- Mar 14, 2005
I've spent the last few weeks researching and researching the best way forward to move from camping to having a tourer caravan for my wife and two children, everywhere says do lots of research before, that I've certainly done and will continue to do, I actually really enjoy that side of things to be honest.
Anyway, I've currently got an i30 with a tow limit of 1,200kg which doesn't seem to be able to handle much. I'm also on a 1999 licence, but from what I can tell the 3,500kg limit can still work comfortably if I get the right car/caravan combo.
To keep costs down I'm looking at something like buying an older one owner mondeo with a decent towing limit of 2,000kg, kerb weight of 1,600kg. I've looked at towcar.info and found it quite useful but also confusing. I'm thinking of something like the Adria Altea 552 to go with it (or something used we would be happy with but similar weights) and understand the 85% guidance, I consider myself a very sensible yet confident driver and have no issues at the thought of towing. Tow car info gives 87% on this particular mondeo/altea match which seems good enough. The main figures are as follows:
MTPLM of 1,420kg
MIRO of 1,270kg
Actual Gross Train Weight of 3,269kg
Stated Vehicle Gross Train Weight of 4,210kg
Two questions I really would appreciate help on:
1) I think the first 3 figures seems fine, but the last of 4,210kg exceeds the 3,500kg and this worries me, I'm not sure if this figure would make me illegal?
2) With the tow car, as I said my current i30 has a tow limit of 1,200kg, before I sell it am I definitely right in thinking this would give me virtually no towing options caravan wise?
I need 4 berth minimum new or old. We're looking to browse only at the NEC in October, and buy used or new early next year. I'm 100% we will love it though and do it for many years ahead so am considering the long term in my purchase plans, and have thought through all the cons in detail. Main is we can afford it as the youngest of our children is out of full time childcare very soon, along with a much sweeter mortgage rate after a killer 5 year fix nears the end! Please please help, I would be grateful for life, I really don't think I can trust the dealers!
Its very wise to look at the data before purchasing.
Lets start with your licence entitlement, becasue I suspect from the information you have supplied, you have misunderstood its implication and how to calculate it.
The Cat B entitlement allows you to drive a car and caravan whose combined Maximum authorised Mass (MAM) does not exceed 3500kg You need to understand that this value is non negotiable, in other word you cant change the value by only part loading the car or caravan.
You tell us the caravan you want has an MTPLM (which is also its MAM) of 1420kg so that means what ever car you go for must have and MAM of 3500 -
1420 = 2080kg or less
The cars MAM is the same as its Gross Vehicle Weight which is for the solo car - which is the second largest figure on the cars data plate.
Provide these two values added together are no greater than 3500 you are entitled to drive it.
Now we come to the matching of the car to the caravan. For starters the i30 with only a 1200 towed weight limit will not a sensible or safe match to the caravan. I must admit I'm a little suspicious of the figures you have provided for the Mondeo. Whilst they are generally rated quite highly as tow cars, You do need to double check the kerb weight , Gross Vehicle weight and maximum towed values.
I'm confident the Mondeo would pull your proposed caravan, but the Combined MAM may exceed your 3500kg limit, and the ratio of MTPLM to Kerbweight may be nearer 90% than the industry recommendation of 85%
Please check your figures