Attaching a Caravan to a Tow Car

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When you buy your first caravan, you’re going to need to know how the caravan connects to the car for you to be able to safely tow it away.

The caravan has a hitch. It’s at the front of the caravan and the car will have a tow ball. The caravan’s hitch clamps over the tow ball and is locked into position. The hitch looks like this :

Ensure the caravan’s hitch is positioned directly over the tow ball with the hitch in the unlocked position, apply caravan’s handbrake. You need to lift the handle up, so that the hitch will fit over the tow ball. Once the larger handle is lifted up it reveals a smaller one, this also needs to be in the up position:

Once these are both “open” you need to lower the caravan onto the tow ball using the jockey wheel (you wondered what that was for didn’t you?) Once the tow ball is inside the hitch you should be able to close the smaller handle, followed by the larger one. These can be quite stiff, please avoid using your foot at this stage. You’ll know when it’s all in place properly.

Next you need to connect the electrics by plugging it into the tow bar. These need to be lined up and usually press in and turned clockwise. At this stage if you have ATC it will make a noise and the caravan handbrake might move.

Breakaway Cable

After this is the breakaway cable, this will be slightly different depending on the age of your caravan, But essentially you’ll have a thin red cable that needs to attach to the tow bar. In the event that the caravan becomes separated from the car this will pull the caravan’s handbrake on and stop it rolling away.

Image Source: https://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/safe-road-safe-road/page2/

As mentioned, your setup might look different and my attach to the tow bar bracket, rather than be looped around as in the photo.

Now the caravan is safely attached to the tow car you can lift the jockey wheel up into position. This means undoing the bracket, lift the jockey wheel and clamping it in position again. This ensures the jock wheel doesn’t come into contact with the road whilst travelling.

Lastly, remember to put your caravan legs up, if they aren’t already, check your caravan lights are working and of course fit your towing mirrors.

I know it sounds like a lot to do, but practice makes perfect and after a couple of times you’ll be an expert!

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