How do I hitch up my caravan?
As one of the largest caravan dealerships in the UK, here at Broadlane we hitch up caravans all day, every day. However, we are also asked by our customers how we make it look so easy, all day, every day. Because of this, here is our step-by-step guide!
Our first TOP TIP is to take your time! It is very tempting to rush the procedure, especially when you just want to get going. But everyone no matter what their towing experience is, should take their time when hitching up their caravan. While it can be tempting to rush, speeding up the process can lead to important factors getting missed and potential road accidents happening – which no one wants!
Step 1 – Check inside your caravan!
Before you think about making your caravan mobile by lifting the stabiliser legs and reversing your car up, make sure your caravan is loaded correctly and everything inside is secure. You also want to make sure your payload weight is legal i.e., you aren’t towing it when it is too heavy for your licence.
The main things I forget are taking down my ariel and remembering to close all windows, including the skylight. Oh, and turn your fridge to 12V – it is much safer!
Step 2 – Exterior checks and security removal
You need to make sure your nose weight isn’t too high, all exterior lockers are shut, fridge vents are covered (if applicable) and safely remove your wheel lock.
Step 3 – Check your tyre pressure!
You need to make sure the caravan tyre pressure is correct using a suitable tyre pressure gauge. While you’re at it, its recommended to check the tyre pressures on your tow car too.
Step 4 – Get your jockey wheel down!
Make sure you lower your jockey wheel far enough to bring your hitch above the cars tow bar! We recommend giving yourself a few extra inches to avoid a big BANG when you reverse
Step 5 – Reverse the car and grab a friend!
It is time to reverse your car, so the tow bar is under the hitch. Grab a friend to guide you back if you can, it makes it much easier!
If you are on your own, you may want to use a Motormover! A motormover allows you to very precisely and carefully move the caravan hitch over the tow ball. If you do use a motormover to hitch the caravan up to your tow car make sure you remember to disengage it before you set off. Otherwise, you could damage the motormover and your caravan tyres, you may even damage your leisure battery.
Make the most of everything at your disposal. Turn off the radio, lower the windows, use your reversing camera and take your time!
Step 6 – Lower the caravan
So, you have reversed back, and your hitch is directly above the tow ball. All you need to do now is life the stabiliser handle and lower the jockey wheel until the handle snaps back down into position.
Once you are happy the tow ball and caravan hitch are connected properly you can then wind up, lift and fix the jockey wheel ready for towing. Make sure it is secured properly because if not when you hit a bump in the road it could drop down and come in contact the with the road resulting in damage.
Finally push down on the hitch stabiliser handle, which may be difficult, and release the handbrake.
Step 7 – Hook up the electric!
All you need to do it plug the 13-pin power cable from the caravan to the car and double check all your lights work!
Step 8 – pop your towing mirrors on
This will allow you to have the best vision when towing!
AND YOU ARE GOOD TO GO!