Motorhome Towing – Your Full Information

Contemplating towing a automobile, boat or trailer behind your motorhome or campervan? Undecided concerning the regulation for motorhome towing, what you’ll want to do or if will probably be harder to make use of your motorhome? Excellent news- right here’s all the pieces you’ll want to find out about towing with a motorhome or camper.

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Motorhome Towing – why we do it

We journey Europe with our motorhome and more often than not we tow 2 motorbikes on a trailer behind our van. We love having the bikes with us because it provides us freedom to discover and makes it simpler to go to locations in cities or cities.

The explanation we determined to purchase a motorhome within the first place was as a result of we wished to discover Europe with our motorbikes.

Initially, we had been caught between whether or not to purchase a caravan or motorhome, however, clearly, you possibly can’t tow a trailer should you’re already towing a caravan- in order that was that call made!

However we’ve additionally achieved a number of journeys with out the bikes (and trailer!), so we all know the professionals and cons of motorhome towing and whether or not it’s price it or not.

There are numerous myths and incorrect details about motorhome towing, so we’ve put this information collectively that will help you resolve should you WANT to tow, after which determine what you’ll want to know to remain authorized as you journey across the UK or Europe.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Motorhome Towing Information Questions

There are some frequent questions we get requested frequently. (I’ll use the time period ‘motorhome’ predominantly on this information, however most of those guidelines apply simply as nicely to campervans and RV towing too.)

  • Does towing with a motorhome make it tougher to drive?
  • Does having a trailer or automobile value extra on ferries/ tunnel?
  • How you can discover locations to remain whereas motorhome towing
  • Is it authorized to tow with a motorhome or campervan/ motorhome towing legal guidelines?
  • Are A-frames authorized in Europe?
  • What’s the very best trailer to tug behind a motorhome?
  • What’s the very best automobile to tug behind a motorhome?

Under, I’ll break these questions down and reply them for you.

When you’ve got any questions which this information DOESN’T cowl, please do go away a remark under and we’ll do our greatest to assist.

Watch the motorhome towing video

Want watching to studying? Right here’s the video we filmed about towing with a motorhome, which covers some (however not all!) of the factors listed under.

We hope you discovered the video helpful. In the event you did, we’d like it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with ideas for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.

Sure, you’re allowed to tow together with your motorhome so long as:

  • YOU are legally allowed to tow in your licence (the regulation was lately modified to permit everybody the power to tow as much as 3.5 tonnes on their full UK licence, so long as the under is taken into consideration)
  • The gross prepare weight (GTW) of the motorhome shouldn’t be exceeded (see under)
  • The towbar can take the load of the trailer/ automobile (not all towbars can take all hundreds)
  • You follow the velocity limits for autos towing
  • You’re solely utilizing an A-frame within the UK. Europe is the place issues get tough (see part under)

Motorhome towing capability

Okay, bear with me. I’m about to spew acronyms at you.

You must know a few numbers.

  • First, you’ll want to know what the load of your motorhome/ camper is. That INCLUDES all passengers, gasoline, water, fuel, meals, garments, paddleboards- EVERYTHING. You must know the load of all of it whereas fully-loaded (go to a weighbridge to get this right- it’s really easy to underestimate it.)
  • Then, you’ll want to know the load of the automobile or trailer you need to tow behind the motorhome. That is the load with EVERYTHING on it- so, for instance, the load of the trailer with our 2 motorbikes on it.

Your Gross Practice Weight (GTW) restriction is the load of the motorhome (totally laden) and the trailer/ automobile (totally laden) TOGETHER.

So, for instance, in case your motorhome is 3 tonnes totally laden, and your trailer is 750kg, your GTW could be 3.75 tonnes.

THEN, you’ll want to ensure you are underneath the GTW that your motorhome is ALLOWED to tug. That is usually on a plate inside the motive force or passenger door, but when not needs to be in your paperwork or on-line within the specs to your mannequin van.

Most individuals on a regular UK automobile licence are allowed to tow as much as 750kg max trailer weight (totally laden) and as much as 3.5 tonnes as a GTW. So, within the instance above, you’d NOT be authorized.

Be aware: GTW is NOT the identical factor as payload. 

Towbar towing capability

One other factor to think about is the tow bar weight capability.

There are some trailers/ backboxes which sit completely on the nostril of the tow bar. You must ensure the towbar nostril can take any weight you need to placed on it. You discover this out out of your towbar fitter.

The identical with towing weight- test this together with your towbar fitter and ensure it is sufficient to accommodate what you need to tow.

In case you are planning to place numerous weight immediately onto the towbar, then you’ll want to contemplate motorhome loading and if the rear axle of the van can take the load/ the way it will have an effect on steering and many others.

Don’t count on ANY towbar fitter to have the ability to match a towbar to a motorhome. We tried a number of and needed to drive practically 100 miles to seek out somebody who might do it.

Motorhome Life- our top 10 tips & tricks after our first year of motorhome life and touring Europe in our motorhome. #motorhome #tour #travel #blog #wanderingbird #motorhomelife #tips #tricks #ideas #vanlife
Motorhome towing in Germany- our bikes on a trailer behind our motorhome

Towing with a Motorhome- professionals

We love having the ability to carry our motorbikes with us and we’ve had some INCREDIBLE adventures on the motorbikes. A few of our favourites embrace:

There have positively been instances the place we’ve benefitted from having the bikes- resembling making an attempt to get right into a busy metropolis to do some laundry whereas travelling.

However, for us, the most important profit is the truth that we’re capable of proceed our pastime (motorbiking) as we journey. And that’s the underside line which makes all of the downsides of motorhome towing worthwhile.

As a result of, sadly, there are some critical downsides…

Downsides of Motorhome Towing

As I’ve already talked about, there a fairly just a few cons to towing with a motorhome!!

Does towing with a motorhome make it tougher to drive?

Towing ANYTHING makes it tougher to drive. Nonetheless, towing a trailer or a automobile behind a motorhome usually isn’t as tough as towing one thing behind a automobile, as a result of the tow automobile is so huge.

The trailer simply follows alongside fairly fortunately, even if you’re driving up and down mountains with loopy hairpins- we’ve definitely not stopped exploring as a result of we have now a trailer.

However, sure, reversing or manoeuvering in tight areas is DEFINITELY tougher with a trailer behind your motorhome.

You additionally must be extra cautious together with your route. Not a lot on motorways or foremost roads, however in small villages the place turning is likely to be robust. Or in petrol stations, which might be surprisingly arduous to get out of!

Does having a trailer or tow automobile value extra on ferries/ tunnel?

Oh sure.

This is among the largest downsides for motorhome towing in our opinion- the sheer value of it.

Now, to be clear, towing doesn’t truly COST more- our mpg doesn’t change very a lot in any respect between having a trailer or not. So, should you stay and journey in your camper simply within the UK, you received’t have many extra prices for taking a trailer- aside from some campsite charges.


In case you are planning a visit to Europe, you really want to weigh up the professionals and cons of taking a trailer or automobile with you. As a result of EVERYTHING prices extra.

  • The ferry/ tunnel is priced based mostly in your size
  • Tolls in lots of international locations value extra, as you change into a CAT 3 (3 axles), as a substitute of a CAT 2)
  • In the event you journey to Norway ALL the small ferries are additionally priced on size, so that they value extra
  • Campsites cost for trailer or automobile
  • Aires in Europe typically cost for longer automobile
  • Automobile parks which require a parking ticket could require 2 and even 3

And people are simply the additional prices off the highest of my head. We priced up & found how a lot it prices to tour Norway with a motorhome – should you learn that submit you’ll see how a lot having the trailer value us (which is gloomy, as we solely used the bikes for in the future because of the AWFUL climate!)

How you can discover locations to remain whereas motorhome towing

We don’t have a tendency to make use of campsites in Europe much- we desire aires or wild tenting. However many aires are solely appropriate for campers as much as 7m. That’s one of many causes we downsized our motorhome.

We’ve by no means had an issue discovering someplace to remain, ultimately, however we have now positively needed to drive previous some fairly choices as a result of we couldn’t match.

Motorhome wild tenting guides for the UK & Europe

Motorhome wild parking guide

Motorhome safety

Some of the tough issues about having one other automobile is it’s a must to take into consideration motorhome safety to your camper AND for the trailer/ automobile.

We supply wheel locks for the trailer, extra locks/ chains for our bikes and a number of other different units to verify they keep secure in a single day. It’s positively one thing you’ll want to contemplate.

Motorhome insurance coverage with a trailer or a tow automobile

Clearly, should you’re taking extra, you’re going to want to insure more- which will increase the prices.

Make certain it’s VERY clear who insures what. We as soon as discovered ourselves in a scenario the place our motorhome insurance coverage insured the van and trailer whereas towing, and our bike insurer insured the bikes whereas driving, however NO-ONE insured the bikes while they had been ON the trailer being towed.

Enjoyable, huh?!

You must ensure your insurance coverage covers you and the motorhome whereas towing- not all do. When you’ve got a tow automobile, you’ll want to get motorhome tow automobile insurance coverage.

You additionally want to verify towing together with your motorhome or camper doesn’t invalidate your motorhome guarantee.

Motorhome Towing guide- questions answered about towing a trailer or car with a motorhome
Towing with a motorhome in Austria

Okay, that is the place issues get tough.

An A-frame is authorized for towing a automobile behind a motorhome within the UK, so long as it has the proper gear (quantity plate, working lights and many others) and the GTW isn’t exceeded (see above.)


A-frames are NOT thought-about authorized in most European international locations.

In actual fact, most international locations will cease and positive you for utilizing an A-frame to tow a automobile.

Let’s dive into this in additional element.

In lots of European international locations, an A-frame is ONLY allowed to be used as a restoration device by licensed restoration operators- not a method of towing whereas touring in your motorhome.

While many individuals do ‘get away with it’, there are many individuals stopped and fined annually whereas motorhoming in France, Spain and plenty of different international locations. The one choice these counties allow is a correct trailer, which I do know many individuals dislike as a result of it’s a faff.

Downsides to towing with A-frames

That stated, A-frames have been recognized to twist the physique of the automobile while it’s being towed, making them harmful and typically even undriveable.

There’s additionally an added threat in an accident, because the A-frame modifications imply you’ll trigger far more harm must you hit one thing, or somebody!

The Vienna Conference

There’s an EU treaty known as the Vienna Conference, a part of which states (paraphrasing) {that a} automobile which is authorized in its personal nation can cross by way of a member state, even when it doesn’t adjust to the legal guidelines in that state (so long as it stays for lower than 6 months.)

Nonetheless, this doesn’t apply to A-frames. Even the UK Gov website recommends not utilizing an A-frame with out doing additional analysis into the foundations of the nation you’ll be passing by way of.

Why are A-frames authorized within the UK and never in Europe? I’ve completely no concept, but it surely’s price being conscious of the legal guidelines should you’re planning to tow a automobile overseas.

Keep in mind, this solely applies to A-frames. Trailers are positive, though you would possibly want a inexperienced card out of your insurer for the trailer.

What’s the greatest motorhome for towing?

Weirdly, I get requested this query lots! Not all campervans and motorhomes are appropriate for towing. You additionally want to verify the camper will pull the load you need it to. There’s no ‘greatest’ motorhome, however if you wish to tow, be sure you choose a motorhome which is able to do the job.

Additionally, not all motorhomes can have a towbar fitted to them. Apparently, some chassis will not be appropriate. Bear this in thoughts if you’re seeking to purchase a motorhome and need to tow.

Buying Motorhome checklist

What’s the very best automobile to tug behind a motorhome

We’ve by no means towed a automobile behind our motorhome, so can’t supply any recommendation on this, apart from a small one- bear in mind you’ll want to take the load of the automobile into consideration for the GTW.

Except after all you might have an American RV, through which case you possibly can tow a pickup truck!

Motorhome towing- is it price it?

So, in spite of everything that, you in all probability suppose we’re mad for towing with a motorhome!! But it surely comes down to private alternative and why you’re travelling within the first place.

  • In the event you desire campsites close to huge points of interest with easy accessibility to trains, buses, cycle routes and even rent vehicles, then you definately in all probability don’t have to tow something.
  • In the event you head off into the wilds and need to be as discreet as doable and/ or preserve prices down, you don’t have to tow
  • However, should you like to remain on a campsite and never transfer for every week, you may want one other automobile to pop to outlets or native points of interest. Towing a automobile with you is sensible then- or maybe rent one within the native space for just a few days.
  • For us, we simply love having the ability to trip our bikes in stunning areas throughout the summer season. It’s price it for us after we select to take them.

What do you concentrate on towing with a motorhome? Is it one thing you do/ want to do? Inform us why under

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