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Weighing Up The Options


lil_me
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We've after much debate ordered a new caravan

 

Anyway the matching (using the max payload which we never will) with our car it's about 97%

 

Here's the question I have for you, which would you choose to tow with????

 

A car at 97% new car with stability control, ABS, traction control, automatic or switchable 4WD etc higher torque and BHP

 

A 89/90% match with a much older car without the additional extras

 

We've been considering buying an older car just to tow with but trying to decide if it's worth bothering. ............is it worth it just for a better match?

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We've been considering buying an older car just to tow with but trying to decide if it's worth bothering. ............is it worth it just for a better match?

 

Hi,

 

Do your sums, it may work out cheaper to buy a second car to use as a tug. It might allow you to buy a smaller "first" car. Insurance is likely to be the deciding factor, do you have a second lot of NCB?

 

602

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Hi 602 thanks for your reply. Selling the main car isn't an option, we do also already have a smaller car (well cheaper to run) this would make it 3 or 4 cars we'd have I think if we got another as we have one a family member uses. MPG wise our current tow car doesn't do too bad at all, those older cars we've been looking at are much less economical. No you can't use NCB twice so insurance would be about £800 a year.

 

All comes down now to which is the better of the 2 to tow with

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If you're going to the bother of changing to a heavier/larger tow car, I'd change to one you know is well within the 85% recommendation. You never know, the next caravan might be even heavier. In which case you'd have to change the tow car again. What’s the one at 97% and what’s the one at 89%?

 

That’s one of the reasons we went for a Sorento last time we changed cars. We now have no worries if we end up going to a larger ‘van in the future.

Swift Challenger 490

Sorento + Fabia to help the Sorento up hills!

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What you need to remember the 85% is just a recommendation, I have only been caravanning for only 4 yrs my first caravan I was towing at 89% of the Kerbweight of My last car and since changing my caravan 2yrs ago I was towing at 99%. I was comfortable with the combination. I have just changed my car and the ratio is now 96% and I am very pleased with it.

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What you need to remember the 85% is just a recommendation, I have only been caravanning for only 4 yrs my first caravan I was towing at 89% of the Kerbweight of My last car and since changing my caravan 2yrs ago I was towing at 99%. I was comfortable with the combination. I have just changed my car and the ratio is now 96% and I am very pleased with it.

 

hi Oldboy,

 

Baring in mind most people seem to trade up as apposed to down when changing caravans, it may be prudent and wise to be safer rather than have to do another trade up of the tow car later.

 

96% is obviously comfortable and acceptable to you, but it’s not recommended by any organisation and should not really be recommended by individuals.

 

Our last combination was at 89% (Mondeo Estate + Pageant S5) and although it was a very stable outfit, it did struggle sometimes setting off on a hill on a wet road. Add another 10% and I bet we would have had real problems.

 

Lloyd

Swift Challenger 490

Sorento + Fabia to help the Sorento up hills!

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hi Oldboy,

 

Baring in mind most people seem to trade up as apposed to down when changing caravans, it may be prudent and wise to be safer rather than have to do another trade up of the tow car later.

 

96% is obviously comfortable and acceptable to you, but it’s not recommended by any organisation and should not really be recommended by individuals.

 

Our last combination was at 89% (Mondeo Estate + Pageant S5) and although it was a very stable outfit, it did struggle sometimes setting off on a hill on a wet road. Add another 10% and I bet we would have had real problems.

 

Lloyd

Whilst it's obviously true that the lower the Towing Ratio, the better, there's no reason not to recommend a particular outfit up to 100%.

 

As far as I know, the UK Towing Code is the only reference to 85% and then only for beginners.

 

The UK law restricts drivers without B+E licences to 100% (and an outfit limit of 3500kg) but permits drivers with B+E to exceed 100% . The German Tempo100 regulations restricts outfits over 100% to 80kph (50mph) but permits outfits under 100% (that meet some other conditions like fitted dampers) to travel at 100kph (62mph).

 

At high towing ratios, I think other factors become as important - towcar sidewall height, towcar lateral stability to name two.

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hi Oldboy,

 

Baring in mind most people seem to trade up as apposed to down when changing caravans, it may be prudent and wise to be safer rather than have to do another trade up of the tow car later.

 

96% is obviously comfortable and acceptable to you, but it’s not recommended by any organisation and should not really be recommended by individuals.

Our last combination was at 89% (Mondeo Estate + Pageant S5) and although it was a very stable outfit, it did struggle sometimes setting off on a hill on a wet road. Add another 10% and I bet we would have had real problems.

 

Lloyd

 

I did not recommend to anyone. all I say is I am comfortable with my outfit and find it very stable in all condition.

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97% was our Rav4 2. 2d

 

89/90% would be possibly buying an old discovery or similar

 

Well today we decided to get the Rav4 weighed at a tow bridge, the book states 1585kg. .....anyway onto the bridge without any fuel (we'd done about 20 mile with the light on) as it is with no people in 1720kg :huh: :huh: I was shocked. It's correct within 20kg either way.

 

This would bring our match with the new caravan down to 89% using the 1720kg for our car (keeping in mind kerb weight is usually unladen weight, a 70kg person allowance and 3/4 full fuel I believe) and the new vans max weight.

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Anyway the matching (using the max payload which we never will) with our car it's about 97%

 

Are you sure? Most caravanners find they never have enough payload.

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Are you sure? Most caravanners find they never have enough payload.

 

We have 190kg now and when we added it all up it we used about 150kg, new van is about 250kg because it's a twin axle and we'll likely be taking the same stuff with us as before or less in the caravan (more stuff can go in car since loosing our big dog)

 

Regardless even using the max, the match is much better than we were lead to believe now we know the actual weight of our car we currently have

 

We're going to give it a go when we get the new van first, see what it's like before changing I think

 

Must add I think Toyota have the same weight down for the bottom of the range cars as they do the top which is possibly where some of the difference comes from.

Edited by lil_me
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96% is obviously comfortable and acceptable to you, but it’s not recommended by any organisation

 

Lloyd

 

I think the general recomendation from the major bodies is 85% for beginners and upto 100% for experienced caravanners.

 

96% falls within the recommended ratio for experienced towers.

 

Cheers

Lee

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

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  • 2 weeks later...
hi Oldboy,

 

 

 

96% is obviously comfortable and acceptable to you, but it’s not recommended by any organisation and should not really be recommended by individuals.

 

Our last combination was at 89% (Mondeo Estate + Pageant S5) and although it was a very stable outfit, it did struggle sometimes setting off on a hill on a wet road. Add another 10% and I bet we would have had real problems.

 

Lloyd

 

The C. C. handbook (Technical Information - page 639/640) states:

"The caravan industry recommends:

For the novice caravanner, ideally, this ratio should not exceed 85%.

For an experienced caravanner the maximum recommended ratio is 100%, provided the figure is permissible in respect of the towcar's published capability"

Bold lettering only added as it appears in the handbook.

 

With our previous towcar (just changed for new, same model) we pull a 1,430 kg MTPLM caravan with a maximum trailer weight of 1,500 kg. The vehicle is a 1. 9 TDI

We have never had any problems with holding the permissible maximum speed, and are usually only held back on hills by slower lorries. Last year we toured around France for seven weeks. The overall fuel consumtion whilst towing was better than 32 mpg, so the vehicle obviously was not struggling.

Also obviously, you would not expect to hold maximum speeds on exceptionally steep hills, where even solo cars would be restricted to the very low gears.

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