From the blog - Towing wider caravans - a first-person perspective

Aug 2, 2006
Dear All
I have reproduced the latest blog from the site - written by Towcar Awards test driver, retired police traffic officer and regular caravanner / forum contributor Nigel Hutson.

Would love to hear all your thoughts on towing wider vans, whether from experience or not!

Original is here -

NOW THAT CARAVANNERS don’t need a towing vehicle with a plated weight in excess of 3500kg to tow caravans of up to 2.5m wide in the UK, European imports built to UK specification may become a more familiar sight on our roads.
/sites/'s Astella is one of a new breed of wider caravans on the UK market

At the moment, the two main manufacturers doing this are Adria with the Astella, and Dethleffs with the Nomad Rally. On the second-hand market, there are also models from Hobby and Hymer available, to name but two.
Towing a wide caravan
I recently towed the 2.48 metre wide Adria Astella for approximately forty miles along a variety of roads to see what it would be like towing a wider caravan.

Despite towing with a Land Rover Discovery fitted with Milenco Grand Aero towing mirrors, the first thing that struck me was that these did not give an adequate rear view. Yes, I could see along the sides of the caravan (just), and things in the distance behind me, but on the occasions when there was a car quite close behind, I couldn’t see it at all. In fact, anything within thirty to forty metres on a straight section of road was lost.

On dual carriageways, extra care must be taken when overtaking , making sure that there were no other vehicles within that “blind” area which were about to pull out to overtake me. Towing my own 2.28 metre wide caravan presents no such issues. I understand that wider extension arms for the Milenco mirrors are available, so I would like to see what difference they make. The twenty or so centimetres of extra width might not sound like much, but on narrower country roads, its surprising what little room there is at times, especially when negotiating tighter corners, or passing large vehicles which were travelling in the opposite direction. Passing parked vehicles in towns and villages also required extra care.
Give 2.5m wide tourers a wide berth?
Whilst there is the obvious attraction of more internal room in one of these wider caravans, I really do question their suitability for the UK’s roads. Perhaps with wider towing mirrors the rear visibility problem might be addressed, and then towing on main roads might not be a concern. However, in my opinion towing on the narrower country roads (the type which we often need to use to get to a campsite), and in towns will always remain an issue.

Another problem that owning one of these caravans may present is being able to obtain breakdown recovery. Many operators impose width restrictions, and indeed I had to shop around to find one whose dimensions covered our 2.28 metre wide caravan. Not many UK companies will recover caravans of 2.5 metres width.

Based on my experiences, I'd say that wider caravans suit seasonal pitches, where towing is restricted to a minimum, but they’re certainly not ideal for regular touring.
Mar 14, 2005
Living here on the Continent where wider caravans have been around for a lot longer I can only endorse all the above comments. My opinion is also that 2.5m wide caravans are suitable only for those people who maybe tow once or twice a year to their favourite spot, say down to the Mediterranean Sea and back again, using motorways as much as possible. However, they are really a bit of a pain if touring a lot, especially off the motorways or in mountainous regions. I would imagine that applies even more so in the UK.
I would class 2.5m wide caravans as semi-statics.
Mar 10, 2006
Yes i was quite happy with a 7'2" caravan, now have a 7'6" i think it is, I have to drive with even more caution now.


May 7, 2005
Not towed one so I cant add actual experience but take this view on towing them.
In the rural areas where we like to camp we find we have picked up enough window and even bodywork scrarches from the hedgerows as it is with our 2.3 metre wide vans. With our earlier 2.1 metre vans things were not so bad but possibly lanes were better maintained 10 plus years ago.
For us, frequent 5 van site users and ralliers, the undoubted appeal of the greater space is not ejough to comtemplate going wider. Would be too stressful towing in tight lanes, too depressing looking at the consequences and we would spend too long attempting to polishing out the scratches!
Aug 23, 2009
with our length and width as it stands at the moment many of our regular and much loved CLs are a bit of a squeeze, especially when negotiating narrow gates off narrow lanes so I don't think I would like to try it with an even wider outfit. However I do like the extra width in the vans. I think if you don't do our sort of caravanning and go to sites with easy access all of the time it would be fine and we would probably go with the extra width.
Apr 22, 2006
Well my first thought about this is fuel consumption. When a few years back Swift increased the width of their vans my fuel consumption went up by around 2 mpg.
Now adays I am what you may call a part time lorry driver and as such am used to driving vehicles of this width. However I have slightly more than 25 years experience of doing this and most lorry drivers do around 50-80 thousand miles a year as opposed to the odd 20-30 days a year for a caravanner. Even with this amount of experience if you look at most truck tyres you will see how scuffed the sidewalls are from hitting verges and kerbs on tight roads. On most country journeys you normally have between 1/2 to 1 inch either side of the tyre from verge to white line. This demands constant concentration not that I am saying caravanners could not give this just that it is a bit of a different driving experience. It will also not just be country lanes where the width becomes a problem but even road works on motorways where there are reduced width lanes to cope with. These are probably the worst things for these wider vans as it is already a problem when trying to pass a lot of the Hobby vans currently on the road when going through roadworks. The number of times I have checked in my mirrors when alongside to see the back of the caravan bob around as it hits a pothole coming within a hairs width of clipping the back of my trailer. I shudder to think what will happen when you have the usual (not all)
4x4 travelling at 70 mph with wide a berth passing another through the road works. The biggest problem for them in the UK is that most of our holiday destinations tend to be in quiet little idiylic spots often accesed over the last 50 miles through a stretch of lovely countryside.

Yes the extra width would be lovely inside but when I hitch up it is for a relaxing drive ona holiday not another few days at work. So thanks but no thanks.
Nov 20, 2007
Yes, I would agree that more care needs to be taken when towing the extra width but it really is worth it for the additional space. Regarding breakdown cover, ADAC cover it no problem....
Aug 4, 2004
If you have the necessary driving skills, there shoudl be no problem in towing a wider trailer up to 2.5m. Hopefully it will become a standard width in caravans in years to come.
Jul 28, 2008
For information, I do hold what were Class 1 HGV and Class 1 PSV licences, both of which I have used profesionally over the years, so the size of vehicle does not intimidate me one bit. The biggest problem is the width of Country roads.


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