towing on to a ferry

Apr 8, 2017
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Good Evening

I will be towing a caravan for the first time next weekend onto a ferry to the isle of wight. I was wondering how easy this is ? as i do have horrible thoughts of making a total mess of it ? is it straight forward as i am not the best at reversing (lack of experience) hopefully its just a case of straight on and straight off .

Thank you all
 
Mar 27, 2011
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I felt exactly the same when we went 3 years ago, I was bricking it! It turned out to be absolutely straightforward, the guys who guide you in to the hold know exactly what they are doing so you just take your time and follow their instructions and hand signals and you can’t go wrong, no reversing you just drive in and drive out the other end, and the island is great so worth the worrying in my opinion.

BP
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Agree with Beehpee,we went last year,very easy.Only thing I would say,if you go from Portsmouth don't be super early for your ferry(like me :whistle: )as waiting car park is very small,we had to park on double yellows along with loads of other people.Dont panic,you'll be fine,cracking island,enjoy.
 
Aug 11, 2018
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Hi, this video may help - it is out of date by Andrew's own admission, but it will still give you a idea. Have a great holiday!

[video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4gIsWQ6DTk[/video]
 
Oct 3, 2013
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Hello Terry74,
Just back from France,on the ferry we were parked right at the front (almost outside) in a lane next to the side of the ship.This meant the other lanes had to disembark first.We saw quite a few caravans loose their rear corner steady feet by the corner steady feet hitting the off ramp caused by driving off the ferry too fast.No need to exit the ferry fast,take your time there's no hurry.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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bertieboy1 said:
Hello Terry74,
We saw quite a few caravans loose their rear corner steady feet by the corner steady feet hitting the off ramp caused by driving off the ferry too fast.No need to exit the ferry fast,take your time there's no hurry.

That is good advice, be in no hurry on the ramp where it dips and crests, roll the whole unit over these bits stupidly slowly irrespective of any hurry on gestures, its your kit.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Regret that after various experiences I cannot agree totally with Beehpee that the guys on the ferries know their job - at least not all of them. They are trained mainly to deal with HGV units which manouver differently to car + caravan having the pivot point close behind the cab whereas ours is half way down the outfit. this gives a different geometry to the turning circle.
Also the HGVs have much bigger ground clearance than car+caravan and can usually tow straight off over quite a sharp incline in ramp joints., which I have seen cause 'grounding' of rear of caravans. Expensive
the way to tackle this is to approach at an angle which will gt you shouted at but it's your caravan.
Also do not slavishly obey their arm signals which can be totally misleading. I have suggested several times they should follow those of aircraft ground handlers which are clear, deliberate and very easy to understand.
look in your extension mirrors while moving particularly upwards as the big mirrors on the HGVs can easily catch the top section of the side of the caravan.
Take your time and don't move until you are comfortable - another 30 seconds after a crossing of maybe 8 to 10 hours is not an issue.
 
Jan 2, 2006
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I have many times boarded ferries to the Isle of Wight and France never a problem , if tide is out when loading then you will probably be going down onto the ferry so go slow to avoid back of van grounding.

with regard to feet on the steadies ensure they are fitted the correct way round so that the back hangs down that way they will not get pulled off when loading onto the ferry
 

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