Towing car confusion

Dec 30, 2018
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Hi were very new to caravaning and purchased our first van at the end of last year. It’s a Bailey Olympus 525 (2010) with a MTPLM of 1500.
We’re trying to purchase a new car as ours isn’t powerful enough to tow but we’re getting in a right muddle and getting very confused over all the figures and terms (kerb weight, bhp, braked weight, unbraided weight, towing weight etc)
The car we are looking at is a Ford Kuga with a braked weight of 1800, engine power of 138 bhp and torque of 236 lbs/ft. I can’t work out the kerb weight as looking online there seems to be various figures given.
We’d really appreciate any advice you could give as to wether this will tow our van easily.
Many thanks in advance
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Should pull it no bother as we have one also as you can see in my profile picture, thing is will your licence cover you as there's a chance you'll be over 35oo'kg if your licence is registered after 1997 ? If your pre 97 then its no bother .
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I'm with Craig,we too changed our car to something more suitable, a Kuga.The kerb weight of a Kuga (I assume you're looking at a diesel?)is printed on the v5 reg documents,but as you only get that once bought not much help ;) 1624kg is what it's kerb weight is printed as ,but,this is generic for Kuga models,so in real life on a weight bridge more like 1700kg,(type Kuga weight in on Kuga owners forum and sit back and read loads of people who've been surprised at how different the 2 figures are)but either way great car and should pull your new van no problem (as previously mentioned above,so long as you passed your test before 1997?)hope this helps.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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So looking at my V5 document in front of me the weight of my Kuga is 1681 , 225o max , but if you find one that you like and are interested in contact the owner seller or garage and ask them to have a look on the V5 document for you which would be a great help to you but even with what I have said with my weight and what Brasso has said with his , by the time you have 4 people in your car and loaded there's a good chance you may be over , when did you pass your driving test(s) ?!?! :huh:
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Craigyoung said:
So looking at my V5 document in front of me the weight of my Kuga is 1681 , 225o max , but if you find one that you like and are interested in contact the owner seller or garage and ask them to have a look on the V5 document for you which would be a great help to you but even with what I have said with my weight and what Brasso has said with his , by the time you have 4 people in your car and loaded there's a good chance you may be over , when did you pass your driving test(s) ?!?! :huh:

What weight of people do you carry? Even four at 100kgs each would still give 169kg for load which is more than many caravans have as payload. Viz some top spec two berths down to 125kg payload.
 
May 7, 2012
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Given the Max permissable weight if it is the same as Craig's is 2250kg and the MTPLM of the caravan is 1500kg that gives a total of 3750kg. I cannot see that you have confirmed what licence you have but you would need a B+E authorisation to tow the combination. If you do not have it then you need to take the additional test to get this. I doubt that any tow car with a maximum permissable weight of 2,000kg or less would be suitable.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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otherclive said:
Craigyoung said:
So looking at my V5 document in front of me the weight of my Kuga is 1681 , 225o max , but if you find one that you like and are interested in contact the owner seller or garage and ask them to have a look on the V5 document for you which would be a great help to you but even with what I have said with my weight and what Brasso has said with his , by the time you have 4 people in your car and loaded there's a good chance you may be over , when did you pass your driving test(s) ?!?! :huh:

What weight of people do you carry? Even four at 100kgs each would still give 169kg for load which is more than many caravans have as payload. Viz some top spec two berths down to 125kg payload.

100 kg ( 15 stone ) for each person !! Im only 12 , wife less and kids lesser !!
 
Dec 30, 2018
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Hi all

Many thanks for all your responses. I passed in 1994 and have the right licence so I'm all good to tow. We are a family of 4 with a combined weight of around 31 stone I guess. We're really new to this so apologies for appearing dense but I'm confused by what some of you have said about our weight being more than the caravan has as it's payload?

We're going back to look at the Kuga at the weekend so hopefully I can get my head round all these figures and what they mean by then. We're not really car people and we've been doing so much reading up that now all the figures and terminology are just swimming round our heads at the moment. It's quite overwhelming but hopefully we can get to grips with it and get going in our van :)
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Crooks ,

Glad you've getting back to us regarding your licence which confirms that you have no worries about going to look for a caravan because the Kuga will pull anything and your licence will cover you to . Like you we are a family of four and when going away we can pack more than what we need and the car isn't even look like it's loaded !

When you go to have a look at the Kuga just have a look at the V5 document and I it will show you all the weights on the left-hand side and what it is able to tow . Ours is a 2 wheel drive and is capable of pulling our van no bother and I've never been stuck yet !

Take your time & choose wisely .

Good luck .



That's 2 week's worth of kit for 4 people and the caravan loaded with the bikes on the back and the car managed no prob .
 
Jul 18, 2017
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You don't need to get too hung up on the weights,as your license allows you tow everything (in the realms of caravaning)you've got the caravan which is max 1500kg,so basically so long as you get a car with a kerb weight of above 1600kg (Kuga well over)and it has a tow capacity over 1500kg(again Kuga well over)you'll be fine.If you don't like the Kuga,and choose something else,come back on and we'll try and help,good luck.
 
May 7, 2012
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TheCrooks said:
Hi all

Many thanks for all your responses. I passed in 1994 and have the right licence so I'm all good to tow. We are a family of 4 with a combined weight of around 31 stone I guess. We're really new to this so apologies for appearing dense but I'm confused by what some of you have said about our weight being more than the caravan has as it's payload?

We're going back to look at the Kuga at the weekend so hopefully I can get my head round all these figures and what they mean by then. We're not really car people and we've been doing so much reading up that now all the figures and terminology are just swimming round our heads at the moment. It's quite overwhelming but hopefully we can get to grips with it and get going in our van :)

You are not alone in being confused by weights. The topic crops up regularly on here.
You have to look at the cars weights first to see if it can tow the caravan. You will have what we call the kerb weight which is basically the car with fuel, oil and water plus a driver and that should be higher than the MTPLM of the caravan for safe towing. You have a maximum laden weight for the car which is the most it can weigh when being used and so this includes the passengers and luggage and the maximum towing weight which is the highest weight the car can tow.
You also have the gross train weight which is the total of the car and trailer put together and in most cases is the maximum laden weight and towing limit added together and should be that for the Kuga. Do check though, because some makes have a total lower then the two put together, which means both parts of the outfit cannot be fully laden.
For the caravan you have the MIRO which is basically the caravan as delivered without your effects but a gas bottle and battery and the MTPLM which is the legal maximum weight the caravan can be loaded to.
You seem OK on these and you have the necessary licence to tow.
Hope this helps.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Raywood said:
TheCrooks said:
Hi all

Many thanks for all your responses. I passed in 1994 and have the right licence so I'm all good to tow. We are a family of 4 with a combined weight of around 31 stone I guess. We're really new to this so apologies for appearing dense but I'm confused by what some of you have said about our weight being more than the caravan has as it's payload?

We're going back to look at the Kuga at the weekend so hopefully I can get my head round all these figures and what they mean by then. We're not really car people and we've been doing so much reading up that now all the figures and terminology are just swimming round our heads at the moment. It's quite overwhelming but hopefully we can get to grips with it and get going in our van :)

You are not alone in being confused by weights. The topic crops up regularly on here.
You have to look at the cars weights first to see if it can tow the caravan. You will have what we call the kerb weight which is basically the car with fuel, oil and water plus a driver and that should be higher than the MTPLM of the caravan for safe towing. You have a maximum laden weight for the car which is the most it can weigh when being used and so this includes the passengers and luggage and the maximum towing weight which is the highest weight the car can tow.
For the caravan you have the MIRO which is basically the caravan as delivered without your effects but a gas bottle and battery and the MTPLM which is the legal maximum weight the caravan can be loaded to.
You seem OK on these and you have the neccssary licence to tow.
Hope this helps.

For our Swift the MRO included one 10kg gas bottle, the step, the EHU cable, the water filling tube (indoor pump), the OEM document pack, no water in any tank or toilet, and I don’t believe that the battery is ever included. Any additional equipment fitted will come off of the payload. Ie motor mover, battery, tv installed on stand, etc.

The car makers towing limit can often exceeed what is a safe kerbweight-MTPLM combination as the makers towing limit relates to the ability to restart a number of times on a defined gradient. Caravans being relatively light for their size are susceptible to road conditions, traffic conditions, weather-wind and need to be loaded correctly. For example towing a motor bike trailer with two 250 kg bikes on it is different to towing a 6-7 meter box which is twice the height of the car. Hence the recommendations for caravan outfit matching may seem a little strange to newcomers. But taken sensibly they do work.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm sorry but I must point that some of the replies above have strongly implied that if the weight of the car exceeds the weight of the caravan it will some how be a SAFE outfit. I would certainly agree it is a sensible start, but it does not guarantee safety.

Safety is improved by the above practice but its also dependant on many other factors and not just the weight ratio.

It is also not a certainty that an outfit where the trailer is heavier than the tow vehicle will be unsafe.

The advice to keep the car heavier than the the trailer is only advice from the UK caravanning industry. It has no basis in law. though logically it is a good idea.

Regardless of any advice you must not exceed any weight limit given in the vehicle specifications or any over arching legislation.
 
May 7, 2012
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It is true that a car heavier than the caravan will not make it safe but with a decent margin I doubt there is cause for concern on that factor with modern cars and caravans.
You do have to load it correctly though for good towing. Basically that means trying to keep heavy items low down and towards the centre of the caravan for good balance and a low centre of gravity.
I would refer to either of the clubs web sites for advice on this.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The Mass in Service figure is unlikely to represent the actual kerbweight of the car as it always refers to the base model with the minimum of factory fitted optional extras. It is more than probable that the actual kerbweight is significantly higher.
 
May 7, 2012
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Lutz said:
The Mass in Service figure is unlikely to represent the actual kerbweight of the car as it always refers to the base model with the minimum of factory fitted optional extras. It is more than probable that the actual kerbweight is significantly higher.

I do agree, mine is considerably heavier than the figure given and others who have posted have found the same. At the end of the day the best bet to check this is a weighbridge. Having said that if you are buying it is the best information that you have.
 
May 7, 2012
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Lutz said:
The Mass in Service figure is unlikely to represent the actual kerbweight of the car as it always refers to the base model with the minimum of factory fitted optional extras. It is more than probable that the actual kerbweight is significantly higher.
 

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