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Swift Charisma 570 , Ford Mondeo St Tdci Estate


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#1 vectradam

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 07:49 PM

hi

we are considering caravanning after many years in a tent. we have the above car and very much like the above caravan. i am 6' , 2" and it seems swift may have a tiny bit more head room. we also like the end bunks for our 2 boys (9 and 12). thing is ive been on whattowcar and i need to reduce the caravan payload from their default 200kgs ( which gives 93%) to 100kg (86%) or 50kg (83%) to get anywhere near the suggested 85%. how practical is it to carry this small a load in the caravan? and how critical is it if you just crept over 85%. i have some trailer towing experience. any other views on this matter would be greatly appreciated

many thanks

#2 angus

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:08 PM

TBH, thinking you can get down to 50 kgs is dreamland, 100 kgs would be difficult, and if you get down to 150 you will have done well.

85% is a guideline and only that. An outfit driven by a moron at 50% is probably a greater risk than one at 100% sensibly driven.

The Mondeo appears to be popular with `vanners, and I personally wouldn`t have a problem driving an outfit at 93% that is well maintained and sensibly loaded.
Put the heavy stuff in the car, make sure the noseweight is correct, and drive right in your head and you should be OK.

You may well get contradictory advice, but there are so many variables - weight of towing vehicle, wheelbase, overhang, suspension type and stiffness, tyre dimensions, aerodynamics etc etc that affect towing that is ludicrous to suggest you are safe at 85% and a hazard at 86%.

Good luck.

#3 BrianI

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:15 PM

Hi
There are a number of things you need to consider.
1. I have seen somewhere that you cannot fit a towbar to a Mondeo ST but I think it only applies to the petrol engined model due to exhaust configuration but worth checking out for the diesel.
2. The 85% caravan weight to car ratio is a guidance for inexperienced towers. It is based on the actual weight of the caravan but it is normal to use the max weight or MTPLM, which I believe is 1500kg for the Charisma 570 against the kerbweight for your car. It is a simple ratio to compare stability of different outfits. How you load it does not affect this ratio. Whilst it has no legal requirement only you can judge whether you can exceed it.
3. The other thing is that the combined rated max weight of your combination will be over 3500kg and thus you need a B+E driving licence, which involves a trailer test, unless you took your driving test before 1 Jan 1997.
4. Have a look at the Caravan Club beginners guide
http://www.caravancl...Caravanning.pdf
Brian

#4 chillypenguin

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Posted 06 August 2009 - 08:40 PM

The 2009 Sprite Major 6 is the same van, but in a lighter spec at 1425Kg. And a few £'s cheaper too.

#5 PhilT

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Posted 14 August 2009 - 10:47 PM

hi

we are considering caravanning after many years in a tent. we have the above car and very much like the above caravan. i am 6' , 2" and it seems swift may have a tiny bit more head room. we also like the end bunks for our 2 boys (9 and 12). thing is ive been on whattowcar and i need to reduce the caravan payload from their default 200kgs ( which gives 93%) to 100kg (86%) or 50kg (83%) to get anywhere near the suggested 85%. how practical is it to carry this small a load in the caravan? and how critical is it if you just crept over 85%. i have some trailer towing experience. any other views on this matter would be greatly appreciated

many thanks


Hi - Note sure how to use this site so I hope this reply works.

We have the Charisma 570 and 2 kids aged 9 and 12. We have also just changed vehicle from a 4X4 Volvo XC90 to a new Mercedes E250 CDi Saloon so I guess there are a few similarities. The saloon is obviously much lighter than the 4x4 and we have today come back from 2 weeks in Cornwall which was an 8.5 hour drive so can give some up to date views. I could feel the difference in stability between the 2 vehicles and I'm pretty sure that the Mercedes, being a saloon, will be close or below the 85%. I read loads of reviews and comments on the 85% and decided to just drive safely. I did not go above 65 and generally kept to cruise control set between 55/60 mph (where traffic allowed me to get up to that speed as we averaged just 36mph given that the A30 was a carpark). If you are sensible about sidewinds etc I can't see that a few percent out on the 85% guidelines is an issue.

Other things - The Charisma 570 was/is our first caravan which we've had just over 2 years now. i was a little worried about the size as i had never towed before and its not the smallest caravan but it has been absolutely superb. We were fed up being washed away in our tent and never being able to get clothes dry but have really appreciated other things too such as:-

a flushable toilet
our own hot water whenever we need it even for a shower whenever there was no site shower (we only found out that the sink swings forward to create a wetroom on our second year!)
a heater that runs of gas or mains for early/later season weekends away
decent, dry beds whatever the weather
the cooker, microwave and kettle
a sense of relief when it is very windy or raining heavily that we are no longer in a tent

Looking at the kids view - My daughter aged 9 has the bottom rear bunk and son aged 12 (this week) has the top bunk. This holiday was the last where he can realistically sleep on the top rear bunk and he will need to move to the bottom bunk with my daughter at the top. We never use those side bunks as the table/seats there are ideal for the kids to eat or play/read at if they are up before us and the storage under those seats is ideal for our duvets. However this is the first holiday where we have just left our bed made up at the front which I'd thoroughly recommend as it saves so much hassel particularly if you can eat outside or in the awning (great if you are with a group of people or you want a 'garage' for bikes, beach stuff, tables chairs etc but too much hassle for short trips/weekends in my view though we only have a full size awning)

Other things that we had overlooked on making the change was all the extras you may not already have unless you are buying second hand and can get it thrown in. The water and waste water containers and pipes to go into them, a new 6kg gas bottle, security devices for the hitch and or wheel chemicals for the toilet and flush (which is great in the 570) that totalled about £250-300 though I also bought an alko wheel lock that fits the 570 where there is a special hole for it but as it has to be perfectly lined up I've never used it and personally wouldn't bother unless you are really concerned about theft as it was another couple hundred £'s. Insurance will cost you around £200pa and you will need an annual service at around £200 to keep your warranty valid as well as ensuring your own safety re gas etc. we also store ours at a caravan store for another £190pa. So it's not cheap even without depreciation compared to camping but I would still prefer it to camping as the weather is less of an issue and you can go whenever you want in relative luxury even if raining.

We've been really pleased with the 570 and have had no issues or problems with it other than the door lock not spinging instantly back when you've opened it but this was replaced under warranty and the original tyres that were starting to crack after the second year which I hadn't noticed and were again replaced under warranty by the Swift service agent (North Staffs Caravans who have been great for everything over past 2.5 years)

Sorry to waffle on but these are a few things that we wish we'd thought of or been told when we first started and I could go on about 'how to tow' dvd's nose weight guages etc etc.... but wont.

Shout if you'd like to know anything else 'real life' about the change to caravanning or about the 570 etc

Good luck

Phil

#6 chillypenguin

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 06:58 AM

If you are looking to buy new this layout is being dropped from Swift's 2010 line up. :(

#7 BadbackCol

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 09:12 AM

hi

we are considering caravanning after many years in a tent. we have the above car and very much like the above caravan. i am 6' , 2" and it seems swift may have a tiny bit more head room. we also like the end bunks for our 2 boys (9 and 12). thing is ive been on whattowcar and i need to reduce the caravan payload from their default 200kgs ( which gives 93%) to 100kg (86%) or 50kg (83%) to get anywhere near the suggested 85%. how practical is it to carry this small a load in the caravan? and how critical is it if you just crept over 85%. i have some trailer towing experience. any other views on this matter would be greatly appreciated

many thanks



Hi vectradam

Try these people if you have not bought your towbar yet: http://www.autow.co...._12_Mondeo.html. If you don't feel confident enough to fit it yourself there are numerous mobile fitters, however try to find a techie that does'nt use Scotchloks. Any decent fitter will solder and heatshrink all joints.

HTH.

Regards.
Col

#8 SamP

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 11:04 AM

Hi vectradam

Try these people if you have not bought your towbar yet: http://www.autow.co...._12_Mondeo.html. If you don't feel confident enough to fit it yourself there are numerous mobile fitters, however try to find a techie that does'nt use Scotchloks. Any decent fitter will solder and heatshrink all joints.

HTH.

Regards.
Col



An even better one will use the proper canbus wireing kit and just plug it in with no soldering or heatshrink required! :D And if the MK3 Mondeo is the same as the MK4 4 it will need a visit to the dealer to enable the trailor module on the computer.

Edited by SamP, 15 August 2009 - 11:08 AM.


#9 BadbackCol

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Posted 15 August 2009 - 11:34 AM

An even better one will use the proper canbus wireing kit and just plug it in with no soldering or heatshrink required! :D And if the MK3 Mondeo is the same as the MK4 4 it will need a visit to the dealer to enable the trailor module on the computer.


Too true. Apolgies if I've given wrong info. B) Trying to save the OP a few pennies. :D
I think a mobile diagnostic tech should be able to sort the trailer module, unless Ford can swing him a deal.

Regards.
Col

#10 dsfcmcf

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:19 PM

hi

we are considering caravanning after many years in a tent. we have the above car and very much like the above caravan. i am 6' , 2" and it seems swift may have a tiny bit more head room. we also like the end bunks for our 2 boys (9 and 12). thing is ive been on whattowcar and i need to reduce the caravan payload from their default 200kgs ( which gives 93%) to 100kg (86%) or 50kg (83%) to get anywhere near the suggested 85%. how practical is it to carry this small a load in the caravan? and how critical is it if you just crept over 85%. i have some trailer towing experience. any other views on this matter would be greatly appreciated

many thanks

Hi

For the record I towed a 2005 Swift 570, with a 1.9TDI Audi A4 Avant 2005, until change of both car and caravan to larger units; it was near the limit though legal and towed 100%.

Aprox from memory 570 1500kg - A4 1565kg.

Every time I go to a Caravan Club site, someone says you are not towing, that with that are you, if itís legal what is the problem.

Current outfit

Ford 2.0 TDCI S-Max max Tow 1750kg - Bailey Senator Carolina max 1739kg.

Always check the log book the exact weight is always higher than brochure.

Regards

DSFCMCF

#11 neil and lena

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Posted 21 August 2009 - 05:46 PM

No problem but having a good weight advantage in your tow vehicle is a plus as opposed to running near to or at 100% match

Edited by neil and lena, 21 August 2009 - 05:49 PM.





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