towing limits

Mar 14, 2005
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I tow with a citroen multispace which has a towing limit of 1100 kg. and have just bought a heavier caravan with an unladen weight of 1150 kg. and a maximum of 1400 kg.but the weight in the caravan is kept to a minimum when towing as the equipment is carried in the towcar,so the laden weight of the caravan would be less than the kerb weight of the car and would not be far short of the 85/100 as recommended,but what concerns me is would it be likely to affect my car or caravan insurance,also the warranty on the car.help would be appreciated !.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Tom, unfortunately you are not only breaking the law with this outfit, you will also be invalidating any warranty you may have on the car, and more importantly your insurance, as if you exceed the car makers recommendations, which are stated for a purpose, you will place excessive strains on components and have a very dangerous outfit. CHANGE YOUR CAR!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Tom

I am not sure if I have understood your comments correctly. However, if the max your car can tow is as stated 1100kg and your caravan is 1150 unladen, then it suggests that you are exceeding the safe limit of your vehicles towing capacity by nearly 1cwt. If any accident were to occur, for whatever reason, then, clearly you would seriously fall foul of the law and would, without doubt, be prosecuted - let alone invalidate all you vehicle, personal, travel insurances and caravan waranties! Moreover, even though you state 'unladen weight', you would need to know exactly the weight of the van now, as you could be over even more as they are only a guideline - and just the smallest of add ons by the manufacture, or by you, can increase the deficit by mounting Kgs. Finally when you say your car has a max tow weight of 1100Kgs then presumably your car's kerbweight is about 1295kgs which gives you the 85% figure of 1100kgs. If not you are in even deeper trouble than you realise - so beware and rethink your whole vehicle /caravan ratios - as your placing yourself in a very vulnerable position - both legally and family safety wise. If I have misinterpreted your comments then I apologise - if not then seriously reconsider your vehicle and caravan match. Please clarify further, if I have hold of the wrong end of the stick etc Hope this assists in some small way. Regards... Pete
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm afraid your concern is warranted, Tom. If your caravan weighs 1150kg empty, then subtracting the noseweight, you will just be under your tow limit in that condition but will leave you with absolutely no margin for any payload inside the caravan. Actual weights are also often higher than published weights and that could aggravate the problem even further. So, if you are contemplating towing with your Citroen, you will be well advised to establish the caravan's actual weight first. Otherwise, as you suspected, you may endanger your car's insurance and/or warranty.
 
Mar 11, 2004
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Hi Tom,

Listen, take a certain amount of note into what the others have to say by all means, however, what almost all "know it all's" do not undertand is that gross train weight (i.e the caravan and car togther) also comes into the equation, just as much as the max tow weight. Many people only look at the max tow weight of the car, nose ball weight and the maximum weight the caravan can take loaded. Therefore even if you adhere to the above, you can still be breaking the law if the total weight of the car and carvan together are exceeded. I see this subject come up time and time again here and I rarely ever see anyone mentioning the EXTREMELY IMPORTANT aspect of train weight.

However, going back to your situation, I towed my Lunar Stellar with a Fiesta Zetec and the cars kerbweight was 1040kgs the caravan was 1100kgs max and the cars max tow was only 900kgs. However, as the caravan was 870kgs unladen itself I kept all belongings in the car, with habitable items in the van. This then brought it up to 900kgs. The max tow limit has a certain allowence for safety anyway, though I am not condoning this as it could well be invalidating your insurence warrenty etc or breaking the law. The outfit was the most stable I have ever towed. All of this caravan club recommendation, in my opinion is academic as I have had many outfits at 60-75% ratio and they have been inherintly unstable - their are far far more factors which make towing safer than just weight - when will the caravan club start telling people this?

Anyway, I do agree with the others 50kgs over the max tow weight is probably breaking the law and may invalidate your warrenty if the manufacturer demands to know what you tow, although I have never come across this before. I'd also recommend changing your car, but apart from looking at the weight aspect, take into account the stiffness of the suspension (stiffer will generally be better handling for a caravan when towing), rear overhang, profile of tyres etc. I hope I have given you some idea and help. Good luck with your search if you do change the car (and I recommend that you do in this case).

Toby.
 

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