Staycation safety tips on driving a motor home or towing a caravan

Longford Leader reporter

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File Photo of a motorhome

Gardaí have urged people driving motor homes or towing caravans to familarise themselves with the rules of the road.

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Meath Crime Prevention page, which is run by Meath Gardaí, have offered advice to staycation families during August

  • It is worth noting, if you are renting a caravan or an RV or you have not towed a caravan before, you need to familarise yourself with these vehicles and the rules of the road for them before you take to the road. If towing a caravan be aware of the size and type of caravan you are permitted to tow. And remember, the maximum speed limit for towing a caravan is 80km/h.

  • If towing a caravan, you need to have adequate unobstructed vision in both car door / wing mirrors. Fit extension mirrors if necessary. Reversing a caravan is difficult. Practice reversing, but make sure it’s done in a safe location and have someone to guide you.

  • A category B driving licence allows you to drive a car, van or 4 x 4 which has gross vehicle weight of not more than 3,500kg. You may tow a trailer with a maximum weight of not greater than 750kg, or where the maximum weight of the trailer is more than 750kg, the combined maximum weight of the towing vehicle and the trailer does not exceed 3,500kg.
    It’s essential that your motorhome or caravan is roadworthy. If planning to use a motorhome, check that it has a valid CVRT certificate.
  • Passengers can sit in the back of a motorhome provided they are in a seat which is designed to be used while the vehicle is moving. Seating that’s provided when the vehicle is at rest, for example around a table, must not to be used while driving.
  • Children can be carried in rear seats in a motorhome provided they are using the proper child restraint that’s suitable for their height and weight.
  • If your motorhome is 3,500Kg or less you can drive it on a B (car) licence. If it’s over 3,500Kg but not more than 7,500kg you need a C1 licence. If it’s over 7,500Kg you need a C licence. In all cases the maximum number of occupants is 9 (i.e. the driver plus 8 passengers). Overloading is an offence and could cause your vehicle to be unstable.

Safe driving and enjoy the holidays!

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