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What tow car


Patbhoy
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I've bought a 2008 Bailey senator wyoming series 6 and need advice on what tow car I'd need. 

The details of the caravan are

Mass in Running Order: 1435 kg

 or 28.25 cwt

Maximum Technical Permissible Laden Mass: 1678 kg

 or 33.03 cwt

Can anyone advise as I don't think my 2017 Honda CR-V 2.0 petrol is up to the job.

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Personally i would go diesel auto and along the lines of Santa Fe, Sorento, Discovery, X5 etc class size or Audi Allroad type estate. Also Depends on budget and preferences. 

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What's your budget? 

 

If you don't do too many towing miles, a bigger turbo petrol estate gets my vote. Superb 2L TSI 4x4 DSG may be suitable if you're happy with the weights. 

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Everyone will have a different "favourite" but it all depends on your own budget and requirements.

 

I'm another one who favours large estates over SUV's, my choice is the Volvo V90, BMW's pre-2017 5 series estates are also good (post 2017 models have been on a diet and lost some weight).

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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I prefer estates too currently towing with a V60 Diesel hybrid. Great economical tow car, rubbish reliability, 

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2 hours ago, swirly182 said:

What's your budget? 

 

If you don't do too many towing miles, a bigger turbo petrol estate gets my vote. Superb 2L TSI 4x4 DSG may be suitable if you're happy with the weights. 

👍

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The Superb is surprisingly light, I looked at buying one a few years ago and had to kill the idea due to weight. The Passat Alltrack is heavier at about 1720kg for diesel auto (I had one, boring but dependable). 

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Is there a site were you can search tow cars by kerb weight.

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Yes, Google towcar weight matching or similar and a few will come up. Do NOT use the CMC service, it is rubbish. If you see a car on a forecourt the specific ‘kerb’ or Mass in service weight will/should be on the V5 and car itself.  

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31 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

 … … Do NOT use the CMC service, it is rubbish … … 

OOI Flatcoat, why do you think that? Is it because it gives false information, or because it’s difficult to use?

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Don't get hung up on kerbweight-the Mitsubishi PHEV has a high ish kerbweigh but is only legally rated to tow 1500kg. It is the legal towing limit of the car that is the legally limiting factor so some of the Skoda superbs esp 4 motion, etc would suit you perfectly. Having towed at 113% of kerbweight very happily for over 30k miles and 3 years I know kerbweight is not key-just a good starting point. 

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10 minutes ago, -Jim- said:

OOI Flatcoat, why do you think that? Is it because it gives false information, or because it’s difficult to use?

All depends on the accuracy or not of the data base, when we collected our new caravan, I was presented with an NCC towing weight sheet. The kerb weight was incorrect- figure quoted was for a 2.0l petrol 4cyl, although the sheet said V6D,  whereas my car was V6Diesel roughly 200kg heavier, and the max tow hitch load quoted as 195kg, whereas mine is 350kg. 

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The data in the CMC matching service is often wrong and many cars are not even listed. The CMC are not the fountain of all caravanning knowledge some like to think….. and as others mention, some cars have a tow weight limit below kerb weight and many hybrids are not type approved for any towing….. even different versions of the same car can have wildly different approved tow weights, and make sure a towbar is available for the specific model you are buying! 

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2 hours ago, Flatcoat888 said:

The Superb is surprisingly light, I looked at buying one a few years ago and had to kill the idea due to weight. The Passat Alltrack is heavier at about 1720kg for diesel auto (I had one, boring but dependable). 

(Sadly) I would love to take my Octavia and something like the 4x4 Superb estate to a weigh bridge to establish actual weights. I just don't believe they're as light as the data sheets state! My Octy "is" 1460kg and the van is 1420kg. It's as stable as as a stable thing whilst towing... 

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Mazda CX5 is a similar mid range SUV to the Honda, can tow 2,000 kg legally.

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53 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

The data in the CMC matching service is often wrong and many cars are not even listed. The CMC are not the fountain of all caravanning knowledge some like to think….. and as others mention, some cars have a tow weight limit below kerb weight and many hybrids are not type approved for any towing….. even different versions of the same car can have wildly different approved tow weights, and make sure a towbar is available for the specific model you are buying! 

Thanks Flatcoat. I’ve used the CMC service a few times over the years and never found my current or potential car’s details missing.  Likewise, I’ve never found their information incorrect.
I shall double check in future, thanks for the heads-up.

Jim

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While I don’t remotely get hung up on the 85% ratio I also would not go much beyond 100%. (My Passat/Sprite Quattro outfit was about 103% on paper). Remember the manufacturers towing weight limit isn’t measured towing a big box with all the implications that has for cross winds etc affecting stability. Some insurance policies will limit weight ratio to 100% too albeit not sure how they would check following an accident. 

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Well said Swirly-and contrary to what you say Flatcoat plenty of experienced motor vehicle operatives on various forums have confirmed that the motor vehicle manufacturers test far far more than the basic hill start for towing capacity-developing trailer sway assist etc. i totally agree with you as you say not sensible to go well over 100% but still perfectly feasible since if you load the car not the caravan actual weight v kerbweight will be far higher-for eg we never travel with just one person-we have the awing, alcohol(enough to sink a ship) food, clothing etc in the car-we never load the caravan . People who try their car instead of being scared by the 85% rule are realising there is far far more to it than the kerbweight of the car. Interesting that many posts of overturned caravan car combos are big high 4x4 s that should be great tow cars-top heavy or complacency -who knows.  But a low c of g estate is far less likely to be topped or controlled by a caravan than a big high 4x4 (even though we have one-oops-but it contravenes all that they say about trucks-oh they are tail happy because of the load bed-so not a stable tow-what rot. Nissan Navara kerbweight is about 2100kg our Buc is max 2000kg yet it's rock solid and a very easy tow.) Scares me a bit-vanners look at kerbweight due to the massive implications given by the clubs and mags, think they are fine when in fact there is far more to it.

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Cx5 2.2 175ps diesel sport 4wd auto will tow 1700kg and 2L diesel Tiguan 190ps 4M auto will both pull it with out effort.

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Posted (edited)

Jezzerb, please quote where I say how manufacturers test tow loads? What i am saying is they do NOT specifically tested towing a caravan. I know full well how cars are tested for towing, you know nothing about my links to auto engineering. It is TRAILER towing they tend to test, which is often a small weighted up box trailer and not a hulking great white box full of fresh air. Towing a 2 tonne box trailer or twin axle horse box is a different kettle of dynamic fish to a twin axle Hobby. 

Edited by Flatcoat888
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Is the diesel version of your current car not suitable? Or do you just want a change of car completely? 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

Jezzerb, please quote where I say how manufacturers test tow loads? What i am saying is they do NOT specifically tested towing a caravan. I know full well how cars are tested for towing, you know nothing about my links to auto engineering. It is TRAILER towing they tend to test, which is often a small weighted up box trailer and not a hulking great white box full of fresh air. Towing a 2 tonne box trailer or twin axle horse box is a different kettle of dynamic fish to a twin axle Hobby. 

I also work in the automotive world.

When we test towing capabilities of any vehicle during altitude or a climatic related environment the tests DO NOT involve any trailer......but our testing is prototype's ;-)

It is actually a tow-ball hitch arrangement located on an RSJ which can be loaded to create a towing force.

Edited by charlieboy2608
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Thanks Charlie boy-interesting so how do they manage to create trailer assist software on a vehicle. An RSJ won't create much of a challenge. not criticising just interested as I really don't hold sway-see what i did there , with the argument that a caravan is any worse or better tow than a horse box or a farmers trailer full of bails-now there is an unstable load. Regardless of testing I am saying kerbweight is much over quoted and the manufacturer's stated limit is the legal limit that should be adhered to-the heavier the car v caravan obviously is helpful but is far from determining what a good tow car is. Otherwise we should have been wobbling all over the road at 113% and it was the opposite. Even in hurricane Brian on the way up to Glen Nevis we had total stability and neery a wobble.And we had plenty of emergency stops/slows-or interesting situations-i do like to read the road ahead so an em is hopefully very rare. There simply isn't enough research in this area-and the Europeans don't follow our confused mantra at all. Call me a kerbweight sceptic and that's from experience. it is simply a starting point.

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Skoda Weight Figures

You really have to look in detail at Skoda's brochure etc to get an idea of what they're talking about.

 

The latest version of my Skoda Karoq SEL 1.5TSI DSG  has a 1500kg towing limit for a 12% gradient and 1700kg for an 8%. Whilst lots of other parameters are measured to establish these towing weights, what the figures mean is that on a 12% hill Skoda can't warrant that any weight more than 1500kg will pull away cleanly and if on an 8% hill anything up to 1700kg will pull away with no problem. It probably would mean that on the dead flat it'll pull 10 tonnes, who knows?

 

The car has a Gross Vehicle Weight of 1930kg and this is the same as the GVW of the SE, SE Drive, Sportline and Limited trims with the same engine and transmission.

 

The Gross Train Weight of those cars are all 3430kg, achieved by adding GVW and the lighter of the two specified Towing Limits. What that means is, if you pull a van weighing 1700kg, then the limit on the car's weight drops by 200kg to 1730kg. All the car/caravan towing match sites use the lower 1500kg limit when conducting comparisons.

 

Then we come to Kerbweight.

For some reason Skoda print two columns, one with the allowance for driver and one without. In all cases the driver is taken to weigh 75kg, so why they needed two columns is beyond me. Without a driver my SEL weighs between 1335kg and 1547kg and with a driver 1410kg and 1622kg. The SE and SE Drive models (without driver) weigh between 1328kg and 1544kg . Those are differences of more than 200kg  between lightest and heaviest, which does seem an awful lot to be accounted for by country specific variations in spec.

 

My inclination would be to go for a driver inclusive weight, as that's what has been used historically and to go roughly midway between the two weights involved. So for my kerbweight I'd opt for about 1516kg. That's a whole 181kg more than the driverless minimum kerbweight, which is what the towing match websites opt for. Maybe they do that because it's lowest and potentially safest, or because it's the first number they see, or because they haven't thought the issue through.  If you're working on the 85% ratio then the max a van should weigh using the minimum figure is 1135kg and if using my selected figure it would be 1290kg (or 1300kg as nobody would notice 10kg difference.).  That still puts us nowhere near the 1500kg that Skoda has provided as a maximum towing limit, indeed with a van at 1500kg and using my selected 1516kg kerbweight I'd be pulling at 99%.    

 

   

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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I really like the way you've done that Andy-and 1300kg on a Karoq would seem ideal. Should be a good selection of vehicles for the op on that sort of basis that will tow 1600kg or circa that. interesting to see the variation of weights for the car too. 

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