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colin h

Do you stick to the 85% rule regarding towing weight.

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Hi all ,  were currently looking at a van and wanted to know if you stick to the 85% rule regarding towing weight. A local dealer says that a recent survey revealed average weight was 94%.  we are looking at vans that may exceed the 85% but still wishing the tow weight of the car xc60 with tow weight of 2400kgs but car weight around 1800ish. 

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For novice tower, the 85% guide is a good starting point. 

Towing with an XC60, you have a wide choice of vans. Taking your 1800 kerb weight, I make that a van of 1530kg for an 85% match. 

Of more concern would be your licence entitlement. My XC60 has a plated max car weight  of 2540kg.  Giving a max of 960kg trailer weight to stay under 3500kg that a B only license entitlement gives

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:welcome:, be careful as a dealer wants to sell you a 'van and some  may stretch the truth so make sure that you know your figures before you go looking.  We try to keep under the 85% as then it doesn't put too much pressure on the car on the hills, although over the years we haven't always managed it. The 85% is a guideline , but that's not a bad thing.

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The 85% guidance (and it is only guidance, NOT a rule) is contentious to say the least.

Some treat it as a magic ratio, above which instability is guaranteed, others are quite happy to tow at higher ratios, many at up to 100% and some even higher.

There is no clear scientific evidence to support the 85%.

 

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With a good towcar I don't care at all about the 85% recommendation.

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38 minutes ago, AndersG said:

With a good towcar I don't care at all about the 85% recommendation.

 

 

....and that statement has been the undoing of many a self assured driver!

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1 hour ago, AndersG said:

With a good towcar I don't care at all about the 85% recommendation.

define a good tow car.

 

macafee2

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27 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

 

 

....and that statement has been the undoing of many a self assured driver!

As has "It's OK, it's under 85%"!

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5 hours ago, colin h said:

Hi all ,  were currently looking at a van and wanted to know if you stick to the 85% rule regarding towing weight. A local dealer says that a recent survey revealed average weight was 94%.  we are looking at vans that may exceed the 85% but still wishing the tow weight of the car xc60 with tow weight of 2400kgs but car weight around 1800ish. 

who is the dealer?

how experienced are you at towing? If you are inexperienced at towing something so heavy ignoring the advice may not be wise. A caravan in my experience is not as stable as a car trailer and even at 85%, if the caravan has a mind to, it probably could still cause an accident.

The survey may be right, average is 94 % but did it Talk about experience?

 

macafee2

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8 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

define a good tow car.

 

macafee2

 

In respect to stability towing, the only relevant aspect in a weight ratio, "good" means low centre of gravity, short overhang, and good lateral rear end stiffness, the latter means the rear suspension is good and healthy, the tyres tending to low profile helps as does extra inflation.

 

Then the vehicle needs adequate power, and wide torque span, to lug twice its normal weight around.

 

Given that lot, then it has the makings of a good towcar, irrespective of a weight ratio a few percent either side of 85%, but without most of them a pig of a tow car even spot on 85%.

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35 minutes ago, macafee2 said:

define a good tow car.

 

macafee2

 

I rely a lot on the tests in practical caravan and the towcar awards that they are also involved with. I don't care much about opinions from drivers on forums like this.

 

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39 minutes ago, AndersG said:

 

I rely a lot on the tests in practical caravan and the towcar awards that they are also involved with. I don't care much about opinions from drivers on forums like this.

 

So I am the exact opposite.   IMO caravan magazines these days are much more interested in keeping their potential advertisers happy than writing anything that might be construed as criticism.   On the other hand i would be inclined to value the opinion of a knowledgable owner much more.

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1 hour ago, AndersG said:

 

I rely a lot on the tests in practical caravan and the towcar awards that they are also involved with. I don't care much about opinions from drivers on forums like this.

 

 

Are you serious,  or are you just trying to be controversial?

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1 hour ago, Jaydug said:

 

So I am the exact opposite.   IMO caravan magazines these days are much more interested in keeping their potential advertisers happy than writing anything that might be construed as criticism.   On the other hand i would be inclined to value the opinion of a knowledgable owner much more.

 

Knowledgeable owners tend to have knowledge of one or two cars of the current generation and they usually try their best not to anything stupid.

The drivers at tow car awards drives many cars in a short period of time and try to provoke them by doing things like emergency lane change to get a feel for how they are as tow cars. They seem to be perfectly happy to write down a car. The XC60 of all generations mentioned by the OP has gotten very good writeups and I would have no hesitation of towing with one but it took us 30 seconds to sit in one to realize we did not like it. The XC40 we did like but the waiting was to long since we needed a new towcar right away.

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29 minutes ago, AndersG said:

 

Knowledgeable owners tend to have knowledge of one or two cars of the current generation and they usually try their best not to anything stupid.

The drivers at tow car awards drives many cars in a short period of time and try to provoke them by doing things like emergency lane change to get a feel for how they are as tow cars. They seem to be perfectly happy to write down a car. The XC60 of all generations mentioned by the OP has gotten very good writeups and I would have no hesitation of towing with one but it took us 30 seconds to sit in one to realize we did not like it. The XC40 we did like but the waiting was to long since we needed a new towcar right away.

The truth of it is that these days, almost all cars are actually quite good, with personal preferences being the biggest differences.

Journalists testing cars have to find something to say and therefore pick fault, if necessary, just to have something interesting to say. Often personal likes and dislikes take precedence over serious practical issues. Frequently a car gets criticised for the likes of "a plastic feel to the dashboard" even though costing £2,000 less than the competition and having 200Kg more towing limit is ignored!

Dare I mention that there does seem to be a correlation between the almost gushing write up of some cars with the amount of advertising space  they occupy.

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I have often wondered if the club annual tow car awards are sponsored by the VW group since their cars more often than not win.

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21 hours ago, AndersG said:

 

I rely a lot on the tests in practical caravan and the towcar awards that they are also involved with. I don't care much about opinions from drivers on forums like this.

 

oh, you don't define a good tow car, someone else does. What happens if you don't like the tow cars considered good by others, surly you would not buy something not considered good?  That must leave you in a dilemma :)

Professional writers can and do for what ever reason miss issues with things in their article, some of these issues are very important, perhaps more important then something they cover.

 

Whilst people here may only have personal experience of one or two cars their knowledge is still useful. Further more, with so many contributors the range of cars covered could be vast.

 

macafee2

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19 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

I have often wondered if the club annual tow car awards are sponsored by the VW group since their cars more often than not win.

 

There is a very good reason why VAG vehicles often come out well - they are darned good tow cars, thats why. Not only are they stable but their 2L diesel 150bhp is probably one of the best (and cleanest?) 2L diesels on the road. Matters not if it is in a VW, Seat, or Skoda, it is still a superb engine.

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24 minutes ago, Woodentop said:

 

There is a very good reason why VAG vehicles often come out well - they are darned good tow cars, thats why. Not only are they stable but their 2L diesel 150bhp is probably one of the best (and cleanest?) 2L diesels on the road. Matters not if it is in a VW, Seat, or Skoda, it is still a superb engine.

Last time I looked they were also significantly more expensive than their equivalents from the likes of Kia and Hyundai so they should be good!

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22 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Last time I looked they were also significantly more expensive than their equivalents from the likes of Kia and Hyundai so they should be good!

 

Of the three ex-budget brands now moved into mainstream, Skoda is generally cheaper than Hyundai or Kia

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26 minutes ago, Stevan said:

Last time I looked they were also significantly more expensive than their equivalents from the likes of Kia and Hyundai so they should be good!

 

They aren’t - look at comparable prices on drive the deal or broadspeed 

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What  one person considers to be an excellent towcar another will possibly feel the opposite. The problem (if you can call it that) is that people have varying likes/dislikes/driving styles/attitudes/loading regimes for car/caravan etc,  plus of course the wide variety of caravans they choose to tow, and where it’s towed.

 

Like most things where there are so are so many variables a huge amount is down to personal taste/choice. There is no right or wrong answer. 

 

Having said that I would advise anyone new to towing a caravan to try a keep to around the 85% mark, it was brought in some time ago now but is reasonably valid still. 

 

For the record I have no idea what my % “figure” is, what I DO know is that the caravans MTPLM is 150kg below the theoretical maximum my car can tow. The gross train weight is just (by 50kg) over 3500kg because I opted for the payload upgrade, but I do have the necessary licence category.

 

Andy

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12 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

What  one person considers to be an excellent towcar another will possibly feel the opposite. The problem (if you can call it that) is that people have varying likes/dislikes/driving styles/attitudes/loading regimes for car/caravan etc,  plus of course the wide variety of caravans they choose to tow, and where it’s towed.

 

Like most things where there are so are so many variables a huge amount is down to personal taste/choice. There is no right or wrong answer. 

 

 

What the individual is willing to accept to stay within budget is also relevant.

A few less bells and whistles can be a price worth paying for a few extra Kgs on towing limit! 

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85% is only a recommendation.. !   I've towed a lightweight caravan with a massive towcar and a large caravan with a reasonably small towcar with no issues.  It's how the caravan is loaded was well as the nose weight which matters for stability . Get that right and stability is greatly improved.  Most accidents involving caravans are caused by bad driving anyway.

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I have been towing a trailer/caravan for around 46 years, ( yyyyyyyyyyyes i know Im an old Git). I passed my test in 1974.

My GTW is 3818kgs  my car has a GKW of 2000kgs , so Im towing at around 91%.  I'am comfortable with that, I dont go mad driving at silly speeds but then I dont hang about either, I have a Twin Axle caravan I check my nose weight of the caravan, because sometimes I dont re-load every thing as I have taken stuff out.  I have experienced snaking twice, once when I had bought a cabin cruiser and did not have a stabiliser fitted and the second time because I  had a little too much weight on the rear fixed bed(even thought the nose weight was correct)  I moved the awning poles 3ft forward and onto the floor, problem solved.  Whats a good tow car,  I have a Mazda cx5 2.2 d automatic/ 185bhp 280ftlbs torque. I like a tow car with a short  back end overhang from the centre of the back wheels to the tow bar,  a SUV, its got a large enough boot space, even more with  the seats folded down. 

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