> > Speed

Rare accidents at the Road Rallies led to the continued development and improvement of caravan stability.

When the British Caravan Road Rallies began in 1954 the UK speed limit for a car towing a caravan was only 30mph/48.28kph.

Today, the legal speed limit for towing a caravan in a built up area is 30mph/48.28kph, whereas the limit on dual carriageways and motorways is 60mph/96.56kph.

Modifications to improve braking and van stability were developed by caravan manufacturers seeking awards. These new innovations made it safe to tow at higher speeds. The Caravan Road Rally events played an important role in increasing caravan speed limits on public roads. By 1965 The Club had successfully lobbied the Minister of Transport for a rise in the speed limit to 40mph/64.37kph for towing a caravan, using evidence gathered at the competitive Rallies to present their case.

 

A Ford Capri is given wings at an early 1970s Caravan Road Rally in an attempt to boost acceleration.

In a bid to achieve higher speeds in the Caravan Road Rallies, competitors busied themselves by modifying their vans.

Reports from the 1972 Rally enthusiastically stated that high speeds could be safely achieved around private country lanes.  

By 1976 modifications to caravans enabled rally drivers such as Tony Pond to safely reach 90mph/144.84kph, although such speeds are not recommended for the general holiday caravanner!  

Press the play button to hear how a competitor pioneered streamlined caravan design:

See the effects of snaking on a bend at Mallory Park in 1968. Snaking can happen when a caravan is loaded up in an uneven way and is then towed at speed. The Road Rallies led to the development of many new devices to reduce snaking in leisure touring vans:

Site by Surface Impression