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Towing Over 85%


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I've a Citroen c6. The MiS is 1923kg, and according to the v5 it can tow 1700 kg. (I've had my licence for 40+ years). However- the plated weight on the B post is 1510kg.

 

I'm not sure where the 1700kg came from- Citroen deny that it was them!

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What started out as a discussion on the "85% rule" has now deteriorated to posters banging their drum about their Driving/legal Qualifications 

It seems that there's a mass of argument and over-technical analysis here. 85% is a good guideline, you're probably pushing it as you head to 100%. I wouldn't personally feel relaxed about going much

I have often asked myself why UK caravan magazines persist in testing combinations at an 85% weight ratio. If a car is any good at the limit, even if it is well over 85%, it can only be even better a

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That must have been uploaded recently - it only went back to the '80s when I was checking something a couple of years back - I had to resolve it by "reading" Stones' Justices Manual.

It was there when this thread started, it was there some years before that date. It was on my bookmarks for years and years and I recently lost them all.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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I've a Citroen c6. The MiS is 1923kg, and according to the v5 it can tow 1700 kg. (I've had my licence for 40+ years). However- the plated weight on the B post is 1510kg.

 

I'm not sure where the 1700kg came from- Citroen deny that it was them!

 

I didn't know that Citroen state max. towload figures on the weight plate

 

 

It does on mine.

 

For which gradients do the figures on your V5c apply in addition to the regular 12. 5%?

Edited by Lutz
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I didn't know that Citroen state max. towload figures on the weight plate

 

 

 

 

For which gradients do the figures on your V5c apply in addition to the regular 12. 5%?

Without going home to seek out the V5 from memory it is 1800kg at 12. 5% and 2000kg at 10%.

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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  • 1 month later...

Funny thing, just looking at a 2000 Bailey Handbook, even then it was talking of up to a 1600 petrol or 1800 diesel as good for towing up to 85% and above those figures for towing up to 100%

 

Still bemused that all of a sudden the same percentages can be used for a totally different purpose

My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely

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Funny thing, just looking at a 2000 Bailey Handbook, even then it was talking of up to a 1600 petrol or 1800 diesel as good for towing up to 85% and above those figures for towing up to 100%

 

Still bemused that all of a sudden the same percentages can be used for a totally different purpose

I towed our 2001 Bailey (1218 kg MTPLM) behind a 1. 8 petrol Astra (1254 kg kerbweight), so 97% towing ratio - with a laden power-to-weight ratio of 40 bhp/tonne it didn't win any traffic light grand prix but we did 15,000 miles towing without any dramas.

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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I towed a 1450kg hymer with a 1496kg kerb weight 115bhp Mondeo a 97% match and on the actual train weight it worked out at 34 bop per ton. It was a fantastic tow car, no hassles at all in the 7 years I had it. The much heavier and more powerful Mondeo I now have is just as good and more refined but does the actual job no better.

Edited by Bill Lord

Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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I tow a Unicorn Barcelona (twin-axle) with my Freelander 2. The weight ratio is around 89-90%. The FL2 pulls it really well and in the vast majority of situations it feels stable. Careful loading does make a difference. Going downhill and in high crosswinds there's a noticeable feeling that the caravan is 'there', making its presence felt, but I've never felt it's dangerously unstable. On motorways at a steady 60mph, you can almost forget it's attached.

 

I've had single axle vans in the past and experienced some worrying swaying. I'm sure there are experts on here that can attest to the pros and cons of single- vs twin-axle but I will stick with two axles if I can. I think if I had a choice I'd go for a slightly beefier towcar but I'm not worried I can't at the moment.

 

One thing made a big difference to how comfortable I feel about towing and that is a day-course run by the Caravan Club on towing. I've gone from being constantly nervous to mostly confident. Highly recommended.

If at first you don't succeed. ... redefine success.

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  • 1 month later...

Hi, my first post so please be gentle. Is is a case of locking the door after the horse has bolted.

 

I have read every post here and wish I had done so before buying our new car. We have always bought with towing capacity in mind and not the 85% rule the current car is no different. Anyway, the outfit match is showing at 111%. I am gutted as we are not in a position to change either the car or caravan. On retrospect we have probably always towed over the 100% (having just checked our last Passat and caravan was 107%). So, in easy to understand terms can I ask:

 

If we tow with an almost empty caravan (miro 1245, max laden mass 1465) with our Seat Leon (kerbweight 1358) fully loaded, 2 adults, with weight correctly distributed would we be ok? Car allowed to tow 1600 kg.

 

I should add that my OH is an experienced driver and caravan tower of over 30 years.

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Hi, my first post so please be gentle. Is is a case of locking the door after the horse has bolted.

 

I have read every post here and wish I had done so before buying our new car. We have always bought with towing capacity in mind and not the 85% rule the current car is no different. Anyway, the outfit match is showing at 111%. I am gutted as we are not in a position to change either the car or caravan. On retrospect we have probably always towed over the 100% (having just checked our last Passat and caravan was 107%). So, in easy to understand terms can I ask:

 

If we tow with an almost empty caravan (miro 1245, max laden mass 1465) with our Seat Leon (kerbweight 1358) fully loaded, 2 adults, with weight correctly distributed would we be ok? Car allowed to tow 1600 kg.

 

I should add that my OH is an experienced driver and caravan tower of over 30 years.

Sound be fine and legal. But let us know how it handles as feedback on outfits is always useful for others

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As you say your towing capacity is 1600kg, I assume you have the 2. 0L Diesel model. As the Leon is based on the VW Golf, I would expect similar ability. The Golf is known to be a decent tow car for its size, but if you load the car heavily and tow a relatively heavy caravan at the same time, you will be demanding a lot from it. As far as stability is concerned, it may be ok if you keep the speed down. I would be nervous every driving it at 60mph.

Ern

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It may not affect you and no doubt others can comment but I have in the back of my mind that some breakdown companies have an exclusion on cover if the van weighs more than the car.

Honda CRV Diesel Petrol & No caravan now. :angry:

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We have always gone on the max towing weight guide for car - in our current case 1600 and I'm sure many other have done and do the same. What is the purpose of this guide then? It is all very confusing.

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We have always gone on the max towing weight guide for car - in our current case 1600 and I'm sure many other have done and do the same. What is the purpose of this guide then? It is all very confusing.

The "towing limit" of a vehicle covers all types of trailers, not just caravans because there's no separate categories - there's a big difference between towing a race car trailer at 120% and a caravan at 100% - the race car trailer is more stable because the centre of gravity is low down and side "sail area" is minimal.

 

Bigger SUVs have 3500kg towing limits to allow towing of agricultural trailers at low speed, not for giant caravans!

2015 VW Touareg 3. 0 V6 TDI + 2013 Lunar Clubman ES

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  • 1 month later...

The "towing limit" of a vehicle covers all types of trailers, not just caravans because there's no separate categories - there's a big difference between towing a race car trailer at 120% and a caravan at 100% - the race car trailer is more stable because the centre of gravity is low down and side "sail area" is minimal.

 

Bigger SUVs have 3500kg towing limits to allow towing of agricultural trailers at low speed, not for giant caravans!

There may well be the point that a 3500Kg van may well tow very stable, given the constraints of caravan body sizes I suspect its C of G may well be quite low and the wind effect almost zero :unsure:

Edited by Guest
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  • 2 weeks later...

Funny this topic should be on just as I was going to ask a question.

My last car was a mercedes c220 AMG sport estate. I towed my lunar clubman si 2015 with no issues at all. That came out as 89%. Just towed for the first time with new 220 sport estate with a mercedes factory fit towbar and it was scary when something passed you on the motorway. That comes out at 91%. The caravan was virtually empty and what was in there was well loaded. All tyre pressures adjusted etc. I've been towing over twenty years. Any ideas??

Lunar Stellar and Mercedes C Class estate 220 Sport

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Funny this topic should be on just as I was going to ask a question.

My last car was a mercedes c220 AMG sport estate. I towed my lunar clubman si 2015 with no issues at all. That came out as 89%. Just towed for the first time with new 220 sport estate with a mercedes factory fit towbar and it was scary when something passed you on the motorway. That comes out at 91%. The caravan was virtually empty and what was in there was well loaded. All tyre pressures adjusted etc. I've been towing over twenty years. Any ideas??

Load the van sort the nose weight out and try again. Empty vans are far more skittish than loads vans.

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Bill

 

Growing old is compulsory, growing up is not.

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Load the van sort the nose weight out and try again. Empty vans are far more skittish than loads vans.

I'll have another go. On normal roads no problem but it was just on vehicle passing.

Lunar Stellar and Mercedes C Class estate 220 Sport

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I had issues when driving back from Birmingham to J16/M6 after collecting the empty Rimini. It kept gently nudging left and right, nothing drastic, but slightly disconcerting. I eventually came to the conclusion that it was tramlining in and out of the grooves left in the road by heavy wagons.

 

To test I drove at 60mph on a dead straight piece of road between the M6 and our storage. It hardly sees any lorries and the van ran straight as a die. Since then we've done 700 towing miles with fully loaded car and van and even on the same stretch of M6 it's behaved impeccably

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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It seems that there's a mass of argument and over-technical analysis here. 85% is a good guideline, you're probably pushing it as you head to 100%. I wouldn't personally feel relaxed about going much over 90% (my new outfit will be 92% but only because I've increased the MTPLM by 100kg from 1600kg to 1700kg, which I don't expect I'll ever make full use of). However there are plenty of experienced caravaners who do.

 

It's also worth noting that for decades now there are plenty of outfits all across Europe who tow right up to the car maximum towing limit, which can often way exceed the 100% car/caravan ratio figure. They aren't allowed to drive at 100kmh (62mph) in Germany, for example, and have to stick at 80mph (50mph) - but they are perfectly legal and you genuinely don't see them littered all over the Autoroutes and Autobahns every summer. It's interesting that when UK caravan magazines conducting towcar tests they tend to tow at the 85% figure. In Germany if a car manufacturer says their car can tow 2000kg, they load a caravan up to that weight and actually test it out to see how it performs. Again that can mean a car/caravan ratio considerably over 100%.

 

A lower % ratio is the best starting point possible, but other things are very important too: careful loading, sensible driving and speeds, good condition of tyres at the right pressure, and observing all of the various limits set out by manufacturers.

 

As an aside, I find the idea that somewhat shrill repeated suggestion that people will routinely be prosecuted for "dangerous driving" for having a caravan that is overloaded somewhat unlikely (to say the least). Two years ago on a sunny day in perfect conditions, a driver hit me head-on on my side of the road, overtaking on a bend and the crest of a hill, at 40mph. He caused £29,000 of damage to my 3 week old 1850kg Mercedes E-Class estate, thereby writing it off entirely, as well as demolishing his own car. I of course called the Police. I'm a solicitor. I took photographs. There were two independent witnesses. This was an actual head-on crash caused by complete recklessness. The total insurance claim came to £105,000. With a smaller car, I'm quite sure I would have been in a lot worse condition - he literally could have killed. As it was, my elderly collie, who was behind a factory fitted dog guard, was crippled as a result of the accident. I am still suffering from back problems two years on.

 

Only after pushing and pushing was the driver prosecuted - and then only for careless, not dangerous, driving. He got a paltry £200 fine and 6 points. The magistrates considered a ban, but decided not to, after hearing his sob story - and meanwhile my dog had a miserable last year of his life wearing leg braces, and I don't know if my back will ever be the same again.

 

The bar for successful prosecutions for dangerous driving is sadly incredibly high, even with proven considerable material loss and actual physical harm. Rightly or wrongly, I can quite confidently predict that you will not be successfully prosecuted for dangerous driving merely for having 50kg over the permitted MTLPM in your caravan. Both the Police and CPS have a lot to deal with (increasingly so with all of the various cuts), and randomly pulling over car/caravan outfits that appear to be stable and properly loaded to weigh them and then following up with a prosecution will not be top of their lists.

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It's also worth noting that for decades now there are plenty of outfits all across Europe who tow right up to the car maximum towing limit, which can often way exceed the 100% car/caravan ratio figure. They aren't allowed to drive at 100kmh (62mph) in Germany, for example, and have to stick at 80mph (50mph) - but they are perfectly legal and you genuinely don't see them littered all over the Autoroutes and Autobahns every summer. It's interesting that when UK caravan magazines conducting towcar tests they tend to tow at the 85% figure. In Germany if a car manufacturer says their car can tow 2000kg, they load a caravan up to that weight and actually test it out to see how it performs. Again that can mean a car/caravan ratio considerably over 100%.

 

I have often asked myself why UK caravan magazines persist in testing combinations at an 85% weight ratio. If a car is any good at the limit, even if it is well over 85%, it can only be even better at 85%.

 

The last 6 years I have been towing at 85%, but when I get my new car in January, because newer models have generally been put on a diet, the oufit will then be only a fraction under 100%, but taking care not to exceed that limit so that I can maintain the 100km/h concession.

Edited by Lutz
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recently changed my tow car to a bigger model thinking I could proberbly tow any single axle van ( apart from airstream ) ,been looking to change my current outfit that only weighs in at 1100 kg because kids have out grown the layout. been looking at sterling eccles Ruby,lovely van at the top of my budget if not over but trying to strike a deal cool.gif, had an outfit match on what tow car & it comes in at 3 stars & 91% which is rubbish & sets alarm bells ringing,so now I am thinking its it's not an option anymore as I need to stay on or below for 85%,especialy as most of my trips are either lakes,peak district,snowdonia all hills,sterling europa has same layout but not drop dead looks like the ruby,my question is how many people pull an outfit over the 85% guide & is it safe ?

having second thoughts now blink.gif

 

Hi slimseydy. I have been towing at 97% give or take for a very long time and never less than 95%. I have used Volvo V70 T5 CD Auto,Volvo 2. 4T Geartronic and Volvo 2. 4 (163bhp) D5 SE Geartronic,indeed I am now on my 7th Volvo and they have always towed very very sure-footed and never once given me any cause for concern.

 

I have been all-over the place with them BUT never towed the caravan abroad.

I have advocated for many many years that one does not need to by a huge 4x4/Chelsea Tractor and that correctly loaded,tyre pressures all as they should be,nose-weight as per the manufactures recommendations and driven responsibly there should never be an issue.

 

Oh by the way - they have always been Twin Axle caravans.

Edited by AWanderingLancastrian
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Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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Hi slimseydy. I have been towing at 97% give or take for a very long time and never less than 95%. I have used Volvo V70 T5 CD Auto,Volvo 2. 4T Geartronic and Volvo 2. 4 (163bhp) D5 SE Geartronic,indeed I am now on my 7th Volvo and they have always towed very very sure-footed and never once given me any cause for concern.

 

I have been all-over the place with them BUT never towed the caravan abroad.

I have advocated for many many years that one does not need to by a huge 4x4/Chelsea Tractor and that correctly loaded,tyre pressures all as they should be,nose-weight as per the manufactures recommendations and driven responsibly there should never be an issue.

 

Oh by the way - they have always been Twin Axle caravans.

John, you are replying to a post from 2011!

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John, you are replying to a post from 2011!

 

Hi GPS. Yes !!!!!! All I did was follow the post by Lutz that was Date Stamped Yesterday at 10:46 AM which in-turn followed a post by PME today at 10:31 AM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

Interestingly enough - the content of my very original post/reply #10 ( prior to My Sabbatical and a change of ID) has only changed by the fact that I have had a couple of additional Volvo V70's.

Both of which have been 163bhp D5 SE Geartronic,the later one was purchased in favour of letting my 185,000 miles go to a new home. I now am running a Titanium Pearl Grey Metallic one with 104,000 miles when bought in early May this year. post-71536-0-55708200-1446481017_thumb.jpg

Edited by AWanderingLancastrian

Life in general can be a journey of chance with some winners and sadly some losers. Your outfit can never be left to chance. A short-while carrying out essential checks can ensure a long-time of happy & safe caravanning for all concerned.
Ignorance can often be bliss but is certainly not an excuse and when continually disregarded they can be totally disastrous for oneself and the innocent parties.

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