How to Master Reversing a Caravan

Reversing a caravan

Don’t back out of reversing a caravan – have a look at these top tips

A caravan can open up a whole world of possibilities, but it can also be a tricky beast to handle.

Even the smallest of caravans or camper vans can throw up a few challenges, none moreso than reversing. Whether you’re parking your caravan in your driveway for the winter or after a holiday, or backing it into a pitch on a site, ready for a well-earned break, reversing a caravan isn’t.

On some occasions, it can even lead to the odd row, or a frustrating thump of the dashboard – not the ideal way to kick-off your holiday.

When reversing a caravan, you have to take into consideration a number of factors – your car, the caravan itself, other vehicles and trees, posts, walls and fences.

So, if you are having problems perfecting your caravan reversing skills, here’s a quick guide to help you out.

Big is beautiful

You may think that the bigger the caravan, the harder it is to reverse. But, in fact, the opposite is true. Although, by and large, the methods for reversing a small and large caravan are the same, there are a few difference depending on size.  Movements in a large twin-axle caravan are much more controlled and slower.

Tips on reversing round a corner

Perhaps the trickiest way to reverse a caravan is round a corner. Here a few tips on the best way to do it.

Firstly, you need to drive alongside the corner you want to reverse around. The wheels of your caravan must be just over the edge of the pitch or corner. Then you can start to steering. This is where it can get tricky as reversing a car with a caravan in tow involves steering the opposite way to that which you would if you had no caravan.

Once you start moving backwards, make sure you do slowly and carefully – the last thing you want is for the caravan to roll too fast.

When you have the caravan straight into the space or pitch, it’s time to steer in the opposite direction in order to line up your tow car with the caravan before slowly reversing it into place.

There’s no going back once you’ve mastered these reversing tips

The top tip for reversing a caravan is to take things nice and slowly. A slow, smooth movement means you can adjust your position and check what’s around you.

Start over if you’re not in the perfect position. Don’t try and correct things halfway through the manoeuvre if you’re not in the position you want to be, just straighten everything up and begin again.

Remember, this isn’t a Formula One car you’re driving. Steer with small and slow movements, over-steering will just make things a lot more difficult.

It’s always best to enlist some help when reversing a caravan. Get someone to have a look at things from the outside. They’ll need to watch the car and caravan to make sure that they don’t get too close together but always trust your own judgement and if in doubt – get out, so you can check the situation yourself.

Here’s a great video from The Caravan Club to show you how its done:

Written By

Mike Cruckley runs and maintains and is passionate about Caravanning and all things camping related. You can find him on Google+