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Towing with a van


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I am looking at starting a new business that will require me owning a van. It would be quite handy if it was able to tow my caravan too. I guess there is a little different to the rules for towing with a car?  I've never owned a van before so I have no idea what I am looking at, especially when it comes to the various sizes, long wheelbase,  etc. It doesn't need to be massive, but I'd rather carry some extra size if it meant I could tow with it too. As for carrying capacity, it's mostly tools, some stock which would be mostly radiator sized boxes and something fixed to one side with small pieces, like valves and connectors. If it's big enough then a couple of fixed dog cages would be very handy too.

 

I had in mind something like this transit but the 100 or 120bhp seems quite low compared to the 210bhp in my XC60. I guess they are tuned for torque rather than high bhp?

 

Can anyone give any recommendations? I'd rather not spend more than 4 or 5k since I am just getting setup, I can change it after a year or two. My wife also said not white :lol: but I am not sure about a logo yet so that could change :P

 

Caravan is

Mass in Running Order (Kg)1450

Maximum Technical Permissible Laden Mass (Kg)1680

 

I presume with a vans gross weight being relatively high I'll need a b+e which wouldn't be a problem.

 

 

Edited by anthdci

2010 Lunar Delta Ti pulled by a 2012 Volvo XC60 D3 AWD remapped to 210bhp & 501Nm

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No experience of vans but have read comments that some caravan sites not allowing vans  only cars.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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28 minutes ago, David 38 said:

No experience of vans but have read comments that some caravan sites not allowing vans  only cars.

 

Not a problem, we never go to caravan sites. The caravan is 99% at agility shows which is about 75% vans anyway. If we are going on holiday we'd take the car. The ability to use the van is for times i finish a job then i can go pickup the dogs and the caravan and go to a show, my wife can then follow directly from her work in the car.

Edited by anthdci

2010 Lunar Delta Ti pulled by a 2012 Volvo XC60 D3 AWD remapped to 210bhp & 501Nm

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i tow with vans as we have a miniature steam engine we transport about, the laws are the same as towing with a car.

 

Power wise dont compare to a car, generally they are geared lower and quite torquey.  My current one is a Renault master 2.5dci, 100bhp. With the steam engine loaded and caravan on the back we are about 5 tons but the Renault does well and keeps up with the traffic, its by no means sprightly but more than adequate.

 

Personally i would be looking at a renault trafic/ vauxhall vivaro. They do a LWB version which is quite a good size and not too big. 

 

Generally you find transits have been quite used and abused normally the choice of builders and landscapers. The renault/vauxhall are normally a bit tidier and more for decorators and the plumber types.....i am generalising but hopefully you get what i mean. 

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39 minutes ago, David 38 said:

No experience of vans but have read comments that some caravan sites not allowing vans  only cars.

I towed for 6 years using a Long Wheelbase Mercedes Sprinter, I stayed on many sites, private, club, CL etc and not once was there a problem taking the van on site etc, in fact it was never mentioned at all by any of the officials. 

 

The Sprinter was a great workhorse, I kept it until it had over 370,000 on the clock and no trouble at all. The great thing with the Sprinter (and I assume many vans of that size) is you dont need extended mirrors, you can meet the requirements without, the standard mirror being much bigger than a car mirror give a great view and make reversing much easier. Take care with towbar wiring, I installed a very heavy feed from front to back to cater for the extra length which ensured good battery charging and excellent fridge performance on 12v. Another great thing with a van is there is little difference in fuel consumption between solo and towing, the van has moved the air out of the way. I would suggest you find a rear wheel drive van in the size you want, some of the smaller ones are front wheel drive and with the longer overhang from the back wheels they can get quite light on the front end, I used a FWD Transit on one occasion with a Twin Axle Swift Conqueror behind it, it was easy to spin the wheels setting off without even trying.

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The only thing I have come across with vans is not the fact that they are vans but that they maybe sign written.

 

Dependant upon the site rules, sign written vans can be asked to be parked in the carpark outside of the caravan area.

 

There are some superb looking vans around these days.

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                      Stay safe - Griff.:ph34r:

Discovery 4 with a Bessacarr 845 behind

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54 minutes ago, oldboy said:

I tow with a SWB Transit custom, it 3 ton 150 bhp but it might be too small for you not had any problem going on any site.

DSCN0176.JPG

Very smart oldboy.

                      Stay safe - Griff.:ph34r:

Discovery 4 with a Bessacarr 845 behind

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3 hours ago, Griff said:

The only thing I have come across with vans is not the fact that they are vans but that they maybe sign written.

 

Dependant upon the site rules, sign written vans can be asked to be parked in the carpark outside of the caravan area.

 

There are some superb looking vans around these days.

 

Magnetic signs are the way round that.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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1 minute ago, Black Grouse said:

 

Magnetic signs are the way round that.

If body metal

:-)

I tried a magnetic GB on my car it fell off.

Plastic panel.

Regards, David
Ford Kuga ST line 2ltr. Diesel 2017,  Bailey Pursuit 11 400/2 2018, Emove em303 motor mover, Hyundai 1000i Generator.

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I would say that most signwriting these days is vinyl.

A couple of hours with a hair dryer and decent nails will take off most. Probably benefit with a light T Cut to take the dead paint off so you don't see the remnants of the writing.

 

Don't discount ex RAC or AA vans - big mileages but treated better generally. As long as you like orange or yellow!

RAC had 2.4 litre rear wheel drive Tranny's. More power but if the injection pump goes, its big money in labour to replace. Not as tall in the back due to rear axle.

Often the racking is still in place which may be useful if you're just starting out.

Vivaro and clones are a better drive. FWD Trannys cheaper to fix when they go wrong.

Transporters ain't what they used to be and are expensive. Vito's of a certain age have lots of rust.

Dispatch/Expert - French so can be a lottery.

 

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All through the 1970's I towed with vans because during those years I was carrying lots of big DIY items.    First I bought a V4 petrol engined Transit but later changed to a diesel 125 Transit.   Both were plain vans when I bought them but gradually I fitted windows, seats and even an elevated roof.   Also the diesel Transit had a Ford Zodiac electric overdrive grafted onto the gearbox, effectively giving it seven forward gears.   I loved the driving position on both vehicles, and having the caravan hitched on the back made little difference to the performance.   Also when using caravan sites, never did I experience any difficulty when booking in.   

 

2073477641_Cars006.jpg.905a4f5870a883b7170815c6d67bd829.jpg

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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I've towed with a van since the mid-eighties.  Petrol and diesel Mitubishi L300's then on to a VW T4 and lastly a T5 174 bhp I've had since new in 2003.   It's not sign written but it is just a panel van so it looks like a van.  I am retired now but I did occasionally get some comments but obviously I avoided any sites that wouldn't accept commercial vehicles.  As long as you get one with enough power (and my T5 does have!) they make a great tow vehicle.

 

However I was quite shocked one day a couple of years ago to see on TV someone's van (Vivaro I think) and caravan being tailored away because he had no tachograph.  When I looked into it, my T5 fitted into the same category.  If you are more than 50 miles from home and using the van for business (ie full of tools as mine was) you may well fall foul of this.  I can't remember what the train weight limit is but my Delta and T5 (SWB) was included. 

 

I like Jaydug's blast from the past :-)  Here is mine..

   

r0300730.jpg

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20190524_135757.jpg

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20180607_165101.jpg

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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On 07/06/2019 at 15:19, Tintaglia said:

However I was quite shocked one day a couple of years ago to see on TV someone's van (Vivaro I think) and caravan being tailored away because he had no tachograph.  When I looked into it, my T5 fitted into the same category.  If you are more than 50 miles from home and using the van for business (ie full of tools as mine was) you may well fall foul of this.  I can't remember what the train weight limit is but my Delta and T5 (SWB) was included. 

 

 

Train weight limit is 3500kg so if over that with a trailer you need a tacho, however there are exemptions

 

- Recreational use. So generally caravans are fine assuming you are not towing them towing them for use as accommodation for a paid job (say you are going on holiday if you are)

- If within 100km from home no need for a tacho (recently increased from 50)

 

this is quite a useful article: http://pickupand4x4.co.uk/towing-tachographs-rules-exemptions

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