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Twin Axles And 4wd


Runningpuffingbilly
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Changed my car recently for a VW Sharan 1. 9TDi, 130 BHP. Kerbweight is 1928 Kg and we are considering buying a 6 berth twin axle weighing in at mtplm of 1595kG. So the sums say the match is well within the guidelines at 83%....question is, I hear a lot about needing a 4 x 4 to tow twin axles - why is this and can I safely tow this size van (it's also 26' long) with my VW?

 

Thanks

 

ARPB.

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The only things you really need to consider are kerbweight, max towing weight and engine size. If you are ok on those then you will be fine. 4wd is good if you get stuck in the mud, and twin axles are a little more difficult to manoeuvre, but then I would think you get better grip with 4 tyres than 2.

The main reason most twin axles need to be towed by a 4x4 is weight. Most "ordinary" cars are just not heavy enough or able to tow the weight.

I don't see why the length should be a problem, you just need to allow more space when cornering etc, you will soon get used to it.

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Your Sharan is bigger and heavier than some 4x4's - avoid the mud with front wheel drive and you should be fine

 

ATB

Moose

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Thanks for the replies - really helpful as usual!

 

I've checked the VW handbook and it states that the VW has a towbar load limit of 85kg - can't seem to find the noseweight data for the caravan yet tho'!

 

RPB

43379[/snapback]

 

Post the T/A Caravan year/make/model otherwise Phone the Manufacturer.

Mike

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The only things you really need to consider are kerbweight, max towing weight and engine size.   If you are ok on those then you will be fine.   4wd is good if you get stuck in the mud, and twin axles are a little more difficult to manoeuvre, but then I would think you get better grip with 4 tyres than 2.

The main reason most twin axles need to be towed by a 4x4 is weight. Most "ordinary" cars are just not heavy enough or able to tow the weight.

I don't see why the length should be a problem, you just need to allow more space when cornering etc, you will soon get used to it.

43359[/snapback]

 

 

I found that reversing a twin axle was actually easier because it steers more slowly and is therefore more controllable. I towed my (small) twin axle using a people carrier with no problems. It was more stable than the single axle I have now. The only thing that was more difficult with the twin axle was manoeuvring it by hand.

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I was not thinking about reversing but rather the fact that they do not turn as easily as single axles and might therefore churn up the mud a bit more. Sorry I didn't explain it very well, was too keen to keep it short!

For moving without a vehicle I would definately get a mover fitted, we have trouble moving our single axle by hand, the Carver mover is great.

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Thanks for all the responses. The caravan is a Sterling Europa 600; it will be a 2006 model. I have rang Sterling (Swift) and they have told me that the MAX noseweight for the caravan is 100kg, and that I have to balance the van to make sure I don't exceed the lower of either:

 

the cars max towbar load (85kg) or

the caravans max noseweight.

 

So in my case, I have to ensure I do not exceed 85kg.

 

Soooo, my next question is, how easy is it to balance a twin axle to alter the noseweight? A single axle is straightforward as the van will pivot around the axle as you shift weight around, but with a twin axle, I would imagine that it is harder to achieve - or am I completely wrong?

 

Thanks again.

 

RPB

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Thanks for all the responses. The caravan is a Sterling Europa 600; it will be a 2006 model. I have rang Sterling (Swift) and they have told me that the MAX noseweight for the caravan is 100kg, and that I have to balance the van to make sure I don't exceed the lower of either. .........

 

Did Sterling (Swift) give you any idea about the ex-factory nose weight? There have been posts about some vans with what seem like rather high ex-factory nose weights. If the van is inherently nose heavy out of the factory then careful loading would be necessary to bring the nose weight within limits. The temptation would be to load at the rear of the van to compensate, which could influence stability. Vans loads should be kept low and near to the axle to maintan stabilty.

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All Swift said was that the max was 100kg. ..I didn't ask what the ex-works noseweight typically is. I am off to the dealer tomorrow so I will ask the question and see what the response is.

 

I have also seen a post here where somebody got the dealer to measure the noseweight and rejected a new caravan because it exceeded the manufacturers specification.

 

I will consider getting the noseweight checked as part of my acceptance of the new van.

 

Thanks again

 

RPB

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  • 1 month later...
Noseweight is generally 7% of the vans weight roughly.

 

Tow bar height is the real issue with a twin axle.

48435[/snapback]

 

Thanks again for all the responses. I seem to remember a post here a while back going into some detail about towball height - it looked fairly complicated. ...can anyone explain it in a 'Noddy & Big Ears' style? (i. e really simply!!).

 

Thanks

 

RPB

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We have a Sterling Overlander, it is the smaller of the Sterling twin axle vans measuring 26ft. Watch out for the nose weight. . empty ours was between 50/55kg. Not the easiest of things to get an acurate as you will see from recent posts. Our saving grace is that we tow with a Jeep which gives us 140kg towbar limit. The max for the van is 100kg. Just be careful what goes in the front & if in doubt weigh each thing first. I know it sounds over the top but we did this & were surprised at the total. As for stability, great no problems, better than our last single axle. The van sits level when hitch to the car. Happy vanning.

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Hi

I may be talking out of turn, but just as a general gut feeling kind of thing, I would guess that a 26 foot twin axle van is going to be way over the limit for a Sharan.

Please check your numbers carefully or you could put yourselves and others in danger.

h

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Hi

I may be talking out of turn, but just as a general gut feeling kind of thing, I would guess that a 26 foot twin axle van is going to be way over the limit for a Sharan.

Please check your numbers carefully or you could put yourselves and others in danger.

h

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HI, thanks for your concern. I can assure you that I have checked the figures very carefully (just ask my wife, my constant checking of this type of thing drives her mad!) - the Sharan has a kerbweight of 1928kg, and the Europa 600 MTPLM is 1595kg, so I am well within the guideline of 85% recommended ratio - at about 83%.

 

My concern was regarding the noseweight, as the Sharan has a max towball load of 85kg and I had heard that Sterlings can be nose heavy. Swift state that the max noseweight of the Europa should be no more than 100kg, and with careful load distribution, I should be able to achieve the lower figure of 85kg, which is determined by the car max towball load.

 

Thanks again to everyone who has contributed to this.

 

RPB

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