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Sep 4, 2005
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I have spent a good few hours now reading what is posted on here.

I am due to drive from manchester to Brighton next week in my wifes 1998 ford escort (1.8TD) and a 16 foot van (It is my parents caravan and I am not sure of other details but my dad said it weighed 1200kg). According to information I can get from the web this combination breaks the 85% rule but is within Fords limit for towing.

I cannot really afford to fit a towbar on my 1991 BMW 525 se (auto).

My question; (I hold nobody responsible for the answers and seek only a hypothetical opinion) Is the escort a suitable tug or should I bite the bullet, sell the wife and get the BMW rigged for towing by next week?

As an aside, if I had not come across this website I would not have had any concerns at all! How many people just hook up a massive caravan to a woefully small car and hope for the best?

I understand that with the limited information I have given nobody can give me a definite answer, but if nothing else your posts on here made me think twice.
 
Mar 27, 2005
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If its just a one off trip why not hire a suitable vehicle.

I cannot imagine anyone advising you to attempt it with the escort.......would they?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Stan,

Assuming this isn't a wind up:

There is insufficeint information in your posting to be able to give a sensible answer. You must obtain the real figures for both your car and caravan, and do the sums.

See: http://www.campingandcaravanningclub.co.uk/ for good information

From the sparse information you have given, the proposal to tow a 1200Kg caravan behind a 1.8TD Escort looks dubious.

Just one technical point, the 85% figure is not a rule it is a guideline, however it is a sensible target.
 
Sep 4, 2005
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Thanks for the replies, I am going to the storage yard this afternoon to get the actual plated wheight of the caravan. After a nights sleep I realised just how little info I had!

As for hiring a car I cannot afford that, worse still my dad cannot put me on his car insurance untill I am 30 in two months time.

I think we may be sleeping in a tent next weekend.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks for the replies, I am going to the storage yard this afternoon to get the actual plated wheight of the caravan. After a nights sleep I realised just how little info I had!

As for hiring a car I cannot afford that, worse still my dad cannot put me on his car insurance untill I am 30 in two months time.

I think we may be sleeping in a tent next weekend.
If it is a legal match (hopefully someone will advise you once you have posted the weights) then things should be fairly simple. But whilst potentially legal, it will not be the most stable outfit. So fit a stabiliser.

One safe way to get car and caravan to Brighton is to travel on A roads and avoid motorways. Slow but safe. You can bowl along at 40-45 mph (highest limit is 50 on single carriageway) with a much lower risk of problems caused by speed, lorries/coaches and cross-winds.

Have a good look at a road atlas. The journey is possible with good route planning, without having to go through too many major towns. Better safe than snaked and overturned.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Whoops, didn't reply in the proper way. Try this.

If it is a legal match (hopefully someone will advise you once you have posted the weights) then things should be fairly simple. But whilst potentially legal, it will not be the most stable outfit. So fit a stabiliser.

One safe way to get car and caravan to Brighton is to travel on A roads and avoid motorways. Slow but safe. You can bowl along at 40-45 mph (highest limit is 50 on single carriageway) with a much lower risk of problems caused by speed, lorries/coaches and cross-winds.

Have a good look at a road atlas. The journey is possible with good route planning, without having to go through too many major towns. Better safe than snaked and overturned.
 
Sep 4, 2005
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The caraven has a maximum mass (loaded) of 1087 kg and not the 1200 I was told.

I am going with the escort and have a stabalizer fitted, We are avoiding the motorways and are going to stretch the journey out over two days (take in the great british countryside!)
 
Sep 4, 2005
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A perfect weekend!

The Escort does feel very under powered with a caravan on the back but the BMW (525I) is having a towbar fitted next month so this is no longer a problem. I experienced no stability problems at all but I must conceed a bigger car will be better.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thanks for the replies, I am going to the storage yard this afternoon to get the actual plated wheight of the caravan. After a nights sleep I realised just how little info I had!

As for hiring a car I cannot afford that, worse still my dad cannot put me on his car insurance untill I am 30 in two months time.

I think we may be sleeping in a tent next weekend.
Stan,with regard to the legal side your combination cannot exceed the car train weight i.e.the specied towing weight of your car,in other words what the manufacturer says it can tow and the mptl of your caravan should not exceed the car towing limits.think i said all thet right.if in doubt e-mail me
 

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