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TOWING OVER THE CAR LIMIT??


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 Just checked on my car what the weights are are these OK or not very good to tow,, my family is me and the misses and my 2 kids also we have had a pennine fiesta and towed it with our car but we sold it to upgrade to a caravan so we don't no what to do. 

If you think these look OK to tow then brilliant if not then I shall think about upgrading but if I don't need to it would help me out as its a new car. 

Thanks everyone 

 

The plate reads

 

1843 KG

3043 KG

1 - 1065 KG

2 - 995 KG

 

 

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Sometimes I think we need to stop debating the minutiae of legalities and allow common sense to take over. The car's manufacturer state a towing limit for the car, they do not limit that downwards for

Gotta feel sorry for the OP. Joins and asks an innocent question, and then all the armchair 'experts' chip in with their contradictory opinions and arguments and legal debates over and over again.

If it has a limit of 1200kg, then you can't tow 1250kg.  Although not ideal you might be best to look at changing your car.

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1 hour ago, Dave87 said:

Putting aside the weights etc.. i'm not sure the mokka would be a good car for caravanning anyway, since you said you need 4 berth i'm guessing they'll be more than 2 adults going. The mokka boot space is tiny so would soon fill up with the equipment needed. If your in a position to change the car i probably would. You get the picture i'm sure.

Thanks for the comment but regardless what anyone said mokka is a brilliant tow car, I have towed a 1000kg folding camper behind it no problem been to france and Spain and loads of places in the UK the mokka is not expensive and not no bmw or audi but its an average tow car.. 

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It will certainly pull a caravan.  I think the concerns are more around stability.  A high sided wedge of caravan can have quite an effect on a car if the wind gets up.

Do you know anyone who has a lightweight caravan who might let you have a tow of it?  That would at least give you a chance to assess if it feels right.

If it was me then I'd probably change the car if I could.  This would also open up the range of caravans you could consider.

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For many years the 1.9TD Citroen Xantia was a very respected tow car by families, this had a towing limit of 1200kgs (we had a 1997 model). Yes, caravans were lighter back then but you can still find lightweight family caravans in that range especially the Bailey Discovery range from the 2000’s. 

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39 minutes ago, Benny1234 said:

Thanks for the comment but regardless what anyone said mokka is a brilliant tow car, I have towed a 1000kg folding camper behind it no problem been to france and Spain and loads of places in the UK the mokka is not expensive and not no bmw or audi but its an average tow car.. 

If average means a measure of central tendency i.e.  in the middle somewhere in  a range of tow cars in terms of power and weight then the car in discussion whilst a good tow car for  a suitable weight is in reality a below average tow car or lower quartile at least of the range of cars that tow.

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I've had many Mokka 1.4T hire cars and think that engine is fantastic. However, each Mokka on the motorway didn't feel 'planted'. It's a tall, narrow car and personally I wouldn't choose to tow a caravan with one. But you already own one so find a suitable caravan and try it! You'll have to swap it or get rid of the caravan if it's no good. 

 

If you go beyond the max towing weight then expect premature clutch wear. I would also be worried about a standing start on an incline - I had to stop on a 16% incline near Pateley Bridge and probably took 5k miles off the clutch trying to get going again 🙄

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2 hours ago, Benny1234 said:

 Just checked on my car what the weights are are these OK or not very good to tow,, my family is me and the misses and my 2 kids also we have had a pennine fiesta and towed it with our car but we sold it to upgrade to a caravan so we don't no what to do. 

If you think these look OK to tow then brilliant if not then I shall think about upgrading but if I don't need to it would help me out as its a new car. 

Thanks everyone 

IMG_20201028_170114.jpg

Good to read the bit about your fiesta. I'm in a similar car with a vauxhall meriva 1.4 turbo. But I'm going to get a Pennine pathfinder as I'm not ready to upgrade the car yet. 

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There are plenty of four berth vans out there below 1200kg MTPLM, you have the choice of opting for one of them, or beefing up the car a little. 

 

You could think outside the box with a Swift Basecamp 4 or a Weinsburg CaraOne, otherwise if you want to be more conventional models such as Elddis Xplore 304 come in under 1200kg as does the 434 (my local caravan dealer has one at the moment!). For fixed beds you probably have to look at Lunar, Venus 490 has a fixed double or the 500 fixed twin singles, both are i believe 1200 mtplm. All of these are reasonably new.

Edited by PMW

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There is nothing wrong with the Mokka as a towcar within its limits. Unfortunately those limits are somewhat restrictive when it comes to putting a decent sized caravan on the back and loading it up!

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12 hours ago, Stevan said:

Exactly as I said earlier, this is not a legally enforceable limit. However, taken with the other info, this outfit is not a good match.

Exceeding any weight prescribed or recommended by the manufacturer is enforceable in GB. Weight limits are set for safety reasons and exceeding them can be considered by the courts as presenting a danger which presents a risk of injury.

Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988. Using vehicle in dangerous condition etc.

A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when—

(a) the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment, or

(b) the purpose for which it is used, or

(c) the number of passengers carried by it, or the manner in which they are carried, or

(d) the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the manner in which it is secured, is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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8 hours ago, Legal Eagle said:

Exceeding any weight prescribed or recommended by the manufacturer is enforceable in GB. Weight limits are set for safety reasons and exceeding them can be considered by the courts as presenting a danger which presents a risk of injury.

Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988. Using vehicle in dangerous condition etc.

A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when—

(a) the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment, or

(b) the purpose for which it is used, or

(c) the number of passengers carried by it, or the manner in which they are carried, or

(d) the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the manner in which it is secured, is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.

Of course, but having the MTPLM of the caravan over the towing limit of the car is not a problem as long as the actual laden weight is kept below the towing limit. However, in this case that leaves precious little payload for the caravan and hence difficulty getting everything in the car without going over the weights for the car.

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

Of course, but having the MTPLM of the caravan over the towing limit of the car is not a problem as long as the actual laden weight is kept below the towing limit. However, in this case that leaves precious little payload for the caravan and hence difficulty getting everything in the car without going over the weights for the car.

Except your original sweeping statement was, "...this is not a legally enforceable limit" when it very clearly is.

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19 hours ago, Benny1234 said:

 Just checked on my car what the weights are are these OK or not very good to tow,, my family is me and the misses and my 2 kids also we have had a pennine fiesta and towed it with our car but we sold it to upgrade to a caravan so we don't no what to do. 

If you think these look OK to tow then brilliant if not then I shall think about upgrading but if I don't need to it would help me out as its a new car. 

Thanks everyone 

 

The plate reads

 

1843 KG

3043 KG

1 - 1065 KG

2 - 995 KG

 

 

From the weights shown it gives the max train weight as 3043 kg and the car gross weight as 1843 kg. The difference of 1200 kg is what can be towed with the car loaded up to max. Unless you have anything else that gives a towing limit of 1200 kg, then you can tow above 1200 kg by not loading the car up to max. You have not given the kerb weight but it is probably about 1400 kg so you would not want to exceed that for a towed weight as long as the caravan plus car do not exceed 3043 kg when loaded. This does not mean the car will be a good tow car though but if you are planning on changing the car in the future then you could put up with a less than ideal car but when you change it go for something better.

Edited by Paul1957
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As laid down in the respective legislation and as documented in the V5c, the towing limit is based upon the ability to restart on a 12% gradient. However, this is only a minimum requirement. Manufacturers are perfectly at liberty to specify higher towing limits at less severe gradients and several do, usually for 8% and sometimes 10% gradients as well. Note that the gross train weight limit remains unchanged whatever the towing limit.

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On 28/10/2020 at 17:18, Benny1234 said:

Thanks for the comment but regardless what anyone said mokka is a brilliant tow car, I have towed a 1000kg folding camper behind it no problem been to france and Spain and loads of places in the UK the mokka is not expensive and not no bmw or audi but its an average tow car.. 

There is a big difference between towing a caravan and a trailer tent. 

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14 minutes ago, JanandJay said:

There is a big difference between towing a caravan and a trailer tent. 

Folding camper not the same as a trailer tent either to be fair. 

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On 29/10/2020 at 09:21, Stevan said:

Of course, but having the MTPLM of the caravan over the towing limit of the car is not a problem as long as the actual laden weight is kept below the towing limit. However, in this case that leaves precious little payload for the caravan and hence difficulty getting everything in the car without going over the weights for the car.

You will also need to consider the Towable Mass of the tow vehicle.  Usually this is taken to be  GCM (Gross Combination Mass) minus  MAM (Max Authorised Mass), but in some cases the Type approved (TM) Towable Mass is given in Section O of the V5c.

 

My DMax   figures are for example 

 

MAM       3100

GCM       6000

 

So from that the  GCM minus MAM   = 2900

 

However the Towable Mass (TM) shown for a Centre Axle trailer in the Type approval document, and V5c is 3500.

 

So providing the Actual mass of the DMax  does not exceed 2500  (including the S transfer of the coupler), I can tow  the 3500  whilst not exceeding the GCM.

 

Generally , V5c  section O is only completed if there is a different value to  GCM - MAM  , or if there are different values for different types of trailer. 

 

This section is also used to show where the Max Mass for an unbraked trailer has to be less than the normally allowed 750 , for example I have an electric for testing at the moment, that has 2120 MAM,  2420 GCM , the V5c is marked as unbraked Trailer  300, Braked Trailer  0.

 

 

On 29/10/2020 at 00:15, Legal Eagle said:

Exceeding any weight prescribed or recommended by the manufacturer is enforceable in GB. Weight limits are set for safety reasons and exceeding them can be considered by the courts as presenting a danger which presents a risk of injury.

Section 40A Road Traffic Act 1988. Using vehicle in dangerous condition etc.

A person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when—

(a) the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or equipment, or

(b) the purpose for which it is used, or

(c) the number of passengers carried by it, or the manner in which they are carried, or

(d) the weight, position or distribution of its load, or the manner in which it is secured, is such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person.

LE dealing with this document everyday I have often considered the wording, "A person is guilty of an offence" . I thought a person was Innocent until proven guilty , doesnt this turn this around to a presumption of guilt ?  The other statement  oft used " A person commits an offence ......"  seems to be more sensible.

How does that work?

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11 minutes ago, Towtug said:

LE dealing with this document everyday I have often considered the wording, "A person is guilty of an offence" . I thought a person was Innocent until proven guilty , doesnt this turn this around to a presumption of guilt ?  The other statement  oft used " A person commits an offence ......"  seems to be more sensible.

How does that work?

Presumably, he is innocent until it is proved that he has caused or permitted another to use a motor vehicle in the manner described.

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1 hour ago, Towtug said:

You will also need to consider the Towable Mass of the tow vehicle.  Usually this is taken to be  GCM (Gross Combination Mass) minus  MAM (Max Authorised Mass), but in some cases the Type approved (TM) Towable Mass is given in Section O of the V5c.

 

My DMax   figures are for example 

 

MAM       3100

GCM       6000

 

So from that the  GCM minus MAM   = 2900

 

However the Towable Mass (TM) shown for a Centre Axle trailer in the Type approval document, and V5c is 3500.

 

So providing the Actual mass of the DMax  does not exceed 2500  (including the S transfer of the coupler), I can tow  the 3500  whilst not exceeding the GCM.

 

Generally , V5c  section O is only completed if there is a different value to  GCM - MAM  , or if there are different values for different types of trailer. 

 

 

In your case, the towable mass is greater than the difference between the gross train weight and the gross vehicle weight limit, but for my BMW it's the other way round and the Certificate of Conformity quotes a gross train weight limit of 4910kg and a gross vehicle weight 2410kg, making a difference of 2500kg. However, the towable mass is stated as only 2400kg. This would indicate that one can only make full use of the towable mass if one makes full use of the 100kg noseweight limit at the same time. This fits in with a conditional note on the same document stating that the gross vehicle weight when towing may be 2510kg instead of 2410kg when solo. Also, the maximum allowable rear axle load is different when solo (1330kg) to when towing (1490kg). The statutory plate only quotes the figures that apply to the solo condition.

 

Edited by Lutz
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1 hour ago, Lutz said:

 

In your case, the towable mass is greater than the difference between the gross train weight and the gross vehicle weight limit, but for my BMW it's the other way round and the Certificate of Conformity quotes a gross train weight limit of 4910kg and a gross vehicle weight 2410kg, making a difference of 2500kg. However, the towable mass is stated as only 2400kg. This would indicate that one can only make full use of the towable mass if one makes full use of the 100kg noseweight limit at the same time. This fits in with a conditional note on the same document stating that the gross vehicle weight when towing may be 2510kg instead of 2410kg when solo. Also, the maximum allowable rear axle load is different when solo (1330kg) to when towing (1490kg). The statutory plate only quotes the figures that apply to the solo condition.

 

This true. Now you can see how the various combinations form the many variants and versions all of which attract their own Masses and Dimensions. The DMax has hundreds, Three different cabs, 3 different transmissions/ engines etc etc .  The addition of electric seats adds 40 permutations.

Edited by Towtug
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3 hours ago, Towtug said:

LE dealing with this document everyday I have often considered the wording, "A person is guilty of an offence" . I thought a person was Innocent until proven guilty , doesnt this turn this around to a presumption of guilt ?  The other statement  oft used " A person commits an offence ......"  seems to be more sensible.

How does that work?

It certainly wouldn't be correct to put, "A person is innocent of an offence if they do not....." 

The legislation is written to show that if they do, or don't do, these things they will commit, or be guilty of, an offence. The presumption in law is that the accuser (prosecution) has to prove that the accused committed the offence therefore they are innocent until the accuser proves guilt. The legislation wording does not interfere with the accepted presumption of innocence.

 

However, a very small number of laws are written to put the onus of proof on the accused. Motor insurance is the best example. The prosecution does not prove a driver is insured, the driver has to prove they are. If they can't they are guilty.

Edited by Legal Eagle
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29 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

It certainly wouldn't be correct to put, "A person is innocent of an offence if they do not....." 

The legislation is written to show that if they do, or don't do, these things they will commit, or be guilty of, an offence. The presumption in law is that the accuser (prosecution) has to prove that the accused committed the offence therefore they are innocent until the accuser proves guilt. The legislation wording does not interfere with the accepted presumption of innocence.

 

However, a very small number of laws are written to put the onus of proof on the accused. Motor insurance is the best example. The prosecution does not prove a driver is insured, the driver has to prove they are. If they can't they are guilty.

Thanks LE, everyday's a schoolday.  I've often wondered about that.  Do you, like me  get people asking for advice about a legal document, or in my case regulation then say I'm just asking for someone else. 

Edited by Towtug
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15 minutes ago, Towtug said:

Thanks LE, everyday's a schoolday.  I've often wondered about that.  Do you, like me  get people asking for advice about a legal document, or in my case regulation then say I'm just asking for someone else. 

Frequently. I've even had an employment contract sent to me via private message to "cast my eye over" as a favour for their "friend". 

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I have no direct definitive knowledge here but can relate my own experience.

Just over 2 years ago I emailed VOSA and (paraphrasing) asked this:

My V5C gives a braked trailer limit of 1300Kg.

I am spot checked and it is found that my caravan has a 1400Kg MPTLM sticker and has a measured actual weight of 1350Kg.

I am 20Kg below GVW and 20Kg below GTW.

Is this allowed?

The answer (again paraphrasing) was:

Where more than one weight specication can be identified the lower figure is used, so 1300Kg is the limit that will be applied, so 1350Kg is overweight, so NO. 

 

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The point about if the makers weight limit is the legal maximum, is I think one where the legal position for of breaching it is a matter of opinion at the moment. As far as I can see there is no published test case so to me the answer is we do not know for certain. I have argued on line that as the figure is simply the load it can restart on a 12% incline, it is not safety related, but have been shot down by many people. Unless anyone can find a case where this has been decided no one knows for sure what the answer is. 

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