Picking up first ever van

Feb 12, 2019
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Hi all,
Picking up first van in two weeks. Think about organised with equipment. Any tips would be much appreciated.
Anyone completed the B and E license test?
Cheers
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Hello Lesroy ,

Welcome to the forum , what caravan are you getting and what car will you be using to tow it with ?
Is the B+E to be done before you get it ?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Lesroy78 said:
Hi all,
Picking up first van in two weeks. Think about organised with equipment. Any tips would be much appreciated.
Anyone completed the B and E license test?
Cheers

Check it’s noseweight is correct prior to hitching up. Many vans when unloaded or lightly loaded have too heavy noseweight.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Lesroy78 said:
Hi all,
Picking up first van in two weeks. Think about organised with equipment. Any tips would be much appreciated.
Anyone completed the B and E license test?
Cheers

Hi Lesroy,
I took the B+E Test in 2017 - However I took the test as a precaution after I changed my tow car, so I didn't have a deadline. Prior to that I had a car with a max towing limit, when added to the car's gross weight, under the 3500KG combined limit for B licences.

If you have any questions on the taking the test ask away.
 
Jul 20, 2016
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Exciting times! Is this your first Caravan?
A pre departure check list is a top tip from me! I had a sticker in the window with all the usual check bits on. I then found an app for my phone (Caravan Buddy) which i absolutely love! You can make your own check list on it specific to your Caravan, for example i have put turning the motor mover key off. I have found it really handy for me.
My second tip is on careful loading of the caravan. When i got my second caravan, i moved some items to the back of my caravan to lighten the nose weight to 75kg. However, i found the caravan was more unstable and moved about a lot more when towing! I now have very little at the front to get my 75kg nose weight, and put all my other bits over the axel or in the car, and the caravan is now very stable when towing. (I don't carry that much, just aquarolls, wastemaster, a couple of small chairs and a tool kit). The aquarolls and wastemaster made the difference between a stable and unstable tow depending on if I put them at the back or the middle. Once you have figured out your nose weight and safe loading for stability when towing, its done to be honest, i just occasional check my nose weight now a couple of times/yr.

Good luck and happy caravanning!
 
Nov 11, 2009
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weigh all of your kit carefully as you will be surprised at how much it weighs. Quite a bit of payload is taken up with battery, mover, second gas bottle (if carried) etc. I have a spreadsheet with everything listed and can easily move weight between van, car or not to be taken. This way I have lists for short summer breaks, winter breaks and main holidays. You should calibrate you scales by filling a large suitcase to the airlines maximum 23 kg then get a flight to somewhere :evil:

As we have two dogs and a granddaughter on many trips I will put a rooofbox on the car too. My main aim is to keep the van light and car heavy.

But when you do have your kit lists etc sorted out its a good idea to take the van to a weighbridge and weigh car and van.
 
Feb 12, 2019
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Thanks all for the initial info. Doing test in March as license was post 1997 . Towing vehicle is a Discovery 3 ( so 2.6 tonne of my limit gone ! ) . On the plus side hoping shouldn't have any nose weight issues with this vehicle . Been fortunate enough to get a new Lunar eclipse 19/6. Layout works excellent for us with the fixed bunks etc . I know they have had issues as a maker previous but have a brother who has worked in the caravan construction industry for 20 years and after his beady eye and the fact that our dealership has an excellent history of support was willing to go for it as I think buying new ultimately can be a bit of a lottery . Wife has license pre 1997 (due to her been old ! Don't tell her I said that !) And she is doing a half day course prior to collection . Thanks for the list tip ( wife loves a list! ) :lol:
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Lesroy78 said:
On the plus side hoping shouldn't have any nose weight issues with this vehicle . Been fortunate enough to get a new Lunar eclipse 19/6.

Don't forget the static load limit (i.e. measured when stationary) for an AL-KO hitch is 100KG.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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CustardAvenger said:
...Prior to that I had a car with a max towing limit, when added to the car's gross weight, under the 3500KG combined limit for B licences.

Hello CA.
the section of your post I have quoted is not correct.

The licence's B entitlement concerns the combined MAM of the tow vehicle and braked trailer. That is to say the tow vehicles GVW + the trailers MTPLM must not exceed 3500kg.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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ProfJohnL said:
CustardAvenger said:
...Prior to that I had a car with a max towing limit, when added to the car's gross weight, under the 3500KG combined limit for B licences.

Hello CA.
the section of your post I have quoted is not correct.

The licence's B entitlement concerns the combined MAM of the tow vehicle and braked trailer. That is to say the tow vehicles GVW + the trailers MTPLM must not exceed 3500kg.

Hi Prof.
I see your point and you're correct. I see how it reads as a butchering of the B licence rules, but my comment was meant as a statement that my car was not capable of legally towing an outfit which exceeded a B licence weight. limit, negating the need for a BE category on my licence at the time, which I subsequently gained.

I have looked up my old notes for the car and it's gross train weight was 3460KG with a max Trailer weight of 1500KG. I could in theory tow my current caravan with that car, but it would be a near 100% match.
 
May 7, 2012
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Hope all goes well with then test and new caravan. Not really anything useful to add to what has been said on loading. You will find the caravan being far bigger then the trailers used in the test reacts rather differently though. They are far slower to turn when reversing and on the road so just take things easy at first and watch the cut in on slow tight corners..
 

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