Towing a caravan

Submitted: Sunday, Dec 06, 2015 at 23:34
ThreadID: 131060 Views:2260 Replies:7 FollowUps:15
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Hi all, just wanted to get some advice on towing. I have a medium sized turbo diesel 4wd with a towing capacity of 2500kg. I have an opportunity to buy a caravan (25ft) which weighs 2493kg loaded (GVM). Would it be safe to tow or is it too close to my max towing capacity? I normally would like a couple of 100kgs spare. What do you think?
Thanks, Gordonk
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Reply By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Dec 06, 2015 at 23:42

Sunday, Dec 06, 2015 at 23:42
Legally, it does not matter what the ATM of the caravan is. It is the ACTUAL loaded weight that counts. You must weigh that to know what it really weighs. You should also know what the empty weight is before you pay your money or you may find that it has insufficient load capacity to be practical.

In any case, a 25ft van is a big van and the yaw instability is likely far too much for a "medium size" 4WD. The tail will likely wag the dog, even if it is technically legal.
Your family deserves a decent safety margin.

Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 Motorhome
AnswerID: 593481

Follow Up By: Gordonk - Sunday, Dec 06, 2015 at 23:55

Sunday, Dec 06, 2015 at 23:55
Good points Peter, was thinking that it is too big for my vehicle your reply convinces me even more, thanks.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 07:12

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 07:12
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Like THIS . . .

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Reply By: swampy - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 02:29

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 02:29
HI
Just because your vehicle is rated at 2.5t does not mean it will be comfortable doing so . Sounds like hard work.
I have a Ranger and would never consider over 2.5 ton . The over rating of towing capabilities by vehicle makers is rude .
Take a look at the vehicle max weight load capacity with out load levelers. It will shock u. This info can be difficult to find but generally is in the paper work with OEM tow bar . Some times in manual.
As the previous poster stated weight of the vehicle compared to the van should be considered . Remember also u need a good margin when considering set up .
At the end of the day if u r only doing very small trips it might just be ok .It would be a restrictive set up .

swampy
AnswerID: 593485

Follow Up By: Bigfish - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 09:08

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 09:08
Vehicle manufacturers are trying to get the "mine is bigger than yours" appeal out to sell vehicles. Towing capacities are way too optimistic. If its says 2,500 the I,d believe 1800 for a relatively comfortable , less stress drive. One day the law will be changed and proper, safe towing capacities will be the norm...don't hold your breathe.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 09:16

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 09:16
Yep, in Australia we seem to have a compitition between manufacturers with how much weight their 4wds can tow......and when you look at the fine print (and some don't ) that magical weight has greatly reduced.

If you look at the caravan association recommended tow weights, they are a lot different to the "allowed " weights, so instead of erring on the side of caution, everyone wants to push the limits because its "legal".

No one will ever convince me a 2.8 ltr 4 cyl diesel dual cab is safe towing a 3T van !!
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Reply By: TomH - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 08:35

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 08:35
If you post your make and model of vehicle you will get more informed answers and good discussion here

good place to look
AnswerID: 593490

Follow Up By: TomH - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 18:32

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 18:32
Just as an aside my 25ft reasonably light construction van had an ATM of 2965 kg and we were hard put to keep it under that when touring with just two of us.
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 14:36

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 14:36
A lot depends upon what your tug is. A Pajero or Prado would be OK, their ratings are much more conservative than most other vehicles. Your question demonstrates the quandary you have left us by not being more specific about the equipment you have or about to purchase.

The thing that concerns me is the proposed van. A 25' van with an ATM of only around 2500 kg. Sounds a bit pie in the sky to me. What is it? I suggest you put it over the weighbridge and check its unladen weight, if it is any more than 2,000 kg I would walk away. If you are going to use your van for extended touring you will eventually carrying around 500 kg load in it.


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Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:17

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:17
Agree with this. Not all models make over the top claims about towing capacity. Sounds like the van is a European model with those weight/length figures.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:20

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 15:20
If you plan to go offroad or rough-road you'd want to limit the van gross weight to two thirds or less the max capacity anyway.
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Follow Up By: TomH - Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 18:30

Monday, Dec 07, 2015 at 18:30
If anyone plans to go off road in a 25ft van they would have more to worry about than gross weight
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Reply By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:59

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 02:59
if it was as simple as "the tug is too light to tow that load", how do prime movers get away with towing up to 100+ tonnes?
Anything over 2 tonnes must have its own independent braking system, operable from the driving position. purpose of which (amongst other things) is to stop the "tail wagging the dog".
The problem is more to do with competence than rated capacity
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:35

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:35
Fisho, sounds like you have not done much reading of reliable articles on the subject. If you rely upon what you hear around the camp fire or at happy hour you will be fed a lot of bull sh1t. If you read this article you will become a little more enlightened. You will find more articles here, just scroll down to the heading Caravan/Tow Vehicle Behaviour & Suspension.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:38

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:38
I should have added that the author of those articles worked with GM Vauxhaul providing instrumentation for road testing of their vehicles. He spent z lot of time on suspensions.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 11:02

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 11:02
Ha, got to chuckle when people write of dissenting views in that way!
Vauxhall can hardly be described as at the forefront of the manufacture of towing vehicles, given their range consists of buzzboxes, box vans and a light truck.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 12:36

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 12:36
interesting that the first article makes no mention or reference to independantly operable brake systems used on 2T+-which specifically are used to control the yaw referred to?
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 13:55

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 13:55
GM in general and GM Vauxhall after WW2 were in the forefront of vehicle dynamics. The bloke that produced the notes that were turned into the standard text on vehicle dynamics worked ther after WW2. I suggest you also read this.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 15:51

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 15:51
Have you ever seen the UK towing rules?
No disc brakes and are not even registered?
Sorry but WW2 Vauxhall is hardly a leader in the field.
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Follow Up By: fisho64 - Thursday, Dec 10, 2015 at 22:17

Thursday, Dec 10, 2015 at 22:17
WW2??
Should maybe look at UK towing regs-no disc brakes, not even rego!
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Reply By: Jackolux - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:18

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:18
Why don't you just say what your vehicle is , rather than just saying a medium size
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:36

Wednesday, Dec 09, 2015 at 10:36
Yes I asked that a few days ago.
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