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Caravan in China, possible?

Caravan in China, possible?
Caravan in China, possible?
Laws and regulation for traveling in China by caravan

We finally found rental for caravan in Shanghai

Now for the first time, we rented a caravan and here collected some basic information about what we have discovered and found. Some of the information on this page is from third-party websites and are not necessarily lawful, but might get you an idea of the possibility by travel with a caravan.

New regulations for trailers! Needed class C6 driving license from April 2022 and the cars registration documentation need to show the maximum towing capacity.

Chinese car documentation maximum total weight
Example of the added maximum total weight in the documentation.

“Regulations on the Application and Use of Motor Vehicle Driver’s Licenses”
will be implemented from April 1, 2022. It is necessary to add a C6, driver’s license for a light towing trailer model, to pull the caravan.

Also, the maximum age of the person who can obtain a C6 driving license has been raised from the previous 60 to 70 years with some needed additional tests.

Beijing Traffic management bureau LINK

Some warning

If your car is not equipped with towing hitch.

When making the decision for installation, select a good brand. In our case, we needed to reinforce the hitch in Inner Mongolia as it was bent due to poor quality and the weight balance of the caravan. Check the review of the Chinese MIY caravan from our Inner Mongolia trip

Chinese towing hitch
When making the decision for installation towing arrangements, select a good brand. In our case, we did not and needed to reinforce the towing hitch in Inner Mongolia as it was bent due to poor quality. The support for the hitch has bent and pushed against the spare wheel when loaded. The installation differs from the original installation.

Camping trailer/caravan then?

Questions and Answers about caravan on the road in China.

Found some useful information on the internet but it is in Chinese. Ten questions and ten answers about trailers on the road. Please bear with me as these are direct translations from the website.

  1. Does a camping trailer need a registration plate?
    • Yes, it needs it, since 2008, it has been clarified that all the camping trailer needs the vehicle registration, a number plate, and vehicle registration certificate.
  2. Can a camping trailer go on the road?
    • Yes, there was an official document published in 2015 that clearly defined the difference between a camping trailer and a normal trailer, and emphasized that the camping trailer can go into the city road according to local regulation and can go on highway as well.
  3. Is C1 driving license level enough for pulling a trailer?
    • Yes, since 2016 it has confirmed that the C1 license can pull the center axis camping trailer which under 2.5 ton in weight, or the normal trailer which is under 700kg. The trailer is not allowed to carry people. New regulation, C6 driving license needed and totally max. 4500kg gross weight from 1st April 2022
  4. Do the different lengths of camping trailers require different grades of driving licenses?
    • According to the above questions, there are no such clear requirements, but as a common understanding, the camping trailer within 8meters in length, 3.5 in height,2.5 meters in width, and 4.5 tons in weight are acceptable.
    • In some countries when the total length or mass exceeds the limit, you need an additional grade of license
  5. What kind of camping trailers can apply for the registration plate?
    • The center axis camping trailer with a hook, the total length of 8000mm, width with 2500mm, and height less than 4000mm can apply for the registration plate.
  6. The trailer under 700kg needs to apply for the registration plate?
    • The trailer here can be a mini camping trailer or a normal trailer to carry the goods.
  7. What is the process of registration of a camping trailer?
    • Prepare the sales receipt, notice the title must be correct, otherwise it is overly complicated to make a change.
    • Go to check the camping trailer.
    • Register choose the plate number, with the payment slip to receive all the registration licenses.
    • Check the camping trailer in the vehicle management bureau to receive the number plate. all the trailer plates are yellow in color.
  8. What kind of car can pull a camping trailer?
    • If your car can bear the camping trailer’s weight. New regulation, C6 driving license needed and totally max. 4500kg gross weight from 1st April 2022
  9. What is the highway toll fee standard for a camping trailer?
    • According to regulation, the car with a camping trailer should be charged as one grade higher than the main car. But since many main cars have installed ETC, the system can not recognize the camping trailer, so in many cases, the ETC system deducts the charge according to the main car.
  10. Does the camping trailer need compulsory traffic insurance?
    • Yes, otherwise the car which drags the camping trailer needs to take responsibility when an accident happens.
    • This is unclear for me as there is other documents stating the cars third party insurance will cover. Consult with your insurance company.

Information for the driver with caravan in China

If taken a new driving license in China please notice that the law says you cannot have a trailer within the first 12 month period of the probation license, which is the first 6-year license you get (subsequent licenses are 10 years if you never exceed 12 points in a calendar year). If caught with a trailer, it’s an automatic 12 points deducted on your license.

When renting the caravan there might be limited knowledge of the personnel working for the companies. Also finding a company that is renting them was a challenge.

For example, asking questions about tow ball weights and recommended tire pressures might be difficult to get the correct answer. So be prepared and if you have not done caravaning before please study it.

Insurance policy in China for caravan. (Chinese)
Insurance policy caravan China part 1 (Chinese)

Insurance of the caravan in China.

Here is some information I got from the rental company. Basically, it is stating that the caravan is covered by the car’s third-party insurance.

I’m always a little bit suspicious about these and after my wife called the insurance company the answer was they don’t know if it is covering and let’s see when something happens.

Anyway if it is not clearly stated in the insurance policy that it is not covered then it should be good to go.

Sorry about the bad translation as this was done by using a WeChat translator. In my opinion, we are taking a risk here but there is nothing else we could do. 

Insurance policy caravan China part 1 (English Translated by WeChat)
Insurance policy caravan China part 2 (Chinese)

Notice, make it clear what it is covering and how

As long the car is connected to the caravan the insurance should be valid.

If disconnected and left for example at a camping site I’m unsure if the insurance is valid anymore as it is the cars insurance that is covering the caravan.

A valid driving license of class C6 is needed and the maximum total length of 14m and the maximum weight of the caravan is 2500kg. If someone has information confirming this, please let me know.

Insurance policy caravan China part 2 (English Translated by WeChat)

ETC on the road

Car with caravan always is using one grade higher pay-grade as what would be normal. Our car rate is A1 and if having a caravan connected they should give you an A2 token. As per our experiences, many toll stations don’t know the law and were confused about how to treat the caravan. To avoid that here is a good document. WeChat translation of the needed parts is like this.

“The legal basis for the “trailer” on the road legally”5.2: When a single vehicle tows another trailer, the vehicle type of the combination vehicle shall be higher than the main vehicle type. Car model classification standards for one category are implemented.

ETC can only be obtained by a person with a Chinese ID and the car must be registered to a person with a Chinese ID. As my car is registered under me this was not possible in our case. Meaning that in many cases we needed to explain at the toll gate what class our car should obtain for the toll fee.

JT-T 489-2003 Vehicle Classificationof the Toll for highway

Cannot translate this one but look at paragraph 5.2

Caravan limits by size and weight

This is the GB1589-2016

Attached document of the Chinese law regarding the usage of a trailer on the road. Document translated by Bing.

Limits of dimensions. axle load and masses for motor vehicles, trailers, and combination vehicles

This is the important part where the maximum dimensions are stated. Table 2 The maximum limits of the outline dimensions of other automobiles, trailers, and automobile trains: Mid-mounted The length limit of the axle and tow bar trailer is 12000mm, the width limit is 2550mm, and the height limit is 4000mm. The length of the carriage is limited to 8000mm (except for the central axle vehicle transport trailer). The length limit of a passenger car train is 14,500mm, the width limit is 2550mm, and the height limit is 4000mm.

Chinese version

GB1589—2016 Trailer limits Chinese

Regulations for the Implementation of the Road Traffic Safety Law of the People’s Republic of China

Translated with Google

Road Traffic Safety Law of the Peoples Republic of China, Chinese


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