AnswerID: 493298 Submitted: Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:13
I have to agree with Vern regarding safety. There are two key things to consider when you are looking at large vans and tow cars. One is can the car tow it and the other can the car hold it in an emergency such as strong cross winds or you having to take sudden evasive action at speed. This van is within your car's specifications so it should tow it ok but I don't like its chances of being able to deal with any crisis.
As an example: there is a man in my neighbourhood in Sydney
with a D Max and a very heavily constructed four wheel box trailer that looks like it would measure about 1800 by somewhere around 4 metres. The Max would have a towing capacity of about 3 tons. He could load that trailer up to that weight with bricks, bags of cement etc. and the car would tow it easily and safely. The weight would be down low and close to the axles so there would be no long heavy ends to swing around. It would also not need a huge weight on the tow ball for stability.
If he was to hook up a 3 ton 7 plus metre van, the whole situation changes completely. It is no longer a case of how much weight is involved, the location of the weight in the van now becomes critical. The tow ball weight would have to be much higher and even the distance the tow ball is behind the car axle plays a major part. The car would still tow it but unless he fully understood the dynamics of the whole rig and drove accordingly, he could very easily become another statistic, particularly on the F3 freeway just north of my home. Vans and big boats come to grief with monotonous regularity on that road each year.
Read these two articles before you do anything. I have posted them before and they are very relevant, particularly for someone like you who is just starting with vans.
You can carry out a simple test yourself to demonstrate the information in these articles the next time you go to a supermarket. Pick up a carry basket at the entrance and place a 1 kilo packet of something like flour, sugar or rice at each end. Twist it around from side to side in your hand and note how it feels. You will see it takes a bit of force to get it going and what seems like a little more to stop it and swing it back the other way. This is how a long end heavy van will behave if it is subjected to a sudden change in direction while travelling at high speed.
Now put the two packets in the centre under your hand and feel the difference. It is much easier to swing but so much easier to stop. Your car must be capable of stopping a van that wants to swing and one stretched to the limit of its capacity, like yours will be with the van you have in mind, is not going to stand much of a chance.
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FollowupID: 768879 Submitted:
Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:29
Geoff in SA posted:
So very very true Splits
We looked at a number of tow tugs prior to deciding on the effy for that very reason.
Too many tails wagging the dog on the road and the boys in blue or what ever color it may be per state do not seem to care. More interested in revenue raising for doing 2 to 3 k over the limits.
They should be more vigilant about vans abs tugs being the many many kgs overweight.
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