Going on holiday with a caravan this summer and planning a trip through the mountains? Then read our 6 tips.

    Driving uphill in the mountains with a caravan

    Rev uphill: Consult your car’s instruction booklet for information on ‘maximum torque’ (towing power). There you will also find valuable tips on driving with a trailer in the mountains. Read it carefully beforehand!

    Help your car’s clutch: On a steep slope, you can drive off from standstill with the front wheels spinning to relieve the strain on the clutch. A bit of tyre rubber on the road surface is less costly than a burnt clutch disc. If there is room, it is best to let the combination roll backwards in a scissor-like motion to drive off more easily.

    Keep the engine cool: If the engine temperature gets too high, turn the heater and fan to maximum. This helps lower the temperature of the cooling water. Do open the windows to avoid overheating yourself!

    Descending in the mountains with a caravan

    Protect the caravan brakes: While going downhill, the caravan’s brake drums can get quite hot, which can cause damage. Drive slowly, take regular breaks and ‘stretch’ the combination occasionally. You do this by first braking sharply and then accelerating briefly in low gear.

    Give way to uphill traffic: In the mountains, uphill traffic has the right of way. If you approach a narrow right-hand hairpin while descending, have the co-driver watch out for uphill traffic. If necessary, wait before the bend until the road is clear. Before the hairpin bend, select a lower gear so that you can concentrate on steering in the bend.

    Use a good (paper) road map: it shows inclines that can cause problems for caravanners.

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