Towing Suitability

Jun 20, 2005
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We have a Mitsubishi Galant 2.0 estate, kerb weight 13,300Kg, have been towing for 13 years and would like to upgrade current van (Elddis Typhoon) to a Bailey Pageant Bordeaux, would this make a good towing combination?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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kerbweight im looking at is 1345 kgs towing capacity 1575kg

caravan weights are, miro-1150kg mptlm-1366kg

at these weights you are towing at over 100% at 1366 kg mptlm

although legally you could tow this van(1575kg towing capacity) i certainly think this is a bad match
 
Mar 14, 2005
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If your Galant weighs 13300kg as you say, I doubt whether it can move itself never mind tow a caravan. However, assuming that you a nought too many in that figure, you'll be towing with a weight ratio of a fraction over 100% if the caravan is loaded to its max. permissible weight of 1366kg. Whether you really want to take the chance is up to you but I would say such a combination is far from ideal. However, you would still be legal as the max. permissible towload of the car is 1575kg.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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Please be very carefull with advice, the law states that you must not tow a trailer whos weight is more than 100 % of the cars KERBWEIGHT not the cars max tow weight. if the later where true then discovery owners would be able to tow at nearly 4 tons, see the problem. if your car weighs 1300 kgs then you can only legally tow up to this weight, you would also invalidate your warranty and more importantly your insurance by exceding this limit. when a manufactureer states a higher tow limit it is merely to show that the engine gearbox and suspension is capable of this upper limit, this is why some cars have a lower tow limit than the kerbweight usually becouse the engine is not powerfull enough to move the car and a heavy trailer. pc and the clubs have explained this many many times.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello JOHN in stockport.

Your last reply on 20th June at 9:52 pm is inaccurate. Except where there is a limit imposed by the driving licence held by the driver, the law does not limit the maximum mass to be towed to no more than 100% of the kerb weight of the tow vehicle. It takes as its limit that specified by the manufacture(which in some cases is less than 100% and some more than 100%).

The same regulations apply to cars and articulated lorries, and there is no doubt that articulated lorries tow several times the mass of the tug, sometimes upto 400%. Clearly there are some technical differences but the same regulations and use statutes apply.

I do not advocate caravanners to use more than 100%, it is good sense to keep the percentage as low as possible.

It is also important to understand that the mass ratio is not the major factor that determines stability or safety. There are many criteria that might give rise to an 'unsafe' and thus prosecutable outfit even if the mass ratio is with legal limits.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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John I dont think you are right here! Surely a car can tow up to its max. towing weight as prescribed by the manufacturer which can be more than the kerbweight of the car, therefore it is legal!
 
Apr 13, 2005
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sorry but please check, i won't argue the point but i have a document in front of me from towsure that states my seat alhambra can legally tow up to 1840 kgs, its kerbweight. when i queried this and stated that my car had a max tow weight of 2000 kgs the gentlemen said it was illegal to tow above 100% of the kerbweight. sorry but i will go with the experts. i have also just checked with the club and they also state the kerbweight as the max allowed to be towed.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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sorry but please check, i won't argue the point but i have a document in front of me from towsure that states my seat alhambra can legally tow up to 1840 kgs, its kerbweight. when i queried this and stated that my car had a max tow weight of 2000 kgs the gentlemen said it was illegal to tow above 100% of the kerbweight. sorry but i will go with the experts. i have also just checked with the club and they also state the kerbweight as the max allowed to be towed.
sorry i meant towsafe not towsure.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Dear John fom Stockport

,

I quote from Towsafe,s web site:

http://www.towsafe.co.uk/Advice1.asp
"The 85% guideline is generally recommended for beginners. This industry recommendation restricts the laden weight of the caravan to 85% of the towcar's kerbweight. For the more experienced tower the industry recommendation is that the laden weight of the caravan does not exceed 100% of the car's kerbweight. This is not the law but it is good advice. Outfits in which the caravan outweighs the car are definitely not recommended."

Whilst Towsafe should be considers expert in such matters, the definition has to come from the stautes of English law.

QED.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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John L is quite right. John in Stockport, you must have read the information you got incorrectly. Another source of information is the DVLA, and you can't get much more official than that:

http://www.dvla.gov.uk/drivers/vehicle_cat_desc.htm#Cars
They explictly state under what conditions you may tow more than 100% of the kerbweight of the towing vehicle. It's a matter of when you passed your driving test (before 1st January 1997) or alternatively you need to pass a test for a B+E licence.

If you were categorically unable to tow more than 100% then the manufacturer's specified maximum towloads would have no significance if they are above that figure.
 
Apr 13, 2005
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it seems to have opened a right can of worms this, I only commented as i was surprised to read that people where prepared to tow at more than 100%. however on reading your comments i decided to check with one of my neighbours who is a traffic sergeant and he stated that it is a very grey area in that the law does indeed allow you to tow at over 100% of your kerbweight as long as you do not exceed the max tow weight, but your outfit may be concidered to be unsafe, if you where to have an accident or where found to have an unsafe outfit then as per your insurance policy which usually states vehicles must be maintained and used in a safe condition, you would almost certainly find that your insurance is invalid. this is where i believe you could be breaking the law as you would be driving without insurance. towsafe and the club where adament that my vehicle was not safe to tow at more than its kerbweight so today i checked with my insurer and they confirmed that if my vehicle was used in an unsafe condition then my policy was void. it just is not worth it.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I think they will have a very difficult job to prosecute you if you meet all the legal requirements e.g. train weight, max tow weight,noseweight etc. Similarly there is no likleyhood of your insurance being invalid. Has anybody got FIRST hand knowledge of anybody being prosecuted for towing greater than the vehicle weight, whether involved in an accident or not, or is it just an urban myth?

You could of course be charged if the car or caravan were unroadworthy in such a way as to cause an accident but this could happen at any weight.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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This really is a load of drivel. I tow a classic car to race events all over the country at well over 100%, but not exceeding the vehicles max. tow weight. There are three policemen who also compete, again, towing their cars behind "normal" family cars, again at over 100%. Providing you passed your test BEFORE January 1997, there is NO PROBLEM. It is inadvisable to tow a high sided trailer (caravan, horsebox etc) weighing more than the tow car, as if instability occurs it can be more problematic to correct it. But it IS NOT against the law.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The issue of towing over 100% needs to be put into perspective. The maximum permissible towloads that the car manufactueres specify are ultimate maximum technically safe figures which would apply, for example, to low loader or boat trailers that are inherently more stable than caravans. Unfortunately, with few exceptions, the car manufacturers do not point out that it may not be advisable to make full use of this technical limit with high sided trailers such as caravans but on the other hand they have to provide owners the opportunity to tow higher loads where technically justifiable.
 

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