Towing weights

Mar 14, 2005
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Van: Fleetwood Heritage T/Axle,all up weight 1700Kgs Car: Merc E Class estate,kerbweigt 1840Kgs More than 85% I know, but is it an outfit that is safe?
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Mick, although some people may find my reply controversal if the figures you stated are correct should the van be fully laden the weight would still be considerably less than the kerbweight of your vehicle. In my opinion to many people are obsessed with the 85% rule, I agree that people with limit towing experience should stick to this rule but people with considerable towing experience will tell you that a caravan correctly loaded combined with a sensible driving technique can be towed safely utilising more of the vehicles kerbweight. In my experience I have seen many outfits within the 85% rule where no attention is paid to correct loading or noseweight. If you have plenty of towing experience I would suggest that you could safely tow this outfit bearing in mind never to exceed your cars Kerbweight, manufactuers max tow or noseweight limit. Richard
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I have a Heritage T/A van of the same weight/design as yours. I towed this van for the first two years I had it with a Landrover Freelander 2.0 TD4. On paper a similar issue to the weight ratio with the Merc. (but well within the car manufacturers tolerances). This outfit was as solid as a rock, towed across France twice and into Switzerland & Italy. Never once felt that car/van match gave any cause for concern. Power & stability excellent. I now tow this van with a new Shogun LWB, which is obviously much heavier, but consider that the outfit was just as stable with the Freelander. Very interestingly while in France last September, an identical Fleetwood Heritage pulled onto a tiny rural site just after me, which was a coincidence in itself - however you might be particularly interested to note that the car pulling this van very happily was a nice shiny Merc E Class (diesel saloon). This outfit was on its way to Spain for some late sunshine. Happy driver/happy car/stable van by all accounts...! The Heritage is in my view a well balanced, stable van with a Winterhoff stabilising hitch as standard kit too. I think it will be fine with your Merc - providing you are sensible (as in all things!). Go for it, happy towing. Richard.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hi Mick,

Richard has given some excelent advice, though I would like to correct one small point. He suggests that you should never exceed the cars kerbweight, whilst this is sensible it is not the law. The governing figure is the cars stated maximum permitted tow weight. Depending on the specific model of car the MPTW may be lower or higher than the kerbweight. Under no circumstances must this figure be exceeded. However thismust be tempered withe the drivers licenced permited tow capacity Prir to Jan 1997 teh basic car licence allowed yo to tow to the MPTW, but since then teh standard car licence limit the driver to tow a trailer not exceeding the the kerb weight of the or the MPTW which ever is lower.

As you can see its a bit of mine field!
 

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