Mercedes C250 T + Bailey Senator Oklahoma

Aug 31, 2005
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I just need your views (probably Mr. Lutz has answered this before?!) but I think that my 'outfit' may be on the limit of safety. Legally I am OK as the car is 'allowed' to tow 1500kg.

The caravan has a MIRO of 1206 and I would tend to load with a further 100kg; but say the 'ready to tow' caravan weight is 1350kg.

The car (an estate version) has a kerbweight of 1480kg (which includes a driver of 65kg and fuel tank 90% full). I weigh more like 103kg BTW!)

This makes the ratio 91% - correct? i.e. Too much.

If I put all the items (clothes etc) into the car and leave the caravan basically empty (but say 50kg for 'odd' items), the 'van now weighs approx 1250kg which gives me a ratio of 85% exactly.

However, it's on the limit right? And that doesn't begin to address the way the van makes the car's rear sink (nose weight believed to be around 65kg). It tows OK though having around 150 bhp.

Your thoughts please. (I cannot really afford to change the car BTW)

John
 
Jun 7, 2005
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John

As has been said many times on this forum 85% is only a guide line...not the Law. I personally have many years experience of towing at close to 100% even abroad without any problems (I had an Audi A4 at the time)So as long as you feel happy and the van doesn't misbehave you should be ok. Got to say though you can relax a bit more when you lower the ratio.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Firstly, published weights, whether of the car or of the caravan, are always lower than the actual ones. If you are really concerned about your weight ratio, it would be best to put both car and caravan on a weighbridge and get the actual figures. You'll probably be surprised how far off your quoted data they could be. It is not unusual for a car to be 100kg heavier unladen than the manufacturer's stated kerbweight, even when measured under the same conditions (i.e. tank 90% full plus 75kg for driver and luggage).

Although the 85% ratio is a good basis to work with, I wouldn't be too concerned about increasing it slightly. I doubt whether a couple of percent either way would be noticeable. Even 91% is not unreasonable if you take a bit of extra care. One doesn't fall into a black hole as soon as 85% is exceeded. It's just that the higher you go, the more care you need to exercise. The transition from safe to unsafe is very gradual. The most important thing to watch, however, is that you don't exceed the manufacturer's specified maximum permissible towload.

Note that if you are going to put more in the back of the car instead of in the caravan, the back end will sink down even lower. In the end you will just have to compromise.
 
Nov 1, 2005
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if your van weighs 1250 your noseweight will be around 87kgs.i always work out safe towing limits from noseweights rather than kerbweight or max tow.if you do this you may find your car wont take as much towed weight as you think
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Craig; I think you're spot-on but no-one has ever suggested that before. I have now bought a KIA Sorento which can support a nose weight of 112kg as opposed to the Mercedes' 75 kg (which is why it always looked squashed!). Thanks

John
 
Mar 14, 2005
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We are intending to tow the Bailey Senator Oklahoma with a Nissan X-Trail 2.2 DCi which depending on where you look has a kerbweight of up to 1630kg .We have been towing an Ace Jubilee Statesman for three years with no problems and as much of the kit that comes as standard on the Oklahoma had been added by us to the Statesman I can't see the weight being much different.

having just emptied the Statesman it could be less!!

The max nose weight for the X-Trail is 100kg which incidentally is the max that Alko recommend for the 2004 stabiliser hitch
 
Aug 31, 2005
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Watson (John G); well I'm sure it'll be great; just as I expect my brand new (collected yesterday!) KIA Sorento to be; it's only done 68 miles so far (solo) so I have 432 miles to go before I feel I can reasonable meet her mate for life (the Senator Oklahoma !).

All the best.

John
 

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