Jump to content

Ford S-Max / Swift Conquerer - Is This Van Too Heavy


nickyr
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone

 

I'm Nicky and I've just joined the site as I could really use a little guidance regarding towing and ratios from some experienced caravanners. I've been reading a lot of info from a lot of places but figured you guys would be the best people to seek advice from.

 

I've been towing for a few years now with no problems but with a lighter van. The van is now being upgraded to a Swift Conquerer with a MTPLM of 1670 (this is about 400kg heavier and a metre longer than the previous van) and the kerbweight of my vehicle (inc. the 75kg for driver etc. .) is 1765.

 

I have two questions really, my first is, am I right in thinking that the percentage towing ratio can be applied to the actual final weights of the car and van. The car will be around 1900 with me, my partner, luggage and awning etc. . in the car, and as we intend to load the majority of our gear into the car rather than the van, the van is likely to be around 1600kg (this allows for the mover, battery, gas etc. .) which brings it down from a 95% ratio to a more manageable 84%.

 

Also, I haven't towed this van yet and am slightly apprehensive about what differences I can expect to notice towing a larger size and weight caravan, does anyone have any pointers or advice on this (it is single axle).

 

All advice/info greatfully received, thanks all.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The recommended tow weights ratio is based on caravan weight to car kerbweight and is 85% for an inexperienced tower but could be higher for someone experienced. Most people have difficulty in keeping the weight down so it is simpler to use the MTPLM weight rather than actual weight as the difference for most will be small.

However you cannot use the car actual weight and still keep the same acceptance criteria of 85% as you are not comparing like with like.

 

The purpose of the weight ratio is to be able to compare different outfits. Yours comes in at 95%. However you load it does not change the caravan weight/kerbweight ratio.

Brian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I cant imagine you will have too much of a problem.

 

We tow a 1500 kg Bailey Pegasus with our Smax and it copes no bother.

 

The van is also 7. 2m long on a single axle and i always feel in control.

 

Only issue i have and i think it is probably more to do with the van is getting down to the 90 kgs nose weight.

 

Mike

VW Touareg 3. 0L V6 262 R Line with a Unicorn IV Segovia trying to keep up!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We tow our 1600kg (7. 25m) Unicorn Madrid with a 2. 0tdci S-Max with no bother. Have you added the weight of your towbar to the kerbweight of the car which makes it heavier by another 20kg.

We have no problem getting the nose weight to 80-85kg which suits our outfit (S-Max nose limit is 90kg from March 2008, 80kg before then). If it's loaded correctly then I wouldn't worry. Just make sure you don't backload it to get the noseweight down. Keep as much weight over the axle as possible.

 

We used to pull our 1420kg Provence around with a C-Max at 94% ratio. We had a few conments as it did look a bit small compared to the size of the van (7. 2m) but it was within the 1500kg towing limit. We towed it all over Scotland and Wales without any problems.

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your responses. I wondered if nose weight might be an issue Mike so I will be keeping a careful eye on it.

 

matelodave, I'd used the Mass In Service weight from the log book which shows 1765 (which I believe includes a 75kg allowance for driver and 90% full fuel tank) but didn't think to add on the tow bar. The car is a 2012 so nose weight limit is 90kg and the towing limit on the log book is 1800kg.

 

I'd love to be able to safely tow with the S-Max as I've only had it for just over a year and really like the car so didn't really want to change it. Safety is my primary concern and it makes me feel a lot better knowing that others are finding the S-Max steady with vans nearly as heavy.

 

I have basically decided that we will load practically all of our gear in the car and next to none in the van to increase the weight ratio between van and car in a positive way.

Edited by nickyr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Gelly, when you say overload, do you mean over the maximum on the log book? are there disadvantages to doing what I'm suggesting? this is such a minefield!!! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The plate on your car will show the maximum permitted loads for the front and rear axles. If you put all you equipment in the car you just need to watch that you don't exceed the max weight on the rear axle.

We fight not for glory, nor for wealth nor honours . ..

but only and alone we fight for freedom,

which no good man surrenders but with his life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Highlandman, I know the log box says maximum permissable mass for the car is 2505 but hadn't realised it would be broken down further regarding front/rear axles, although just from a good practice point of view I realised I 'd need to distrubute it evenly. As there is just the two us in the car, we tend to fold down the rear seats so we have a massive boot space for gear so makes it much easier to spread the weight. Where is the plate usually found that gives this info?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Usually on a door pillar, often down low. It'll be detailed in the handbook. Should include Gross Train Weight, Gross Vehicle Weight and the two axle limits.

 

There's a discussion about kerbweights on this thread http://www. caravantalk. co. uk/community/topic/92542-can-i-tow-1500-kilos-with-1430-kilo-kerb-weight-mpv/ which might help. As has been said there your towbar doesn't add to the car's kerbweight or Mass in Running Order which is fixed, it's part of your payload.

 

I have a spreadsheet which you can populate with your own figures to give you a better idea of how you're doing weightwise. Just drop me a PM with your email address and I'll pop it over to you.

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

Hi Gelly, when you say overload, do you mean over the maximum on the log book? are there disadvantages to doing what I'm suggesting? this is such a minefield!!! :)

Hi Nicky

The guys beat me back to it.

 

Your principle is correct. Load the car rather than the caravan but do not exceed the weight limitations as described by the guys.

 

The only way I know of accurately checking the axle weights and gross weight of the car when loaded is to put it over a weighbridge but others may know otherwise.

 

Don't forget to include the noseweight of the caravan in your weight calculations as this load is borne by the car not the caravan.

 

Suggest you get Andy's spreadsheet as a starting point and ask away with further questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to tow my Coachman Festival (1760 kg) with a 2008 2. 2 TDCi model . The car weighed in at 1802 kg and a limit of 1800 I recall. The facelift models were slightly lighter but not by a lot .

It towed the van superbly and I do sometimes regret getting rid of it !! Very stable car with plenty of grunt - one thing you may get is a bit of wheel spin of steep inclines when pulling off.

Great car and didn't win Tow car of the year for nothing a few years ago.

Land Rover Discovery Sport 180 SE Tech 2016 - Fuji White

Coachman Festival 640/6 - 2011

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone, you've all been really helpful. I've found a sticker inside the front driver door and this seems to be axle weights although I'm going to take a photo and google it as it doesn't actually say "axle weights" it has letters against it but I recognise one of the figures as definitely being hte max permissable weight.

 

Smax Jonny, wow . . 1760kg!!! . .. that sounds like a BIG caravan!!

 

I feel a lot more comfortable about towing this new van with my Smax now, I've also found out that it has ATC which I've just read up about and it seems that this can only be a positive thing on the safety front.

 

I will be picking it up in a couple of weeks so wish me luck :) !!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Things I noticed when changing to a heavier, longer caravan.

Reduced performance, increased fuel consumption, and take care to allow for the caravan wheels when cornering.

More susceptible to passing vehicles, and wind.

The 2. 2 Smax mentioned is a much more powerful car than the 2 litre models, and heavier on fuel.

Better to use with a heavy caravan, IMO.

Be careful loading the boot, if you put to much in there is a risk of rear end sag when the caravan is hooked up, it doesn't matter were you put the weight, as the car is still pulling the gross train weight.

Obviously putting the heavy loads over the axles lowdown is preferred.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

it doesn't matter were you put the weight, as the car is still pulling the gross train weight.

It does if you go over the max axle weights!

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

It does if you go over the max axle weights!

And it does if you put all the heavy weight stuff beyond the axle!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously.

quite obviously not, it reads as if you can put weight wherever you want as the car will still be managing the same weight.

If i read it that way then so could someone with little or no experience.

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

Do check the noseweight of your caravan. Swift and Sterling caravans are notoriously nose heavy with most being 100kg (Bailey's are much lighter). Also check the 'train weight' as from experience this is what the police check when the pull you over.

Janet and Jason xxx
Jeep Cherokee Limited 2. 0CRD (2015) towing a 2016 Swift Challenger 530 Alde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

quite obviously not, it reads as if you can put weight wherever you want as the car will still be managing the same weight.

If i read it that way then so could someone with little or no experience.

Previous posts have already covered axle limits.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do check the noseweight of your caravan. Swift and Sterling caravans are notoriously nose heavy with most being 100kg (Bailey's are much lighter). Also check the 'train weight' as from experience this is what the police check when the pull you over.

Not all. Our bailey is very difficult to get down to the 90kgs required by the Smax.

 

Was much easier with jeep where I had 140kgs to play with.

 

It is possible but not easy.

VW Touareg 3. 0L V6 262 R Line with a Unicorn IV Segovia trying to keep up!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Previous posts have already covered axle limits.

but not everyone reads a whole thread,

This is quite obvious by the amount of times people add an answer to a thread that has been posted multiple times, sometimes hours apart but in the same day.

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

but not everyone reads a whole thread,

This is quite obvious by the amount of times people add an answer to a thread that has been posted multiple times, sometimes hours apart but in the same day.

The Op has read all the posts and has responded to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not all. Our bailey is very difficult to get down to the 90kgs required by the Smax.

 

Was much easier with jeep where I had 140kgs to play with.

 

It is possible but not easy.

Apologies it was a generalisation. Our Sterling is the same and has caused up some serious problems.

Edited by Janet

Janet and Jason xxx
Jeep Cherokee Limited 2. 0CRD (2015) towing a 2016 Swift Challenger 530 Alde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks all

Xtrailman, yes I agree about spreading the weight in the boot to prevent sag, I'm going to have all rear seats folded down so should be quite easy to distribute hopfully. Thanks for the tip on cornering, I had thought that I'd maybe have to allow a little more space when cornering. I think the axle on the new van will be about the same distance away from the towball as the full length of the previous van!! :)

Clairendave, thanks for double checking I had understood xtrailman's post, I had understood it but it never hurts to double check.

Janet, thanks for the info, after reading some bits and pieces about Swift's I am a little worried about nose weight, hopefully I will be able to work with the 90kg limit of the car but if not I guess I will have no choice but to consider changing. May be a Kia Sorento, but will see how I go with the S-Max first.

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...