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My Disillusionment With The Caravan Club.


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Hi to you all out there. During our recent visit to the 2011 show at the NEC I paid a visit to the Caravan Club stand. This was done to see whether they had addressed a problem/the problem with their data base for tow-car & caravan matching that they had last year.

Last year was nothing short of amusing,NO A JOKE. After a rather amusing(for me that is),session on the stand and a series of excuses & apologies for the ineffective 'NEW' system that had been trialled only a short while before on the clubs on-line access I walked away.

Before I walked away I asked what fat good was a system that a lot of Newbies/Beginners and in particular newly joined members would want to consult with for their peace of mind & safer caravanning.

Well little if anything has changed. Neither of the two cars that I put up as examples were listed with accurate details,neither was listed in Auto or Geartronic format,the maximum braked towing weights were incorrect and yet again kerbweights were fictitious.

Then we came to the caravan. The manufacturers model was listed but not the specific variant. The MTPLM was not correct and to sum it up the nearest that could be achieved was a van that was 3yrs older and massively heavier and with an MTPLM that is only listed on much later models.

If I had been able I would have spent more time on this piece of light entertainment,but not as you know it.

I am of the understanding that if an organisation or business offers a service of this nature that they are liable to ensure the correctness of the data detail is assured.

Before Newbies/Beginners stick their necks out what must they do if this is the best on offer. The sad bit is that until they gain experience and knowledge of the technical bits they are at the mercy of this sort of situation,worse still the know-all,no nothing caravan sales people that rely for the most part on a data base that produces equally fictitious figures for tow-cars.

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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Can't comment on the CC outfit matching service as we've never used it. Always use www. whattowcar. com.

Neither car nor caravan listed :lol:

 

Caravan club did better. Car not listed but caravan was. The nearest car I could pick ( a 1994 Previa) came out as a good match ( but I knew that anyway ;) )

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Can't comment on the CC outfit matching service as we've never used it. Always use www. whattowcar. com.

 

 

In the famous words of John McEnroe,YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS.

This site has got to be a joke on par with the experience that I had at the NEC on the Caravan Club stand.

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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I enter my car and caravan details 2005 Mondeo TDCi 115 LX and my Caravan details 2003 Hymer Nova 470 and the service gets every detail spot on. I know the car is a very common one and I would have been very surprised for them not to get it right but the Caravan is not the most common and is not particualrly recent and still they got it correct. It even listed my previous 1994 award caravan and got that spot on as well. Can we ask what your outfit is, so that we can get some sort of idea about how difficult it should be for the CC to get it right?

 

As you say they are responsible for making sure that the data they provide is accurate, so from their point of view not showing data is better than showing inaccurate data.

Edited by Bill Lord
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I agree, the CC matching service is at best useless. It cant find my caravan, and whilst my mondeo is listed, last time i checked it did not have any kerb weights listed, a little diwsapointing considering the mondeo is a popular tow car.

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I enter my car and caravan details 2005 Mondeo TDCi 115 LX and my Caravan details 2003 Hymer Nova 470 and the service gets every detail spot on. I know the car is a very common one and I would have been very surprised for them not to get it right but the Caravan is not the most common and is not particualrly recent and still they got it correct. It even listed my previous 1994 award caravan and got that spot on as well. Can we ask what your outfit is, so that we can get some sort of idea about how difficult it should be for the CC to get it right?

 

Hi Bill. I assume that the above reply was for me!!?.

The car is a 2000 (W) Volvo V70 2. 4T Geartronic,The caravan is a 2001 Elddis Crusader SuperSirocco.

Whilst conducting your search please take note of the weights and measures details so that we can compare notes!!!.

 

What did we do before the Internet?

 

Most drove around the country in total ignorance & oblivion waiting for the OH S**T moment.

Edited by TheTravellingRooster

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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The question is how many newby will be aware of a matching service for car and caravan existed. wether it is provided by the C C or not. I don't think many peoples will . when I ventured into caravanning I did not know such service was availlable on the web.

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What did we do before the Internet?

 

Find a knowledgeable sales person (there are a few about contrary to popular opinion) and ask the question.

 

If you want vehicle weights try the following:-

 

http://www. parkers. c. ..ts-and-figures/

http://www. cuddles. abelgratis. net/kerbweights. htm

 

If you want caravan weights just ask me.

 

Regards,

 

Ian.

Edited by imwatching
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The question is how many newby will be aware of a matching service for car and caravan existed. wether it is provided by the C C or not. I don't think many peoples will . when I ventured into caravanning I did not know such service was availlable on the web.

 

Hi oldboy. Most people that I have encountered or communicated with speak to each other,that is to say a Newbie/Beginner or individual before getting a caravan will ask around, it comes under the general heading of interaction and fact finding.

A lot will pick up a caravan magazine from the news stands/shops and read. Some have in-fact completely by-passed that route and come straight onto this forum,often as anonymous readers and then sign-up to the forum.

Edited by TheTravellingRooster

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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maybe i'm lucky but found our caravan no probs and all but one of our cars that we considered towing with (Bentley Mulsanne S being the one) But pretty sure that is within the allowable weight if i can ever find a tow bar for it ;)

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Find a knowledgeable sales person (there are a few about contrary to popular opinion) and ask the question.

 

If you want vehicle weights try the following:-

 

http://www. parkers. c. ..ts-and-figures/

http://www. cuddles. a. ..kerbweights. htm

 

If you want caravan weights just ask me.

 

Regards,

 

Ian.

 

Hi Ian. The Parkers site does not give accurate kerb-weights. They are variable in their detail,some will need the driver,fuel and small allowance for luggage/tools to be added.

If you want to give it a try use my 1997 Voolvo V70 T5 CD Auto or my 2000(W) Volvo V70 2. 4T Geartronic as examples.

I have found the Cuddles site not to be of any help at all.

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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maybe i'm lucky but found our caravan no probs and all but one of our cars that we considered towing with (Bentley Mulsanne S being the one) But pretty sure that is within the allowable weight if i can ever find a tow bar for it ;)

It depends upon how modern the car is, if it is post 1997 it would be illegal to ow ith it as Bentley have not been prepared to submit their cars for homogulation since it became compulsory for any cars to be checked before a towbar could be fitted.

 

 

Hi Ian. The Parkers site does not give accurate kerb-weights. They are variable in their detail,some will need the driver,fuel and small allowance for luggage/tools to be added.

If you want to give it a try use my 1997 Voolvo V70 T5 CD Auto or my 2000(W) Volvo V70 2. 4T Geartronic as examples.

I have found the Cuddles site not to be of any help at all.

 

Your 2000 v70 exists on the site but only as a manual, your 2001 caravan exists as a sirocco rather than as a super sirocco. The figures I see on there are the figures that Volvo produced at the time of production, and like the figures that Volvo produced for my 1994 850 are wildly under as far as the kerbweight is concerned. The cc site can only be as accurate as the figures that the vehicles manufacturer is prepared to offer.

 

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Kerb weights even listed by the manufacturer are only a generic value as every car off the production line is different in terms of equipment etc. So, the figure shown in the data bases is usually the basic model and your vehicle is more than likely to be heavier. The only true way to know your matching is to weigh the outfit, and of course load everything you plan to take.

 

The data bases are more likely to highlight a very poor match and hopefully will stop anyone trying to pull a twin axle van at 1900 kg with a Clio for example. I do use Whattowcar as a guide and found it to be pretty close to what I actually saw with my outfit. However, it is a Dutch site and as my van was Dutch possibly it was more accurate.

 

I am not a great fan of the CC, although have been a member for nearly 40 years. I treat it as a commercial organisation where I pay a fee, and get services in return. Any service such as matching I would treat as a guide only. Although thye have no doubt tested many vans and cars they will still only have a selection of the total market, and so aagin will rely on 3rd party information for the rest.

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What Tow Car didn't have my car or caravan.

 

CC had both with accurate figures.

 

Well done CC!

 

G.

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In the famous words of John McEnroe,YOU CAN'T BE SERIOUS.

This site has got to be a joke on par with the experience that I had at the NEC on the Caravan Club stand.

Out of curiosity I've just entered our details on the CC website and they come out exactly the same as What Towcar. And they've got the kerbweights correct - so i'll continue to put my trust in them!

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Out of curiosity I've just entered our details on the CC website and they come out exactly the same as What Towcar. And they've got the kerbweights correct - so i'll continue to put my trust in them!

 

Hi Glen & Les. As you will probably noticed Bill Lord had difficulty with the site. I guess that you would be no different if you put my figures,post #8 into the one that you will continue to put your trust in.

Incidentally,the car manufacturers don't give the figures to the data base providers like Towsafe and the others,it comes via a Third Party. I guess that the caravan data is somewhat similar,after all the figures provided to the likes of Practical Caravan Magazine and the few others that publish the lists and include the layouts details are all OK.

A great deal of the problem with the car manufacturers is that fact that they do not sing from the same hymn sheet. There is no consistency in what they publish.

Another curiosity is a point that Bill Lord mentioned, that being that the in post #14 that his 1994 Volvo 850 was wildly under as far as the kerbweight went. My Certificate of Conformity with my Vin number on and my car is a rather specific one and only one option short of fully loaded (a pair of Aluminium Roof Rails) gives a kerbweight reckoning that is far from factual. It is a 1997 Volvo V70 T5 CD Auto.

I have had my other car also a Volvo V70 on a VOSA Dynamic Axle Weighbridge and both are way over the published kerbweights.

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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I have had my other car also a Volvo V70 on a VOSA Dynamic Axle Weighbridge and both are way over the published kerbweights.

 

If your cars "are way over the published kerbweights" I am a little at a lost to understand how you expect the CC or any other third party to get to the right value?

Realistically they cant arrange to weight every build combination of every car sold in the UK.

 

Not knowing the kerbweight unless you weigh your specific car only endorses my view that recommending matches based on kerbweight to van MTPM is unsound.

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If your cars "are way over the published kerbweights" I am a little at a lost to understand how you expect the CC or any other third party to get to the right value?

Realistically they cant arrange to weight every build combination of every car sold in the UK.

 

Not knowing the kerbweight unless you weigh your specific car only endorses my view that recommending matches based on kerbweight to van MTPM is unsound.

 

Hi JTQ. I am interested in finding out because as yet there is not one that is anywhere close. The thing that trigged it all off was the insistence from a caravan sales person that my car was kerbweight 1360kgs and the caravan that I was looking at could not be towed by it. The car that I refer to is the 1997 Volvo T5 CD Auto. He was adamant that the car was exactly what the search had shown.

If I had been new to the idea of towing I could just as easily been suckered into chasing off to buy a Chelsea Tractor.

Needless to say it lost him a sale and by the way the car has a maximum braked towing weight of 1600kgs which is a fair bit below the documented (VOSA) kerbweight. Oh and the same search using the same car at different times have brought up a total of 5 different figures,all on the same data base.

The difference between the base model of my Volvo V70 and in Auto cannot be so far away from the weight that it is to bring up the ludicrously low figure of 1360kgs.

I have questioned the inaccuracy of data bases for years and the very misleading information that they offer.

Until recently and the introduction of the VOSA Dynamic Axle Weigh-bridges the older ones were dependant on the lowest cell values of the plate being around the 10 or 20kgs mark.

I had my T5 weighed at a plate bridge in Warrington,Cheshire and it was only a small difference to the VOSA bridge. The ticket showed 9kgs lighter than the VOSA bridge. Not bad for very old technology,it is no longer there and the site has been levelled.

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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I can't imagine why anyone expects the Caravan Club database to have chapter and verse about a 1997 model of any vehicle. If it is so important I would expect the vehicle manufacturer to have the data.

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So they seem to have updated it as my caravan is now listed, however still no useful information for my car

 

It tells me my outfit is not safe as the caravan exceeds the cars weight, according to the V5 the car weighs 155kg, in reality it is probably heavier, one day I will go to a weighbridge to find out.

 

 

 

 

Match report

 

The Club advises that a Ford Mondeo Zetec 1. 8TDCi 125 PS 6 Speed (2007) should not tow a Sterling Cruach Cuillin (2007)

  • cross.png Kerbweight ratio: 0%
  • The caravan's laden weight is more than the car's kerb weight. There is significant risk of stability problems, especially at higher speed. The Police may consider this combination unroadworthy, and it is illegal for drivers with a standard car licence issued since 1st January 1997.
  • warning.png Towing limit ratio: Unknown
  • We do not have a towing limit for this car. To be sure this outfit is safe, please check the suitability of the car’s towing limit by referring to the retailer or maker, and ensuring the laden weight of the caravan is within it.
  • warning.png Gross train weight ratio: Unknown
  • We do not have a gross train weight figure for this car. There is significant risk of the car’s GTW being exceeded if both car and caravan are heavily laden, as some car makers define GTW as less than the sum of the car and the caravan’s fully laden weights, particularly for cars with more than 5 seats. To avoid exceeding this legal limit, we advise you to check the car’s GTW suitability by referring to the car retailer or maker (or the weight plate on the car, if available).
  • tick.png Nose weight ratio: 125%
  • The car's nose weight should be fine to safely tow this caravan. If this figure is high, however, (typically over 100%) care will be needed to load the caravan so that the car’s nose weight limit is not exceeded, but this should be practically achievable. Aim for 5-7% of the caravan’s actual laden weight without overloading the car.
  • cross.png BHP per ton : 0
  • The car's engine power is too low to safely and comfortably tow this caravan.

B+E Licence required

 

 

 

 

 

Please check the maximum combined weight of the car and caravan (car gross vehicle weight + caravan MTPLM). If this exceeds 3500kg, then you need to have a category B+E driving licence. If you obtained your standard car driving licence before 1st January 1997, you already have this – if not you will need to take a B+E test to legally drive this outfit.

Edited by SamP
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Hi Glen & Les. As you will probably noticed Bill Lord had difficulty with the site. I guess that you would be no different if you put my figures,post #8 into the one that you will continue to put your trust in.

Incidentally,the car manufacturers don't give the figures to the data base providers like Towsafe and the others,it comes via a Third Party. I guess that the caravan data is somewhat similar,after all the figures provided to the likes of Practical Caravan Magazine and the few others that publish the lists and include the layouts details are all OK.

A great deal of the problem with the car manufacturers is that fact that they do not sing from the same hymn sheet. There is no consistency in what they publish.

Another curiosity is a point that Bill Lord mentioned, that being that the in post #14 that his 1994 Volvo 850 was wildly under as far as the kerbweight went. My Certificate of Conformity with my Vin number on and my car is a rather specific one and only one option short of fully loaded (a pair of Aluminium Roof Rails) gives a kerbweight reckoning that is far from factual. It is a 1997 Volvo V70 T5 CD Auto.

I have had my other car also a Volvo V70 on a VOSA Dynamic Axle Weighbridge and both are way over the published kerbweights.

 

But the kerbweights that I quoted for my Volvo and also for the ones I checked on the cc website are exactly the same igures that Volvo publish for them, and they are all approximately 200 kg less thsn the real life figures. All I could assume from this was that they were the figures for the car with no fluids, no driver, no basic toolkit, and probably no sparebwheel or battery, that lot would just about sort out the differenvce. To be honest I had absolutely no difficulty with the Cc website, it gave me what is the best available information about many vehicles that are getting a little long in the tooth, but on more modern vehicles it gave very accurate figures. This is what I would expect from a source that has only recently been set up, it gives mr hope that 10 years hence someone looking for the correct details of what will then be a 15 year old vehicle wil be sble to find them as what you can be dure of is that once in the database they will remain there.

 

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I can't imagine why anyone expects the Caravan Club database to have chapter and verse about a 1997 model of any vehicle. If it is so important I would expect the vehicle manufacturer to have the data.

 

I don't expect anything more than they offer and they are able to come up with info for vehicles even older.

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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But the kerbweights that I quoted for my Volvo and also for the ones I checked on the cc website are exactly the same igures that Volvo publish for them, and they are all approximately 200 kg less thsn the real life figures. All I could assume from this was that they were the figures for the car with no fluids, no driver, no basic toolkit, and probably no sparebwheel or battery, that lot would just about sort out the differenvce. To be honest I had absolutely no difficulty with the Cc website, it gave me what is the best available information about many vehicles that are getting a little long in the tooth, but on more modern vehicles it gave very accurate figures. This is what I would expect from a source that has only recently been set up, it gives mr hope that 10 years hence someone looking for the correct details of what will then be a 15 year old vehicle wil be sble to find them as what you can be dure of is that once in the database they will remain there.

 

Hi Bill I think you are missing the point here,the had both of my Volvo V70's on their data base but the info was all to cock.

Either have it and have it listed correctly or don't list it at all.

The same was with the Elddis Crusader SuperSirocco,they did not have it listed other than from 2002. The van is a 2001(launch year model) and registered on 25/05/2001.

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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