A Safe Match ??

Mar 14, 2005
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I'd appreciate some advice on achieving a safe match between our prospective new caravan purchase and our car, as we are new to caravanning.

I drive a Volvo V70 SE 2400cc (Petrol)with a kerbweight of 1528 Kg and the tourer we are looking to buy is a Bailey 550/6 with a MTPLM of 1326 Kg

This however takes us slightly ( 27 Kg ) over the 85% rule to almost 87 %.

Would you consider this a safe enough match for a beginner ?

I do have a Thule roof box and had planned to use that for personal effects.Would you also reccomend that I travel with the awning in my boot ?

Any advice would be very welcome.

Thanks Mike.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Mike, Volvo's have had a good reputation as tow capable cars. as your proposed combination sits at 87% I would not be too concerned especially as V70 has a max recommended tow weight of 1800Kg. However simple matching of the weights is only part of the answer, as how the caravan and car are loaded and driven have a significant effect on the handling and safety. The other factor that you must consider is the car manufactures maximum permitted gross train weight (combined weight of car and caravan)- this must not be exceeded. If you have space then the awning could travel in the car the choice is yours.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Have you taken the kerbweight of the Volvo out of the book? If so, you'll probably find that it actually weighs more than the 27kg over the quoted kerbweight. For this reason, 2% over the recommended limit is not going to make or break a safe combination.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mike, I've just ordered a new V70 D5 S and on the Volvo website you can configure your car. You know the type of thing, colour, trim, etc. Mine without any extra's came to over 1700kg. If this is correct then your SE must surely be heavier. My present Passat Estate has a kerbweight of 1425kg according to the handbook but to check I took it to a local public weighbridge. It is actually 1545kg and for a tenner I've got a certificate to prove it. So for peace of mind try it. As John rightly points out there are a number of other factors that are equally, if not more important to consider. I personally tow at about 93% with no problems, but I have had a van for over 20 years. Volvo's have always had a superb reputation as tow cars so I don't think you should worry about the weight ratio. Good luck. Jim
 
Mar 14, 2005
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With such a small over weight I would not worry about 2% over. This is only a rule of thumb. Fill the car with fuel and visit a local weighbridge and then calculate the ratio. As far as the roof box is concerned I would kick it into touch, for what they hold in both volume and weight they are more of a hindrance, think of the extra drag for fuel. The contents of the bax can go in the caravan. Keep your loading low and central over the wheels and there should be no problem. The awning can go on the floor in the centre. One problem to watch is the max. nose weight of the caravan/car.
 
Aug 13, 2004
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Mike, once you've got your caravan you might find it worthwhile to take it to a public weighbridge and get the car and caravan weighed separately. If you load both as if you were heading off on holiday you will then get an accurate and more realistic view of the weight balance. We did this with our S60 and Eccles Topaz, which had a "book" balance of around 80%, and found that we were actually much nearer 70%... Hope this helps, Simon
 
Mar 14, 2005
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if in doubt try checking with volvo's techie dept, they should be able to give you the answer. after all they made and tested the car. personally 2% over should be ok, providing you tow within your limits and the cars.
 
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Sounds OK, but make sure you're not overloading the rear axle by putting the awning in the back. If possible, lower one of the rear seats and place the awning between both front & rear to evenly distribute the weight. Remember the 'van's noseweight will add considerably to the rear axle load on your car. Your handbook should state what's ok.
 

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