Jump to content

Weighty Problem


bazzeruk
 Share

Recommended Posts

We are first timers and are in the process of buying a van. We are probably mad, but we downsized house considerably to give us some money to play with in our old age so are buying new, not used, as originally planned (can't take it with us and children are well provided for)

 

We are looking at a dealer special Swift SE or the real Swift SE that has the bathroom heating.

 

The problem we have ( my wife has) is the weight issue!

 

The proper SE comes in at 94% of the kerb weight whereas the dealer SE is 91%

 

My argument is that we will never load the van to its potential MTPLM as there will only ever be two of us and the Passat Estate is cavernous so we will be filling that up, raising the kerb weight considerably.

 

Also, the 85% was thought up in the days before anti snaking etc, which the new vans have.

 

A couple of readers on here have said not to worry and their own experiences of pulling this combination has not created an issue, but though I would throw it open to a wider audience for your views.

 

I have towed a horse box with two large horses so am not a complete novice.

 

Thanks in advance for replies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Probably mad?" No definitely very sane indeed: no pockets in a shroud.

 

Everyone says I don't load to the max: well some don't but as you go on it's surprising how stuff accumulates in the van. I weighed everything that came out of my old one when I changed vans and I was very surprised.

 

Putting lots of stuff in the Passat does not alter the kerb weight: these calculations are based on the kerb weight, though the different ways car makers work that out are so confused and confusing that, personally, the first thing I do when I buy a new vehicle is take it to the weighbridge with a full tank and just me in it.

 

I'd tow at 94% if the car had plenty of torque and horsepower: don't know which version of Passat you have.

 

One last point: strange that the dealer special is lighter: is it based on the same Swift bodyshell.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Probably mad?" No definitely very sane indeed: no pockets in a shroud.

 

Everyone says I don't load to the max: well some don't but as you go on it's surprising how stuff accumulates in the van. I weighed everything that came out of my old one when I changed vans and I was very surprised.

 

Putting lots of stuff in the Passat does not alter the kerb weight: these calculations are based on the kerb weight, though the different ways car makers work that out are so confused and confusing that, personally, the first thing I do when I buy a new vehicle is take it to the weighbridge with a full tank and just me in it.

 

I'd tow at 94% if the car had plenty of torque and horsepower: don't know which version of Passat you have.

 

One last point: strange that the dealer special is lighter: is it based on the same Swift bodyshell.

 

 

Thanks for the reply - The dealer "special" is based on the Challenger Sport, which is lighter. They have fitted a few bits and pieces. The proper SE has the wet heating, which probably accounts for the weight difference. The Passat is the 140 bhp 2. 0 diesel estate

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, got it. The Challenger SE is the successor to the Charisma, decent caravan one up from the budget Sprite. The Challenger is one notch up (only the Conqueror above it) and has nicer woodwork etc as well as the Alde heating. Alde is utterly brilliant and I guarantee once you've had it you won't want to do without.

 

Have you looked at the Bailey Unicorns? Lovely vans (OK I'm biased I have one, but I changed from a Charisma) and they are quite a bit lighter than the equivalent Swift which might prevent wifely worries. If you're fixed on the Swift I'd heartily recommend the proper Challenger rather than mutton as lamb dealer special with somewhat dubious "upgrades" allegedly worth loads of money.

Isuzu D Max pulling Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

Bailey Autograph 740 MH: Isuzu for sale LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only accurate way to establish the passats kerb weight is to stick it on a weighbridge. All the website matching services are usually miles out.

Paul

Vw Passat V6 4 Motion
2009 Compass Corona Club 544

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree the 85% recommendation is very dated.

 

I am sure I read in the CC magazine that they had reviewed the 85% ratio set in the 1950's and decided the new recommendation should be 90%.

 

Providing your car has enough grunt to pull your proposed caravan and the GTW is not exceeded I don't see 91% as a problem.

Twin Axle Fleetwood Heritage 640 EST - pulled by a dual fuel, (Petrol/LPG) BMW 528i Auto

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is all too easy - even with only 2 of you - to load up to the MTPLM and over it!! Especially if you fit a caravan mover. Or don't drain down the water system when in transit (some of this is included in MIRO on nodern vans).

 

A Caravan Weight Control can assist with ensuring the loading of the caravan is to your desired figure and under MTPLM (and one can also be used on cars/motorhomes too to ensure their axles are not overloaded).

 

I did the calcs on our last 4 berth with the 2 of us and our stuff --- I was so close to being overloaded, I decided a CWC scale was a sound investment and it gives me peace of mind. On our new caravan it's much harder to fit stuff in so we don't carry as much in it.

 

If your vehicle's V5 has a Mass in Service figure, use that as your kerbweight. If not, weighing it is the best option. Don't be too hung up on a few percent over the guidline. .. your experience in towing a horsebox will help and just go quite steady until you gain confidence with the caravan behind you. (Mind you going steady when towing is always a good idea, I find!)

 

NB A CWC may be a good (if a bit pricey) Christmas gift idea for any caravanner out there ;)

Edited by Rodders53

2012 Bailey Pegasus 2 Rimini towed by 2019 Ford Galaxy Titanium X, 2.0 EcoBlue, 8 speed auto.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As always some see the glass as half full others as half empty. I see it as not big enough and so should you.

 

1. Alde heating always.

2. Don't get hung up on weight %. Especially from details from third parties find out the facts

3. You will always carry more than you think.

4. Go for a layout and spec that suits, even of it's a few £s more. Down the line you will be far happier long after you've forgotten the extra cost.

5. Don't get fixated on any particular make. They all have good and bad points and the misconception that quality is defined by chrome rather than say plastic handles is just that a misconception. Some modern constructions are substantially lighter take your time and send hours in each make. Look beyond the chrome and play house. You will be surprised at how little design features can make or break how you actually use the van.

6. Whatever you buy make sure that you are relaxed about the decision. Setting of on tow after tow with that niggle in the head is not relaxing.

7. It's a space to live in. Yes exterior looks are important. But not as important as whether the front lounge will seat 6 easily as opposed to 4 cramped. It's a good idea to take a pair of good honest friends with you.

Kia KX 3 auto / Bailey Alicanto Grande Estoril and Swift Challenger 570 (2010 model Not towed - used as a static)
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might be slightly off topic but if you are starting from scratch, budget for a sizable amount of accessory spend and I would put a motormover right at the top of the list .

David

Various vans 78-2019,  currently  Hobby Excellent 540 FU and Mercedes E220 CDI Estate

www. caravan-europe. co. uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were exactly the same when having retired we decided that a caravan might be a good idea so we went to Earls Court (no longer a caravan show venue) and spent the whole day looking at different vans - OK we had sister and brother-in-law along to advise us as they were long term vanners.

 

We ended up buying a Abbey dealer special - fantastic deal which kept us happy travelling all over Europe for five years until in a moment of madness at the NEC in 2009 we bought our current van an Airstream 532, this has also been all over Europe as well as Morocco, a great van - no leaks and very strong and any problems have been with ''bought in parts'' such as the original Dometic Loo.

 

As far as weight goes I just shove all the heavy gear in the car and keep the van as empty as possible (the wife has other ideas :D) and anything in the van that is a bit heavy I keep on the floor by the wheels so far so good :unsure:.

 

By the way as was mentioned a motor mover is well worth the cost and any weight penalty.

 

Good luck and enjoy

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree with most of what's been posted so far, but don't forget that cars have weight limits too and if you're slinging stuff in the car check that you're not overloading it.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd agree with most of what's been posted so far, but don't forget that cars have weight limits too and if you're slinging stuff in the car check that you're not overloading it.

 

Most cars are calculated for carrying 4 adults - so if there are only two of you (like us) then you have a very good capacity ;)

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Most cars are calculated for carrying 4 adults - so if there are only two of you (like us) then you have a very good capacity ;)

Yeah but you do see cars batting down the motorway 5up, plus loaded to the rafters (if they had rafters), plus a roof box, plus bikes on the towhook, plus a twin axle behemoth dangling at the rear with the wheelarch clearances indicating that it's on or near the bump stops at the back.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah but you do see cars batting down the motorway 5up, plus loaded to the rafters (if they had rafters), plus a roof box, plus bikes on the towhook, plus a twin axle behemoth dangling at the rear with the wheelarch clearances indicating that it's on or near the bump stops at the back.

 

Fair point BUT the OP was talking about two people in a van and tow car - or at least that is the way I read it :P

Discovery 4 XS SDV6 and Airstream 532 plus 1996 MGF owned since new.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dealer specials are identical to the "so called genuine Swifts." They are built on the same lines but feature a few more goodies at a lower price. They are usually very good value. Check the specification of both models and see what extras you get, then choose according to value for money.

 

You might like to join Swift Talk with like minded Swift owners. Unfortunately, this site does not allow links.

2013 Honda CR-V EX iDTEC; 2014 Swift Challenger Sport 514

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Most cars are calculated for carrying 4 adults - so if there are only two of you (like us) then you have a very good capacity ;)

Probably True but the "adults" car designers allow for weigh75 kilos.

 

so 2 real life adults + the nose weight of the van + the tow bar + an awning + a full tank ( the v5 does not include a full tank)

 

could depending on the car. .take up a good chunk of the payload of the car before stuffing anything else in.

 

weigh it and be sure.

 

Paul

Edited by hfturbo

Vw Passat V6 4 Motion
2009 Compass Corona Club 544

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back in the 90's when Mercedes Benz first brought out the W126 'S' Class, the top-of-the-range V12 model exhausted its max. allowable GVW with only 3 passengers on board. It was only after urgent changes that the car could accommodate its full complement of 5 passengers and their luggage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right, got it. The Challenger SE is the successor to the Charisma, decent caravan one up from the budget Sprite. The Challenger is one notch up (only the Conqueror above it) and has nicer woodwork etc as well as the Alde heating. Alde is utterly brilliant and I guarantee once you've had it you won't want to do without.

 

Have you looked at the Bailey Unicorns? Lovely vans (OK I'm biased I have one, but I changed from a Charisma) and they are quite a bit lighter than the equivalent Swift which might prevent wifely worries. If you're fixed on the Swift I'd heartily recommend the proper Challenger rather than mutton as lamb dealer special with somewhat dubious "upgrades" allegedly worth loads of money.

Thanks for the comments - Looked at the Unicorn, but we want the fixed bed, which comes in at a higher weight than both equivalent Lunar and Swift

The dealer specials are identical to the "so called genuine Swifts." They are built on the same lines but feature a few more goodies at a lower price. They are usually very good value. Check the specification of both models and see what extras you get, then choose according to value for money.

 

You might like to join Swift Talk with like minded Swift owners. Unfortunately, this site does not allow links.

Many thanks - I tried to join Swift talk, but a mandatory requirement is the vin number of the van, which we don't have yet!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with the point earlier about the brand f caravan, the mst important thing is the dealer, if the dealer s great but only sells brand X, then that might be a better buy than brand Y you really wanted from a dealer that isn't up to scratch. If you want a certain van and don't mind a bit of travel, seek out a good dealer and stick with them, there are a lot about.

As for weight, the 85% guide, causes so many problems with newcomers, you have a decent car to tow with, 95% should not put you off, but don't be fooled by thinking that you won't load it up because there is only two of you, you will, I guarantee it.

Land Rover Discovery and Conquerer 630

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also looking at the Lunar Clubman SE - any first hand knowledge?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six Lunar Clubman reviews in the Review section http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/page/caravan-reviews/_/lunar/ one being on a 2011 SE.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Re swift forum - you don't actually need a real vin number - just put in any old numbers and the system will allow you to join

That's what I did, and it worked fine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Six Lunar Clubman reviews in the Review section http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/page/caravan-reviews/_/lunar/ one being on a 2011 SE.

 

Thanks

Re swift forum - you don't actually need a real vin number - just put in any old numbers and the system will allow you to join

That's what I did, and it worked fine

Thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone for all the replies

 

Have spent all afternoon weighing all the stuff we think will go in the van and added for awning, mover and anything else we could think of.

 

Conclusion is we are going for the Swift Challenger SE. Now to find the right deal / dealer

 

Thanks again for all the input.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 140ps transporter for work, it usually weighs in around 2. 5t and i often tow a 1700kg lift with it. Its more than powerfull enough for swift (no pun intended) progress whilst towing. You will have no power issues, but traction could be an issue. The transporter is shockingly bad.

A seemingly problem free 2010 model Adria Altea 542dk that has more than its fair share of use.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...