Mar 14, 2005
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I am new to caravanning and have the opportunity to make use of a new Swift challenger 4 berth 520. I have a 1.8 Ford Cmax and the owner of the van has a 2.2 Vectra CDX, both petrol. From what I read about the 85% rule, neither of us can tow this van, based on their kerbweights. Is this correct ? Any advice welcome as it is all new to me !
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Martin , you do not say what year yr Vectra is or what model , however the 85% rule is a used as a good guide to getting the balance right between being able to tow safely and not having the effect of the " Tail wagging the dog " if you have too much weight in the form of a van on the back. It is always recommended that those new to this enjoyable pastime do not exceed this limit when " cutting their teeth " in towing.

If you load the Challenger up to its max weight then the tow car should have a kerb weight of around 1650kgs to get to 85%. do not be fooled by the max tow weight that the vehicle will tow based on what the manufactuer says , you should never tow anything that exceeds the kerb weight of your tow car.

Based on the lowest kerbweight listed for a new vectra at 1431 kgs you should be aiming for a van with a mtplm( its max weight with all your sleeping bags clothes, gas bottle etc ) of 1216kgs this would get you to 85%

I tow with a 2.0 Vectra at 89% if the van is fully maxed up to 1250.

The kerbweight of a car is defined as that of the car , driver and full tank of fuel.

Extra persons / luggage / etc do not count but do help to put more weight at the front of the outfit when loaded , but do not use this additional weight to help you get to 85%.

Hope this helps , as we have all been through this minefield when first starting out.

rgds

Pip
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have a 2.2 Vectra and tow a 1300 van with it. About 96% i tow at, and it really struggles. Not very stable on motorway, (might be better with a c-max), awful fuel economy (12-16mpg) and underpowered. I'd give it a go, towing a challenger with a c-max, but ive been towing for a few years now.Youll enjoy caravanning though.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Martin, Pips advice is basically sound, though he may be misleading you technically. the 85% figure is a guideline and not a rule. You may tow upto the maximum weight defined by the car manufacture (it is illegal to exceded it) however you must check the figure as some cars limit is less than the kerbweight whilst others can exceede it. The legality depends on your licence, since Jan 97, a standard car licence only allows the driver to tow up to the kerbweight of the towing vehicle (or the manufactures max which ever is less)
 
Mar 14, 2005
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James is right about your C Max being over the limit. However, the Vauxhall is OK legally but over the recommended limit. If it's a Vectra 2.2 saloon, the maximum towload is 1500Kg (applies to both the old style Vectra and the current model). In case it's an old style estate, at 1400kg the towload would be a bit critical but even that would still be legal. The current 2.2 estate has a 1600kg max towload and is therefore no problem.
 

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