tow car

Nov 11, 2009
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I think you need to be a bit more specific. Diesel,petrol,auto,manual, hatch,salon, estate, SUV, pickup, miles per year driving. Any plans to go for a larger heavier caravan etc What is your current car, do you like it, does it tow okay?

I’d go for a 5 litre Range Rover SVR.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Everyone thoughts are different, I have had Hatchbacks, and also 3.5 Rover coupes, I would love to have a nice big Range Rover as per OC, but it depends on the type of sites you will use, you don't need 4x4 capacity, but room for kids and dogs etc. And all the other bits we drag with us . Maybe it bit more info on your type of caravanning, will help to help you. :)
 
Oct 12, 2013
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chrisbo said:
Helo I whant to change my tow car I have at moment to a petrol tow car that can tow a bailey phoenix 440 eny ideas thanks

HI ,
That question is like looking for a needle in a haystack there could be so many answers that we fire back at you and different ideas , what do YOU have in mind ? any ideas yet ?
 
May 7, 2012
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Not sure what your budget is or if you want new or used. We tow our heavier Lunar with a series three Mazda 6 with the 160 petrol engine, and it manages well. Petrol engines are quite capable of towing but you will need lower gears quite often on hills and the fuel consumption will be higher. Basically they are a bit more work but provided it has decent power and torque then it should not be a problem.
 
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This is very much a personal choice... You may buy a car for its solo performance over towing, depending on your real-world usage and how often you tow.

As per Bailey the MTPLM of a Phoenix 440 is 1316KG. So for a the magical 85% towing ratio you need a tow car with an unladen/kerb/empty/dry* weight of roughly 1600KG.

I have never owned a petrol car that could tow a caravan so can't give any advice on towing with one. But the Outlander PHEV would be more than capable of towing Phoenix and would give you an all-electric option when solo.

*Depending on definition - This is a guide to safe towing as per the caravan clubs.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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CustardAvenger said:
This is very much a personal choice... You may buy a car for its solo performance over towing, depending on your real-world usage and how often you tow.

As per Bailey the MTPLM of a Phoenix 440 is 1316KG. So for a the magical 85% towing ratio you need a tow car with an unladen/kerb/empty/dry* weight of roughly 1600KG.

I have never owned a petrol car that could tow a caravan so can't give any advice on towing with one. But the Outlander PHEV would be more than capable of towing Phoenix and would give you an all-electric option when solo.

*Depending on definition - This is a guide to safe towing as per the caravan clubs.

I had a Mk 1 Mondeo estate with 2.0 litre 135 bhp auto towed 1320kg van okay. Needed to rev and wasn’t a bundle of fire but it took us where we wanted and was a great solo drive fir its day. Now the Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 turbo with 225bhp towing 1400 kg was something else.
There are some nice TSI petrol engines in the Volkswagen-Audi group cars and the two litres come in a good range of powers. The lates engines have cylinder cut out too.

I dream of the Superb 280 4x4 estate at a modest 2.0 litres.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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otherclive said:
CustardAvenger said:
This is very much a personal choice... You may buy a car for its solo performance over towing, depending on your real-world usage and how often you tow.

As per Bailey the MTPLM of a Phoenix 440 is 1316KG. So for a the magical 85% towing ratio you need a tow car with an unladen/kerb/empty/dry* weight of roughly 1600KG.

I have never owned a petrol car that could tow a caravan so can't give any advice on towing with one. But the Outlander PHEV would be more than capable of towing Phoenix and would give you an all-electric option when solo.

*Depending on definition - This is a guide to safe towing as per the caravan clubs.

I had a Mk 1 Mondeo estate with 2.0 litre 135 bhp auto towed 1320kg van okay. Needed to rev and wasn’t a bundle of fire but it took us where we wanted and was a great solo drive fir its day. Now the Saab 9000 CSE 2.3 turbo with 225bhp towing 1400 kg was something else.
There are some nice TSI petrol engines in the Volkswagen-Audi group cars and the two litres come in a good range of powers. The latest engines have cylinder cut out too.

I dream of the Superb 280 4x4 estate at a modest 2.0 litres.

I do love a sleeper...

You get used to being able to out-accelerate people in a quick car. These days I need a comfortable car to insulate me from the road! The XC60 is no slouch but I sometimes forget its a bit more roly-poly than my previous cars; I could never go back to sports suspension and low profile tyres and constant din though!
 
Aug 11, 2018
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All I can do is compare the three tow cars I have had since 2005, the first was a Kia Carens, 2 litre, loads of power, and when we swapped caravan to one weighting 1350 kg it towed it fine. However than found car only rated at 1250 kg for towing so swapped to Kia Sorento, although the Carens towed OK, the Sorento was so much better, old 2006 model, the max torque comes in at 2000 rpm and max horse power around 3500 rpm so theory says difference is the rev band one should use, but on a single carriage way the speed limit would then not allow the use of top gear, so in real terms the revs rarely exceed 2000 rpm.

So with the Carens that resulted in with slightest raise changing down, could of course left it in 4th gear, but one tends not to, with the Sorento that little extra power resulted in staying in 5th while cruising.

Now in theory our Jaguar XE could also tow the caravan, that is rated to tow 1800 kg, and being an 8 speed automatic the changing of gears is not an issue, however can't carry bikes and tow with the Jaguar XE as it does not use a tow ball with 3.5 inch centres between bolt holes.

Some times comparing cars one feels it is silly to reject one because it has no cup holders, however although petty it actually does make a difference. We would not have bought the Sorento had we got the Jaguar XE first, but now we have the Sorento we are keeping it to tow with. So advantage over the Jaguar XE

1) The 13 pin socket is easier to reach.
2) Can carry bikes and tow caravan at same time.
3) Can access boot space from inside car, so boot usable even after caravan hitched up.
4) Does not need extension mirrors it's wide enough.
5) Can see over hedges so more warning of on coming traffic.
6) Heavier so more stable.
7) Know it will go up any hill with low ratio box.

The Jaguar XE does far better miles per gallon light, and is automatic so no playing tunes on gear box, or at least if it does we don't know or care what it's doing, the reversing cameras make it easier to hitch up, I can actually see the ball, the suspension is softer the seats are more comfortable, and it is in theory a far better car. However still prefer to tow with the Sorento.

In both cases they are 4 wheel drive, so neither are likely to get stuck on a wet field.

In our case the Sorento is only used when we go on holiday or emergency at the moment lent my Honda Jazz to daughter in law, so I am using Sorento, but normally it just sits there.

I suspect most people do not have a dedicated tow car, I am sure some have an old Land Rover to tow with, but most want to use the car both for towing and general running around. And since it is normally used more for general running around than towing, if I had to get rid of one car, it would be the Sorento. But although Jaguar XE all set up for towing, I have never towed with it.

Years gone by, my dad smashed up his car, but caravan was OK, so we wanted to hire a car to tow caravan home, only thing we could find with a tow hitch was a Land Rover so we hired a LWB diesel to travel from North Wales to Scotland pick up them and caravan and return home on a long weekend.

Now towing with Land Rover was fine, but going up the M6 at 55 MPH flat out was not what I wanted to do, I had towed with Austin Gypsy, and never thought about it, grand tool, but we only used it without caravan local, when your driving 150 mile up the motor way it was another story.

Years ago my dad and uncle both towed caravans with low powered vehicles, dad standard 8 and uncle bonie and side car, and had to avoid steep hills and it was not unknown for my aunty to get out of side car and push, those days are gone. Today the manufacturer says how much you can tow, gone are the days when AA sent you route maps avoiding steep roads.

And yes we actually rejected a Vauxhall car because the of no cup holders. And the Duster rejected because I banged my head getting in, those under 6 foot may not have a problem, but those ladies under 5 foot may need a stool to help them get into the Sorento?

Towing a horse box your cars are very limited, horses are very heavy, but caravans are quite light in comparison so in most cases you don't need a car rated to tow between 3 and 3.5 ton.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ericmark said:
All I can do is compare the three tow cars I have had since 2005, the first was a Kia Carens, 2 litre, loads of power, and when we swapped caravan to one weighting 1350 kg it towed it fine. However than found car only rated at 1250 kg for towing so swapped to Kia Sorento, although the Carens towed OK, the Sorento was so much better, old 2006 model, the max torque comes in at 2000 rpm and max horse power around 3500 rpm so theory says difference is the rev band one should use, but on a single carriage way the speed limit would then not allow the use of top gear, so in real terms the revs rarely exceed 2000 rpm.

So with the Carens that resulted in with slightest raise changing down, could of course left it in 4th gear, but one tends not to, with the Sorento that little extra power resulted in staying in 5th while cruising.

Now in theory our Jaguar XE could also tow the caravan, that is rated to tow 1800 kg, and being an 8 speed automatic the changing of gears is not an issue, however can't carry bikes and tow with the Jaguar XE as it does not use a tow ball with 3.5 inch centres between bolt holes.

Some times comparing cars one feels it is silly to reject one because it has no cup holders, however although petty it actually does make a difference. We would not have bought the Sorento had we got the Jaguar XE first, but now we have the Sorento we are keeping it to tow with. So advantage over the Jaguar XE

1) The 13 pin socket is easier to reach.
2) Can carry bikes and tow caravan at same time.
3) Can access boot space from inside car, so boot usable even after caravan hitched up.
4) Does not need extension mirrors it's wide enough.
5) Can see over hedges so more warning of on coming traffic.
6) Heavier so more stable.
7) Know it will go up any hill with low ratio box.

The Jaguar XE does far better miles per gallon light, and is automatic so no playing tunes on gear box, or at least if it does we don't know or care what it's doing, the reversing cameras make it easier to hitch up, I can actually see the ball, the suspension is softer the seats are more comfortable, and it is in theory a far better car. However still prefer to tow with the Sorento.

In both cases they are 4 wheel drive, so neither are likely to get stuck on a wet field.

In our case the Sorento is only used when we go on holiday or emergency at the moment lent my Honda Jazz to daughter in law, so I am using Sorento, but normally it just sits there.

I suspect most people do not have a dedicated tow car, I am sure some have an old Land Rover to tow with, but most want to use the car both for towing and general running around. And since it is normally used more for general running around than towing, if I had to get rid of one car, it would be the Sorento. But although Jaguar XE all set up for towing, I have never towed with it.

Years gone by, my dad smashed up his car, but caravan was OK, so we wanted to hire a car to tow caravan home, only thing we could find with a tow hitch was a Land Rover so we hired a LWB diesel to travel from North Wales to Scotland pick up them and caravan and return home on a long weekend.

Now towing with Land Rover was fine, but going up the M6 at 55 MPH flat out was not what I wanted to do, I had towed with Austin Gypsy, and never thought about it, grand tool, but we only used it without caravan local, when your driving 150 mile up the motor way it was another story.

Years ago my dad and uncle both towed caravans with low powered vehicles, dad standard 8 and uncle bonie and side car, and had to avoid steep hills and it was not unknown for my aunty to get out of side car and push, those days are gone. Today the manufacturer says how much you can tow, gone are the days when AA sent you route maps avoiding steep roads.

And yes we actually rejected a Vauxhall car because the of no cup holders. And the Duster rejected because I banged my head getting in, those under 6 foot may not have a problem, but those ladies under 5 foot may need a stool to help them get into the Sorento?

Towing a horse box your cars are very limited, horses are very heavy, but caravans are quite light in comparison so in most cases you don't need a car rated to tow between 3 and 3.5 ton.

Interesting post, thanks. Don’t expect too much of the Jaguar as even with 4wd I expect it’s got “summer tyres” optimised for wet tarmac. The three times I have been unable tow a van off of wet CLs were with 4Wd cars. Sorento with BFG-AT, XC70 with Continental M&S, and Superb with Michelin Cross Climate + M&S. Wet grass especially freshly mowed is wicked but does aid you in establishing that all four wheels will rotate simultaneously. Even using grip tracks pegged to the ground I have had them thrown out backwards. On each occasion I had to resort to plan B. Unhitch, reduce noseweight to barely positive, motor move the van out backwards. My co pilot had been used as the counterweight to noseweight. :)
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Erikmark, when you say the jag Ex doesnt have towbar with bolt holes of 3.5 holes , do you mean, it has a swan neck. You can get bicycle carrier to fit , but watch your nose weights. 2 bikes say 15 kg and a caravan , ouch.

4 wheel drive as OC states depend on your tyres, I have All season tyres, a good chunky tread but only good above 4 mm of tread.
 

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