Towing a Bailey Regency 442

Oct 9, 2018
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Hi all... firstly I'd like to introduce myself....I'm new to caravaning so please be gentle with me :p
I'm after advice on whether I can tow a Bailey Regency 442 1999 with a Vauxhall Meriva 1.7cdti 2005
I currently don't have the caravan but I'm looking to get one from my uncle as he is selling his.....obviously if they aren't compatible then I will look into different options
Many thanks Mike
 
Nov 11, 2009
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JAWSMADMOZZA1 said:
Hi all... firstly I'd like to introduce myself....I'm new to caravaning so please be gentle with me :p
I'm after advice on whether I can tow a Bailey Recency 442 1999 with a Vauxhall Meriva 1.7cdti 2005
I currently don't have the caravan but I'm looking to get one from my uncle as he is selling his.....obviously if they aren't compatible then I will look into different options
Many thanks Mike

Welcome to the Forum. There are some basic bits of info required to enable a reply to your questions. These are:
What is the max tow weight of the Meriva as shown in V5? What is the maximum weight of the caravan as shown in its weight plate? A useful guide for those new to towing is that the caravan maximum weight should not be more than 85% of the cars kerbweight. This is one factor among others that could aid stability of the outfit. If you can provide the information above it would be possible to start to give you advice on the suitability of your proposed outfit.
 
Oct 9, 2018
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Hi.... thank you for the welcome
As you can tell I'm very new to this so forgive me if I get some info wrong
The laden mass of the caravan is 1242kg
The mass in running order of the caravan is 973kg
The car specs are
Unbraked Towing Weight 675kg
Braked Towing Weight 1200kg
The kerb weight is 1405kg
This is the best info I can get in afraid so any advice would be welcome
 
May 24, 2014
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I wouldnt. The kerbweight is just about ok, but your braked towing limit is less than the MTPLM of the caravan.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Thingy said:
I wouldnt. The kerbweight is just about ok, but your braked towing limit is less than the MTPLM of the caravan.

On the assumption that the caravan is actually fully loaded to it's MTPLM of 1242kg, approx 5% (62kg) will be used as nose load. That will bring the load carried by the caravans wheels to under 1200kg and thus within the cars stated towed weight limit.

It is therefore just possible for the Meriva to tow the caravan within the manufacturers limits and would be runningat a ratio of 88% which is not unreasonable, and perfectly legal. With. 1.7 diesel engine, it's likely the outfit will have good powered delivery.

As with towing anything, drivers need to excersise great care. And ensure both the car and trailer are in good condition.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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ProfJohnL said:
Thingy said:
I wouldnt. The kerbweight is just about ok, but your braked towing limit is less than the MTPLM of the caravan.

On the assumption that the caravan is actually fully loaded to it's MTPLM of 1242kg, approx 5% (62kg) will be used as nose load. That will bring the load carried by the caravans wheels to under 1200kg and thus within the cars stated towed weight limit.

It is therefore just possible for the Meriva to tow the caravan within the manufacturers limits and would be runningat a ratio of 88% which is not unreasonable, and perfectly legal. With. 1.7 diesel engine, it's likely the outfit will have good powered delivery.

As with towing anything, drivers need to excersise great care. And ensure both the car and trailer are in good condition.

Quite a while back I suggested that deducting nose weight would effectively reduce the axle load if a cars towing limit was possibly going to be exceeded. Crikey did I draw some flack and I was reminded in no uncertain terms that the maker sets the MTPLM and this is the legal weight limit including nose weight. Now I don't want to reopen the debate about what DVSA etc might do, or have ever done, but I don't think it's right to encourage new caravanners to get too clever with marginal outfits. The max weight of the unit doesn't have to be achieved. By careful weight control it looks as if the OP can still have a useful payload whilst keeping the outfit legal and the caravan within the cars specified limits. The noseweight transfer from van to car will be an added margin for safety. I believe very much in the adage "car heavy, van light". So if the OP's car has the weight and volume capability then keeping the van at 1200 kg would be my advice.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Clive,

I agree the combination the OP is proposing is close to the limit on towed weight, but on the assumption the OP does not exceed the caravans MTPLM then the outfit will be weight legal, because the trailers nose load is not part of the trailers towed weight, it is actually carried by the tow vehicle.

The authorities will only measure the weight born by each axle, and provided none of those exceed their respective limits, no axle weight offence has been committed. Other values can be checked either by selective weighing or calculations based on the axle weights.

Even though the towed weight limit is tight, the Meriva is unusual as its already less than the cars unladen weight, and it uses a well respected 1.7l Vauxhall diesel engine.

I don't see this outfit as being as marginal as others might. A change to heavier tow vehicle would bring some advantages, but its not essential.

I do suggest trying the outfit, to see if it fits the OP's needs and expectations, and then considering if a different tow vehicle should be found.
 
May 7, 2012
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I would not agree with the Prof on his interpretation. You should be able to deduct the nose weight from the actual weight if that exceeds the MTPLM, as that gives the weight on the wheels. What we are talking about though is the towed weight, and that stays the same whatever the noseweight. The car is still towing the nose weight and on that basis I think the caravan is too heavy, unless the weight is kept below 1,200 kg, which would be difficult.
While I would normally agree with the Prof on the car being a decent one for towing that weight given the engine size, that particular engine is not the best for performance and might struggle. Never used it myself, but our company fleet was all Vauxhall and that engine was the least lively according to those who had to drive one.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I am not rentering the debate on the rights or wrongs of deducting noseweight as I got flack a good while back when expressing a view. But looking at the OP vans maximum weight of 1242 kg and his MRO or more likely with that van the empty ex works weight he would still have a good payload even if he ensured his loaded weight did not exceed 1200 kg by “losing” 42kg. It would still be far better in fact than many modern caravans.
 
May 7, 2012
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I did Google the weights and the figures are correct. As it is a two berth then I would agree you can keep it under 1,200 kg reasonably easily so it may be a decent combination. If an awning is to be used though it would be best in the car.
I accept that it is over the 85% figure at that but not enough to worry me.
 
Oct 9, 2018
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Hi all.... thank you for the advice given .... it seems that I am leagallly able to tow it so I will pursue getting the caravan.... I also understand road safety and will take this into consideration
 
Nov 11, 2009
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JAWSMADMOZZA1 said:
Hi all.... thank you for the advice given .... it seems that I am leagallly able to tow it so I will pursue getting the caravan.... I also understand road safety and will take this into consideration

Hope all goes well. Just take it steady with the loading of the caravan on the initia trips out until you get the feel of the outfit. Car heavy: van light is a useful tip. There are some sites which show how to load a caravan with heavy stuff low best over the axle and lighter stuff can go in base lockers. When we load we load for travel so if we stop for a snack in the van it’s nit layed out like the Ritz it’s an assembly of crates, hold-all all positioned to try and keep weight low.
Don’t forget to check noseweight too.

A good idea is to develop a spreadsheet with all the stuff you plan to take including in car stuff too. Carefully weigh your stuff. Then if you can a trip to the public weighbridge with the loaded is valuable.

On your trips take it steady. Ease off downhill especially on fast roads where hgvs coaches etc can be travelling faster than you. When you see one coming ease to the left to open the side gap. Car transporters are notorious for creating air turbulence. With experience all this will become more natural.
Sign up to a CCC or CMHC course they are much more than just manoeuvring a caravan.
Happy touring.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Maybe slightly contradictory to Oc and others, i find our caravan tows better when loaded more than lighter. But agree most items , awning hook up cables, hitch locks, wheel lock etc are carried in the car. Fridge is normally full, beer , wine in the car, clothes in the wardrobe or on the upper lockers, but beware of overloading your caravan and try and keep everything on or infront of you axle's to get your nose weight within 5 kg of the max allowed.
Happy touring, out again in two weeks.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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I'm the same , I prefer a bit weight in the caravan compared with being totally empty , it's just like one big kite when the wind hits it where's you can feel it more steady when towing when a bit stuff inside .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
I'm the same , I prefer a bit weight in the caravan compared with being totally empty , it's just like one big kite when the wind hits it where's you can feel it more steady when towing when a bit stuff inside .

I did not say totally empty otherwise why would I have given tips on loading? What I was advising is keep the load down when going on the first trips in order to get the feel for what is quite an unusual outfit combination. Also advice to visit a weighbridge with load was also recommended not much point in weighing an empty caravan.
 
May 24, 2014
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I said I wouldnt tow with it. Ill give my reasons.

Vauxhall have limited the tow specifications on that car for a reason. Tow limit 1200kg to a kerbweight 1242kg. Its not that good a towcar. My daughter has one so I am familiar with the car. Whilst I will always bow down to guys like Prof that are quite happy with figures, they are figures only and do not always relate to the real world. My car has a tow limit of 3500kg, I would not dream of pulling anything like that weight that resembled a caravan in shape and stability. Its a ton above my kerbweight.

Further, all caravan manufacturers say that you should tow as near to the caravans max noseweight provided its within the cars limit. And as others have said, an empty or light caravan will skate about an awful lot, either with the crosswinds, or the bow wave effect of an artic etc.

Advising a novice caravanner and possibly a novice at towing to be trying to adjust the weights to make it all configure, and to advise said novice to tow with a car thats right on its capability to me is simply not sound advice. And ill say it again, the Meriva is not a particularly stable tow car, I wouldnt want to be towing anything more than a garden trailer with it.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Raywood said:
I would not agree with the Prof on his interpretation. You should be able to deduct the nose weight from the actual weight if that exceeds the MTPLM, as that gives the weight on the wheels....
Hello Ray .
I don't understand your argument. I'm not asking the OP to exceed the caravans MTPLM, that would be illegal.

The MTPLM is the total weight LIMIT for caravan as a whole (Axle load + Nose Load must not exceed the stated MTPLM) So it follows that if a caravan were loaded to match its MTPLM, the load would be shared between the axle and the nose load, meaning the axle load will always be less than the MTPLM.

It also means, becasue you should always have a positive nose load, if a caravan were loaded so that its axle load was equal to its MTPLM, then when the nose load was also added to the calculation, the total weight of the caravan would exceed its MTPLM, and that would be illegal.

Raywood said:
What we are talking about though is the towed weight, and that stays the same whatever the noseweight. The car is still towing the nose weight and on that basis I think the caravan is too heavy, unless the weight is kept below 1,200 kg, which would be difficult....

This is factually wrong on two counts. Bearing in mind the "towed" weight (by definition) is only the load on the axle, if you adjust the position of the cargo in a trailer the balance of the load on the the axle will decrease as the nose load increases, and vice-versa That is a law of physics. given those conditions if you move a cargo forward in a trailer the nose load will increase and teh car will "carry" more and the load on the axle (the towed load) will decease.

I stand by my assessment of the OP's outfit.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thingy said:
I said I wouldnt tow with it. Ill give my reasons.

Vauxhall have limited the tow specifications on that car for a reason. Tow limit 1200kg to a kerbweight 1242kg. Its not that good a towcar. My daughter has one so I am familiar with the car. Whilst I will always bow down to guys like Prof that are quite happy with figures, they are figures only and do not always relate to the real world. My car has a tow limit of 3500kg, I would not dream of pulling anything like that weight that resembled a caravan in shape and stability. Its a ton above my kerbweight.

Further, all caravan manufacturers say that you should tow as near to the caravans max noseweight provided its within the cars limit. And as others have said, an empty or light caravan will skate about an awful lot, either with the crosswinds, or the bow wave effect of an artic etc.

Advising a novice caravanner and possibly a novice at towing to be trying to adjust the weights to make it all configure, and to advise said novice to tow with a car thats right on its capability to me is simply not sound advice. And ill say it again, the Meriva is not a particularly stable tow car, I wouldnt want to be towing anything more than a garden trailer with it.

The cars towed limit is related to its ability to restart several times on a defined incline. As you say it doesn’t bear any relationship to its real world ability to tow an aluminium high sided box. I’ve had Disco2, Sorento (1) and Pajero and all had tow limits of 3 tonne or above. I did try the Sorento once on a trailer nearing 3 tonne and it struggled in high drive even with 4wd engaged. So I then used 4wd low and it was okay but leisurely more akin to a modern farm tractor hauling straw ahead of you. So I suspect most cars claiming 3-3.5 tonne would need a low ratio gearbox and 4wd to share the power distribution.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Im with "Thingy" on this one.
Been at work this morning as usual driving about and one of these merivas has passed me and I'm unsure if I would want to put the caravan on the back of a smallish car like this , if it works for you's, i'm happy for you , good luck , be careful .

Craig .
 
May 7, 2012
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I would not accept that the towed weight is that on the wheels. The towed weight has to be the weight the car pulls through the towbar, and that has to be the total weight of the trailer. The nose weight is the weight imposed onto the tow bar but it still as to be towed.
As far as I know there is no legal definition of this or the term towing limit which is what the car manufacturers use, so you could argue the weight on the wheels is the towed weight but I doubt it would work. If you do go down that route though you would then have to say that the car is not pulling that weight when clearly it is.
The idea that you deduct the nose weight from the laden when when assessing if the MTPLM has been breached was put forward by others but might again be open to dispute. However if the authorties check your weight by having you drive over an axle weighing weighbridge that is what they will get.
In practice I would be wary of towing a caravan that exceeds the cars towing capacity when unhitched as that can also be weighed or deducting the nose weight to get under the MTPLM.
Without any published test cases on this we cannot be sure what the decision would be if it were taken to court.
 
May 7, 2012
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Craigyoung said:
I'm the same , I prefer a bit weight in the caravan compared with being totally empty , it's just like one big kite when the wind hits it where's you can feel it more steady when towing when a bit stuff inside .

I think the point here is that with more weight in it, the caravan is less susceptible to crosswinds, but the downside is that if it is caught then it is harder to control with the additional weight. I agree that empty caravans can be skittish and do usually need a bit of weight in them.
 

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