Towing capabilities

Aug 4, 2004
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My car has a minimum kerbweight of 1589 kgs with max possible towing weight braked of 1800 kg. The van in which I have an interest has an MRO of 1246 kg and an MTPLM of 1600 kg and is a twin axle. There is no problem with my diesel pulling this van and with the weight of two adults and luggage the kerbweight would no doubt increase and it is unlikely that the van would reach the MTPLM when loaded. I am fairly experienced in towing having towed on bad roads in Africa, through the bush and also on motorways except we were able to travel at 70 mph with a unit on a motorway. With the exception of two long trips a year most trips will be weekends away within a 50 mile radius. I am not too keen on trading in my car which is Volvo S80 D5 SE for a 4 x 4 however I am concerned that I might be pushing my luck with such a close match although strictly speaking it is legally alright. I value your opinions as I have to make up my mind in January whether I am going to go ahead with the purchase of a new van.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It would be legal (providing you also didn't exceed the Gross Train Weight, which you might do if you load everything inot the car), BUT you have to remember that the heavier the caravan, the increased chance of an accident should instability occur. Having said that, a twin axle will be more stable than a single axle (larger footprint on the road). You have to remember that towing a twin axle trailer (builders trailer, car transporter etc) up to the max. tow limit will be much more stable than a caravan (due to a caravans high centre of gravity) which is why people always say to try to keep the caravans weight below the kerb weight of the car. It is down to you at the end of the day, if you do go for it, just make sure the caravan is loaded sensibly. Have you looked at Lunar's as they do a lightweight twin axle?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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hello Ian i work for volvo trucks and use to have a v40. i used to tow on the limit all the time. as long as i load the van right and adj my road speed to the right cond it was fine. i now have a twin axle rialto and i tow with our new company car which is an espace. the book said the weight oof the car was 1750kgs. but when i tried 3 diff bridges it is 1900kgs. so fuel the car up aand weigh it. all the best
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Following my previous reply, try having your car weighed, as the kerbweighed you have quoted is the minimum kerbweight and you will be surprised how a few optional extras can increase the vehicles kerbweight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I fully support Gary and Darren's responses. Obviously, the closer you get to the maximum permissible towload the more care you will need to exercise. Consequently, driving won't be quite as relaxed as with a lighter outfit but if you're fully aware of the fact and act accordingly, there's no reason why you shouldn't go ahead and tow the caravan you're looking at.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Although in theory your vehicle can pull 1800kgs, this is purely asessed on one test of the vehicle and trailer to re start from stationary on an incline of 12% and does not represent the cars towing capabilities. The volvo d5 is obviously a very good tow car. You mention your family in the vehicle will increase kerbweight, but also take this into account on the vehicles towing weight, it is surprising how everything adds up, equipment etc. i would advise if only from a safety point of view to consider a lighter van. you may kep within cars towing limits, but people have been prosecuted for unsafe loads.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Your assertion that the maximum permissible towload specified by the car manufacturers is based solely on the ability to perform a hill start on a 12% incline is just not true, Ian. Re. my response: http://www.practicalcaravan.com/board/board.asp?option=reply&replyto=45092
 

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