How to Reverse Your Caravan Safely

Reversing a caravan isn't something that comes naturally to towcar drivers - and if you're not properly prepared it can be one of the most confusing and aggravating parts of a touring holiday, especially for first-timers. In this article we offer a few tips for reversing a caravan.

Reversing a caravan often leads to collisions, both on and off-site, which can result in an avoidable and expensive claim on your caravan insurance policy. Whether you are performing a three-point turn on a closed road, or simply fitting your unit onto an awkward pitch, reversing is an inevitable part of caravanning.

Picture of man reversing car

The key to reversing a caravan correctly is to remember that the hitch acts as a pivot, therefore whatever direction the rear of your car is moving in, the caravan will be doing the opposite. This can result in confusion, but one widely-employed technique is to place your hand at the base of the steering wheel - then whichever direction you move your hand in, the trailer will move in the same direction.

But watch out: an added complication arises when the caravan starts to pivot about the axles, as one corner of the car will begin to move closer to the corner of the caravan. This movement is known as jack-knifing and can lead to surface damage on both the car and caravan. To avoid this, a small amount of counter-steering should be carried out mid-way through the reversing manoeuvre.

Those still struggling with reversing a caravan can take a training course to help with their technique, but the main thing to remember is to take your time and keep calm, as reversing in a hurry is the quick way to a needless caravan insurance claim.