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Features Index > Caravanning Help and Advice > Before Setting off on a Journey

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Before Setting off on a Journey

Before setting off on any journey towing a caravan, here are some checks you should carry out every time to make sure you're towing safely and legally.

1. Check car tyre pressures - adjust for towing

2. Check wheel nuts for tightness using torque wrench

3. Turn off LPG cylinder(s) and ensure they are securely strapped upright

4. Empty water tanks, carry any water you need for the journey in a small container

5. Check nose weight of caravan - see our guide for correct caravan loading

6. Secure any loose items in caravan, close windows, roof lights, fridge catch, and all catches

7. Set 12v control panel to ‘car’ or ‘off’ switch fridge to 12v

8. Once you have finished in the caravan, ensure the handbrake is fully on.
Motor Mover Fitted?
8 a) Ensure handbrake on van or attached to tow hitch, retract drive rollers from engagement with tyres
8 b) Switch Off master isolator switch
8 c) Stow Remote Control safely inside caravan
9. Raise the corner steadies and stow winding handle and step. Lock door

10. Hitch up – check hitch mechanism is fully engaged.
Alko Stabiliser Hitch Fitted?
10 a) Check safety indicator button is visible
10 b) Check wear indicator for satisfactory pad wear
11. Wind jockey wheel up, unclamp and raise to highest position. Re-clamp securely. Fit stabiliser bar (if used)

12. Attach breakaway cable, preferably to pigtail or secure part of the towing bracket – DO NOT LOOP OVER TOWBALL

13. Connect 12v cables making sure there is enough slack to turn corners.
Alko ATC Fitted?
13 a) After connecting 12v cable to car, check warning indicator for correct function of unit
14. Check all road lights are working

15. Fully release handbrake

16. Check all mirrors are adjusted properly

17. Walk around the entire unit for a final check – all items secured away? (Towball cover, step, winding handle, step, chocks, etc.)

18. Caravan level or slightly nose down? Car sits level?

19. You are now ready to go. After about 15-20 minutes stop and make sure all cupboards, windows, doors and roof light are still secure.

20. Are the wheels cool _ if not then you may have a binding brake get it checked.

21. Everything still secure in caravan?

22. Everything OK continue with Journey.

This article has the following linked sections

New Season Checks for Caravans / Motorhomes
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Essential Equipment for your Caravan
The quick list of the essential kit you need to remember for every trip out in the caravan!
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Arriving On Site with a Caravan
Setting up a caravan on site is easy and should not present any major problems. A quick guide to help
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Loading your Caravan and Clever Packing
When it comes to loading up your caravan for a holiday it is extremely important that you try and pack things safely. Hopefully these tips will help.
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Changing a Caravan Tyre!
An often neglected, and forgotten task. Changing a caravan tyre! If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a flat tyre can you cope?!
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Caravan Weight Watching - How Heavy is it?
In order to make sure that your caravan isn't over its weight limit you should be aware of what all the small bits and pieces weigh
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Index : Caravanning Help and Advice : Before Setting off on a Journey - by Graham Thompson

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