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Am I just being picky about weight?


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As you may have seen looking at a new tug that is more fuel efficent. Currently looking at Kuga or a CRV. The problem is both very light cars. The kuga is 1705 and CRV 1653 and in an ideal world my next caravan would be a twin with a fixed bed. All would be high % between weight of van and car. 

 

Both are 4 by 4 and have decent power. My worry is in case I buy it and they are unstable with a heavier van between 1600 and 1700 KG. 

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A twin axle is more stable than single, both are good tow cars as you;ll see from my previous posts i don't hold much 'sway' with the kerbweight argument-having towed at well over 100% in terms of kerbweight. Your twin axle will likely have ATC too so don't worry -both are great tow cars! What is the towing capacity as deemed by the manufacturer of the cars? They spend a lot of time testing them to this level and not just the hill start many quote.

How many unstable outfits have you actually seen-never driven one myself-how many posts say my van is unstable? Just take it steady , load carefully -the car more than the van and you will be fine imo!

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Whilst I understand the comments from Jezzerb and he is probably right. During my recent renewal of  our tow car and in the past have always err'd on the side of caution and gone for the one I felt was right. Having had a car that on paper should have been OK (pre Volvo's), I just did not feel comfortable towing with it so it had to go. Unfortunately the only way you will know is when you take the plunge and buy one, you can listen to all the fine advice but ultimately its how you feel, comfort, safety etc etc.

I did look at the CRV and its a really nice car, but with my set up felt it would be a bit marginal, but then I'm towing a SA and not a TA.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

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Some people are obviously more picky than others. There are those that expect to able to tow a caravan without a feeling that they are towing at all, but I was following a Dutch outfit on a German autobahn a couple of weeks ago. We were on a no-overtaking section so I sat behind him for several miles. His caravan was swaying quite considerably all the time and I imagine it was like that ever since he left Holland and it probably continued to do so until he reached his destination, wherever that was. It wasn't possible to judge whether it was due to the caravan being too heavy for the car or simply the payload poorly distributed inside. Anyway, he seemed to be quite oblivious to what was going on behind him.

Edited by Lutz
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5 minutes ago, Lutz said:

 It wasn't possible to judge whether it was due to the caravan being too heavy for the car or simply the payload poorly distributed inside. Anyway, he seemed to be quite oblivious to what was going on behind him.

There is no evidence whatever that weight ratio causes that kind of controllable instability! If weight ratio matters at all it is to do with the inability of a light car to get this kind of instability back under control.

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I don't think you are being picky.   I think your post is a valid and sensible one and you can take all the advice on board and use it to decide what's best for you.  In fact I wish more people would think along the same lines.

 

Most Kuga models have a manufacturers towing maximum of 2100 kg and a noseweights between 100 and 105kg.

I normally tow with a 2.0 diesel Kuga (180ps) at roughly 88% and both the car and myself are quite happy at that.  I have towed with the Kuga at 100% with no stability issues.

 

The arguments about % guidelines are many and varied.  I think that the 85% guideline is a good recommendation for those who are inexperienced or less confident. 

A well maintained , properly loaded caravan in a well balanced outfit is most important.

I hope this helps.

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we are on our second Kuga  now a 2 L, the kerbweight is about 1700 but we have always tried to keep to under 1500 mtplm for our vans.  OH  reckons that's enough for any car to tow .  If you are thinking of a heavier caravan  then perhaps  looking at the larger / heavier cars would be a better option for you now.

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I tow a TA with my Passat. The kerb weight is 1668 on the v5. My van has a mtplm of 1700.  So my combo is 102% The car is a 4motion. It tows nice and steady but on saying that I always keep the speed down and generally to with as much in the car as possible and keep the van empty as possible.

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There are quite a few well spec'd but lightweight twin axles on the market. Ours is a 2018 Sprite @ 1624kgs MTPLM. I currently tow with a Volvo V90 @ 1825kgs, previously I used a 2016 BMW520D @ 1725kgs which was fine.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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When you think about the 95% of caravaners have never heard of Caravan Talk and their' bung stuff in until it's full' loading. We are probably all too pickey about weight.

I must admit I'm not that fussed about weight, but I am careful about where it goes. For instance all the top lockers are emptied into crates that sit as near the axle as possible on the floor. The heavies, like awning, tool bag etc: are in the car.

The one thing I am realy fussed about is the nose weight, I had a bad trip once because I had not checked it and it was only 35Kg. Now I check it every time and get as close the car maximum as possible.

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You’re being cautious, which is different to picky. The very fact that you’re aware of it means you’re likely to be fine with a heavier van, because you’ll be careful. 

 

Personally, I don’t like towing with light or low powered cars, my choice is always big, heavy and powerful. Fortunately, that suits my choice of everyday driver, I totally understand why not everyone wants a big car. 

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caravans dont become unstable because the weight ratio is higher, load it properly and keep everything in good running order and you will be fine.

 

If one is available the 210PS engine in the Kuga is better than the 180PS especially for towing big caravans as not only do you have more power but its twin turbo. We had the 210 engine in a mondeo towing a big TA (113% on paper) and it was a brilliant car and very stable.

 

I am not fussy about weights, i have never used a nose weight gauge or checked the weight of anything going in my caravan or any trailer for that matter, just rely on a bit of common sense. 

Edited by tom_1989
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Thank you for advice it looks like both possible. The weird thing is a CRV on practical caravan they add another 75KG saying that Honda didn't add it in. Do different companies do different kerb weight calculations?

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13 minutes ago, mprcomp said:

Thank you for advice it looks like both possible. The weird thing is a CRV on practical caravan they add another 75KG saying that Honda didn't add it in. Do different companies do different kerb weight calculations?

Different manufacturers do use different methods of measuring kerbweight. Have a look at Caravan Accidents on U TUBE whilst weight may be an issue so is speed and driving style but it does demonstrate things that can go wrong so caution is not a word to be dismissed. I`ve only suffered snaking once that was before the use of stabilizers and ATC was commonplace but its a disconcerting event and once was enough!

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23 minutes ago, mprcomp said:

Thank you for advice it looks like both possible. The weird thing is a CRV on practical caravan they add another 75KG saying that Honda didn't add it in. Do different companies do different kerb weight calculations?


They simply don’t stick to the definition of kerbweight as laid down in UK legislation.

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