Motorhome Towing – Your Full Information

Contemplating towing a automotive, boat or trailer behind your motorhome or campervan? Unsure concerning the legislation for motorhome towing, what that you must do or if it is going to be harder to make use of your motorhome? Excellent news- right here’s all the pieces that you must find out about towing with a motorhome or camper.

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Motorhome Towing – why we do it

We journey Europe with our motorhome and more often than not we tow 2 motorbikes on a trailer behind our van. We love having the bikes with us because it offers us freedom to discover and makes it simpler to go to locations in cities or cities.

The rationale we determined to purchase a motorhome within the first place was as a result of we wished to discover Europe with our motorbikes.

Initially, we had been caught between whether or not to purchase a caravan or motorhome, however, clearly, you’ll be able to’t tow a trailer if you happen to’re already towing a caravan- in order that was that call made!

However we’ve additionally completed a number of journeys with out the bikes (and trailer!), so we all know the professionals and cons of motorhome towing and whether or not it’s value it or not.

There are lots of myths and incorrect details about motorhome towing, so we’ve put this information collectively that can assist you resolve if you happen to WANT to tow, after which work out what that you must know to remain authorized as you journey across the UK or Europe.

Planning to take your motorhome to Europe?

Europe Motorhome travel checklist- FREE

Motorhome Towing Information Questions

There are some frequent questions we get requested commonly. (I’ll use the time period ‘motorhome’ predominantly on this information, however most of those guidelines apply simply as nicely to campervans and RV towing too.)

  • Does towing with a motorhome make it more durable to drive?
  • Does having a trailer or automotive price extra on ferries/ tunnel?
  • The way to discover locations to remain whereas motorhome towing
  • Is it authorized to tow with a motorhome or campervan/ motorhome towing legal guidelines?
  • Are A-frames authorized in Europe?
  • What’s the perfect trailer to tug behind a motorhome?
  • What’s the perfect automotive to tug behind a motorhome?

Under, I’ll break these questions down and reply them for you.

You probably have any questions which this information DOESN’T cowl, please do depart a remark beneath and we’ll do our greatest to assist.

Watch the motorhome towing video

Choose watching to studying? Right here’s the video we filmed about towing with a motorhome, which covers some (however not all!) of the factors listed beneath.

We hope you discovered the video helpful. If you happen to did, we’d adore it if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with ideas for motorhoming and campervanning within the UK and Europe are launched weekly.

Sure, you’re allowed to tow along with your motorhome so long as:

  • YOU are legally allowed to tow in your licence (the legislation was not too long ago modified to permit everybody the flexibility to tow as much as 3.5 tonnes on their full UK licence, so long as the beneath is taken into consideration)
  • The gross practice weight (GTW) of the motorhome isn’t exceeded (see beneath)
  • The towbar can take the load of the trailer/ automotive (not all towbars can take all masses)
  • You follow the velocity limits for autos towing
  • You’re solely utilizing an A-frame within the UK. Europe is the place issues get tough (see part beneath)

Motorhome towing capability

Okay, bear with me. I’m about to spew acronyms at you.

You have to know a few numbers.

  • First, that you must know what the load of your motorhome/ camper is. That INCLUDES all passengers, gas, water, fuel, meals, garments, paddleboards- EVERYTHING. You have to know the load of all of it whereas fully-loaded (go to a weighbridge to get this right- it’s really easy to underestimate it.)
  • Then, that you must know the load of the automotive or trailer you need to tow behind the motorhome. That is the load with EVERYTHING on it- so, for instance, the load of the trailer with our 2 motorbikes on it.

Your Gross Prepare Weight (GTW) restriction is the load of the motorhome (absolutely laden) and the trailer/ automotive (absolutely laden) TOGETHER.

So, for instance, in case your motorhome is 3 tonnes absolutely laden, and your trailer is 750kg, your GTW could be 3.75 tonnes.

THEN, that you must be sure to are below the GTW that your motorhome is ALLOWED to tug. That is typically on a plate inside the motive force or passenger door, but when not ought to be in your paperwork or on-line within the specs in your mannequin van.

Most individuals on a normal UK automotive licence are allowed to tow as much as 750kg max trailer weight (absolutely laden) and as much as 3.5 tonnes as a GTW. So, within the instance above, you’ll NOT be authorized.

Notice: GTW is NOT the identical factor as payload. 

Towbar towing capability

One other factor to think about is the tow bar weight capability.

There are some trailers/ backboxes which sit completely on the nostril of the tow bar. You have to be certain the towbar nostril can take any weight you need to placed on it. You discover this out out of your towbar fitter.

The identical with towing weight- verify this along with your towbar fitter and ensure it is sufficient to accommodate what you need to tow.

If you’re planning to place lots of weight instantly onto the towbar, then that you must take into account motorhome loading and if the rear axle of the van can take the load/ the way it will have an effect on steering and so forth.

Don’t anticipate ANY towbar fitter to have the ability to match a towbar to a motorhome. We tried a number of and needed to drive almost 100 miles to search out somebody who may do it.

Motorhome Life- our top 10 tips & tricks after our first year of motorhome life and touring Europe in our motorhome. #motorhome #tour #travel #blog #wanderingbird #motorhomelife #tips #tricks #ideas #vanlife
Motorhome towing in Germany- our bikes on a trailer behind our motorhome

Towing with a Motorhome- professionals

We love with the ability to deliver our motorbikes with us and we’ve had some INCREDIBLE adventures on the motorbikes. A few of our favourites embody:

There have positively been instances the place we’ve benefitted from having the bikes- similar to making an attempt to get right into a busy metropolis to do some laundry whereas travelling.

However, for us, the most important profit is the truth that we’re in a position to proceed our passion (motorbiking) as we journey. And that’s the underside line which makes all of the downsides of motorhome towing worthwhile.

As a result of, sadly, there are some severe downsides…

Downsides of Motorhome Towing

As I’ve already talked about, there a fairly just a few cons to towing with a motorhome!!

Does towing with a motorhome make it more durable to drive?

Towing ANYTHING makes it more durable to drive. Nevertheless, towing a trailer or a automotive behind a motorhome usually isn’t as troublesome as towing one thing behind a automotive, as a result of the tow car is so large.

The trailer simply follows alongside fairly fortunately, even whenever you’re driving up and down mountains with loopy hairpins- we’ve actually not stopped exploring as a result of we now have a trailer.

However, sure, reversing or manoeuvering in tight areas is DEFINITELY more durable with a trailer behind your motorhome.

You additionally have to be extra cautious along with your route. Not a lot on motorways or major roads, however in small villages the place turning could be robust. Or in petrol stations, which might be surprisingly onerous to get out of!

Does having a trailer or tow automotive price extra on ferries/ tunnel?

Oh sure.

This is among the largest downsides for motorhome towing in our opinion- the sheer price of it.

Now, to be clear, towing doesn’t really COST more- our mpg doesn’t change very a lot in any respect between having a trailer or not. So, if you happen to stay and journey in your camper simply within the UK, you received’t have many extra prices for taking a trailer- apart from some campsite charges.


If you’re planning a visit to Europe, you really want to weigh up the professionals and cons of taking a trailer or automotive with you. As a result of EVERYTHING prices extra.

  • The ferry/ tunnel is priced based mostly in your size
  • Tolls in lots of nations price extra, as you turn out to be a CAT 3 (3 axles), as an alternative of a CAT 2)
  • If you happen to journey to Norway ALL the small ferries are additionally priced on size, in order that they price extra
  • Campsites cost for trailer or automotive
  • Aires in Europe typically cost for longer car
  • Automotive parks which require a parking ticket might require 2 and even 3

And people are simply the additional prices off the highest of my head. We priced up & found how a lot it prices to tour Norway with a motorhome – if you happen to learn that publish you’ll see how a lot having the trailer price us (which is gloomy, as we solely used the bikes for at some point as a result of AWFUL climate!)

The way to discover locations to remain whereas motorhome towing

We don’t have a tendency to make use of campsites in Europe much- we choose aires or wild tenting. However many aires are solely appropriate for campers as much as 7m. That’s one of many causes we downsized our motorhome.

We’ve by no means had an issue discovering someplace to remain, ultimately, however we now have positively needed to drive previous some fairly choices as a result of we couldn’t match.

Motorhome wild tenting guides for the UK & Europe

Motorhome wild parking guide

Motorhome safety

Probably the most troublesome issues about having one other car is you must take into consideration motorhome safety in your camper AND for the trailer/ automotive.

We stock wheel locks for the trailer, extra locks/ chains for our bikes and several other different units to ensure they keep secure in a single day. It’s positively one thing that you must take into account.

Motorhome insurance coverage with a trailer or a tow automotive

Clearly, if you happen to’re taking extra, you’re going to want to insure more- which will increase the prices.

Be sure that it’s VERY clear who insures what. We as soon as discovered ourselves in a scenario the place our motorhome insurance coverage insured the van and trailer whereas towing, and our bike insurer insured the bikes whereas driving, however NO-ONE insured the bikes while they had been ON the trailer being towed.

Enjoyable, huh?!

You have to be certain your insurance coverage covers you and the motorhome whereas towing- not all do. You probably have a tow automotive, that you must get motorhome tow automotive insurance coverage.

You additionally want to ensure towing along with your motorhome or camper doesn’t invalidate your motorhome guarantee.

Motorhome Towing guide- questions answered about towing a trailer or car with a motorhome
Towing with a motorhome in Austria

Okay, that is the place issues get tough.

An A-frame is authorized for towing a automotive behind a motorhome within the UK, so long as it has the proper gear (quantity plate, working lights and so forth) and the GTW isn’t exceeded (see above.)


A-frames are NOT thought-about authorized in most European nations.

The truth is, most nations will cease and advantageous you for utilizing an A-frame to tow a automotive.

Let’s dive into this in additional element.

In lots of European nations, an A-frame is ONLY allowed to be used as a restoration software by licensed restoration operators- not a method of towing whereas touring in your motorhome.

While many individuals do ‘get away with it’, there are many folks stopped and fined annually whereas motorhoming in France, Spain and lots of different nations. The one possibility these counties allow is a correct trailer, which I do know many individuals dislike as a result of it’s a faff.

Downsides to towing with A-frames

That mentioned, A-frames have been identified to twist the physique of the automotive while it’s being towed, making them harmful and typically even undriveable.

There’s additionally an added danger in an accident, because the A-frame modifications imply you’ll trigger way more injury do you have to hit one thing, or somebody!

The Vienna Conference

There may be an EU treaty referred to as the Vienna Conference, a part of which states (paraphrasing) {that a} car which is authorized in its personal nation can move by a member state, even when it doesn’t adjust to the legal guidelines in that state (so long as it stays for lower than 6 months.)

Nevertheless, this doesn’t apply to A-frames. Even the UK Gov website recommends not utilizing an A-frame with out doing additional analysis into the principles of the nation you’ll be passing by.

Why are A-frames authorized within the UK and never in Europe? I’ve completely no concept, however it’s value being conscious of the legal guidelines if you happen to’re planning to tow a automotive overseas.

Bear in mind, this solely applies to A-frames. Trailers are advantageous, though you may want a inexperienced card out of your insurer for the trailer.

What’s the finest motorhome for towing?

Weirdly, I get requested this query so much! Not all campervans and motorhomes are appropriate for towing. You additionally want to ensure the camper will pull the load you need it to. There’s no ‘finest’ motorhome, however if you wish to tow, make sure you choose a motorhome which is able to do the job.

Additionally, not all motorhomes can have a towbar fitted to them. Apparently, some chassis usually are not appropriate. Bear this in thoughts in case you are seeking to purchase a motorhome and need to tow.

Buying Motorhome checklist

What’s the perfect automotive to tug behind a motorhome

We’ve by no means towed a automotive behind our motorhome, so can’t provide any recommendation on this, apart from a small one- keep in mind that you must take the load of the automotive into consideration for the GTW.

Except after all you’ve an American RV, through which case you’ll be able to tow a pickup truck!

Motorhome towing- is it value it?

So, in spite of everything that, you most likely suppose we’re mad for towing with a motorhome!! But it surely comes down to private alternative and why you’re travelling within the first place.

  • If you happen to choose campsites close to large points of interest with quick access to trains, buses, cycle routes and even rent automobiles, then you definitely most likely don’t must tow something.
  • If you happen to head off into the wilds and need to be as discreet as potential and/ or hold prices down, you don’t must tow
  • However, if you happen to like to remain on a campsite and never transfer for per week, you may want one other car to pop to retailers or native points of interest. Towing a automotive with you is smart then- or maybe rent one within the native space for just a few days.
  • For us, we simply love with the ability to journey our bikes in stunning areas throughout the summer season. It’s value it for us once we select to take them.

What do you consider towing with a motorhome? Is it one thing you do/ want to do? Inform us why beneath

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