March 28, 2023

Contemplating towing a automobile, boat or trailer behind your motorhome or campervan? Unsure concerning the regulation for motorhome towing, what you’ll want to do or if will probably be harder to make use of your motorhome? Excellent news- right here’s every little thing you’ll want to 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 provides 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 have been caught between whether or not to purchase a caravan or motorhome, however, clearly, you possibly can’t tow a trailer when you’re already towing a caravan- in order that was that call made!

However we’ve additionally finished 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 quite a lot of myths and incorrect details about motorhome towing, so we’ve put this information collectively that can assist you resolve when you WANT to tow, after which determine what you’ll want to 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 widespread questions we get requested frequently. (I’ll use the time period ‘motorhome’ predominantly on this information, however most of those guidelines apply simply as effectively to campervans and RV towing too.)

  • Does towing with a motorhome make it more durable to drive?
  • Does having a trailer or automobile value 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 automobile to tug behind a motorhome?

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

In case you have any questions which this information DOESN’T cowl, please do depart a remark under and we’ll do our greatest to assist.

Watch the motorhome towing video

Want 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 under.

We hope you discovered the video helpful. If you happen to did, we’d find it irresistible if you followed us on Youtube. New movies with suggestions 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 regulation was not too long ago modified to permit everybody the power to tow as much as 3.5 tonnes on their full UK licence, so long as the under is taken into consideration)
  • The gross practice weight (GTW) of the motorhome isn’t exceeded (see under)
  • The towbar can take the burden of the trailer/ automobile (not all towbars can take all hundreds)
  • You keep on with the pace limits for automobiles towing
  • You’re solely utilizing an A-frame within the UK. Europe is the place issues get difficult (see part under)

Motorhome towing capability

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

You want to know a few numbers.

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

Your Gross Prepare Weight (GTW) restriction is the burden of the motorhome (absolutely laden) and the trailer/ automobile (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, you’ll want to ensure you are underneath the GTW that your motorhome is ALLOWED to tug. That is typically on a plate inside the driving force or passenger door, but when not ought to be in your paperwork or on-line within the specs to your mannequin van.

Most individuals on a regular UK automobile 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.

Word: GTW is NOT the identical factor as payload. 

Towbar towing capability

One other factor to contemplate is the tow bar weight capability.

There are some trailers/ backboxes which sit completely on the nostril of the tow bar. You want to be certain the towbar nostril can take any weight you wish 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 wish to tow.

In case you are planning to place quite a lot of weight straight onto the towbar, then you’ll want to think about motorhome loading and if the rear axle of the van can take the burden/ the way it will have an effect on steering and so forth.

Don’t count on ANY towbar fitter to have the ability to match a towbar to a motorhome. We tried a number of and needed to drive practically 100 miles to seek out somebody who might 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- execs

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 undoubtedly been instances the place we’ve benefitted from having the bikes- comparable to attempting to get right into a busy metropolis to do some laundry whereas travelling.

However, for us, the largest 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 critical downsides…

Downsides of Motorhome Towing

As I’ve already talked about, there a fairly a number of 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. Nonetheless, towing a trailer or a automobile behind a motorhome usually isn’t as tough as towing one thing behind a automobile, as a result of the tow car is so huge.

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

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

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

Does having a trailer or tow automobile value extra on ferries/ tunnel?

Oh sure.

This is likely one of the largest downsides for motorhome towing in our opinion- the sheer value of it.

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


In case you are planning a visit to Europe, you really want to weigh up the professionals and cons of taking a trailer or automobile with you. As a result of EVERYTHING prices extra.

  • The ferry/ tunnel is priced based mostly in your size
  • Tolls in lots of international locations value extra, as you change into a CAT 3 (3 axles), as a substitute of a CAT 2)
  • If you happen to journey to Norway ALL the small ferries are additionally priced on size, in order that they value extra
  • Campsites cost for trailer or automobile
  • 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 – when you learn that put up you’ll see how a lot having the trailer value us (which is gloomy, as we solely used the bikes for in the future because of the 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 favor 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 have now undoubtedly 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

One of the tough issues about having one other car is you need to take into consideration motorhome safety to your camper AND for the trailer/ automobile.

We supply wheel locks for the trailer, further locks/ chains for our bikes and several other different gadgets to ensure they keep protected in a single day. It’s undoubtedly one thing you’ll want to think about.

Motorhome insurance coverage with a trailer or a tow automobile

Clearly, when you’re taking extra, you’re going to wish to insure more- which will increase the prices.

Ensure that it’s VERY clear who insures what. We as soon as discovered ourselves in a state of affairs the place our motorhome insurance coverage insured the van and trailer whereas towing, and our bike insurer insured the bikes whereas using, however NO-ONE insured the bikes while they have been ON the trailer being towed.

Enjoyable, huh?!

You want to be certain your insurance coverage covers you and the motorhome whereas towing- not all do. In case you have a tow automobile, you’ll want to get motorhome tow automobile 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 difficult.

An A-frame is authorized for towing a automobile behind a motorhome within the UK, so long as it has the right 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 international locations.

In truth, most international locations will cease and fantastic you for utilizing an A-frame to tow a automobile.

Let’s dive into this in additional element.

In lots of European international locations, an A-frame is ONLY allowed to be used as a restoration instrument by licensed restoration operators- not a manner 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 international locations. The one choice 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 automobile while it’s being towed, making them harmful and typically even undriveable.

There’s additionally an added threat in an accident, because the A-frame modifications imply you’ll trigger way more injury must you 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 way of 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.)

Nonetheless, 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 foundations of the nation you’ll be passing by way of.

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 when you’re planning to tow a automobile overseas.

Keep in mind, this solely applies to A-frames. Trailers are fantastic, 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 lots! Not all campervans and motorhomes are appropriate for towing. You additionally want to ensure the camper will pull the burden you need it to. There’s no ‘finest’ motorhome, however if you wish to tow, you’ll want to choose a motorhome which can 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 trying to purchase a motorhome and wish to tow.

Buying Motorhome checklist

What’s the perfect automobile to tug behind a motorhome

We’ve by no means towed a automobile behind our motorhome, so can’t provide any recommendation on this, aside from a small one- keep in mind you’ll want to take the burden of the automobile into consideration for the GTW.

Until after all you’ve an American RV, by which case you possibly can tow a pickup truck!

Motorhome towing- is it value it?

So, in any case that, you most likely assume we’re mad for towing with a motorhome!! Nevertheless it comes down to private selection and why you’re travelling within the first place.

  • If you happen to favor campsites close to huge points of interest with quick access to trains, buses, cycle routes and even rent vehicles, you then most likely don’t must tow something.
  • If you happen to head off into the wilds and wish to be as discreet as potential and/ or hold prices down, you don’t must tow
  • However, when you like to remain on a campsite and never transfer for every week, you may want one other car to pop to retailers or native points of interest. Towing a automobile with you is smart then- or maybe rent one within the native space for a number of days.
  • For us, we simply love with the ability to experience our bikes in stunning areas in the course of the summer time. It’s value it for us after 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 under

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