Family cars, that are good for towing caravans!

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  • Family cars, that are good for towing caravans!
  • Premier Icon Rubber Duck
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    I acknowledge the usual Top Gear response 🙄

    But I am toying with the idea of a caravan and I am wondering what normal family sort of car is good for towing. I am not particularly wishing to buy a big 4×4 which is the obvious answer.

    Thanks in advance to all those who contribute. 😉

    Premier Icon Bregante
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    Volvo xc70

    Premier Icon Daffy
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    Premier Icon garage-dweller
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    Assuming you have the correct towing entitlements on your licence I would look for the following characteristics:

    Weighty – dont want the tail wagging the dog
    Diesel with a six speed box
    Big brakes

    When towing boats – lighter but as long as a caravan I have found cars with less rear overhang better for reversing.

    Ultimately it probably depends on what size caravan you want.

    If you didnt know there are rules around towing and relative weights of car and trailer and you need to make sure you comply with these which can take some head scratching.

    Premier Icon tonyg2003
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    Also something with self levelling rear suspension.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller
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    Oops double post!

    Premier Icon Northwind
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    I have no personal experience of towing with it but diesel mondeos are usually well spoken of for the job. You could tow a house off its foundations with mine, and it has a lot more brake than it needs, and a decent amount of throw-weight. It’d make for a very big combo with a caravan though.

    stevelolly
    Member

    Another vote for Mondeo. Ours is an 07 2.0 tdci mk4 and tows our caravan superbly. Previous car was a Volvo S60 d5 which was also a great tow car.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Don’t need a special car at all. Diesel mondeo or similar. My 140bhp Passat is superb. Your towing experience is determined by your van far more than your car, and that is down to how you load it.

    You only need a 4×4 if you want a big double axle monster.

    Remember that caravan ning is popular in Europe and that class of car is designed for it. If you are shopping for a new car though the best option to look for imo is self levelling suspension. It’s an option on Passat estates but hard to find. Standard in many Volvos though so maybe start there.

    PS I am selling my cheap old 2 berth van, see my recent thread on caravans 🙂

    maxtorque
    Member

    BMW 330d, or 335d if you really want to break all the crockery when you nail it 😉

    Premier Icon takisawa2
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    We towed our 1500kg Swift with a 130hp TDCi Mondeo. Plenty of power & very well behaved with the caravan on the back. Close on 95% match** depending on how much the wife put in the caravan, so used to tow it empty & pack up the car/roofbox to the gills. We use a Galaxy now, still 130hp but slightly heavier. Have to be honest, it does a much better job. Very stable. Towed across France with it & it was great. We tried towing our caravan with a big Kia Sorrento & hated it. So slow & cumbersome. Felt like how I imagine an articulated truck would feel. 🙂

    **Caravan Club recomend the fully laden caravan weight (MTPLM), is no more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car. Its a good rule but things like weight distribution (load low, over the axle), noseweight (weight on the tow-ball – should be 7% of the caravan weight or max for the car), tyre pressures (use the cars fully loaded psi figures). Get these right, dont drive like a tool & its safe enough.

    Inbred456
    Member

    Mondeo estate or Sharan / Alhambra. Mondeo rated at 1800kg braked Sharan 2000kg braked. Both very good towers.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Ignore the manufacturers towing ratings, they just tell you what the car can shift (or used to). As above, you want mtplm to be 85%-100% of kerb weight depending on who you talk yo. Newer car and van should be ok at 100% according to caravan dealers.

    Also if you have a rear toilet make sure it’s empty of both poo and flush solution as it can slosh about causing wobbliness.

    Premier Icon coolhandluke
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    Our old 130bhp Tdci Mondeo was great, 1800kg car
    The 170bhp Skoda Octavia was good too, very fast but not a heavy car 1600kg car
    The BMW x3 is best though, rock solid if a bit slower to 60 than the Skoda.2000kg car

    Premier Icon mrhoppy
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    I’m looking at the new mitsubishi outlander at the moment, 4×4 decent size but with sensible economy.

    yetidave
    Member

    mate had a 330d for towing boats, phenominal car for this. Dont entirely ignore manufactures ratings as if you are above you will have no insurance. Also check that towbar is EU rated or whatever applies now. Heard a story of a merc with caravan and cheap towbar ripping towbar off under heavy breaking, caravan then brakes off and writes both car and caravan off – no insurance due to insuficient towbar…

    I’m in a gloomy mood for a Monday!

    trambler
    Member

    Had a TDCi Mondeo, was spot on and reasonable on fuel. Also had a Kia Sorento which was always up the job and the tail never wagged the dog, however that comes at a very heavy cost in diesel. Keep the weight of the van down and everything else is more affordable, I’m proper pikey’d up now, tow with a Vivaro (bike van), everybody takes the piss, but hey, it’s all water off a ducks back.

    Premier Icon Rubber Duck
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    At the mo we have a 150 bhp Diesel Zafira but I believe I read somewhere that they are not a very good towing car?

    Thanks for all the input

    The next question I am sure you have all foreseen is: what second hand 5 berth caravan for a family with 3 young kids 😆

    Oh and then what tyres for …..

    b r
    Member

    And the heavier and more powerful the car the easier it is to tow.

    I borrowed my mates builders trailer to shift a load of rubble/rubbish using my old Omega 3.0i. When I turned a corner I could see that the trailer wheel was skidding – I’d left the brakes on. Never even noticed…

    Premier Icon chakaping
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    Oh and then what tyres for …..

    Fat Alberts surely?

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    There are thousands of vans out there, impossible to recommend one. You need to decide on the layout you want, so you should go to a dealer and look around. Or browse caravanfinder.co.uk in the first instance.

    Then you need to read up on the stuff to look for when buying – damp, floors, etc.

    Zafira is a little light, that’s the only reason it may not be ideal. What’s your budget for the van? Newer vans are significantly heavier than older ones, which would determine if you can tow a particular van or not.

    joeegg
    Member

    stevelolly,which do you reckon was the best towcar,Mondeo or Volvo.

    I’m looking to change my Mk3 Mondeo TDCi and the two cars i’ve been looking at are the MK4 Mondeo or Volvo S60 D5 with the 185bhp output.
    There’s not much in it weight wise but the Volvos got a lot more torque.On reliability it looks like not much beats the D5.

    Mondeo ST TDCI was supposedly caravan towing car of the year a while back apparently.

    johnellison
    Member

    But I am toying with the idea of a caravan and I am wondering what normal family sort of car is good for towing.

    It’s all down to how big a caravan you’re intending to tow. The usual rule of thumb is that the fully-loaded caravan should be no more than 75% of the MGW (maximum gross weight – i.e. car fully loaded, full complement of passengers, all fluids at the correct levels, full tank of fuel) of the towing vehicle.

    Just to give you an example, my dad tows his 16 foot Bailey Pageant with a Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDI with no problems.

    Pay a visit to the Caravan Club’s website, there’s more data on there about towing than you can shake a stick at.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    It’s all down to how big heavy a caravan you’re intending to tow

    20 year old caravans are much lighter than modern ones for the same size and accommodation.

    The usual rule of thumb is that the fully-loaded caravan should be no more than 75% of the MGW

    I thought it was fully loaded caravan weight (MTPLM) should be no more than 85% of the KERB weight of the car (ie empty save for a driver and fuel)…?

    And that’s relaxed nowadays too apparently.

    oliverd1981
    Member

    I’d just get a list of child friendlly B+B’s a mobile phone with a sat nav function and whatever car I wanted…

    stevelolly
    Member

    Pm’d you Joeegg

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I’d just get a list of child friendlly B+B’s a mobile phone with a sat nav function and whatever car I wanted.

    B&Bs are so not as good as caravans.

    I’ve spent 4 nights a week all winter in my caravan rather than suffer a B&B

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Are you working for a company or just self employed then?

    Self employed mol. Live in Derbyshire, working on M4/M5 junction nr Bristol for my biggest customer. It’s great – found a nice little site with a canal next to it and a pub on site. Got a load of mates I’ve made whilst staying down here. It’s my 2nd home at the moment.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Sounds great. Let me know if any of your colleagues need a ‘van, I’m only across the bridge 🙂

    PS when are you gonna get your finger out and get those damn roadworks finished? And you do realise that it’s pointless as the idiots in the provinces are to dim to realise that less haste = more speed, at least if the Newport section is anything to go by.

    Ha, will do – although I’ll be trying to palm mine off first. Not actively trying to sell it but fancy something nicer.

    Spring 2014 is the proposed completion date. I’m on the street lighting. These managed motorways do work but the blummin M42 winds me right up when it’s 60mph and doesn’t need to be sometimes.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    I have to shift mine my late May otherwise I’ll need to shell out for more time in the storage depot for the new one 🙁

    Managed motorways do work IF people pay attention to the limits.. grr…

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