New guy in search of advice

Jun 22, 2018
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Hello all
My name is Alex, I have owned a Compass Pentara 390/2 for two years, me and my girlfriend spend a lot of our summer in it and we love it!
However... I need some advice...
The caravan has to stay at the site in the same spot perminantly as I do not have the licence to tow it, I am aware of the laws, this is how it works out:
I own a land rover which has a MAM of 2750kg, the caravan has a MAM of 1100kg, making the combined MAM 3850kg which is over the legal limit for my licence.
MY question is, are there any caravans that are MAM of 750kg and below? I know of one make "freedom" caravans, are there any others?
I cannot change the car as my grandad left it to me, its very sentimental.
Thank you for reading :)
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Hello Alex, welcome to the forum.
Why not go in for the B+E test to gain the necessary qualification?
 
Jun 22, 2018
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Hi, thank you.
I was weighing this up, I'm worried about the cost if I fail the test and have to keep attempting it, but it's certainly the better option to be able to get a bigger caravan or tow the one I own
 
May 24, 2014
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I wouldnt worry too much about the test, its not particularly difficult and it covers the stuff that you will need to be competant in regardless of what size of unit you are towing.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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alex1991 said:
...I own a land rover which has a MAM of 2750kg, the caravan has a MAM of 1100kg, making the combined MAM 3850kg which is over the legal limit for my licence.
MY question is, are there any caravans that are MAM of 750kg and below? I know of one make "freedom" caravans, are there any others? I cannot change the car as my grandad left it to me, its very sentimental.
Thank you for reading :)

Hi Alex,

I also have a post-1997 licence so understand the issue.

You could get another, lighter car for towing while keeping the Land Rover. There are many medium sized cars that would tow a caravan with an MTPLM of 1100KG while keeping the total weight under 3500KG - my old Volvo V50 had a gross train weight of 3460KG!

You can get lighter caravans... Anything 750KG or under could be towed by a 'B' licence holder with any vehicle up to 3500KG. However; they will be old small and basic. I know, as I have one; Ci Cadet 10 - 650KG fully loaded. Freedom manage to squeeze modern features into tiny caravans, but I don't really fit in them. (A Freedom salesman at the NEC show tried to convince me I could not tow anything over 750KG on a B licence, but that is another story)

But to be honest, if you want to keep your current outfit, as Parksy said the B+E is the way to go. That is what I did prior to upgrading my caravan so I would not be restricted. The test is expensive (£115) but you also need to factor in some training, as this test is hard to pass if you don't know what to expect. You will need a vehicle and appropriate trailer to perform the test. Easiest way to do it is to book with an instructor who will have a vehicle and be able to coach you on the test. Check the Camping and Caravanning Club website as that is where I found an instructor close to me.

Paul.
P.S. I passed second time. ;)
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Parksy said:
Hello Alex, welcome to the forum.
Why not go in for the B+E test to gain the necessary qualification?

I would also agree with this option as it will open up a variety of different caravans for you to choose from also.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Hi Alex. Welcome to the forum. Can only endorse what everyone else has said. Go for the B and E test. The finances make sense. You will end up with a well matched outfit, and save the money in your first year when you are not paying for a seasonal pitch. Your other option would be a folding caravan or camper, but TBH they are not especially cheap and your test costs would probably vanish in the deal.
Good luck
mel
 
Nov 29, 2017
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My son has taken his test to increase his license capacity and he was supprised how easy it was, now he can borrow my caravan so maybe wasn't such a good idea LOL think in total it was about £75 but I think it can depend where you live.
You truly want regret it, holidays will never be the same, it wouldn't do some towers any harm to take the test anyway as sadly some just do not know how to tow safely, no disrespect to anyone on this forum
PS great name
 
Feb 23, 2018
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AlexandriaUK said:
My son has taken his test to increase his license capacity and he was supprised how easy it was, now he can borrow my caravan so maybe wasn't such a good idea LOL think in total it was about £75 but I think it can depend where you live.
You truly want regret it, holidays will never be the same, it wouldn't do some towers any harm to take the test anyway as sadly some just do not know how to tow safely, no disrespect to anyone on this forum
PS great name

The Government will relive you of £115 for the test or £145 on a weekend.
https://www.gov.uk/driving-test-cost
 
Feb 23, 2018
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alex1991 said:
Ah OK I was worried it would be like a driving test pretty strict, I'll look into that option thank you

Alex,

Yes it is a is a formal driving test to get the 'BE entitlement. In addition to the reversing manueuver which is performed at a HGV test centre, you have to be able to hitch the trailer on your own and then tow on the public road for about 45mins all under test conditions.

With some training I had no issues with the test process (I had about 5 years towing experience) but I still failed the first test due to a speeding driver at an island sounding the horn at me. :dry:

PC did an article on the subject a while back:
https://www.practicalcaravan.com/blog/43945-how-to-pass-your-be-test
But once you've done it, you don't have to do it again!

Paul.
 
Nov 29, 2017
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Yea I just rang he to clarify how much it cost, he said £115 don't know where I got the £75 from, he said if he hadn't been out with me and had experience of reversing etc it would have cost him major amounts for lessons, one company reckon up to £2500 for a prolonged course, he was lucky that we have a friend with a huge empty car park at weekends,
 
Oct 12, 2013
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AlexandriaUK said:
.......one company reckon up to £2500 for a prolonged course, he was lucky that we have a friend with a huge empty car park at weekends.....

How much ! :eek:hmy:
I only paid £1,2oo for my class 2 licence last year and that was a 4 day course and passed !!
 
Feb 23, 2018
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AlexandriaUK said:
Yea I just rang he to clarify how much it cost, he said £115 don't know where I got the £75 from, he said if he hadn't been out with me and had experience of reversing etc it would have cost him major amounts for lessons, one company reckon up to £2500 for a prolonged course, he was lucky that we have a friend with a huge empty car park at weekends,

I can't remember how much I paid the instructor... but it wad less than £600 all in... that's with both test fees. I suppose it depends on your experience and access to the correct type of trailer.
 
Nov 29, 2017
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Wouldn't you think that it could be regulated so people don't get ripped off quite so often, it's actually not compulsory to have even one lesson to be able to take the test, if you can get experience elsewhere
 
May 7, 2012
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I would favour taking the test. You do it with a box trailer rather than a caravan which makes reversing a bit more difficult though.
Not sure how you feel about losing the Landrover for something the size of a Mondeo, but that would let you tow on the roads without updating your licence.
After the Compass I think you would find the Freedom very basic so it may not be an option.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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AlexandriaUK said:
Wouldn't you think that it could be regulated so people don't get ripped off quite so often, it's actually not compulsory to have even one lesson to be able to take the test, if you can get experience elsewhere

The process IS as regulated as any other driving test, in so far the examination fees are set, Its the cost of lessons that are left to market forces, and that's exactly the same freedom to charge what the market will accept for providers of lessons in any class.
 

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