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Honestly Feedback For A Newby On Towing


newswifty2017
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Hi guys,

looking for some feedback on the above caravan (or similar). Mainly the towing characteristics. I'm new to caravan towing, but the 590 is perfectly set up for our family. Now I know all about 85% rule and but I'm not able to change the car until end of next year. I'm currently driving a Pug 508 SW with 1795kg so coming in at 92% (van 1615kg) if the van was fully laden.

My idea is to load the roof box and car before the van therefore reducing weight ratio (circa 1500) to bring it within 1 -3% off ideal.

Now please be kind, I don't want people scaring us half witless but at the same time any insight would be helpful. I'm an experienced driver (advanced, HGV1, PSV bla bla bla)

We are picking up our new van beginning of July and in August heading down to Sussex from Scotland.

Other possible issues is nose weight, heard swifts are front heavy?

Many thanks and hope to here some feedback soon

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The 85% thing was only ever a guideline for the inexperienced. With your other driving experience/qualifications you need not take it as a rigid rule.

 

Nosewight is important, too low has implications for stability, too high and you may be exceeding the car's limits.

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+1 with Stevan.

Don't get silly and take it steady, If it feels unstable check your loading is low and on the axle for heavier stuff. A noseweight in line with the van advice and the car max should keep you on the safe side of ok. Don't worry, it's not hard to do. Allow space in corners and bends and you'll soon get the hang of it.

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Just put as much in your car as possible. I used to be dead set on 85%, but now run at 97% as per the below:

BE209D8E-C9CC-49AF-BF99-B72E0780B05A_zps

We just take it a bit steadier now, and have a bit more mechanical sympathy, especially when pulling away. We also only use the mover when siting the van, as it saves on a massive amount of strain on the car. If you have a mover use it! (It's amazing the amount of people who don't, despoiled having it on their van)

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If you have a mover use it! (It's amazing the amount of people who don't, despoiled having it on their van)

 

What amuses me is when somebody takes several attempts to position their caravan precisely on pitch taking 5 mins or more and then use the motormover to align the wheel for the Alko Lock. :)

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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If you have a mover use it! (It's amazing the amount of people who don't, despoiled having it on their van)

 

What amuses me is when somebody takes several attempts to position their caravan precisely on pitch taking 5 mins or more and then use the motormover to align the wheel for the Alko Lock. :)

Makes great viewing! 😀
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+1 With Stevan.

Get the noseweight right with bathroom scales or a noseweight gauge.

We carry the caravan spare wheel in the car, makes -17kg for the caravan and +17kg for the car.

Also try to put any other heavy stuff in the car, hitch and wheel locks and tool kit go in the rear footwells.

Every little into the car helps!

(We tow at around 100% of the theoretical figure, but in practise it is much better. At the weighbridge car weighs around 2100kg and caravan 1700kg).

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You will be fine. Light stuff in the roof box. Heavy low down in car but not enough to make it drag it's rear end.

 

Caravan. Heavy = low and near to axle as possible. Nose weight about right and off you go. One of the easyist ways of saving weight in the van is food. A credit card weighs sod all. Enough food for days weighs a lot.

 

85%. Not a rule. Advice that is over 30 years old and needs a considerable 'pinch of salt'

Kia KX 3 auto / Bailey Alicanto Grande Estoril and Swift Challenger 570 (2010 model Not towed - used as a static)
 

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Thanks guys,

 

Its funny but after we bought the caravan, in an excited frenzy, I jumped straight on you tube and watched all the caravan crashes and swaying accidents.

 

Note to self. .... just watch the car crashes instead.

 

Appreciated and might just log our first journey for a laugh

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Thanks guys,

 

Its funny but after we bought the caravan, in an excited frenzy, I jumped straight on you tube and watched all the caravan crashes and swaying accidents.

 

Note to self. . . .. just watch the car crashes instead.

 

Appreciated and might just log our first journey for a laugh

Have a little practice run first without everything being fully loaded & that will get your confidence up. Then when you tow in anger, you;; be more settled.

Even my pic of the above, I had an hours 'round the block' trip with mix of roads/motorways to make sure I wasn't setting myself up for an epic fail. Made the first loaded trip a lot more comfortable

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Our car and caravan towing match is around 92%, but we too pack a lot into the car, awning, chairs, rock pegs, awning cool box, dog's food and his bits & pieces, rucksacks, mains cable and so on. We pack heavy items over and in front of the cars rear wheels. We pack the caravan sensibly with heavy items low and over the axle, check the noseweight with a garage usually aim for 86-87kg, car limit is 90kg. The Swift tows better than our previous lighter Lunar Quasar 524. Like others have said take your time on your journeys and you'll be OK.

2015 Swift Challenger 530SE & 2017 VW Tiguan R-line 4Motion 2.0TDI 150BHP

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As others have said, the 85% advice is just advice and not a rule or a law. We've usually towed at around 90-95% but our present set up is only 88% and it doesn't feel any different.

 

Ensure the nose weight is around the max for the car, usually about 75-85kg (check the handbook) and load the van properly with heavy stuff low down and light stuff in the lockers being careful that it;s all secure and can't move about.

 

My advice is to leave plenty of room in front of you so that you don't have to do any heavy braking and anticipate that every one wants to be in front and so will take chances at roundabouts and side turnings to try and beat you there. Make sure you keep an eye on your rear view (both sides) at roundabouts for those who want to try to get past. With plenty of room it shouldn't be a problem.

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

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My van weighs in at 2500kg and my next car will be less than the weight of the van. The new Disco 5 weighs in at 2350kg so 150kg in the negative ( unless I can persuade the wife into a Range Rover which is a very similar weight). The car is rated for a load of 3500kg so I have no concerns whatsoever towing at over 100%.

As stated previously, the 85% rule was made up by sticking a wet finger in the air some 30 years ago and is based on an opinion/guesstimate. Sensible for a newbie perhaps but not the law by any stretch of the imagination.

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Be aware of your speed when going down any long hills. Thats when I tend to slow down before the caravan pushes the car and everything starts to speed up!

Go gently if you are overtaking lorries thats when sways can start. We drive at about 55mph and let the lorries overtake us.

Caravaning for us is about enjoying everything including towing. You get no prizes for arriving 15 minutes earlier or for setting up in a record time. We never time how long it takes to set up.

Enjoy!

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  • 2 weeks later...

just a quick update and big thank yous all round.

 

god this feels like the next apple launch. . . . . . . .

 

Spreadsheet with auto calculations and colour indicators which will change as I put more weight in the different areas.

 

I can't weight (personal joke) to pick van up on 8th July, bought a new go pro + accessories and looking to v/blog my whole experience.

 

Will pass this bad boy of a spreadsheet to any traffic unit that stops me and before we know it, blue light all the way down to Chichester. . . . . . . . .

 

only joking, its just to ease my jittering knees and calm the missus down, with extra stuff she keeps buying for the van.

 

again mucho appreciato

 

Scott

Edited by newswifty2017
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Scott, your spreadsheet idea is great!

 

If nothing else it shows you care and are interested, and are therefore less likely to get in a pickle than the eejit who chucks everything in, hooks 1. 5 tons behind his turbochared lightweight racing machine and floors it from the off. ..

 

Everything in moderation and things will probably work out fine. ...

Enjoy. ...

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I'm excited for you. You won't find a better way to holiday. I have a beer in my fridge for you should we cross paths. 👍

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Have a little practice run first without everything being fully loaded & that will get your confidence up. Then when you tow in anger, you;; be more settled.

Even my pic of the above, I had an hours 'round the block' trip with mix of roads/motorways to make sure I wasn't setting myself up for an epic fail. Made the first loaded trip a lot more comfortable

My Lunar is a tad twitchy when emptied for service. The noseweight is then only about 65kg. Not a problem on the 40 mile drive to the garage on the roads that I use. I drive accordingly. For somebody with less experience it might feel a little strange. So for a 'practice run' I would suggest loading sufficient to achieve a reasonable noseweight.

 

When I travelled empty except for battery and gas bottles to Alde at Wellingborough from near Chester I added additional weight in front locker with two packs of 30 diet cokes and some additional stuff in boxes in front of 'van. A 160 mile journey and probably 75% motorway. Didn't want a 'tad twitchy' for that!

Edited by Easy T

Alan

 

2005 Nissan X-trail 4WD diesel and Swift Charisma 540 2012 Lunar Clubman ES  2018 Lunar Clubman ES

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Morning guys,

cheers Coriolis,VM and ET.

 

Got woken this morning by my wife, thought oh he we go. ...... then erm darling (always wants something), could we ring the dealer and ask if we can pick up the caravan today????? booooom.

 

As an ever caring hubby, I rolled over and fell back to sleep.

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Good lad, keep em wanting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then it all went very dark and very quiet!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Another point-obvious I know-remember to pump your rear tyres up to the "loaded"figure from your handbook-makes lots of difference!

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so did you get your 'van on the 8th ? Have you had a trip out in it yet? When you are thinking of weights and you have all the things packed away in your 'van, go around it all and take out what you really can do without. I carried a fruit bowl with me for the first couple of years and we never used the big table unless we had visitors, which was not often enough to carry that around with us.

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Hi Guys,

sorry for the delay, yup got the van on the 8th. basically from then until now I've been pressing power on. ....power off. Lights on. ....lights off. Wait for it. ........ water on check, hot water. ..............................................................oh yes check. I am now officially a 2week caravan veteran. Heading off down the country tomorrow night so managed to get booked in at a weigh bridge to doubled check everything (moment of truth for my spreadsheet).

 

Just holding off as to which route I going to go. Weather says west side of country gonna get battered so if that the case then I will be driving the extra 60 miles down the A1.

 

Who called me a chicken. ........ come who said that. .

 

Charlie, good point mate, didn't think of that

Joanie - the missus has bought 4 of everything, saying she wore the tshirt I bought her to pick the van up

OCD - Obsessive Caravan Disorder but yeah I'm piling the car high and calculations are putting me at 82% ratio.

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All the advice above is, as always, sound and is well worth bearing in mind. However reading your replies I think the most important thing has been missed by everyone. ................... you clearly need a name for your caravan and TBH I don't think swify cut it.

 

Enjoy mate

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