Towing with commercial vehicles

Jun 12, 2018
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Hi all,

First Post, been towing lunar quasar 586 for a while with 2007 honda crv 2.2 diesel. No problems, but is getting on a bit and I've been offered a new 2018 navara 190bhp double cab pick-up through work.

Brilliant has tow bar, so naturally the crv could retire from towing. Then realised the issues surrounding the harsh suspension setup and potential damage to the caravan.

The navara hasn't got leaf spring suspension which is the cause of this issue, it has a modern 5 link setup similar to most car's.

Anybody any experience of using this vehicle to tow? Any issue's? Please help!

Thanks

Jonathan
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Hello Jonathon,

A similar issue was discussed just a few days ago, but I will make the same point as I made then. Some caravan manufacturers used to state that their manufacturers warranty would be limited or void, if the caravan was towed by a commercial vehicle. If you are contemplating a new caravan you might want to check the T&C of your warranty carefully.

As you infer the leaf suspension so common in the past was rather harsh, and it certainly could put some very severe vibrations through towing hitch which might damage the rather flimsy construction of most caravans.

The other point is that domestic cars are required to have centre of their loaded ball hitches settle at 350 and 420mm from the ground with the vehicle in a 'laden' state or ready to tow.

As a commercial vehicle the vehicle is exempt from that clause but as caravan manufacturers design their caravan with it in mind. If the ball hitch is outside of this range, there is a very real increased chance of the tail of the caravan or the retracted jockey wheel striking the ground when going over normal road irregularities.

An increasing number of people seem to be using these vehicles so it is possible.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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One member used a Isuzu fir a good while. Now he has a Sprinter van. No problems with caravan maker when he discussed it. Search Martin24 fir details in last 2-3 weeks.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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JSP ,
Hi , no personal experience but there can't be too many problems with towing with these kinda veichle's as I've seen quite a few of these and similar shapes on site . I'm sure I seen one of what you are getting , adapted for a 5th Wheeler setting on the back and you should have seen the size of what he was pulling !! Was like a bus !!
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Back in the '70s I used first a petrol Transit and later a diesel Transit 125 to tow my caravan at the time. First a Sprite Musketeer before moving on to an Avondale Quantock. Never caused any towing problems or hitch damage.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Jaydug said:
Back in the '70s I used first a petrol Transit and later a diesel Transit 125 to tow my caravan at the time. First a Sprite Musketeer before moving on to an Avondale Quantock. Never caused any towing problems or hitch damage.

Its not an automatic step that if a commercial vehicle is used to tow a caravan it will cause damage to the caravan. It may cause damage or you may be lucky as in Jaydugs case.

The point is that some manufacturers have in the past, and may still, or in teh future specifically limited their warranty liability if a caravan is towed behind a commercial vehicle. If its contrary to the terms of their warranty they could reject a claim if they are satisfied the owner has used a commercial vehicle to tow it.

Each manufactures T&C's for their warranty liability are different, so you cannot assume that for example Bailey's warranty is exactly the same as Swifts's or any other manufacturer's. It is even possible a manufacture could set out alternative limits of liability on differnt models within their own ranges. So the important thing is to read the T&C's for your particular caravan and avoid falling foul of any clauses.

Whether such a clause would be deemed fair would have to be tested in a court of law, but until then
Its like choosing to speed, you may get away with it, or you may be caught. But either way its avoidable by following the requirements.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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.........I can't see that there could be any design issue towing with this type of light commercial vehicle.

What would be an issue for me is the fact that they are designed to carry a load so in their unloaded state they are very light on the back end.
When towing I would want to be carrying a lot of weight in this load area.......this should not be a problem for most caravaners :whistle:

I wince when I see this type of vehicle towing a large heavy twin axle caravan with very little in the load area.
 
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Gafferbill said:
.........I can't see that there could be any design issue towing with this type of light commercial vehicle.

What would be an issue for me is the fact that they are designed to carry a load so in their unloaded state they are very light on the back end.
When towing I would want to be carrying a lot of weight in this load area.......this should not be a problem for most caravaners :whistle:

I wince when I see this type of vehicle towing a large heavy twin axle caravan with very little in the load area.
Hello Gaffer

The problem is if you want to keep your manufacturers warranty valid, you have to play by their rules, whether it makes any sense or not. Some people do tow using a commercial vehicle, and no damage ensues, But others may not be so lucky. and if the manufacture has stated in their terms and conditions no commercial tow vehicles, then they have the right to void the warranty policy.

All I'm suggesting is that before choosing a commercial vehicle to tow an caravan check the manufactures policy.
 
Jul 15, 2008
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.......I take your point Prof but I have always thought that caravan manufacturers, when using the term "commercial vehicle" are referring to tow vehicles over 3.5 tons.MTPLM.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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Gafferbill said:
.......I take your point Prof but I have always thought that caravan manufacturers, when using the term "commercial vehicle" are referring to tow vehicles over 3.5 tons. MTPLM.

I haven't got an example to be able to confirm the wording, so that might have been the case, or it could be vehicles
designed (not designated) to carry goods for sale - which would include pickups and other vans based on car underpinning.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Similarly to Land Rover Defenders where you have those with windows and those without my SWB Pajero was an estate car with windows but incorrectly designated commercial van. I had this changed by Swansea as it could have affected my caravan warranty and also excluded me from London LEZ. Yet just like Defenders the suspension, engine and powertrain of the Estate and van vehicles were identical.
 

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