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Tow car match for new caravan


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Hi looking for some advise on the possibility of getting a new caravan but wanting to check match is suitable. I have worked out its just over the 85% rule but looking for conformation. 

 

Looking at plate on car I have worked out it can tow 2200kg. Our possible new caravan is a coachman laser 850 with a MTPLM of 1910kg. 

 

The only thing I'm not sure how to check is tow ball capacity. The car is a 2015 Mercedes E350 bluetec amg 4dr 9g tronic. 

 

Any advise would be appreciated 

 

Thanks 

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Nose weight is generally in the owners manual 

61 Santa Fe & 2011 Bailey Olympus 624

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4 minutes ago, DUNCAN123 said:

Nose weight is generally in the owners manual 

Thanks will have a look 

Sorry MTPLM of caravan is actually 2000kg. We didn't realise it was upgraded from standard. So we are now even closer to max tow limit. 

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You don't say what the kerbweight of the car is so how did you work out the weight ratio? I suspect the kerbweight to be around 1900kg so the weight ratio will actually be over 100%.

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Posted (edited)

Nose weight should be shown on the plate on the towball

 

Edited by littlebasher

2021 Swift Sienna Super 4SB

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3 minutes ago, Lutz said:

You don't say what the kerbweight of the car is so how did you work out the weight ratio? I suspect the kerbweight to be around 1900kg so the weight ratio will actually be over 100%.

Thanks for the reply. 

 

I thought subtracting the two figures from the plate on the car worked out tow capacity? 

 

Will check what the kerb weight is of the car 

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14 minutes ago, Caravan Novice 101 said:

Thanks for the reply. 

 

I thought subtracting the two figures from the plate on the car worked out tow capacity? 

 

Will check what the kerb weight is of the car 


Subtracting the two does give you the towing capacity, but the weight ratio is calculated using the kerbweight, not the towing capacity.

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3 minutes ago, Lutz said:


Subtracting the two does give you the towing capacity, but the weight ratio is calculated using the kerbweight, not the towing capacity.

Is  the 85% rule of the weight ratio not tow capacity? 

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Ratio is calculated using the cars kerbweight and the caravan MTPLM.

 

You need a much heavier car to tow 2000kg than the merk probably has.

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I looked at an E Class estate a while back & the nose weight limit was only 85kgs which would have been too restrictive for our caravan hence going for a Volvo.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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41 minutes ago, littlebasher said:

Nose weight should be shown on the plate on the towball

 

The tow bars nose weight is shown on towbar (the S value), but that isn’t the cars nose weight limit. This should be in the handbook 

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If the car's kerbweight is 1700kg and if you wish to comply with the 85% recommendation for those new to towing then the caravan you need should have a maximum MTPLM of 1445kg. 

 

Whilst the car appears able to pull up to 2200kg you have to bear in mind that it would be in charge of a trailer that weighs 500kg more than the car, though the car would likely be loaded at more than kerbweight. What Mercedes are saying is that it is powerful enough to pull 2200kg and has the brakes to stop 2200kg but whether it has the weight to control a tall slab sided 2200kg at speed in poor conditions is another matter.

 

Experienced towers often pull 100% with no issue, but the max. here is 130% which would make anybody a bit concerned.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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18 minutes ago, Caravan Novice 101 said:

I have checked the kerb weight and it comes in at 1700kg. So MTPLM of caravan should be 85% of this figure? 


That figure sounds unusually low to me. I found a road test of the car in question and that quoted a measured and confirmed kerbweight of 1885kg.

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I have taken the figure from the v5 section G of the car.  

 

If I'm understanding right you can tow 100% of kerb weight if experienced? 

 

 

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I looked at the E220D estate (new, company car) in 2019 and back the Mercedes quoted a minimum kerb weight of just over 1700kgs for that variant so I’d expect the E350 to be a fair bit heavier.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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The kerbweight thing is not a rule and does not in anyway affect legality; your legal weight to tow is what your manufacturer states the car' capacity is-we towed happily at over 100% in all conditions with never a wobble!

 

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11 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

I looked at the E220D estate (new, company car) in 2019 and back the Mercedes quoted a minimum kerb weight of just over 1700kgs for that variant so I’d expect the E350 to be a fair bit heavier.

 

HJ lists the 350's as all being 1845kg, but there again, they can't all be that weight.

 

CMC check facility says 1885kg

 

 

2 minutes ago, Jezzerb said:

The kerbweight thing is not a rule and does not in anyway affect legality; your legal weight to tow is what your manufacturer states the car' capacity is-we towed happily at over 100% in all conditions with never a wobble!

 

But were you a new tower and did you ever get into a situation where the weight element became critical? It might have happened around the next bend around the corner from where you traded it in. It's an unknowable.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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At the end of the day I would rather the towing vehicle controlled the caravan and not he other way round!

You definitely need a heavier tow vehicle.

I think it foolish to even consider driving at over 100% let alone 130%.

There are plenty of well equipped vans similar to the Coachman but lighter.

Hyundai Santa Fe Premium SE 2015 with Lunar Clubman si 2011

Tattoos - who would want to make their body look like the wall in a public urinal - they are going to look amazing on a 75 year old - not!

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What folk forget is the the reality of an 85% ratio is that you're actually towing at something like 70% to 75%. This is because your towcar is likely to be loaded well above Kerbweight and your caravan at MTPLM. Now before people say, well that means we can have a theoretical 100% but in reality be running at 85% or 90%, I would disagree.

 

I mean, the people who came up with 85% as a recommendation surely realised that cars don't actually tow at kerbweight but have the Mrs, three kids, a dog, an awning and loads of other stuff on board. So their expectation was that in the real world people would be towing at 70% to 75% but as that was a variable feast they selected 85% based on kerbweight as it was a fixed point in the sand and a weight that was published by car makers.

   

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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To put things into perspective, though, I think that the UK is the only country where anyone bothers about weight ratios. I’ve never come across anyone on the Continent who has worked out his caravan’s weight ratio and yet you don’t see too many wrecked caravans littering the roads there.

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And Germany has more caravans the UK. France has similar numbers to us. So it isn't that the UK have more vans than other European countries. 

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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Posted (edited)

Exactly and yes we did have incidents . My theory for what it' s worth and based on wobbles I.ve seen is that its load tyre and vehicle dependent. Personally and opinion from years of watching even small light trailers wobble, and from towing and just speculation only is that weight of car and caravan difference wouldn't make much differencce to wobbles; towing feel yes, but I think a wobble is caused by a harmonic frequency, a bit like that london bridge-conditions/ weight car/ van /turbulence/ tyres/shocks and loading balance contribute to create a harmonic at a certain speed-the key-usually you're going to fast to create a wobble that is a harmonic ie increases itself as you seen in these little u tube vids. HEnce many crashes with vans appear to be older tall discos etc. Just a lot of thought and a lot of experience. No matter how heavy a car once that harmonic is going, you better slow down!

Edited by Jezzerb
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I can't believe that so many people are encouraging towing over 100 percent.

 

For a novice it's just plain stupid to even consider it IMO.

 

I've towed for 40 years plus and have never been over 92 percent.

 

Also with some caravan insurers towing over 100 percent voids the policy.

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12 hours ago, Caravan Novice 101 said:

 

coachman laser 850 with a MTPLM of 1910kg. 

car is a 2015 Mercedes E350 bluetec 

Any advise would be appreciated 

 

fwiw ....

Hi Caravan Novice,

It is my opinion that your proposed combination match is very very poor for general Touring duties in even great weather and road conditions. 

It may be legal, and according to MB that car model is physically capable of dragging along a heavy trailer (Caravan) when diligently loaded. 

It all sounds though just so very unstable as a starting point for happy holidays.

That large & heavy Coachman t/a Caravan is considered by many to be more suitable for say seasonal / long term pitching and just the occasional Touring duties.

If you are though needing, wanting and have the budget for such a Coachman,  would suggest you should be exchanging the proposed MB E class model tow car for at least say an early model Euro6 economical ML class 250cdi  bluetec 4x4 for similar money, vastly superior stability and peace of mind. 

M

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