Spiralling fuel prices mean a caravan holiday is no longer such a cheap option.

Research by shows that caravan holidays may no longer offer such a cheap alternative for hard-pressed families.

Pulling a caravan drastically increases fuel consumption. And with the latest increases , you could easily spend £250 on petrol if you’ve a large off-roader towing a caravan, say, from Harrogate to St Ives and back. That’s a round trip of 800 miles.

As the holiday season begins in earnest this month, the RAC and AA report fewer call-outs than usual to caravans, indicating that more of the UK’s two million caravanners are staying at home, or travelling shorter distances.

Towing a caravan typically cuts the distance a car will travel per gallon by a third. But caravan owners can make the most of each drop of fuel, using this advice:

• Keep weight down. Don’t pack anything you don’t need and distribute your luggage across the car and ‘van evenly, keeping to makers’ guidelines.

• Service your ‘van as you would your car. Ensure that its axles and brakes receive the attention they need. Pump tyres to correct pressures.

• Cut speed. Driving at 40mph (where appropriate) rather than 50mph can cut fuel consumption significantly.

• If you hit a jam and no-one’s moving, switch off. If you’re stuck for 3min or longer, you’ll save fuel.

Stephen Jury


July 8, 2008

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