Newbie - wanting advice female

Apr 19, 2019
Ok here goes.....

Me and my ex had a tourer for 4 years i absolutely loved it. 18months as now passed and because we are no longer together we do not go in the van it stings on my heart because me and the kids loved it.

So I have decided it something I would like to do it but not got clue were to start. I get it’s not going to be something out over night and I need to educate myself first, then go on course to learn how to pull one. I was just the passenger living my best life B) making sure we had clothes food and a clean place to stay..... I can fit the mirrors :silly: .

So I guess my first few questions please be honest I will not be offended....

Is it possible for a women to tow a van? I am a really confident driver and would defo get lessons in towing but Like strength wise I am not partial strong I guess I would get a motor mover on it or am I been silly and would I need another adult really?

Secondly would a Vauxhall zafira 1.7 cdti design 16v pull one or would I need to start by changing my car.

Oct 20, 2015
Hi Fiona and big welcome: you've come to the right place for sure and although as a novice myself, I'm not the person to give the advice you're after many on here will be. BUT great you and your children are planning to use and enjoy the caravan! I can say, both women and men can and do tow caravans. When did you pass your test? if after 1997 you may be restricted in terms of weight and need to do a B+E course / test, but regardless the towing course is a great idea- something I should really do as well . Regarding your car, its depends largely (and legally) on the weight ratio and practically on the power of the vehicle. If you post the caravan make / model I'm sure someone will be able to help.
Congrats again, Wayne
Sep 29, 2016
Welcome F14nae :)

Yes, do a towing course.

Fit a motor mover and yes, you can do it all by yourself, and very easily at that.

Most people on caravan sites will be more than willing to assist when you need a litle help out, we all need a little help now and again, even the more experienced caravaners apppreciate the kind help others willingly give us when we have our little difficulties.

I know a woman (pensioner) who, never having towed a caravan decided she would have a go after her husband passed away, she is as competent as anyone else who enjoys caravanning.

Go for it, and ask away, good folks on here happy to help with any questions, and there are no daft questions B)



Nov 12, 2009
Hi Fiona, welcome to the forum :)
There are lots of ladies who regularly tow their caravans, why should they be any different to male caravanners? :lol:
Have you still got your tourer? If so, the best starting point would be to please tell us the make and model, and you will be able to receive good advice on the suitability and legality of your current car / caravan outfit.
Loving the idea of caravanning is half of the battle, if your kids also share your enjoyment I'm sure that they would enjoy 'helping' with the little jobs that are part of our pastime.
The towing course is a great idea, you'll probably end up knowing more about safe and legal towing than quite a few long term caravanners who taught themselves years ago by trial and error.
If you haven't now got the caravan and are considering buying one you can receive advice from friendly members of this forum (plus the advice from staff writers on the website) about what you can tow, what to watch out for when buying and what to avoid, plus advice on various bits of kit that you'll be tempted to buy.
Mar 14, 2005
Just wait a moment!

There is no practical reason why towing a caravan is the preserve of any gender. So have no fears on that front.

What you can tow is governed by two main criteria, the first is what your driving licence entitles you to drive, the entitlement group of interest to cars and caravans is entitlement B, and as you passed your test in 2005 you have "B" which limits you to a car and caravan where the combined MAM (Maximum Allowed Mass) must not exceed 3500kg.

If the combined MAM of your car and caravan does exceed 3500kg then you need to change the car or caravan for ones with a lower MAM or more sensible take the B +E extension test which allows you to drive a car and trailer with as combined MAM of 7000kg which will cover you for virtually all possible cars and caravans in the UK.

The second main criteria relates to what the car can do.
Every car produced for sale within the EU must have a stamped data plate which contains four specified load limits. These are Gross Train Weight, Gross Vehicle Weight, Front Axle Limit and Rear Axle Limit. These are important limits and must not be exceeded. Not all cars are approved to tow trailers, in which case the GTW figure will be left blank, it is illegal to tow with these cars. However you zaffira will be permitted to tow but how much? The answer can found by subtracting the GVW figure from the GTW figure. This will give you the maximum trailer weight the car can tow when the car is fully loaded. Most car manufacturers leave it at that, but some occasionally publish a greater "maximum towed" weight figure based on the car only being part loaded, but the cars GTW must still be observed.

Whilst the car manufacture gives us these limits, they based on an ideal trailer, not a caravan, caravans do create some additional issues which need to be taken into account. To simplify this the UK caravan industry suggests that providing none of the cars specifications are breached, the MTPLM (MAM) of the caravan should not exceed 85% of the tow vehicles kerbweight. Only rising towards 100% as the driver gains experience. I stress this is only guidance, but it is does support the idea of keeping the tug heavier than the caravan which is seen as a preferred regime.

I have gone into such detail because historically the Zaffira models have had a chequered history of towing limits. You need to be very certain of the limits for your specific model.

If after all sums the a combined MAM of your outfit is under 3500kg you do not need to do the B+ E extension test. But you still want to gain more insight into towing, then both the caravan clubs offer towing courses, but there no qualifications at the end, You could consider the B+E test, which is more expensive but would extend your driving entitlements.

Do the maths, or post all the make, model, year, and any available weight and limits information about car and caravan and we can crunch the numbers for you.
May 7, 2012
Welcome to the forum. As the others say there is no reason why you cannot tow and there are plenty of other ladies doing this although they are in a minority. There is a single persons category on the CAMH web site which might help you if you need it.
Not sure what the Zafira towing limit is but this should be stamped inside the car at the drivers door, in the handbook if you have this and on the registration document.
There are web sites that cover this but they are not totally accurate in many cases so Iwould treat these with caution.
With a Zafira I cannot see you going over the 3,500 figure assuming you do not have a licence to cover this, an alternative might be the towing sessions provided by both clubs. This would be cheaper and caravan specific, so to me might be more useful if you have any doubts about towing.
The 85%figure is advice and not binding. Many people feel it is outdated and certainly exceeding it by a small margin should not be a problem but I would not go over 90% at first.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Nov 16, 2015
Fiona, I can only add what the others have said, my wife used to tow our Coachman 560, 7.2 metres, until she took the awning rail off coming out of storage, a mates bad marshalling. Lost her confidence, but we have seen lots of lasses with families towing and enjoying the caravan life, , No reason not too, lots of help on site and off, kids love it "Normally".
Sep 29, 2016
F14nae said:
Thanks :) We have a charisma caravan 570 single wheel at the min.

Just a thought Fiona, Aldi are doing a caravan mover at this time for £500.00 (that said you can buy the same model from the manufacturer for the same price).

Is it a worthwhile purchase?; well it has a 5 year warranty, just keep the receipt in case anything goes wrong.

I would buy one if that means anything to you, and you can have it fitted either by an 'Emover' fitter or by a local caravan agent or a competent handy-person that you might be fortunate to know.

EDIT: here is the link:
Oct 12, 2013
Good-looking going for your test and going solo and pulling it yourself, we wish you all the luck that you need ; there is plenty of women out there towing caravans & HGV's , once you do it you will get the hang of it and it will become easier and easier and even when you pull on a site there will always be someone there to give you a helping hand :)

All the best .

Craig .
May 24, 2014
Hi and welcome, sorry Im a bit late to this thread.

Is it possible for a women to tow a van?
If it is, I dont want to meet her. I really do advise using a car. :)

Seriously though, there is no reason on earth for you not to continue caravanning. As you mention kids, I suspect you are younger than most of us, and when you consider there are singletons in their late 80's and 90's still caravanning, there really shouldnt be anything you cant cope with after a bit of practice and repetition.

There are a few clubs around I believe that are only for singles. Looking at some of them, I doubt its an 18-30s sort of thing, but maybe worth tagging along with one of them until you get your confidence up. As has already been said, most people would be glad to give you a hand on site, dont be afraid to ask.

Onto your vehcile. We towed our first caravan with a vauxhall Zafira, one of the first models. It was a fairly substantial four birth caravan, and the Zafira had me (Im just big boned), the good lady, two kids, two Bullmastiffs and a large top box.

Best advice I can give.............................go for it.
Apr 19, 2019
Thank you for all your reply’s much appreciated.

I’m certainly going to go for it, learnt so much in just a few replies.

I’ll keep ya posted and I guess a lot more questions will come up as begin the process :) x
Oct 12, 2013
Oncd again , go for it ! We have just been away over Easter weekend and my cousin came up to see what we actually got up to in the caravan on a nice day so we triet her to to walk through Fields village pubs , and a few more drinks when we got back and a barbecue and she was ataken back with some motorhomes on the site so I managed to ask someone if she could have a look in them , she loved it , she's never done it before but on the spur of the moment on bank holiday Monday ( after 4 hours of looking back and forwards at ropers and leisure World ) she has gone and bought herself a 16 plate used motorhome on monday !
Dec 6, 2013
Sorry Fiona, I'm a bit late to this but ...

Well you have asked the question on a caravanning forum so perhaps the answers are a bit biased, but I say go for it too. If you and the kids loved it before they will again. And as for your question 'is it possible for a woman to tow', well, this forum has 35,000 members. Let's assume, conservatively, that half of those tow and the other half are partners, parents or children of those who do. That's 17,500 people who tow caravans (presumably not counting your ex) and if we can do it, you can!

A motor mover will help you manoeuvre the van in tight spaces but in our 3.5 years to date of caravanning, I can only think of one instance where we haven't been able to position it using the car. Reversing is not difficult, it just takes practice.

Get yourself an inflatable porch awning as well, the extra space will be a godsend when its raining outside. The hardest bit is pulling it through the awning rail on the caravan but I can do ours on my own.

I don't think you say how old your children are, but they might well delight in helping to push a caravan into position as well as lower steadies, fill water containers etc (perhaps not empty toilets though)! But if you really need that extra bit of reassurance, mention when booking the site that you're a single parent and that you might need some help and I'm sure they'll be happy to oblige.

Hope that's done my bit to convince you. Enjoy :)
Oct 12, 2013
True , there's always someone on site that will give you a helping hand Ive helped many people pushing a caravan in , I even had one wife asked me to reverse her car and caravan in because her husband was making a right ass off his reversing ! I've since seen them a few times on a site & always get a wave !

Mind you , a mover maybe safer than getting the kids to push the van in as it could be heavy and dangerous where is a mover will put it in place inch by inch , now that I have one on mine , I wouldnt get mine to the way I would like it to be if I had to drive it in reverse it in or push it in .

Good luck


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