
  • Massachusetts: trailer length: 33 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Michigan: trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Minnesota: trailer and motorhome length: 45 feet;
  • Mississippi: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Missouri: trailer and motorhome length: 45 feet;
  • Montana: trailer length: not specified; motor home length: 55 feet;
  • Nebraska: trailer and motorhome length: 40 feet;
  • Nevada:trailer and motorhome length: not specified;
  • New Hampshire: trailer length: not stated; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • New Jersey: trailer length: 53 feet, 45 feet for motorhomes, 28 feet as part of a combination;
  • New Mexico: trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • New York: trailer length: 48 feet; motor home length: 40 feet;
  • New Carolina:  trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • North Dakota: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 50 feet 
  • Ohio:trailer length: not stated; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Oklahoma: trailer length: 40 feet; 
  • Oregon: trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • Pennsylvania: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Rhode Island: trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet; 
  • South Carolina: trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • South Dakota: trailer and motorhome length: 45 feet;
  • Tennessee: Length: not stated;
  • Texas: trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches;
  • Utah: trailer length: 53 feet; motor home length: 65 feet; 
  • Vermont:trailer length: not stated; motor home length: 46 feet;
  • Virginia:trailer length: 28 feet 6 inches; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Washington: trailer length: not stated; motor home length: 40 feet;
  • West Virginia: trailer length: 40 feet; motor home length: 45 feet 
  • Wisconsin: trailer length: 48 feet; motor home length: 45 feet;
  • Wyoming: trailer and motorhome length: 60 feet; 
  • Puerto Rico: length, including load, must not exceed 40 feet.

Other questions you may be interested in

Can a Mokka tow a caravan?

Can a Nissan Leaf tow a caravan?

Can a learner tow a caravan?

How to tow a caravan safely in every state

Towing heavy trailers is not a light task. A good understanding of the vehicle, the trailer, and its capabilities and limitations are very important. It is also important to properly maintain all the components involved in towing, understand the vehicle and the trailer’s dynamics, and understand how we should drive for greater safety.

The right vehicle: The first thing we must do before towing is to make sure that the vehicle has enough capacity to do so safely. This is very important because the engine, chassis, shocks, transmission, brakes and cooling system will be working under heavy load.

Some considerations to take into account:

  1. Check the load capacity of your vehicle. The instructions can be found in the vehicle manual, but if you do not have it at hand, contact the manufacturer to obtain the information. Make sure the vehicle has the necessary capacity to tow the weight you require.
  1. If you are thinking of buying a towing vehicle, it is a good idea to get a vehicle designed with the appropriate capabilities and equipment for the weight you plan to pull. 

For example, for heavy loads, many vehicles already include engines with more torque, superior cooling systems, heavy-duty battery, and reinforced suspension, among others. These equipment are sometimes marketed together as a towing package.

  1. It is essential to know the standard terms of the maximum weights that the vehicle can support. For example, the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is the vehicle’s weight with all its occupants and cargo included. The gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is the gross weight of the car, its occupants and the load, in addition to the weight of everything that is being towed. The tongue weight (TW) is the weight that the trailer puts on the hitch.
  1. Calculate the weight of the load, including the weight of the trailer itself.
  1. Include in that weight the additional content that you are towing may have, such as gasoline or water in tanks, luggage, or additional equipment. It is a good idea to add 10% to the calculated weight to decrease the margin of error. The common term for the total load weight is called Gross Trailer Weight (GTW).
  1. The right hitch. There are many types of hitches that span different types of weight classes. A hitch must be selected that will support the gross weight of the trailer. Hitches are rated according to weight; for example, a Class I hitch holds up to 2,000 pounds.

Another vital component is the hitch mount type. For relatively light loads, you can use an average amount installed on the car’s chassis and bumpers; For heavy loads over 5,000 pounds, a unique mount is required to distribute the trailer’s weight across all wheels.

Final tips

When towing a fully-loaded caravan, don’t forget the tires. Just as important as checking the tires’ pressure and condition on the vehicle is checking the tires on the trailer. Flat, worn, and unbalanced tires can present a road hazard.

Pay attention to the speed rating of the trailer tires. It is common for these tires to have a low-speed rating, which is essential to respect even when the trailer is empty.

Drive slowly and cautiously. As you begin to drive with a trailer, become familiar with the overall dynamics of the vehicle and the trailer as a whole. Test the brakes and learn how to calculate stopping distances. Pay close attention to traffic signs, take curves at low speeds, and generally change direction with subtlety.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!

FAQ on Can I tow a caravan longer than 7m?

What caravan Weight Can I tow?

You can legally tow a caravan weight of 3500 kgs or 3.5 tonnes. Each car make and model have a specific towing limit for both braked and unbraked trailers.  

Can you increase a vehicle’s towing capacity?

You can’t increase a vehicle’s towing capacity as they are engineered with a specific capability. Some cars weren’t designed for towing at all!

How do you tell if you are towing too much?

You know that you are towing too much if you are over the GCWR and if your vehicle is leaning, or there is lots of bounce when you hit bumps along the road.

References

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