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Correct towbar

Jan 10, 2021
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Newbie, wondering how to find out if my towbar is suitable for pulling a caravan. Toyota RAV4
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Towbars have to be type approved for the vehicle and are
matched to the cars towing specification. I would get underneath and photo the serial or part number on the towbar and contact the manufacturer to confirm suitability.

Then you should also check to see if the towball itself is or is not compatible with a Alko hitch stabiliser as many if not most caravans have the Alko stabiliser fitted.

Is your driving licence B or BE as B places quite severe restrictions on what can be towed.

What model RAV4 do you have and what is its towing limit.

The link below shows a comparison between a standard tow ball and one suitable for the Alko stabiliser hitch. The latter has a longer shank to it and is suitable fir towing non stabiliser caravan hitch, Alko or Winterhoff stabiliser hitches.

https://www.trailertrek.co.uk/towballs/
 
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Jan 10, 2021
7
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Towbars have to be type approved for the vehicle and are
matched to the cars towing specification. I would get underneath and photo the serial or part number on the towbar and contact the manufacturer to confirm suitability.

Then you should also check to see if the towball itself is or is not compatible with a Alko hitch stabiliser as many if not most caravans have the Alko stabiliser fitted.

Is your driving licence B or BE as B places quite severe restrictions on what can be towed.

What model RAV4 do you have and what is its towing limit.
Thanks for your reply, 14 diesel 2.2 AWD, driving licence B and BE. Passed test a long time ago. Will the dealer know if the tow ball is compatable with alko?
 
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Oct 8, 2006
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If the hitch is a swan neck (as most RAV4s seem to be) then there should be plenty of room for the Al-Ko stabiliser. Look on the Al-Ko web site and there are diagrams of the clearances required.
Also take care with the electrics. On an 05 plate you could well have 12N and 12S 7-pin sockets but most caravans built in the last 10 years or so now have a single 13-pin connector for which case you can get adapters.
 
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May 7, 2012
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All towbars now need to be type approved for the towing vehicle so any propriety make should work. Witter, Brink and Westfalia are probably the best known and you will not go wrong with any of them.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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All towbars now need to be type approved for the towing vehicle so any propriety make should work. Witter, Brink and Westfalia are probably the best known and you will not go wrong with any of them.

The OP already has a towbar fitted and was enquiring if it was okay to tow a caravan. Other than that there is no information on the type of towbar system fitted, especially the towball fitted.
 
Jan 10, 2021
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The towbar was fitted in the factory, I bought the car from a Toyota dealer 1 year old. Never used it, but I will take some photos and post. Year is 14 not 05. I've mailed the dealer. Am I correct in thinking the tow weight is 1500?20210110_130424.jpg20210110_130755.jpg20210110_130928.jpg20210110_130941.jpg
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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It could be on your. V5 or in the Owners Manual. And certainly on the vehicle weight plate like the one shown below. If you deduct GVW from GTW you will get the cars maximum towing load.
If you look at either of the Club sites you will access some very useful bulletin sheets or all aspects of caravanning and towing.

You have a 13 pin DIN connector which is the best for connecting to a caravan. If your chosen caravan comes with the old style twin plugs the dealer or mobile tech would change the electrics if you did not want to use a convertor. Not expensive.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van/towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van-the-basics

18212857-8307-4AB6-A271-2E757672AAAA.jpeg
 
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Jan 10, 2021
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It could be on your. V5 or in the Owners Manual. And certainly on the vehicle weight plate like the one shown below. If you deduct GVW from GTW you will get the cars maximum towing load.
If you look at either of the Club sites you will access some very useful bulletin sheets or all aspects of caravanning and towing.

You have a 13 pin DIN connector which is the best for connecting to a caravan. If your chosen caravan comes with the old style twin plugs the dealer or mobile tech would change the electrics if you did not want to use a convertor. Not expensive.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van/towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van-the-basics

View attachment 1046
Thanks found the sticker 4040-2240 =1800
 
Jan 19, 2002
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The car already has a 13 pin socket, and unless your caravan is older with 12N and 12S (black and grey) plugs you will not need the adaptor lead that you have pictured. Also you have a Westfalia manufactured detachable swan neck towball so should give clearance for an Alko (or less commonly now Winterhoff) stabiliser head tow hitch. As has been stated you can check the clearance between the ball and any part of the rear of the car once fitted to ensure the head has room to articulate fully. . Also worth researching how you should fix the breakaway cable (depending on type fitted to the van ) to the 'eye' that is visible to the right of the 13 pin socket. If not already an owner you should look for a van with an MTPLM of about 85% of the kerbweight of the Toyota not exceeding the stated max permissible for the Rav4, and start to consider how many berths you need and what layout you prefer, although because of curtailed foreign holidays last/this year you will find that the used van stock is quite low.
 
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Jan 10, 2021
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The car already has a 13 pin socket, and unless your caravan is older with 12N and 12S (black and grey) plugs you will not need the adaptor lead that you have pictured. Also you have a Westfalia manufactured detachable swan neck towball so should give clearance for an Alko (or less commonly now Winterhoff) stabiliser head tow hitch. As has been stated you can check the clearance between the ball and any part of the rear of the car once fitted to ensure the head has room to articulate fully. . Also worth researching how you should fix the breakaway cable (depending on type fitted to the van ) to the 'eye' that is visible to the right of the 13 pin socket. If not already an owner you should look for a van with an MTPLM of about 85% of the kerbweight of the Toyota not exceeding the stated max permissible for the Rav4, and start to consider how many berths you need and what layout you prefer, although because of curtailed foreign holidays last/this year you will find that the used van stock is quite low.
Thanks for that I have seen a van I like, posted some questions on the buying thread.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thanks found the sticker 4040-2240 =1800
Does that align with your V5.
1800 kg is Toyotas maximum which isn’t necessarily appropriate for a caravan. It shows that the car can do a number of repeated hill starts on a defined incline plus some other things. But a caravan being a large high sided box with a high Center of gravity doesn’t tow the same as a lower sided four wheel trailer for example. It is subject to wind disturbance, faster vehicles will disturb it, overtaking large goods vehicles and road conditions disturb it and any of these could lead to instability. For that reason the guidance for inexperienced drivers is to keep the MTPLM of the caravan at no more than 85% of the cars kerbweight. This is guidance and not an absolute figure as modern cars have better suspension and systems than older vehicles. But it’s not a bad starting point. There are matching sites and one that I’ve used is Towcar.info. But like all such modelling it’s only as good as the data in, but on my last three outfits with four different tow cars it’s predictions were good. It helps decision on making.
 
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May 7, 2012
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You need to check the registration document to get the unladen weight and add 75 kg for the driver and some luggage to get the figure the 85% advice is asedd on. Once you have this you should use that to get the recommended figure for the MTPLM of the caravan, although personally I would not worry about going a bit over it. What you should never do is exceed this figure.
Not sure if I have missed your licence somewhere, but unless you have B+E authorisation on your licence, you are limited to towing a caravan with the total allowable mass of 3,500 kg. If the cars MGW is 2240 then that would leave 1260 which would limit the number of caravans you can tow. The figure is the total figures for the outfit and not the actual weight. If you passed your test before 1997 you should have B+E but after that you need to pass an additional test.
 
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