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Tow Weights clarification


Flatcoat888
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6 minutes ago, Whomer said:


the twin axle hobby’s start @ 2,000kg iirc,  within the 2,200kg towing capacity  of a diesel Passat estate.

 

Fair enough, I wouldn't call the Passat a substantial tow car which is where I guess is where we differ. I think what you are saying is that a big heavy caravan will be more stable than a light one for the same length and a substantial tow vehicle is one with a high enough manufacturers towing limit.

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German caravan forums are full of posts from people who want to eek out even higher towing loads than what the manufacturers specify regardless of the actual weight of the car.

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My Passat Alltrack kerb weight was around 1750kg and I towed a t/a with MTPLM at 1800 all over UK and Europe. No problems. 

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We all glibly throw in the 'I towed a xxxxkg MTPLM caravan for years with a yyyykg kerbweight car and never had a problem.

 

Firstly, like all things in life you might have driven another 100yds round the bend and found a big problem. Just because you haven't had an issue it doesn't mean one won't come up and bite you.

 

Secondly we quote these weights willy nilly but firstly you're car is never going to be at kerbweight. Hopefully it will be somewhere between it and the plated Gross weight which can be many hundreds of kg more. And is the caravan above or under MTPLM?  So many infinitely variable weights, so many different load distributions, so many combinations, so many skill levels, so many attitudes to risk, so many differing levels of knowledge and understanding, so many people.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Are towing accidents significantly more common in mainland Europe?

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10 minutes ago, Scarab said:

Are towing accidents significantly more common in mainland Europe?

 

I've never seen any statistics on either the UK or mainland Europe caravan accidents and if they exist I doubt they attribute the cause of the accident, whether it be mechanical failure, dangerous driving, overloading, tyre failure, tow vehicle failure, etc, etc. So given driving is a potentially dangerous activity it's best to rely on the axiom of defensive driving and not push things to any limit.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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Posted (edited)

And that is the point I repeat ad nauseam, weight is just one part of the process of towing safely and focusing on that to the extent some do in the UK is dangerous in my view. no one has ever provided evidence that caravan accidents are higher on the continent as a result of not having our ‘rules’. I agree my Passat would have been around 2000 kg or more in holiday travelling mode but I did weigh my then caravan more or less in holiday mode and it was just under the MTPLM. 

Edited by Flatcoat888
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TBF nobody's proved that the Continentals have more or less caravan accidents and even if they did have evidence one way or the other I doubt they could prove it had anything to do what you term are our 'rules'. To my mind if someone wants to limit their towing to weights that fall within UK industry recommendations that is their business and of no interest to anyone else. I mean if you wish to drive a VW Up why should others who drive VW Touraeg  deride your choice?

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

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2 hours ago, Scarab said:

Are towing accidents significantly more common in mainland Europe?


nope

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2 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

. I mean if you wish to drive a VW Up why should others who drive VW Touraeg  deride your choice?

 

When it can possibly impact my safety when on the road that’s why!

 

(Caravan and tow car wise, not Touareg and Up!) 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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2 hours ago, Flatcoat888 said:

And that is the point I repeat ad nauseam, weight is just one part of the process of towing safely and focusing on that to the extent some do in the UK is dangerous in my view. no one has ever provided evidence that caravan accidents are higher on the continent as a result of not having our ‘rules’. I agree my Passat would have been around 2000 kg or more in holiday travelling mode but I did weigh my then caravan more or less in holiday mode and it was just under the MTPLM. 


 

but in the U.K., just 1kg over your MTPLM  and your caravan magically turns into a death trap - apparently.

 

 

5 hours ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

We all glibly throw in the 'I towed a xxxxkg MTPLM caravan for years with a yyyykg kerbweight car and never had a problem.

 

Firstly, like all things in life you might have driven another 100yds round the bend and found a big problem. Just because you haven't had an issue it doesn't mean one won't come up and bite you.

 

Secondly we quote these weights willy nilly but firstly you're car is never going to be at kerbweight. Hopefully it will be somewhere between it and the plated Gross weight which can be many hundreds of kg more. And is the caravan above or under MTPLM?  So many infinitely variable weights, so many different load distributions, so many combinations, so many skill levels, so many attitudes to risk, so many differing levels of knowledge and understanding, so many people.


you could be towing a 750kg caravan 100 yards down the road with a 2,500kg Range Rover and just as likely found a ‘big problem’ round the next bend.

Edited by Whomer
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19 minutes ago, Whomer said:


 

but in the U.K., just 1kg over your MTPLM  and your caravan magically turns into a death trap - apparently.

 

 


you could be towing a 750kg caravan 100 yards down the road with a 2,500kg Range Rover and just as likely found a ‘big problem’ round the next bend.

 

Exactly

 

But unlikely

 

So claiming you've towed anything with anything for any length of time is irrelevant. 

 

Issues and accidents happen and if keeping your towing ratio low reduces your anxiety levels then that may be just as useful as anything else in reducing problems.

 

You tow your way and let others tow the way they feel happiest. Worry about your own driving and performance rather than ranting about something that you passed by years ago.

 

're the first sentence, that's the way the law works, in the UK and anywhere else. You exceed the MTPLM and you're driving illegally. You exceed any towing ratio advice and you're ignoring advice but not breaking any law.

 

The constant carping about this suggests that there's a lot of folk that need constant confirmation that their action in exceeding an 85% towing ratio is OK. Or that they need a bravery medal for doing so. Just let it be. If Joe public wants to pull a Lunar Ariva with a 5 litre Land Cruiser then let him.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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19 minutes ago, Whomer said:

.....you could be towing a 750kg caravan 100 yards down the road with a 2,500kg Range Rover and just as likely found a ‘big problem’ round the next bend.

 

So, you are at the wheel of the 2,500 kg when the 'big problem' leaps out at you around the next bend.

 

Would rather have trailing behind you...

 

a. 750kg

b. 2,000kg

 

No brainer for most of us.

 

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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It’s not the 1kg so much as the 1% over 85…… 

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8 minutes ago, Flatcoat888 said:

It’s not the 1kg so much as the 1% over 85…… 

 

:lol: ;)

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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1 hour ago, Griff said:

 

So, you are at the wheel of the 2,500 kg when the 'big problem' leaps out at you around the next bend.

 

Would rather have trailing behind you...

 

a. 750kg

b. 2,000kg

 

No brainer for most of us.

 


what? Your brakes are not up to the job? 
Correctly maintained, they will pull the 2000kg up just fine.

1 hour ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

 

Exactly

 

But unlikely

 

So claiming you've towed anything with anything for any length of time is irrelevant. 

 

Issues and accidents happen and if keeping your towing ratio low reduces your anxiety levels then that may be just as useful as anything else in reducing problems.

 

You tow your way and let others tow the way they feel happiest. Worry about your own driving and performance rather than ranting about something that you passed by years ago.

 

're the first sentence, that's the way the law works, in the UK and anywhere else. You exceed the MTPLM and you're driving illegally. You exceed any towing ratio advice and you're ignoring advice but not breaking any law.

 

The constant carping about this suggests that there's a lot of folk that need constant confirmation that their action in exceeding an 85% towing ratio is OK. Or that they need a bravery medal for doing so. Just let it be. If Joe public wants to pull a Lunar Ariva with a 5 litre Land Cruiser then let him.


 

what’s with this ‘85%’?

what’s so special about it? Why not 84%, it’s ‘safer’ after all, better still, let’s go for 50% and be super safe!

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7 hours ago, Whomer said:


what? Your brakes are not up to the job? 
Correctly maintained, they will pull the 2000kg up just fine.

 

Guffaw!  Most of us will have understood.

Stay safe - Griff.  :ph34r:

Wheels at the front Green Oval Towing Machine

Wheels at the back Bessacarr 845

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:Plus1:

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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People get anxious about tow weight ratios because there is so much mis informed use of the word ‘rule’ which infers ‘law’. THAT is in part why it is so dangerous to continue to use it as it is currently written. I agree it is ridiculous that some people really do think 84 is safe and 86% will send you to hell in a handcart. 

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Just now, Flatcoat888 said:

People get anxious about tow weight ratios because there is so much mis informed use of the word ‘rule’ which infers ‘law’. THAT is in part why it is so dangerous to continue to use it as it is currently written. I agree it is ridiculous that some people really do think 84 is safe and 86% will send you to hell in a handcart. 

 

Name two people who think that.

 

I'm glad that the industry tries to give some help and guidance to newcomers to towing caravans in an effort to reduce risk. Yes, there are other risk factors, yes some dealer staff and journalists are unprofessional and don't understand and present the info properly but I'd rather there was something rather than nothing.

 

The same arguments would be presented if the figure was increased to 90 or 95 and if it was withdrawn  co.pletely it wouldn't die because it is so ingrained.  Maybe amending it to say that newbies should look to see that any van they purchased had an MTPLM of between 80% and 90% of their car's kerbweight. That would introduce the possibility of flexibility into the minds of those who are supposedly so concerned about one figure. But then we'd get people suggesting that it means a rig is unsafe if you go to 91% and what about the poor newbie at 79% - does he sell the van to get inside 80%?

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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17 hours ago, Lutz said:

German caravan forums are full of posts from people who want to eek out even higher towing loads than what the manufacturers specify regardless of the actual weight of the car.


And are the Autobans full of wrecked wohnen each summer as millions of Germans take their loaded to the absolute max caravans off for the week?

 

Im sure if only towing at 85% weight was some metric by which safety for a new caravaner can be assured, ADAC and TuV would be all over the issue.

 

I watch a number of caravanning shows on German TV, subscribe to both the main German caravanning magazines, and quelle surprise, not a mention of any ‘85% rule’ or such nonsense. ……..But!

 

To get Tempo 100, (the right to tow at 62mph, not 50mph for our British viewers), your car and caravan has to undergo a technical inspection, including it meeting certain tow car and caravan requirements, including having mandatory technical equipment not required in the U.K. to tow at a similar speed.

It’s  almost as if the German authorities understand low weight is not a metric for safe towing.

 

https://www.tuev-nord.de/en/private/traffic/car-motorcycle-caravan/100kmh-approval-for-caravans/

Edited by Whomer
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Wouldn't it be great if the UK caravan press took the Car makers to task over the issue and showed us just how dangerous towing at the limit was? Let's see them pick some cars with high tow limits compared to their kerb weight, stick the biggest caravan behind them that fits and let's see how bad things get. I mean if the advice is as critical as it is made out to be then it should make good video right?

 

Sure we can handwave away the towing limit as only intended to be what it could tow if it was only towing a flatbed full of slabs but if you stood on a motorway overpass you could probably spend all day waiting for someone to pass with such a load, while counting dozens of car transporters (where they are towing a vehicle 3ft above the road surface), horse boxes (where the load itself is unsecured and has a habit of moving), boats (which often have the heavy bit hanging off the back) and, of course, caravans.

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10 hours ago, Whomer said:


 

but in the U.K., just 1kg over your MTPLM  and your caravan magically turns into a death trap - apparently.

 

 

Doesn't turn into a death trap but it turns into an illegal outfit.  Same as any other plated weight that's exceeded.

Yeti 2.0TDi EU6 150 DSG 4X4 L&K, Octavia TSi Manual, Fabia TSi DSG, Swift Challenger.

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That's right. Certain technical conditions must be fulfilled in order to be able to tow at 100km/h instead of the regular 80km/h speed limit that applies to all trailers, and these conditions are quite differentiated. For example, if the trailer isn't fitted with hydraulic shock absorbers the weight ratio limit is only 30%. Fulfilment of other conditions will allow towing at 100km/h with weight ratios up to 120%.

German caravanning magazines always test tow cars at their towload limit. The caravans are ballasted accordingly.

Edited by Lutz
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1 hour ago, Lutz said:

German caravanning magazines always test tow cars at their towload limit. The caravans are ballasted accordingly.

 

That's different to UK magazines where the journalist turns up with a photographer,  in a car without a towbar and a bottle of red wine and two glasses. They walk round the van, kick the tyres, go inside, sniff, set out the wine and glasses, pose for a few pics, drink the wine and drive off to a nearby hostel for a meal and a nights sleep.

 

The next day the journalist writes up an article based around a press release given to them by a third party public relations outfit.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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