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philip697

Soon to be newcomer after some advice please!

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Philip, Have a look at AIM Commercials in Ripley, they do trailer tests. We use them for Tacho data and very good people.

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Posted (edited)

With MTPLM of 1394kg you do not really need to have a kerb weight as high as 1650kg. Over 1500kg should be enough once you get some towing experience. Until then do not put much extra weight in the caravan above its MIRO of 1229kg (this will include gas bottle(s) a bit of water in the cistern but not the battery at about20kg so drain it down and put the gas in the car boot). You might look at a Mondeo estate or Passat estate but these tend to be a bit light. The Citroen C5 estate up to 2016 2 litre diesel will have a towing limit of 1400kg  but up to 1650kg with a reduced car payload and kerb weight 1650kg. but these weights vary depending on model year.

 

We had the same weight problem when we bought our latest caravan, MIRO 1334kg, MTPLM 1499kg. Our car at the time (2004 Citroen C5 hatchback) had kerb weight 1485kg, tow limit 1500kg. It towed well enough but replaced with a 2007 Citroen C5 estate kerb weight 1605kg and this is a lot better. Choosing a car was not easy though since I did not want anything big and a Mondeo/Passat were too light.

 

Many people though stick with the car they have for a while, even if it is not ideal towing and then once they decide if they like caravanning will go for something more suitable. You could do this but do not put any extra weight in the caravan. Another alternative is to find a different caravan that is not as heavy.

Edited by Paul1957
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That kerbweight still doesn't sound right. I know my Zafira weighs 1580kg empty because I use it to weigh in scrap metal. No jokes please! Took 5 loads yesterday in fact. It doesn't appear to be an especially substantial vehicle so I can't quite see what Citroën could leave out to save 186kg and have a larger diesel engine as well. Thinking about it a bit further, a 2 litre diesel Zafira C might make a suitable towcar. Seem to remember a few years ago one of the clubs declared it best MPV in their annual towcar awards. Best to check the weight plate inside the door first though. 

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The kerb weight quoted is the same as in the car handbook and it also includes 75 kg for the driver. The op could check the V5C for the mass in service. I vaguely remember when Ancell got his Grand Picasso he might have taken it to a weighbridge and found the weight to be more than the quoted kerb weight. What is surprising though is the payload taken as gross weight less kerb weight being around 700 kg, probably around 200 more than expected.

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24 minutes ago, Dobloseven said:

That kerbweight still doesn't sound right. I know my Zafira weighs 1580kg empty because I use it to weigh in scrap metal. No jokes please! Took 5 loads yesterday in fact. It doesn't appear to be an especially substantial vehicle so I can't quite see what Citroën could leave out to save 186kg and have a larger diesel engine as well. Thinking about it a bit further, a 2 litre diesel Zafira C might make a suitable towcar. Seem to remember a few years ago one of the clubs declared it best MPV in their annual towcar awards. Best to check the weight plate inside the door first though. 

 

The 1395 figure is in the manual and on the V5, unless it's just not accurate!

 

What gets me as well, I use the towcar.info website, and if we work on the fact that we make sure to put most things in the boot of the car (we can do that, it's cavernous back there), so quote a figure of 250kg loaded in the car (I imagine that's about right with 4 people, and most of the heavy luggage) and 100kg loaded in the caravan, then that website calls it a 'fairly good match'. Hope you can see the attached. I think Paul and AndersG, along with this towinfo website, has convinced me to stick with this car at least for a while :lol:

image.thumb.png.d1b74b2ad145590b095da5383a2726fa.png

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I would not be too worried about going over the 85% figure although try to keep as near as you can. This is based on very old research and car and caravan design has moved on since then and it needs reappraisal.

The figures for your car are a bit tight but should be manageable. I would be inclined to try it and see how things go. First time out you are going to be cautious anyway and once you build up experience you will get the hang of it. If it does seem unsteady though change it and simply get as near to 3,500 kg as you can without going over and you should be fine.

Both of the clubs do towing courses which you might want to look up on their websites. The CAMH have more centres where they do this so they may be better placed to help you.

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Posted (edited)

Existing car plus proposed caravan adds up to 3544 kg, so still need to do the towing test. After that if a car change is done there is no need to stick to below 3500 kg.

 

With such a large boot, I would not bother putting anything in the caravan, the 100 kg you are thinking of is better going in the car to get it as heavy as possible. Assuming the caravan does not have a mover, having the caravan lighter will help you move it around by hand when not using the car to do it. If it does have a mover, then that plus the battery can weigh about 55 kg so will be part of the caravan payload and not included in the MIRO.

 

When you do tow with your car, you will soon know if the car is not up to it. Worst one I tried was a Xsara Picasso with the 90 hp diesel engine, kerb weight 1300 kg (mass in service 1375 kg). Used it only for one holiday and towed from Bolton to York and back over the M62. The caravan we had then was about 1050 kg as towed (MIRO 1000 kg, MTPLM 1300 kg). It struggled up the M62 hills and felt as though the caravan was in control rather than the car so I had to keep the speed down. At the time our usual tow car was a Saab 9-5 2.3 turbo petrol 180 hp and this could tow all day long with no bother so the difference was soon noticed.

Edited by Paul1957
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Most LGV training schools do B+E training

 

Due to social distancing rules I do not think there are any trainers working at the moment

 

Peter Smythe LGV/BE school in Notts is highly recommended

https://www.petersmythe.co.uk/car-and-trailer-cat-b-plus-e/

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9 hours ago, Paul1957 said:

Existing car plus proposed caravan adds up to 3544 kg, so still need to do the towing test. After that if a car change is done there is no need to stick to below 3500 kg.

 

With such a large boot, I would not bother putting anything in the caravan, the 100 kg you are thinking of is better going in the car to get it as heavy as possible. Assuming the caravan does not have a mover, having the caravan lighter will help you move it around by hand when not using the car to do it. If it does have a mover, then that plus the battery can weigh about 55 kg so will be part of the caravan payload and not included in the MIRO.

 

When you do tow with your car, you will soon know if the car is not up to it. Worst one I tried was a Xsara Picasso with the 90 hp diesel engine, kerb weight 1300 kg (mass in service 1375 kg). Used it only for one holiday and towed from Bolton to York and back over the M62. The caravan we had then was about 1050 kg as towed (MIRO 1000 kg, MTPLM 1300 kg). It struggled up the M62 hills and felt as though the caravan was in control rather than the car so I had to keep the speed down. At the time our usual tow car was a Saab 9-5 2.3 turbo petrol 180 hp and this could tow all day long with no bother so the difference was soon noticed.

 

Thanks, I appreciate the advice. We will definitely need a mover I think, as getting on/off our drive would be very difficult otherwise, I think even for someone who knows what they're doing. It's extremely tight on this road. I'm aware that's 30kg~ extra weight, but hopefully your tip to put the gas in the boot might cancel some of that out. The only stuff in the van would probably be some food in the fridge that might not keep the journey, and maybe the kids beds made up before we go. Definitely a case of less is more though when it comes to the van. I said 100kg on that site just to see what it said about a workable number with plenty of leeway in it. I don't think we'll get an awning straight away, but it's something we'll look at soon after. Gonna do the b+e licence for the experience and confidence towing,  as I was going to do the towing course our local dealer offers anyway and I think that's a couple hundred. I wouldn't want my first taste of towing to be with a brand new expensive piece of a kit on the back as a Guinea pig! 

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You need a heavier car and ideally one with more power.

Towing at near 100% ratio with a car having only a 70kg nose weight limit would not be my choice or advise for a beginner.

 

 

Be aware that you probably also need a MTPLM upgrade if fitting a mover.

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5 hours ago, xtrailman said:

You need a heavier car and ideally one with more power.

Towing at near 100% ratio with a car having only a 70kg nose weight limit would not be my choice or advise for a beginner.

 

 

Be aware that you probably also need a MTPLM upgrade if fitting a mover.

See, this is why I get confused, the messages are so conflicting!

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That's the trouble with asking questions on a very opinionated forum! One fact is you need to do the test with your current car and desired caravan. This will provide you with some skills and knowledge to be able to make your own mind up about how the car performs once you start towing. 

 

I have a motor mover on my van and its MTPLM hasn't been upgraded. But I keep the weight down by removing an unused bunk bed, drain fluids, put the gas bottles in the car and so on. 

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17 minutes ago, swirly182 said:

That's the trouble with asking questions on a very opinionated forum! One fact is you need to do the test with your current car and desired caravan. This will provide you with some skills and knowledge to be able to make your own mind up about how the car performs once you start towing. 

 

I have a motor mover on my van and its MTPLM hasn't been upgraded. But I keep the weight down by removing an unused bunk bed, drain fluids, put the gas bottles in the car and so on. 

Well, the finance is up on this car in about 2 years. At that time we'll look at a car with towing in mind, until then we'll just take the advice to put nothing in it, and take it very steady. The towinfo website seems to think its a good enough match to make do for now. With everything that's going on, we might be getting on a year before we actually have a van sat in the front of the house. I imagine when we do upgrade I'll be like 'wow this is so much easier'.

 

I'd like to thank everyone who replied for your advice and tips though, really helpful! 

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There are companies that hire out touring caravans so if wished you could try out a holiday in one that has all the right weights for your existing licence.  It could work out cost effective compared to buying one if you do not intend to go away often. It would help you decide if caravanning is for you without spending a lot of money. An example with prices but seems to be around £400 to £700 a week depending on the time of year https://www.tilshead-caravans.com/caravan-hire-rates

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1 hour ago, philip697 said:

See, this is why I get confused, the messages are so conflicting!

 

Sadly whenever you ask about weights you will get lots of different personal opinions, some are sensible others totally ridiculous. 

 

Consider the legalities first, they don't change and are not subject to opinion. 

 

We have established you passed your test after 1997 so do not have B+E entitlement, so the maximum combined permitted weight of car and caravan cannot exceed 3500kg. The car and caravan combination in your original post exceed that so you must not drive that combi on your current license, regardless of how sensible or otherwise the ratio might be. 

 

 

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On 23/05/2020 at 13:28, philip697 said:

I'm really struggling to find a suitable tow car to move to, at my price range. Ideally we wouldn't want to go much above £10k

Keeping it under 10k when you would like a 15 plate will be difficult. My recommendations would be a ssangyong turismo. Ignore the looks and look at the positive its 2.1 ton empty 2.8 ton tow capacity (I think) and massive. RWD se spec in your price bracket but theres one for sale for £9.5k 16 plate at the moment for sale. Otherwise a Vauxhall Zafira tourer 2.0 Cdti manual ( keep away from the auto on the whole as it can be trouble).

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Also as for weights. I drive a car about the same weight on paper as yours (2.0 diesel though and was a recommended tow car) and tow a caravan which is 1040 empty 1300 full and I have no problem even with the caravan full and an empty car. Its all IMO mainly about taking care, thinking in advance and being sensible, being as you have done all this research I would guess you fit this so I would just go on buy the caravan and get out and enjoy it if you find you love it then you'll probably want a bigger replacement but why change your car now just take care and see if it works for you all.

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