Welcome, Guest
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: Towing with license after 1997

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472468

  • nick17112
  • nick17112's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 5
Hi. Could I just confirm with anybody who knows for sure. I have a driving license after 1997. I also have a Skoda Octavia estate with a GVW of 1978kg. Does that mean that I can tow a caravan with an MTPLM of 1522kg without any test or anything else? I can join them up and away I go? Thanks
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472469

  • otherclive
  • otherclive's Avatar
  • Online
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 6048
  • Thank you received: 1379
nick17112 wrote:
Hi. Could I just confirm with anybody who knows for sure. I have a driving license after 1997. I also have a Skoda Octavia estate with a GVW of 1978kg. Does that mean that I can tow a caravan with an MTPLM of 1522kg without any test or anything else? I can join them up and away I go? Thanks

If your figures don’t exceed 3500kg the answer is yes. But you need to look at the cars specification for maximum towed load. Also guidance is such that newcomers should have a caravan MTPLM that is around 85% of the cars kerbweight. I suspect your proposed outfit exceeds that guide.
The cars maximum towing specification relates to its ability to perform a number of hill starts on a 12% incline. It bears no relation to how good or safe it is towing a large slab sided unruly aluminium box on the motorway in windy conditions with HGVs and fast moving traffic around you.

So whilst your sums are correct I think you need to relook at the overall suitability.
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472473

  • ProfJohnL
  • ProfJohnL's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 12128
  • Thank you received: 1553
nick17112 wrote:
Hi. Could I just confirm with anybody who knows for sure. I have a driving license after 1997. I also have a Skoda Octavia estate with a GVW of 1978kg. Does that mean that I can tow a caravan with an MTPLM of 1522kg without any test or anything else? I can join them up and away I go? Thanks

Hello Nick,

Your post 1997 licence Cat B entitles you to drive a vehicle towing a caravan up to a combined MAM not exceeding 3500kg.

You have correctly identified the combined MAM is the cars GVW of (1978kg)+ the caravans MTPLM (1522kg) . Providing you have the correct figures then your combined MAM is exactly 1500kg. That is (just) within your driving entitlement.

But then there is the issue of whether the car is actually capable of towing such a heavy trailer? The car will have a GTW figure on its data plate. You must ensure your car and caravan do not exceed that weight limit.

The car manufacture will have also quoted a maximum towed weight limit in its specifications, this figure is often mistakenly taken to mean it's safe to tow a caravan of this weight, when in fact all it means is the car with a trailer of this weight is capable of starting on a 12% gradient. It does not mean the car will safely tow a caravan of this weight.

Whether it's a good idea to try to tow such a large caravan with your car is not clear, as you don't tell us the cars specification or Kerbweight. My concern is the caravan's MTPLM is large, and your towing ratio (100 X caravans MTPLM / cars Kerbweight) will very close to or over 100%.

Caravans are probably the most difficult type of trailer to tow behind a car. Their sheer size makes them very sensitive to gusts of wind, and due to their leverage they can impose some big forces through the tow coupling to the tow vehicle. Smaller light weight cars can more easily lose control of the caravan with dire consequences. Because of this the UK caravan industry has issued guidance which suggests novice caravanner's should aim for a towing ratio not exceeding 85%, and only as experience builds should they consider anything bigger, and the advice suggests never exceeding 100% towing ratio.

My but feeling is to say whilst your licence may allow you to drive your proposed outfit, the outfit is likely to be at the limit or possibly exceeding it's mechanical specifications, but from a safety perspective it is not advisable as it will be outside the caravan towing recommendations.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472481

  • nick17112
  • nick17112's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 5
The Octavia Estate is reported as one of the best towing cars so why would it not be suitable for towing a fairly light 4 berth? It’s towing capacity is over 2000kg. Sorry what car is more suited to tow a fairly small ish caravan. Thanks

Plus most of the caravans I have been looking at are around 1300 kg not my allowed 1522kg
Last Edit: 1 week 6 days ago by nick17112. Reason: More info
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472482

  • Thingy
  • Thingy's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 2254
  • Thank you received: 573
Just to be clear Nick17112, when you started the conversation, you were referring to caravans with an MTPLM of 1522, and as the others have said, its only just within the allowances of your licence. Your last post refers to caravans of 1300kg MTPLM which is a better match for the vehicle you mention, but you have moved the goalposts somewhat.

What is the kerbweight of your car. Its already been pointed out that "guidance" advises that your caravans MTPLM is around 85% of your cars kerbweight.

Unfortunately, there is much more to think about than the simple £3500kg figure that you are permitted, such as the 85% guidance, the cars maximum towing allowance, the weight that your towball can take (specified in the cars handbook), will the caravan meet that figure.

Nobody suggests that as Passat isnt a good tow vehicle because it is, but you must work within its cababilities and legally binding specifications. Exceeding that is not only foolhardy and dangerous, but would also likely invalidate your insurance.

Referring back to the 85% guidance, it is the advised target figure for a newbie, you can in theory go to 100% but you should never exceed that. As a new caravanner with a 100% ratio, i would suggest that combo would be foolish.

In short, if you want a large heavy caravan, then bite the bullet and take the test...................it isnt difficult.
Shogun 3.2 SG3 (197) tugging Stirling Continental 530
(Im a caravanner - if it aint broke -it will be tomorrow.)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472486

  • nick17112
  • nick17112's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 5
Sorry that was my bad, in my original post I meant with a maximum of 1522kg as that makes the total of 3500 with my cars GVW
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472487

  • CustardAvenger
  • CustardAvenger's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 628
  • Thank you received: 205
nick17112 wrote:
Sorry that was my bad, in my original post I meant with a maximum of 1522kg as that makes the total of 3500 with my cars GVW

In theory you can tow the above combination - as per the restrictions of the B licence. But it does depend on your car's weights and limits. (I also have a post 97 licence)

Think of towing a caravan like carrying a fence panel: Not particularly heavy, but awkward. If the wind catches it you're going over! Hence, not exceeding 100% of the cars Kerb-weight or the lightest the car is likely to be when matching a caravan. You could tow a trailer with a solid block on it of the same weight, but it would not impact the behaviour of the car like a caravan can.
Paul
Volvo XC60 D4 AWD & Swift Sprite Major 4SB
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Brasso530

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472488

  • otherclive
  • otherclive's Avatar
  • Online
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 6048
  • Thank you received: 1379
nick17112 wrote:
Sorry that was my bad, in my original post I meant with a maximum of 1522kg as that makes the total of 3500 with my cars GVW

Nick as both myself and others have said the makers towing limit bears no relation to the cars real world ability to tow a caravan safely. My 170ps Superb 4x4 is heavier than your Octavia but still has a 2000 kg makers towing limit. Answer me why?
I suggest you look at the CAMHC, CCC and PC annual tow car tests. The Octavia always does well but not at the caravan weight that you initially quoted but at lower weight caravans. Looking at those annual test reports will give you a far better idea of what your car may tow. What Octavia is it? I had a petrol Forester with 2000 kg makers limit. But sold it to buy the Superb as it’s engine struggled with a 1300 kg van. But I’ve no doubt the Forester could have passed the 12% incline test with 2000kg on the back.
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472489

  • nick17112
  • nick17112's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 5
The Kerbweight of my car is 1354 kg. I will look for a caravan around 1100kg-1200kg and I’m sure that will meet all requirements as I’ll be under my 3500kg by a considerable amount and very close to my 85% of Kerbweight
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Towing with license after 1997 1 week 6 days ago #472491

  • otherclive
  • otherclive's Avatar
  • Online
  • Platinum Boarder
  • Posts: 6048
  • Thank you received: 1379
That would make for a nicely balanced outfit. Have a look at the annual tow test reports as they will give an idea of suitable vans too.
Skoda Superb Estate 2.0 TDi SE CR 170ps DSG 4x4 carrying two Springers, Sprite Musketeer TD 2013.
Last Edit: 1 week 6 days ago by otherclive.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

Most recent caravan reviews

Hymer Nova 470GL - The Hymer Nova offers great build quality, meaning it's no lightweight van (© Practical Caravan)
Lunar Quasar 696 live-in test - That snazzy side window you can see at the nearside front is actually a fake, so the interior wall is left free for placing the TV (© Practical Caravan)
Lunar Quasar 696 T/A - Some might want for a proper nearside window, but the large front gas locker is welcome. Neat graphics and smart alloys look good (© Practical Caravan)
Wheelhome Dashaway - The electrically operated roof is raised via a switch by the door (© Practical Caravan)