Say a big Aussie G’day to Winfields Outdoors 🙂 We were over the moon earlier this year to be named by them as one of the Top 8 Caravan Blogs…in the WORLD!!! So we started thinking….what is caravanning like in the UK? Do they do things differently? We asked the team at Winfields Outdoors to give us the run down… ENJOY 🙂 

We always thought that caravanning was a very British thing, but we’re delighted to find that plenty of others all over the world love it just as much as we do. And Australia in particular seems to have a thriving caravanning population – probably because there are so many amazing places to see – why would you ever need to go abroad?

Here in the UK, caravanning doesn’t always get a great press – sometimes it’s seen as for older people, sometimes for those who can’t afford to go abroad. We shout ‘nonsense!’ at those people – caravanning is fantastic fun and for absolutely everyone. Plus, anyone who does it will tell you it’s not always the cheapest!

So here’s a little beginner’s guide to caravanning in the UK, including towing laws, a few of our favourite places to take the caravan, and a handful of handy tips and tricks.

UK Caravan Laws

So what are the essentials you need to know before you’re let loose on the UK roads with a caravan?

What you’re allowed to tow

What you’re actually allowed to tow is determined by when you got your driving licence. If you passed your driving test on or before 1st January 1997, you can, according to the website:

  • drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

If you passed your test before 1st January 1997, then you should be fine driving a vehicle and trailer combo of up to 8,250kg MAM.

Most cars will have a maximum weight they can tow, which should be in the handbook. It’s worth just having a look at this – you don’t want to try towing with a Mini, for example. Well, one of the old Minis, not the new ones that are anything but mini.

It’s also worth knowing that the max width you can tow is 2.55 metres, and the max length is 7 metres.


As with any vehicle, it’s up to you to ensure your caravan is roadworthy. You can be fined up to £2,500 (just over $4,000 dollars), be banned from driving, and get 3 penalty points on your licence for using a vehicle not in a good enough condition.

This video will tell you the main things you need to check before you tow:

In a nutshell, here are the things you need to ensure are safe and secure:

  • The trailer is correctly coupled to the towball or pin
  • The breakaway cable is attached and not damaged in any way
  • The wheels and tyres are in good condition, inflated enough, and have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm
  • All lights & indicators are working
  • The caravan isn’t overloaded, and the load is secure and distributed evenly

This is all safety stuff that’s important no matter where you are in the world, but it’s still worth repeating.

Tow bars

A tow bar’s a tow bar, right? Wrong! It needs to be meet certain EU regulations and be designed for use with your car – unless your car was first used before 1st August 1998. Of course, once Brexit happens, who knows what regulations we’ll have. We won’t be able to afford cars then anyway.

Towing mirrors

Again, we’re sure this is the same pretty much anywhere, but you need towing mirrors that provide an adequate view of the road behind you. If you don’t have proper towing mirrors, you can be fined up to £1,000 (about $1,600) and get 3 penalty points.


You don’t quite have the same freedom as when you’re not towing. For instance, you’re not allowed to drive in the right-hand lane of a motorway with three or more lanes.

Speed limits are also a little lower in some cases:

  • 30mph on all roads with street lighting unless signs show otherwise – the same for all vehicles.
  • 50mph on single carriageways unless signs show otherwise – down from 60mph
  • 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways – down from 70mph


Let’s give a little love to motorhomes while we’re here – your motorhome must be within the dimensions of 12 metres long and 2.55 metres wide. There’s no height limit, but if it’s over three metres tall, then a notice displaying the height must be clearly visible to the driver.

You can find much more details about all the relevant UK caravan laws over on the website.

Caravan tips & tricks

Here are just a handful of our favourite caravanning tips and advice:

  • Invest in an awning – the weather over here can get pretty ropey, so to increase the living area of your caravan or motorhome, get an awning. There are separate caravan and motorhome (drive away) awnings, so make sure you get the right one.
  • Get decent pegs & mallet – if you do get an awning, get some decent pegs and a mallet. Don’t break your feet trying to stamp them in.
  • Buy a windbreak – again, the weather might not always be great, so a windbreak will help you battle the elements and enjoy the outdoors.
  • Get a portable clothes rail – this way you can dry clothes outside without having to drape them over any available space inside (or you can get a Pegless Clotheslines in Australia from Caravanning with Kids!)
  • Drain the water tank – do this after you get home just to keep it a bit cleaner. Especially important in winter or it could freeze and crack the tank.
  • Get a Cadac – if you’re familiar with the Cadac grills then you’ll know how good they are. If you’re not familiar, then trust us – they’re worth it!
  • Bottle opener – It’s not even worth thinking about forgetting one of these!

Best places to caravan in the UK

This would be a blog post all on its own, but here are a few of our favourite places to caravan in the UK…

  • North Yorkshire – ‘God’s Own Country’ as it’s sometimes known, admittedly by people from Yorkshire, but it certainly is a wonderful part of the country, with the stunning Moors, and seaside towns of Bridlington and Whitby.
  • Cumbria – If you want something that’s quintessentially British, then Cumbria and the Lake District are perfect, with miles and miles of greenery, lakes and rolling hills.
  • Cornwall – Cornwall is probably one of the most popular caravanning destinations in the UK and for good reason, particularly if you like the beach and are partial to a spot of surfing. You’ll be right at home among the VW Campers.
  • North Wales – Try and drive anywhere near North Wales at the start of a Bank Holiday weekend and you’ll be met with a wall of caravanners pouring into the region, largely thanks to the fantastic views, especially around Snowdonia, and the beaches on Anglesey.
  • Scotland – We know Scotland is a big place and so this isn’t very specific or massively helpful, but there are just so many amazing places to go in Scotland, including Dunnet Bay, Inverness-shire, Isle of Arran, etc, etc – we could go on!


 THANK YOU so much Winfields Outdoors – I think you will agree, an interesting read! 

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