Mar 8, 2006
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Hi. I have towed for many years, but not of late. I never had a choice of car, and I never felt they were on top of the job (2.0ltr) even buying the lightest of caravans. I now am considering buying a caravan again for touring home and abroad and would be buying a large twin axle suitable for extended use. I'm sure this question is asked all the time, but which auto car would be the best for towing.

Thanks in advance.

Brian
 
Jul 14, 2005
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Hello Brian

Your question is simple but I'm afraid the answer isn't. You say that you are looking to buy a large twin axle caravan? In which case when you say car I assume you refer to the tow vehicle. You will be in the large 4x4 range for pulling a 4 wheeler something like the Discovery ,possibly the Kia Sorento etc, it's a personal choice in some ways. You will need to look at the MPTLM (Maximum permitted towing laden mass) of the caravan and find a suitable vehicle to do the job which has a towing capacity of around 85% of the MPTLM.

Try going onto www.whattowcar.com for matching vehicles - caravans this may help.

Tom
 
Nov 7, 2005
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...and don't forget to checkout the critical maximum hitchweight of your prospective new car - some seemingly beefy 4x4s give you an excellent kerbweight ratio but those like BMX X3s, Lexus GSs and Volvo XC90s have nose limits of only 75-85-90 kgs respectively, whereas Freelanders (140), Sorentos (112) will give you no balancing problems.

Low hitchweight limits on cars may not be a problem for all caravans, but it could necessitate a delicate and undesirable balancing act if you do get a heavyish van. As Tom says, you will really be in BIG 4x4 territory as very few saloons/estates (Mondeo/Merc C size) allow you to have a noseweight of more than 75-80 kgs. If you're in the Caravan Club, you can checkout all cars on their noseweight table.
 
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Good luck with whatever you choose. However, you may wish to note that there have been posts regarding the restrictions some sites have placed on twin axle vans. This due to the assumption that these types of vans are often used by the 'travelling' fraternity. There are also some size restrictions on sites in France, especially in the summer months. This is often due to smaller pitches and poorer access.

Don't forget an awning will double your living space without neeeding to go to a 'giant' van.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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...and don't forget to checkout the critical maximum hitchweight of your prospective new car - some seemingly beefy 4x4s give you an excellent kerbweight ratio but those like BMX X3s, Lexus GSs and Volvo XC90s have nose limits of only 75-85-90 kgs respectively, whereas Freelanders (140), Sorentos (112) will give you no balancing problems.

Low hitchweight limits on cars may not be a problem for all caravans, but it could necessitate a delicate and undesirable balancing act if you do get a heavyish van. As Tom says, you will really be in BIG 4x4 territory as very few saloons/estates (Mondeo/Merc C size) allow you to have a noseweight of more than 75-80 kgs. If you're in the Caravan Club, you can checkout all cars on their noseweight table.
Brian has said that he intends to go for a twin axle in which case a high noseweight is not quite as critically important for good stability as in the case of a single axle.
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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I would agree with the comments about towing capabilities and nose weight. We are in the process of changing to a grand Cherokee which has a nose weight of 140kg , this being more than enough and a kerb weight of 2300kg, the reason being we may consider changing to a larger van in the future,

As to which car would be best for you,if you take into account van weight, car kerb weight, nose weight, power etc then make a list of vehicles which meet your requirements and find what is suitable for you.

It has taken us over a year to find the right replacement vehicle, many met our criteria on paper . but when we had a test drive they werent for us for a number of reasons.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Several replies to this thread have stated vehicles like the Freelander with 140kg noseweight limits. However you must remember that they will also be a limit on the hitch of the caravan in the case of my current van 100kg, which seems to be the case for most vans built on an Alko chassis these days. Richard S
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Brian - We went down this route in 2004. My advice would be to try as many 4x4's as you can within your area. A decent road testing time of 20+ mins - not just round the block. Turbo diesel for towing perfomance/economy - Automatic for relaxed towing. We tried them all but settled on a Toyota Landcruiser which best suited our requirements - recently updated to a new LC3. Good luck.

Mike
 

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