We are new to caravanning and before we buy we need to get a suitable car ..need recommendations please

Jun 16, 2020
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Very wise to consider the best car for the job, which will always be a compromise. But we really need to have an idea about the size and weight of van you may get, otherwise it would be easy to say a Range Rover will cover everything.

John
 
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Apr 19, 2021
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Very wise to consider the best car for the job, which will always be a compromise. But we really need to have an idea about the size and weight of van you may get, otherwise it would be easy to say a Range Rover will cover everything.

John
Dont know much but hoping to get a 4 berth with a fixed bed and shower room x
 
May 24, 2014
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You really need to be far more specific. New or used. 4x4 or not, fuel type, carrying capacity. There is so much choice out there and everybody here will have a different opinion on what is best.

I would point you to this website:

Outfit Matching Car and Caravan (towcar.info)

Have a look at caravans, have a look at cars and then see how they match up. But dont take the link as the be all and end all, you still need to find the car that is right for you as well as for towing.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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it all depends on what Tow car you are looking at and the budget are you looking at a 4x4 diesel or petrol engine .
 
Nov 11, 2009
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What licence do you hold. B or B/E it make a massive difference to your options.

You really do need to sit down and think this through. Is the car just for towing with you having a smaller runabout. Or will the car be used more solo? Only yesterday one chap came to the conclusion after buying a caravan and spending on a tow bar that his car was totally unsuited for the task. As well as being £1000 down he’s now faced with having to sell the car and buy another one. So there will be the “ cost to change” loss.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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As Clive mentions driving licence is important when decided which car to purchase for towing.
 
Jun 16, 2020
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Dont know much but hoping to get a 4 berth with a fixed bed and shower room x

As a general idea then, you might be looking at 1500kg, (But could range from 1300 to an 180o twin axel.

For a 1500, like mine for example. There are the likes of, Mondeo‘s, VW Passat, Scoda Superb, Volvo V70 or XC60.

All good capable tow cars.

I prefer an estate, more room for ‘stuff’, especially with kids. But also because the rear suspension is often beefed up which helps.

There are also many suitable SUV’s and cross overs. But you dont need to rule out bigger saloons.

As I said before, it’s always a compromise.

John
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Although an estate does offer more space than a hatchback or saloon, I am wary of estates that have a long overhang at the rear. Does not make for a comfortable tow as we found out with the Mondeo that we had or a couple of months.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Although an estate does offer more space than a hatchback or saloon, I am wary of estates that have a long overhang at the rear. Does not make for a comfortable tow as we found out with the Mondeo that we had or a couple of months.
Yet Mondeos, Superbs, Octavias, 5 Series, Passats, Jaguar etc have all featured highly in tow tests. I’ve had three Mondeos, Superb and XC 70 no problem or discomfort towing. Perhaps your loading of the outfit or tyre pressures weren’t on par. Although some years back someone posted that their outfits “ ride” improved when different new tyres went on. Perhaps the issue you encountered could have been tyres.
 
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Jan 3, 2012
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I have look at a estate car and thought there would be more room for the dogs and my fishing stuff but up to now never owned one .
 
Mar 29, 2021
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I tow with an Audi a4 Avant (estate in old money). Car tows brilliantly, and its petrol, just Michelle and me, car has the largest top box it can fit on the roof too
 
Mar 14, 2005
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recommendations for tow car
Dont know much but hoping to get a 4 berth with a fixed bed and shower room x
May I suggest if you have a family or friend or even a neighbour who caravans talk to them as they might be able to appreciate what your needs are far better than we can, and help you to choose what caravan might suit you.

Its a bit like choosing to bits of jigsaw at random and trying to fit them together. You really need to know one of them and then to look for the next piece to match to it.

Depending on the caravan and car you choose, if their combined MAM is less than 3500kg then you can drive it with a Cat B entitlement. IF teh combined MAM exceeds 3500kg then who ever drives it MUST have cate Be or B+E on their licence.

Its also very helpful to take someone like that with you when you start to look at caravans - especially second hand ones, as there are several novice traps to catch you out. Never agree to purchase one until you know its in good condition, and its often worth having an independent AWS (Approved Workshop Scheme) engineer do a pre purchase inspection before you make an offer.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Their is no right or wrong answer here. Almost any modern car will tow well but some are better than others. What you have to remember is that your towed mileage will almost certainly be a very small part of overall use. On that basis you have to look at what suits your everyday use. The problem we have hen is that unless you have an idea of the caravan it is impossible to go further. You say a four berth but they come in every level of the makers models and with a massive difference in weight and overall size. What will tow the lightest model will not manage the heavier ones and if you look the other way round the biggest heaviest models will be overkill with a lightweight model.
I think that you need to look at the market and try and establish what you are likely to buy based on your needs, preferences and budget. You then need to know what the budget for your car is and it can then go from there. You also need to look at your licence as the Prof says to see what you are allowed.
Most people will say that anything in the Landrover range will be an excellent tow car and this is true. They are however big heavy and expensive to buy and run so the best overall tow car might not be the one for you.
If you google Caravan Club and check their web site there is a good selection of helpful leaflets under Advice & Training on the web site and it might be worth looking at these.
Before buying the caravan I would come back on here letting us know what you are looking at and who you are buying it from, dealer or private seller, and you should get plenty of help.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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I think you need to decide what caravan you are thinking about-big twin axle requires a very different tow car to a small 2 birth-but if you have the driving licence for it and the funds and want flexibility ie the ability to tow anything go big and heavy-Touareg, (VW) Audi Q7 most Landrover products give you good options, etc-have a read up on towing capacity and think about your needs!
 
Mar 24, 2021
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I'm in a similar position looking to buy a caravan single axle around 1500 kg. I currently have and Audi A5 so considering Xc40 plug in hybrid 1.5l , down side FWD only and only 3 cylinder engine so when battery is low not much pulling power.

Alternative XC60 diesel AWD but when not towing I do quite short journeys and really not keen on buying a diesel. Final alternative is buy a 2 litre petrol and take the hit on MPG when towing. A dilemma I'm struggling to solve. Words of wisdom from an experienced caravan would be appreciated.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I'm in a similar position looking to buy a caravan single axle around 1500 kg. I currently have and Audi A5 so considering Xc40 plug in hybrid 1.5l , down side FWD only and only 3 cylinder engine so when battery is low not much pulling power.

Alternative XC60 diesel AWD but when not towing I do quite short journeys and really not keen on buying a diesel. Final alternative is buy a 2 litre petrol and take the hit on MPG when towing. A dilemma I'm struggling to solve. Words of wisdom from an experienced caravan would be appreciated.
I tow with a petrol and whilst it’s fuel consumption isn’t as good as previous diesels it tows very well and is a comfortable solo car too. Made the change to petrol again back in 2014, went to diesel then for a couple of years and then when the diesel wasn’t great on reliability moved back to petrol. Unlikely now to move back to diesel. There are some very good petrol cars.
 
Jul 8, 2020
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I'm in a similar position looking to buy a caravan single axle around 1500 kg. I currently have and Audi A5 so considering Xc40 plug in hybrid 1.5l , down side FWD only and only 3 cylinder engine so when battery is low not much pulling power.

Alternative XC60 diesel AWD but when not towing I do quite short journeys and really not keen on buying a diesel. Final alternative is buy a 2 litre petrol and take the hit on MPG when towing. A dilemma I'm struggling to solve. Words of wisdom from an experienced caravan would be appreciated.
My wife has the Volvo Xc 60 awd and it tows our large twin axle swift with ease, we also use it for the dogs etc ,great reliable car .
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm in a similar position looking to buy a caravan single axle around 1500 kg. I currently have and Audi A5 so considering Xc40 plug in hybrid 1.5l , down side FWD only and only 3 cylinder engine so when battery is low not much pulling power.

Alternative XC60 diesel AWD but when not towing I do quite short journeys and really not keen on buying a diesel. Final alternative is buy a 2 litre petrol and take the hit on MPG when towing. A dilemma I'm struggling to solve. Words of wisdom from an experienced caravan would be appreciated.
Regardless of what car you choose, it will use more fuel when towing, so look at your driving split, why be uncomfortable either physically or economically for 90% of the time if you only tow for 10% of the time.

Take the hit on the fuel for towing and reap the benefits for the rest of the time.

The Audi A5 would probably be a good tow car, so why change?

But I must advise you that if you are looking at a 1500kg caravan , then almost any car capable of towing it will most likely have a Gross Vehicle Weight or MAM of over 2000kg, and that means your outfit will have combined MAM of at least 3500kg, and teh driver MUST have driving licence entitlement of Be or B+E.
 
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Sep 26, 2018
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I'm in a similar position looking to buy a caravan single axle around 1500 kg. I currently have and Audi A5 so considering Xc40 plug in hybrid 1.5l , down side FWD only and only 3 cylinder engine so when battery is low not much pulling power.

Alternative XC60 diesel AWD but when not towing I do quite short journeys and really not keen on buying a diesel. Final alternative is buy a 2 litre petrol and take the hit on MPG when towing. A dilemma I'm struggling to solve. Words of wisdom from an experienced caravan would be appreciated.
I have recently changed from a 2.0TDCI Kuga to an XC40 R-Design B4 197 bhp 2.0 petrol auto AWD. On our recent trip (190 mile round trip) we averaged 21 mpg towing. Ouch you may say but the Kuga would only do 25 (the Kuga did 45 solo and the XC40 36) so the difference isn't much. The main issue will be the tank size and hence range between fuelling. The XC40 only has a 55litre tank as opposed to the Kuga 65, so the Kuga could manage 357 against 254 for the XC...

BY the way the XC40 is a magnificent tow car. The Kuga was very good, but the XC40 is way more stable
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I have recently changed from a 2.0TDCI Kuga to an XC40 R-Design B4 197 bhp 2.0 petrol auto AWD. On our recent trip (190 mile round trip) we averaged 21 mpg towing. Ouch you may say but the Kuga would only do 25 (the Kuga did 45 solo and the XC40 36) so the difference isn't much. The main issue will be the tank size and hence range between fuelling. The XC40 only has a 55litre tank as opposed to the Kuga 65, so the Kuga could manage 357 against 254 for the XC...

BY the way the XC40 is a magnificent tow car. The Kuga was very good, but the XC40 is way more stable
The reduced range is one thing I notice when towing with a petrol. The increased fuel consumption plus smaller tank mean I need to plan fueling stops. This will mean that if on a long motorway journey I do not like to let fuel drop below one third in any car, so a stop is required for fuel. Going up to Yorkshire I will refuel near to Chesterfield where we have an overnight stop.

Surprised that the XC40 only does 36mpg solo as that's about what the Subaru does, and they have never been rated for economy with a large turbo and flat four Boxer motor and permanent FWD. You've made my day :)
 
Mar 24, 2021
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Won't the A5 tow?
Although legally you can tow 1500kg with an A5 its kerb weight is quite light and as a novice im looking for a heavier suv. Thats one advantage of a plug in hybrid they are heavy which helps with stability and getting close to the 85% ratio.
 
Mar 24, 2021
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0
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I have recently changed from a 2.0TDCI Kuga to an XC40 R-Design B4 197 bhp 2.0 petrol auto AWD. On our recent trip (190 mile round trip) we averaged 21 mpg towing. Ouch you may say but the Kuga would only do 25 (the Kuga did 45 solo and the XC40 36) so the difference isn't much. The main issue will be the tank size and hence range between fuelling. The XC40 only has a 55litre tank as opposed to the Kuga 65, so the Kuga could manage 357 against 254 for the XC...

BY the way the XC40 is a magnificent tow car. The Kuga was very good, but the XC40 is way more stable
Thats great feedback one thing i hadn't though about was fuel tank size. I hadn't even looked at a kuga.
Did you consider the plug in hybrid?
Your comments very helpfully. Thank you.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Thats great feedback one thing i hadn't though about was fuel tank size. I hadn't even looked at a kuga.
Did you consider the plug in hybrid?
Your comments very helpfully. Thank you.
I think the Kuga plug in whilst having good sized engine (2.5) did not have a very high towing spec.
 
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