BMW 5 Series

Dec 10, 2022
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So I have currently been looking at tow car options for a Swift 560l which has a MTPL of 1660kg.

the car has a kerb weight of 1785kg so using the 85% calculation it says 1517 so I couldn’t tow that as caravan is heavier. The car states it can Tow 2000kg though so am I missing something?

Thanks
John
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The 85% is a guide not a rule. The cars specification clearly states its towing legal capability. The 85 is there to guide new caravanners but so many other things affect a safe tow. But I would never exceed 100% with a caravan as they aren’t perfect trailers
 
Dec 10, 2022
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I can now see it’s is a heavily debated topic and one I can understand. Loading the car will increase weight distribution anyway. Caravan at 1660 with car at 1785 plus 2000 tow capacity im sure I could manage. C+E qualified
 
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Jan 20, 2023
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Excellent tow cars, I used a 2016 BMW 520D to tow a 2018 twin axle Sprite Quattro EB all over the country (and also a laden twin axle car trailer). My only comments are:

  1. The 8 speed gearbox is brilliant, never hesitating and always in the "right" gear,
  2. The BMW fold away tow bar doesn't have the live feed for the fridge/battery charging - never bothered us.
  3. I THINK a retro fit (non-factory) tow bar requires an upgraded cooling fan.
  4. The rear suspension can be a bit soft, loading to the maximum noseweight can give a bum-down stance.
  5. Rock steady handling and the factory quoted kerb weight is for a car in minimum spec, from memory the actual (weighed) kerb weight of mine was around 1830kgs.bmw2.jpg
 
Jun 16, 2010
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Just something to consider - some caravan insurers specify that you cannot exceed 100% of the cars kerb weight in their T&C's.

In your case John, i wouldn't bat an eyelid towing a caravan with MTPLM of 1660kg with a car that weighs 1785kg
 
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Jan 20, 2023
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I don't think you'll be disappointed, I never was and would consider another 5 series as a tow car at any time, although mine had a few reliability issues but as it was a company car it didn't bother me too much. My twin axle had an MTPLM of 1624kgs and we towed it up & down the country with the BMW without a sniff of any handling issues.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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C+E qualified
Category C does not apply to your proposed outfit as both the tow vehicle and the trailers have MAM's are less than 3500kg each.

The correct Category is B and B+e, which since a recent government change to the categories every pass of the basic licence now included "Be" even if its not shown on your licence.

If in doubt check with the DVSA
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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I can now see it’s is a heavily debated topic and one I can understand. Loading the car will increase weight distribution anyway. Caravan at 1660 with car at 1785 plus 2000 tow capacity im sure I could manage. C+E qualified
Try looking at the matching site Towcar.info I’ve always found it a pretty good predictor, and it allows you to be flexible on things like payload, noseweight,cars weight inc luggage etc. Although as a previous post has said it looks a good match anyway and he has experience of the recent five series too as a tow car.
 
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Dec 10, 2022
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Category C does not apply to your proposed outfit as both the tow vehicle and the trailers have MAM's are less than 3500kg each.

The correct Category is B and B+e, which since a recent government change to the categories every pass of the basic licence now included "Be" even if its not shown on your licence.

If in doubt check with the DVSA

I understood the licence categories it was more for offering confidence as a driver with a load / larger size being an issue if closer to weights
Cheers
John
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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I understood the licence categories it was more for offering confidence as a driver with a load / larger size being an issue if closer to weights
Cheers
John
If you have CE, that implies you've gained the +E by passing a towing test rather than "grandfather rights" - if that's the case, you're in a good position to cope just fime with your Towing Ratio.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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If you have CE, that implies you've gained the +E by passing a towing test rather than "grandfather rights" - if that's the case, you're in a good position to cope just fime with your Towing Ratio.
I had C+E as grandfather rights, but that was removed last year, when I hit 70 years old.
Edit, It was C1E as grandfather rights. .
 
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Jul 15, 2008
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Category C does not apply to your proposed outfit as both the tow vehicle and the trailers have MAM's are less than 3500kg each.

The correct Category is B and B+e, which since a recent government change to the categories every pass of the basic licence now included "Be" even if its not shown on your licence.

If in doubt check with the DVSA

......you cannot hold a C licence or a C+E licence without holding a B licence first.

Hutch .... I think you are referring to a C1 licence being removed at 70 since C licences come with stricter medical requirements.
 
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