Advice please about my car

Sep 22, 2020
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HI
We are looking to buy our first ever caravan and would appreciate clarity on a couple of things if possible:-

I have a 2016 Skoda Superb 2.0 Petrol DSG ........I have been told so many different MPTLM weights that I can tow ranging from 1200Kg up to 2000Kg..........could somebody please tell me what is the maximum I can tow ?

on the same subject ; We think we have agreed that a fixed Island bed layout would suit us the best , is this a wise choice and can you recommend a suitable van up to £12000 max.....

many thanks for your time

Dave and Pat
 
Nov 11, 2009
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HI
We are looking to buy our first ever caravan and would appreciate clarity on a couple of things if possible:-

I have a 2016 Skoda Superb 2.0 Petrol DSG ........I have been told so many different MPTLM weights that I can tow ranging from 1200Kg up to 2000Kg..........could somebody please tell me what is the maximum I can tow ?

on the same subject ; We think we have agreed that a fixed Island bed layout would suit us the best , is this a wise choice and can you recommend a suitable van up to £12000 max.....

many thanks for your time

Dave and Pat
Welcome to the Forum.

On your cars VIN plate there will be details of its Maximum train weight and Gross Vehicle Weight. Deduct one from the other and you get max towing limit. It should also be in the V5 and Owners Manual too. I've had 2014 Superb and the info is all there for that year.

Do you have a B/E licence if not you are listed to 3500kg limit comprising the cars GVW and caravan MTPLM. These limits are based on the plated weights not what actually in the car or caravan which may both be empty.

Cars are specified as having tow limit, but in reality their ability to tow a caravan is lower as caravans can be subject to windage, heavy fast moving vehicles and loadings all of which combine to make a less than ideal trailer. One rule of thumb is for novices to keep the caravan to 85% (ish) of the car's kerbweight. If you give a bit more information about the car then Forum members will no doubt be able to give advice on suitable caravans.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Parkers list weight as 1460kg so safely at that you can tow 1240 kg by sticking rigidly to the 85% rule; up to 1300kg might be more realistic and well within Skoda's tow rating which if I am looking at the right car and only you can do that, is 2000kg.
TBH however you have the car there, know the exact model and spec and a quick google tells you tow rating and kerbweight-as someone has already put above it's advisable for a beginner to stay around the 85% of kerbweight and with more experience, up to 100% of that, since caravan wisdom says they don't behave predictably. Lots of info about that and heated debate you can research for yourself. Good luck in the hunt-we had a 2 birth with a bed to make up for a start and like you decided that was a bit of a bind and went for a fixed bed Bailey Pegasus Verona as our next caravan. Also of course you need to check your licence-if you are lucky enough to be young then there are limits as to the total weight of the car and caravan-plenty of advice on here about that too .
 
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Sep 22, 2020
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clive and Jezzer , thank you for your replies , Jezzer , you've hit my problem on the head....85% is 1240kg , so where does the 2000kg come from ?.....am I allowed to go up to 2000kg ?....I have a BE licence ( as I'm an old ****** )........I was going to take a course on towing , is that advisable or a waste of money , as a friend could probably teach me the same ?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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clive and Jezzer , thank you for your replies , Jezzer , you've hit my problem on the head....85% is 1240kg , so where does the 2000kg come from ?.....am I allowed to go up to 2000kg ?....I have a BE licence ( as I'm an old ****** )........I was going to take a course on towing , is that advisable or a waste of money , as a friend could probably teach me the same ?
The makers specifies the cars maximum braked towing load. It relates too a number of factors. one being the ability of the car to restart a number of times on a defined incline, but as I said in my post it doesn't necessarily relate to safely towing caravan. Whilst legally you could go to 2000kg it would not be advised. Generally for experienced caravaners the 100% kerb weight guide tends to be use. Also being petrol I think that your car would really struggle with 2000Kg. Try looking at a number of outfit matching sites to gauge what your proposals would mean. I like "tow car.info".

The two Clubs give excellent towing courses which actually cover far more than the basics of towing and manoeuvring. you might also look at their websites as there are many help sheets and technical sheets on all aspects of caravanning.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Is yours the 217 bhp or 276 bhp in which case with its turbo it should be a good tow car for a matched caravan. My earlier comments assumed a non turbo petrol engine for some reason. I tow with a 2.0 litrevForester and it has a good torque curve right up the Rev range and it’s torque that makes for a relaxing tow. I won’t dwell on fuel economy solo or towing compared to my previous Superb Estate 2.0 tdi DSG, 4x4.
 
Sep 22, 2020
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its the 217 bhp turbo , that creates another question.....would it be better to tow in economy , normal or sport mode........difference really is the revs are higher in sport , thus turbo is spinning earlier ?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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its the 217 bhp turbo , that creates another question.....would it be better to tow in economy , normal or sport mode........difference really is the revs are higher in sport , thus turbo is spinning earlier ?
Your owners manual may advise. My Subaru advises towing in Sport for exactly the reason you give. It has two Sport modes and for towing it’s the more “ gentle” of the two.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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As Clive says-should make a heck of a tow car-but in terms of mode-suck it and see once you get going! Only by trying it will you know what suits you but you'll have no issue with power! Lovely car.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Welcome to the Forum, another "Depends on" is how often and how far will you maybe towing, if its within 100 miles and maybe once a month for a long weekend, or if your touring for a week or two Every other month.
 
May 7, 2012
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As Otherclive says what you can realistically tow may depend on the engine. If you have the higher rated one then you should be able to choose from a limited range of caravans but if it is the lower power you will need to be rather more selective. I do tow a caravan with a potential of 1420 kg with a petrol engine about the same as the higher Superb one and it manages that but they lack the torque for real performance.
The weight of the car is important in that you need the weight to control the caravan. They are far from ideal as trailers and the large flat sides are subject to cross winds and passing traffic so you need a decent weight to hold the caravan in check. If you get it right though it is not a problem and the Superb is an excellent tow car.
I would go along with Jezzer B on weights you can tow, but I think this will prevent you from getting the in line bed as that requires a longer caravan which tends to also mean weight. You will be looking mainly at lightweight models with mainly a side bed or a few with transverse ones.
The Covid problem has seen caravan sales go through the roof so prices are high on very limited stock at dealers but the best bet is to look there and check out layouts and what style you like. Assuming you are not going to use this until next year I would take your time looking round and hopefully prices will drop soon.
Buying privately can get you bargains but unless you know what to look for it can be dangerous so I would stick with a decent dealer. Whatever you go for make sure it has a recent clear damp check and if you do buy privately I would suggest get a caravan engineer to look over it first among other things. If you consider buying privately let us know and you will get far more advice.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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As Otherclive says what you can realistically tow may depend on the engine. If you have the higher rated one then you should be able to choose from a limited range of caravans but if it is the lower power you will need to be rather more selective. I do tow a caravan with a potential of 1420 kg with a petrol engine about the same as the higher Superb one and it manages that but they lack the torque for real performance.
The weight of the car is important in that you need the weight to control the caravan. They are far from ideal as trailers and the large flat sides are subject to cross winds and passing traffic so you need a decent weight to hold the caravan in check. If you get it right though it is not a problem and the Superb is an excellent tow car.
I would go along with Jezzer B on weights you can tow, but I think this will prevent you from getting the in line bed as that requires a longer caravan which tends to also mean weight. You will be looking mainly at lightweight models with mainly a side bed or a few with transverse ones.
The Covid problem has seen caravan sales go through the roof so prices are high on very limited stock at dealers but the best bet is to look there and check out layouts and what style you like. Assuming you are not going to use this until next year I would take your time looking round and hopefully prices will drop soon.
Buying privately can get you bargains but unless you know what to look for it can be dangerous so I would stick with a decent dealer. Whatever you go for make sure it has a recent clear damp check and if you do buy privately I would suggest get a caravan engineer to look over it first among other things. If you consider buying privately let us know and you will get far more advice.

I would hardly call a 217 BHP turbo low power. 276 bhp higher power...".limited range of caravans" Just how much power does the guy require to join the hobby. Need to retain a sense of proportion. My wife's Saab 9000 CSE turbo only had an extra 8bhp (225 bhp) and was a wonderful tow car.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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As I stated though less conservatively than my next sentence the op will have to keep an eye on the speedo and make sure the body of the van is still attached to the chassis!
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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Next to us on last trip was a New Hyundai Tucson 1.6 TDGI 177 Petrol estate - Lunar Clubman Sb Touring Caravan he ask me how mine towed he went in great lengths alot praise saying the car was great so i would agree with oc hardly call 217 BHP Turbo low in power.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Isn’t torque more important than bhp for towing?
If you have a turbo petrol with 217 or even more bhp there will be adequate torque fir most towing duties. My 2 litre petrol turbo has slightly more torque than the 2.0 litre diesel and carries it higher up the Rev band too. Economy is not so good though.
Friends of ours have a Fiesta 1.0 ecoboost and its low down pull is quite surprising even four up.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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My Volvo has a mere 135 bhp. Diesel yes, so improved torque. However, the torque curves of petrols has greatly improved over recent years. But my 135 bhp towing 1500 kg. Works very very well.

John
 
Feb 23, 2018
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on the same subject ; We think we have agreed that a fixed Island bed layout would suit us the best , is this a wise choice and can you recommend a suitable van up to £12000
The Sprite Major 4 SB is a good "lighter" choice... 1437kg MTPLM (on my 2018 model) its a fixed transverse island bed layout. There are some 2015 models on Caravan Finder for c.£12-13k... The Swift Challenger 580 is the same layout, 2012 models going for the same money.

You'll have to be quick though... caravans seem to be selling like hot cakes at minute. Most of the used vans being sold by the trade, were 'Sale Agreed'.
 

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