Mar 29, 2004
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So why are caravanners in the UK obsessed with having to tow with a 4X4. We have just returned from a 3500 mile tour of Europe and nearly all caravanners abroad tow with a real car, towing all sizes of van and if you do see a 4X4 towing it's more than likely to have GB on the back. Even in countries like Austria and Germany where one would expect to see 4X4's because of the harsher winters very few were seen. They must just use them when they need to, in the Snow and not just to take the kids to school. It must be a UK Macho thing
 
Mar 14, 2005
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This topic has recently been done to death and exposed the least attractive bigotry such as you display.

I have a 4 X 4 Nissan X Trail not to be macho but because my wife suffers with Parkinsons Disease and the height of the seat from the ground makes it easy for her to get in and out.Hope that is a valid enough reason for you.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just looking for a reaction here bud? Want to start the big 4x4 debate going again? Trouble is its just all been done, no one wins and no one looses that argument, so try some other question uh! It's getting tedious, oh and by the way at what point did 4x4s stop being real cars?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It occurs to me on reflection that the reason for no caravaning 4 X 4 observations in Austria etc could be because they were all in Spain for the warmer weather.When we go to Aquarius there are plenty of Germans in 4 X 4 or more often in massive motor homes that are even bigger.There seems to have been a big swing towards big motor homes lately.When we were at a CC site at Wythall recently there was a huge motorhome (the bus type) and it was towing a trailer with a 4 X 4 on it. Tut Tut
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Gary,

I'm looking at buying a new car and am looking at 4wd's (jeeps). Why a problem?? we choose where we live, what house we buy, what van we buy so why not what car?? I could buy a 4 door euro box but don't want to, thats my choice and what makes the world go round...Maybe you secretly want a 4 x 4 as you obviously are spotting them..... :eek:)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Why do some people have a problem with regards to another persons choice of towing vehicle.I am self employed and for ten years have used a van in connection with my work.I decided to trade my van in and buy a swb shogun which gives me the benefit of towing my trailer or towing my caravan.So I guess I'm one of these people you call (obsessed),I call it rewarding,for ten years bloody hard work.The next time you take your caravan out on the road try looking at the scenery to stop you turning green with - - -?.

NUFF SAID!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Gary I have just bought a 4x4, not to join the Obsession Clan but purely for the fact that I spend a lot of days in the year on farmers fields and rugby pitches in all weathers competing with my dogs,after several occassions where I struggled to get on or off with my Peugeot 406 est I decided it was time to change the vehicle,and with kerb weights getting lower and vans getting heavier I am now prepared for anything.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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by the way I am completely on the fence re 4x4's. it looks to me that gary's question is purely an observation rather than a statement. incidentally I to have a family member with health problems who finds that our 2-wheel drive mpv (50+ mpg around 40+ towing) is high enough to allow easy access and friends often point its height off the road and good forward visibility. nowever one friend does qualify his statement by saying that it's not as good as his porsche, but that's his opinion, i've not asked him his thoughts on 4x4's. my only experience with 4x4's and off road was some years ago in the 80's when my van became stuck in a wet yorkshire field. i had left my car on the hard standing at the entrance of the site on day 2 of the rain. on departure day a landrover driver (the landrover fitted with off road tyres) kindly offered to tow my van off the field up to my car on the concrete. some 20 mins later both he and myself approached the farmer and the sight of my van coupled to landrover being pulled by a tractor certainly stopped the site whilst all watched and was no doubt the talk of the site in the evening. one observation I have made is at a local diy shed; a sign saying 'extra wide parking bays for 4x4's'lets hope the mayor of london doesn't shop there!!! another observation worth noting is page 3 of this Sundays observer. anyway whatever you tow with; roll on spring 2005 and lets all have a good one!!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Perhaps the reason why you don't see as many 4x4's towing caravans on the Continent is that nobody has ever heard of the '85% rule' there. Caravanners on the Continent are generally only concerned with being within the legal towing limit and few really take much notice of their car's own kerbweight because it doesn't affect any legal limits. That's why you probably see a number of larger outfits on the road there than in the UK. However, there is an exception in Germany. The general speed limit for caravans there is 80kph but you can get approval for 100kph if, amongst other things, the trailer weighs less than 80% of the kerbweight of the car. But, the hurdles (and the cost) of getting this approval are substantial and therefore few owners go through the process of applying for it. This 100kph limit is currently only an experiment and indications are that the 80% weight ratio limit will be raised to 100% in the near future, which would make 100kph approval more attractive for more owners.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Lutz usually talks a lot of sense but this time he really is wrong. I know for certain France, Holland, Belgium, Germany Sweden and Denmark all have their own version of the 85% advice.

In Holland, the figure is 75 to 80% of the car laden weight. To my mind is superior to the UK version as it encourages the placing of heavy items in the car. I assure Lutz the level of awareness of the 'advise' is very high amongst caravanners here, most stay within, or close to, the limit. This despite a road tax system based on car weight.

As to weight awareness, the police now do weight checks the mentioned countries. In Holland they have been doing so since 1985 when I was first checked. When did the police begin with weight checks in England, or are they still saving up to buy the equipment?

Further, Lutz talks of the 'legal limit'. Since when was 85% a legal limit in the, apparently, perfect UK Lutz ?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If Gary wants me to give up my 4x4 I would appreciate it if he could show me where I can find a "normal" car that weighs more than 2000kg kerbweight so that I can tow my van somewhere near to the 85% rule.

I firmly believe that I am being much more responsible and considerate to other road users by having a well matched and safe outfit rather than trying to pull my van with an underpowered and underweight car.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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we have towed with a 4x4 for years i personally think everyone to there own,we have 3 children and all the gear to take away when we caravan so we have lots of space to put things.This year we hit poor weather at great yarmouth and a freind of ours who had a car had problems with brake pipes leaking the aa came and got bogged down on the field,then the recovery truck got bogged there all night too however the next morning we hitched up knocked the landcruiser into four wheel drive and had no problems leaving the field thats why 4x4s are handy to caravanners.When i go away i like the countryside not commercial concrete parks so i have no qualms in keeping a 4 whel drive as long as i,m caravanning. and yes i do go to school and shopping in my 4x4 but i pay my tax and insurance so i,ll do what i want with it so there i might even have a little go up hills and on sand if i feel like it
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If there is a recommendation in Holland, I apologize, as I was not aware of it. There certainly is no general recommendation in Germany. How close one goes to the legal limit there is up to one's own good judgment. However, weight checks are performed by the police in Germany, too, in fact, relatively often during the summer months. I've run into one myself. But then they only check according to legal requirements not according to any '85% rule' or similar.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I used to own a 4 x 4 for towing a horse box (which included towing in muddy fields where no other vehicle would have gone).

4 x 4's can do a useful job BUT they consume large amounts of fuel (which is running out), produce 47% more pollution than an average car, are more likely to seriously injure or kill pedestrians in a road accident than an average car, and are more likely to seriously injure or kill the occupants of an average car in an accident.

Most 4 x 4's are never used for the purpose for which they were designed. I think it is this last point which is causing so many people to be anti.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Gary, thank god for 4x4 owners. I tow with a 2x4 BMW 525dSE Touring, great on tarmac, okish on damp grass, but useless on wet soggy CL sites, so many thanks to the helpful and considerate Freelander owner who towed my 1300MTPLM 'van(just) onto its pitch at Chapel Amble in September. As I do about 45000 miles a year on business, I wouldn't want to drive any 4x4 for that distance, but I sure would like to be able to afford one just for 'vanning. What ever happened to tolerance, and what are we saying to new members of our fabulous hobby?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I love to read all the letters about the benefits of different tow cars - keep it going! I tow a 1250kg gross wt van (MTPLM for the up to date!) with my Peugeot 406 HDi estate with a 'chipped' engine to improve torque and it is great. But now I'm thinking of getting a new van weighing in at 1450 kg gross wt. I'd be grateful of any advice on what to buy - 4 x 4 or MPV or large estate.

Alan
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Just returned from a week away.Site one a CL the owner came to us as we manoeuvred on wet grass and said "Oh good its a 4 x 4 " We made no damage to the grass but alongside were skidmarks where a 2 wheel drive vehicle had chewed it up.Site 2 CC at Whitley Bay and we were at the bottom of quite a steep slope on wet grass and the X pulled the van up with no wheel spin and we had been quite worried about getting out.If I wasn't convinced about the value of 4 wheel drive before I am now.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Why don't you people with small cars sort yourselves out. All you hear is you wining on about people with 4x4s. We don't cry about being stuck behind some idiot in a small family car pulling a caravan that weighs more than their car getting pushed down the hill by the caravan

Bill
 
Mar 14, 2005
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My wife also suffers with a major disability but I chose a small mpv very economical but also with a high seat so your last remark John G is although a valid reason - not your only choice.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I can't understand why there's so much discussion about whether 4x4 or not. Each has its particular advantages and disadvantages and to me it's pointless trying to preach to the converted. Besides, the matter of cost is something that few can afford to ignore although it has rarely been mentioned in the discussion threads. Performance doesn't enter into the equation because, given the proper engine under the bonnet, there are plenty of 'regular' cars that will knock spots off the average 4x4 even when towing. The whole issue is a question that everyone has to answer for him/herself depending on one's own preferences, priorities and, not least, money in one's pocket. Maybe I see it all rather more philosophically because I'm one of the lucky few who have a 4x4 only for towing and a smaller car for day-to-day use.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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You've got to laugh. Isn't it amazing, Gary makes a simple observation and suddenly the world erupts with indignation from all the people who drive 4 x 4s. What I find interesting is that these people seem to have to justify themselves. Why? He didn't accuse anyone of doing anthing wrong. What are they trying to defend? It appears that the best thing about 4x4s is that they can go across muddy fields and don't leave marks on the grass. Great! Any 4 wheel drive Audi or Skoda will do that. 4x4s can carry lots of 'stuff'- I think you will find that a Volvo estate is bigger and more comfortable. A Freelander and Rover 75 share the same diesel engine, both weigh about the same but the Rover is bigger inside and faster - oh, but the Freelander goes across wet grass once or twice a year!

And as for 4x4s towing faster and not holding up traffic - that is not always true - I haven't seen a fast 4x4. They are just Chelsea tractors!!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Isn't the whole idea of this fantastic hobby the freedom that you have to go where you want when you want. If this is the case why do people have to be so opinionated about what other people choose to drive or for that matter tow.
 

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