Reversing a caravan can be one of the most intimidating things you can do while towing a caravan, especially if there is an audience around! Luckily, with a few handy tips and a bit of practice, after a while, you will be reversing like a pro.
1. Use Your Passenger
If you have a friend in the passenger seat, get them to jump out and guide you through the process. The reassurance and direction of someone else can make all the difference. Work out some verbal and visual signals with your helper before you begin. Get them to stand on your blind side, in a position that you can hear them, and let them be your eyes from the back. Make sure your radio is off and that your windows are down so that you can hear them at all times.
2. Get Set Up
Before you start moving, ensure that your vehicle is set up correctly. Ensure that your windows are down, and that your towing mirrors are adjusted so that they show both the sides of your caravan when your vehicle is straight. Before you do anything else, drive just past your parking spot so that the caravan axle is past the imaginary line of travel that you will take.
3. Reverse from the Right
In most instances, you will need to reverse your caravan from a right angle. Reversing from the right of the parking spot is best as this means that all the reversing happens on the driver’s side, allowing the driver a view of the caravan’s rear.
4. Take Care Steering
One thing that caravanning newbies can struggle with, is steering. When reversing your caravan, it is critical that you remember that left is right, and right is left. Hold the bottom of the steering wheel, so that moving your hands to the left will move the caravan left, and the right, to the right. Ensure that you move the steering wheel slowly, as a caravan amplifies every movement.
5. Keep an eye on your driver’s side mirror
While you are reversing, the driver’s side mirror will be your best friend. Your rear-view mirror will be useless, and your left-side mirror will only be useful once you complete your 90° degree turn. Looking out the window can also be helpful in orientating yourself.
6. Put it in reverse!
Once you are ready, you can now shift into reverse. Ease backwards, while turning right. Once you have turned far enough right, straighten your wheel so that your car is on the same arc as your caravan
7. Straighten Up
When your caravan is aligned with the parking space, you can then straighten your wheels more, to the point that both your caravan and car are approximately 90° degrees to their starting position. Continue to reverse, making adjustments if needed.
8. Don’t be afraid to start again!
If at first you do not succeed, do not be afraid to start over. Chances are the second time you will find reversing easier!