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Towing Query?


MartinAlcock
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Hi,

 

I am thinking of buying my neighbours Bailey Pageant Series 6 Burgundy from them. They have had it from new and have had it serviced and maintained since new and I know it is in great shape.

 

My only query is this, I am waiting on the delivery of my new car (Audi A4 Avant 2. 0 TDI Ultra 163 ps/bhp). The kerb weight of the car is 1600 kg (excluding driver). The mass in running order of the van is 1180 kg and the max permissable load of the van is 1400kg. I am therefore happy that the 85% reccomendation will be met by the addition of a driver. However the max trailer load quoted by Audi is only 1300kg. This is greater than the running order mass but lower than the max mass of the van, would i be breaking any laws towing this van with my car.

 

Its unclear if the max towing mass of the car is quoted when the car is fully laden (the gross weight limit for the car is 2170kg), if it is then i do not think that i will exceed the grosss and towing weight combined of the car and van - 3470 kg.

 

If I bought this van, my plan would be to load the car and roof box with the vast majority of the luggage and only stow lighter items in the van - therefore not exceeding the max towing mass of the car.

 

Would i be legally allowed to do this?

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It does seem strange that this model has a limit of 1300kg when the standard 2. 0TDi has a limit of 1600kg from the brochure.

Brian

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The MTPLM is 1400 kgs and if you wish to keep to the CC recommendation (not the law) of 85%, then your car needs a kerbweight of 1647kgs. So, at first glance it seems OK.

 

But if the max tow limit of the car is 1300kgs then you need a heavier car or a lighter van.

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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As long as you never have the actual weight of the caravan more than 1300 then its ok but is that realistic?

 

If the GVW of the car added to the 1400 MTPLM of the caravan totals no more than 3500 then its also legal to tow it on a B only licence

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what yr is the car as there are several on the caravan club matching site

 

Make Audi Range Technik 2. 0 TDIe 136PS Model A4 Year 2012 Fuel type Diesel Transmission type Manual Body type Estate Kerb weight 1535. 00kg Towing limit 1800. 00kg Gross vehicle weight 2105. 00kg Gross train weight 3905. 00kg Nose weight 80. 00kg BHP 136 RPM for maximum BHP 4200. 00 Maximum torque 320. 00 RPM for maximum torque 1750. 00 Edited by suandjas
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Seems to me the ultra version is one that will struggle to tow. Page 90 of this gives all tech details

http://www. audi. co. uk/content/dam/audi/production/PDF/PriceAndSpecGuides/a4-a4allroad-s4. pdf

Looks like the non-ultra version will tow 1600kg.

Worth bearing in mind though that the 1300kg limit is on 12% gradients, but if you can tow with gradients of less than 8% you should be ok!

Food for thought. ....

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Model description of ULTRA in the original posting is the key word. Audi Ultra models are low emission which I expect like other VAG models achieve low emissions partly through the use of higher gearing than standard models, hence the lower towing limit.

 

John.

Edited by John19
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Model description of ULTRA in the original posting is the key word. Audi Ultra models are low emission which I expect like other VAG models achieve low emissions partly through the use of higher gearing than standard models, hence the lower towing limit.

 

John.

 

And quite likely parts of the radiator grille may be blanked off in order to reduce air drag on low-emissions variants and this may cause engine cooling problems when towing and this would reduce the towload limit.

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Yep it's the tall gearing that's the issue and hence why maximum pull away load on a 12% gradient is 1300kg.

Yeti 2.0TDi EU6 150 DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Fabia TSi DSG, Swift Challenger.

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Thanks for all of this, its food for thought. Just to clarify, the car is the 2. 0 TDi SE Technick A4 Avant which is 163 bhp.

 

I know i wont take the van over 1300 kg and will load the car up (we have a weigh bridge at work that i can use for piece of mind for the first few trips).

 

The kerb weight of the car is 1600 kg which Audi measure by excluding the driver so by the time I get in ther it will be getting on for 1680kg, thereby giving me the 85% recomendation, this will get even better with more people in the car and luggage.

 

My biggest concern is that I will get pulled for doing something illegal.

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To load a full 100Kg below your MPTLM might be difficult. Even if you achieved this and transferred a lot of the normal contents of the van to your car you could still be over weight. This is because your car's gross train weight will be relatively low compared to the non-eco version- usually GTW = Gross Vehicle Weight plus towing limit.

 

What you can be prosecuted for are:

Exceeding GVW

Exceeding GTW

Exceeding either axle weight

Exceeding the caravan's MPTLM

 

You can't be prosecuted for theoretically exceeding a weight (on a B&E license).

 

However, check first if your car manual includes the car's max coupling weight (i. e. the max nose weight that can be applied on to the tow bar) as part of the car's tow limit. My car has a V5 max towing weight of 1225Kg but the manual instructions effectively allow me to add another 75Kg of coupling weight to the actual amount I can tow because, when connected, the nose weight pressing on the tow bar is transferred from van to car. As such I can tow a 1300Kg van, provided I shift the load around inside the van to adjust the nose weight figure exactly to 75Kg.

 

My van's MPTLM is 1287Kg so, assuming it was laden to the max, my nose weight would have to be at least 62Kg to stay within the manufacturer's limits.

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To load a full 100Kg below your MPTLM might be difficult. Even if you achieved this and transferred a lot of the normal contents of the van to your car you could still be over weight. This is because your car's gross train weight will be relatively low compared to the non-eco version- usually GTW = Gross Vehicle Weight plus towing limit.

 

What you can be prosecuted for are:

Exceeding GVW

Exceeding GTW

Exceeding either axle weight

Exceeding the caravan's MPTLM

 

You can't be prosecuted for theoretically exceeding a weight (on a B&E license).

 

However, check first if your car manual includes the car's max coupling weight (i. e. the max nose weight that can be applied on to the tow bar) as part of the car's tow limit. My car has a V5 max towing weight of 1225Kg but the manual instructions effectively allow me to add another 75Kg of coupling weight to the actual amount I can tow because, when connected, the nose weight pressing on the tow bar is transferred from van to car. As such I can tow a 1300Kg van, provided I shift the load around inside the van to adjust the nose weight figure exactly to 75Kg.

 

My van's MPTLM is 1287Kg so, assuming it was laden to the max, my nose weight would have to be at least 62Kg to stay within the manufacturer's limits.

 

If your caravan weighs 1287kg and the noseweight is 62kg, you are actually towing only 1225kg not 1287kg. You never tow the full weight of the caravan.

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If your caravan weighs 1287kg and the noseweight is 62kg, you are actually towing only 1225kg not 1287kg. You never tow the full weight of the caravan.

I think your theory is flawed. The maximum towing weight is just that, the maximum weight that can be attached to the towball, the nose weight is irrelevant because the car doesn't carry it's max towing weight anyway. When moving off on a gradient the car has to drag away the full weight of the caravan no matter whether it's 1kg or a 100 kg nose weight. Your reasoning is flawed here.

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If your caravan weighs 1287kg and the noseweight is 62kg, you are actually towing only 1225kg not 1287kg. You never tow the full weight of the caravan.

When I weigh my van I have to weigh the jockey wheel, so see no reason why this weight shouldn't be in the overall weights. Its still got to be moved!

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Lutz, on 12 Oct 2014 - 02:47 AM, said:snapback.png

If your caravan weighs 1287kg and the noseweight is 62kg, you are actually towing only 1225kg not 1287kg. You never tow the full weight of the caravan

 

 

You are confusing weight with mass the caravan doesn't get lighter because you've transferred some of it's support onto the back of the car - it still has the same mass and it still has to be dragged along by the car.

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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When I weigh my van I have to weigh the jockey wheel, so see no reason why this weight shouldn't be in the overall weights. Its still got to be moved!

 

Of course the 62kg noseweight have got to be moved but they are not being towed. They are being carried by the towcar and therefore part of its total weight.

 

Towload, by definition, doesn't include the "vertical load on the coupling", i. e. the noseweight.

Edited by Lutz
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The actual load a vehicle 'tows' surely must, at least let's say theoretically for the minute, exclude the nose weight?

 

I think of it like this and totally impractical I know.

 

If it was possible to swing a caravan vertically upwards such that the full weight of the caravan acted downwards on the tow ball the load being 'towed' would be zero but the load being 'carried' would increase by the full weight of the caravan?

 

Swinging the caravan gradually backwards therefore gradually increases the load being towed (having wheels of some sort on the ground) and decreases the load being carried and where the point is reached that the nose weight becomes zero, the full weight of the caravan being 'towed' is reached.

 

Therefore any nose weight greater than zero must effectively be an 'untowed' load.

 

Only applies in a static situation though as it could be argued that during pitching under tow, whatever becomes the negative load on the tow ball (trying to lift the car) at that instant is added to the 'tow load'. :blink:

 Stay safe ~ Griff    :ph34r:

Wheels at the front ~ Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back ~ 4 of ‘em

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Lutz and I have debated at some length whether or not to include the nose weight on another thread. According to a reply I had from DVSA, , the towing weight does include the nose weight.

 

One thing we agree on and that has been confirmed by DVSA who are responsible for enforcement is that they will not prosecute you for exceeding the maximum towing weight however that may be defined because they dont know it.

Cravanarfa is almost correct but omits one factor. They will also check the caravans axle weight.

 

They do say that if you exceed the towing weight you may have warranty issues and problems with your insurance.

Equally of course you may find that you cannot start on a hill.

 

So exceed the maximum towing weight and you wont be prosecuted but it may cause other problems.

 

This time around, I will do a Dragon's den and say "I'm out".

Honda CRV Diesel Petrol & No caravan now. :angry:

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Which ever way you look at it, the car will be pulling the caravan and carrying everything that's required for a holiday. Whether legal or not my first question would be, is it going to put too much pressure on the car.

 

Audi have given it a lower limit for a reason I would be concerned as to whether my holiday items (awning, spare wheels, raincoats suncream etc etc) as well as the caravan could be putting it under too much pressure.

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Lutz and I have debated at some length whether or not to include the nose weight on another thread. According to a reply I had from DVSA, , the towing weight does include the nose weight.

 

One thing we agree on and that has been confirmed by DVSA who are responsible for enforcement is that they will not prosecute you for exceeding the maximum towing weight however that may be defined because they dont know it.

Cravanarfa is almost correct but omits one factor. They will also check the caravans axle weight.

 

They do say that if you exceed the towing weight you may have warranty issues and problems with your insurance.

Equally of course you may find that you cannot start on a hill.

 

So exceed the maximum towing weight and you wont be prosecuted but it may cause other problems.

 

This time around, I will do a Dragon's den and say "I'm out".

 

As I've said in the thread that we were debating, the statement from the DVSA just goes to show that one cannot even rely on government bodies to provide an informed reply.

 

You are correct in saying that it is not an offence to exceed the maximum allowable towload, but at the same time the noseweight must be taken into account in the total weight of the towcar if it's not included in the towed load, so care must be taken not to exceed the GVW and rear axle load of the towcar when the trailer is hitched up.

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Put simply for the OP.

 

The max trailer load is a load calculated (and most likely tested) by the manufacturer as being the maximum the car in that set up can tow safely AND pull away on an incline a number of times.

 

The axle weight, MTPLM, and the Maximum Train weight are measurable weights which are enforceable.

 

No one will prosecute you for exceding the max trailer load, but anyone who attempts to tow under those circumstances is risking damage (expensive) to their car and possibly even breaking down on a hill.

 

My advice: Don't do it!

Trevor.

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I would think that the police or VOSA would look at the load rating on the tyres and if exceeded they have a sound prosecution as the MTPLM on a caravan is not an official plate that falls under the traffic regulations unless the caravan exceeds 2100kgs. Their other option is to check the axle weight which may be difficult with older caravans and prosecution may be more complex.

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If your caravan weighs 1287kg and the noseweight is 62kg, you are actually towing only 1225kg not 1287kg. You never tow the full weight of the caravan.

 

Yes that's correct- 1225Kg is the max towing weight stated on my V5 log book. The car manual states that I can add the coupling weight to the max towing weight figure quoted in the vehicle documentation. As such the maximum uncoupled weight I can tow is 1300Kg (provided I balance the nose weight to exactly 75Kg (the most I'm allowed).

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I think your theory is flawed. The maximum towing weight is just that, the maximum weight that can be attached to the towball, the nose weight is irrelevant because the car doesn't carry it's max towing weight anyway. When moving off on a gradient the car has to drag away the full weight of the caravan no matter whether it's 1kg or a 100 kg nose weight. Your reasoning is flawed here.

 

Not according to the instructions in my car's manual (as per my two earlier posts above). Regarding your latter point, when moving a car off a gradient, surely it's the gross train weight which is the important figure since the car has to move itself as well as the caravan. My manual allows me exclude the nose weight from the max towing weight when coupled. That weight still has to be pulled but it just becomes part of the car's load rather than the weight of the caravan.

 

The upshot is, whether or not you are exceeding the manufacturer's maximum limits depends on what the manufacturer says about it in the car manual. I've also read in one car manual ( a Peugeot) that the quoted towing limit can be increased by a maximum of 100Kg if the car's is under-loaded (on the GVW) by the same figure. Towing at altitude is another factor which reduces an owner's towing limits and this can also be found in the manual.

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As I've said in the thread that we were debating, the statement from the DVSA just goes to show that one cannot even rely on government bodies to provide an informed reply.

 

You are correct in saying that it is not an offence to exceed the maximum allowable towload, but at the same time the noseweight must be taken into account in the total weight of the towcar if it's not included in the towed load, so care must be taken not to exceed the GVW and rear axle load of the towcar when the trailer is hitched up.

I think that means he didn't give the answer that agrees with your point of view. :(

 

On the second para I never said otherwise because as you know its something we agree on.

 

One of the problem is complete lack of consistency in terms.

 

European legislation talks about Technically Permissible towable mass but then mentions the load on the towbar, thus mixing up two different units of measurement.

 

Some manufacturers state maximum towing weight and don't but make mention of noseweight. Ford quote maximum towable mass in relation to the ability to start on a 12% gradient which suggests that on the level it could tow more.

 

Mass is a property of a physical body which determines the body's resistance to being accelerated by a force and the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction with other bodies. Mass is not the same thing as weight, even though we commonly calculate an object's mass by measuring its weight. It can only be measures as the sum of the two vertical forces acting upon the van ie axle weight plus either noseweight or jockey wheel weight.

 

What is really needed is for all manufacturers to state Max Towing Weight either with or without the weight on the tow ball.

Honda CRV Diesel Petrol & No caravan now. :angry:

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