Car/caravan weights match

Ladybird12345

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#1
Hi to all can anyone explain what these weights mean
I’m trying to match a car and caravan
The following numbers are on the car door
1960 kg
3260 kg
1-1000 kg
2-1010 kg
The caravan says
780 kg unladen
996 kg laden
Thankyou
 
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#6
Don’t know if you have ever towed before , but as well as getting the correct tow car caravan match if a novice stick to the 85% rule , ensure that the caravan is loaded correctly I.e slighly nose heavy with the heaviest items over the axle . If the back end is to heavy the tail can wag the dog.

It might also help if you mentioned what car you have and engine size ,as some can be the correct weight but totally unsuitable for towing
 
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#7
Not a rule.

Hi to all can anyone explain what these weights mean
I’m trying to match a car and caravan
The following numbers are on the car door
1960 kg
3260 kg
1-1000 kg
2-1010 kg
The caravan says
780 kg unladen
996 kg laden
Thankyou
For a standard VIN plate:

1960kg is the MAM of the vehicle, "Maximum allowed mass", so the most it is allowed to weigh fully laden
3260kg is the GTW (Gross Train Weight), so the maximum total weight of vehicle plus any trailer.

1 and 2 are maximum axle weights of the vehicle. You shouldn't need to worry about these unless you put hundreds of paving slabs in the boot.

3260 - 1960 means you can tow a braked trailer up to 1300kg with the vehicle and still comply with construction and use regulations. You should also be aware of driver licensing law, which may impose a different limit depending on when you passed your test and the category of licence you hold.
 
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#9
Caravan noseweight is important too; you need to ensure that it does not exceed the towcar towball limits. A rule of thumb for noseweight is for this to be between 5% and 7% of the caravans actual loaded weight. Often the caravan manufacturer will recommend a noseweight for their van, usually this will be in the range 70kg to 100kg.

It's worth a trip to a local weighbridge to check your caravans weight when laden. It's very easy to exceed the weight limit as modern vans have such a low payload margin these days.
 
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Tori_T

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#11
And do also remember that in the UK you are only allowed to tow a caravan between the hours of 11:30pm and 4:30am during the week.
Do you have a link to this?
There's nothing on the AA/RAC/Caravan Club/.gov sites that I could see, and the number of 'vans I see on the motorways outside those times points to it being neither observed, nor enforced.
 

Nod

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#13
Do you have a link to this?
There's nothing on the AA/RAC/Caravan Club/.gov sites that I could see, and the number of 'vans I see on the motorways outside those times points to it being neither observed, nor enforced.

They're allowed on motorways outside the stated hours, just not down narrow country lanes.
 
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#14
They're allowed on motorways outside the stated hours, just not down narrow country lanes.
That's right, the narrow country lanes are reserved for big HGVs following a shortcut on their Satnav......
 
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#15
Hi to all can anyone explain what these weights mean
I’m trying to match a car and caravan
The following numbers are on the car door
1960 kg
3260 kg
1-1000 kg
2-1010 kg
The caravan says
780 kg unladen
996 kg laden
Thankyou
The other important figure you should be looking for is the torque your car's engine produces, and at how many revolutions per minute (rpm). Diesel engines generally produce more torque than petrol ones, and at suitably low rpm, which is why so many towcars are diesel.
 
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#16
Lots and lots to learn , like having the correct towball for your hitch . I.e alko to alko when we bought our current van a couple of years ago we wondered why it was creaking so much on the way home , it turned out the previous owner had greased the alko hitch took a couple of days and half a can of brake de.greaser plus new alko pads to sort it out
 
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#18
You must also remember to remove any paint from a towball when using it with Al-Ko hitches which have integral stabilisers
Mines as smooth as Yul bryners bonce
 
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Ladybird12345

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#19
Don’t know if you have ever towed before , but as well as getting the correct tow car caravan match if a novice stick to the 85% rule , ensure that the caravan is loaded correctly I.e slighly nose heavy with the heaviest items over the axle . If the back end is to heavy the tail can wag the dog.

It might also help if you mentioned what car you have and engine size ,as some can be the correct weight but totally unsuitable for towing
The car is a vw passat i.6 saloon 07
also need a towing device for the car that plugs into the electrics
 
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#20
The car is a vw passat i.6 saloon 07
also need a towing device for the car that plugs into the electrics
You should be able to get all your specs from the Parkers link here https://www.parkers.co.uk/volkswagen/passat/saloon-2005/specs/

You can then check out towbar prices at the Witter site to get a figure for that. When I priced one a few years ago it was over £1000 as it had to link into the abs and other electronic systems, but perhaps your one doesn't. https://www.witter-towbars.co.uk/
 
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#21
Good tip about going to a weighbridge. I'm pretty careful over weights when towing, but I was 100Kgs over (or, should I say, Mrs Ted was a 100Kgs over!).
And keep heavy items (awning etc) over the axle when loading.
If you are struggling to reduce noseweight, don't be tempted to move a heavy item to the rear as this will act as a pendulum if it starts to sway. Instead lots of small changes over the axle. My van is a bugger to get right.
Oh! And the most important advice....have fun!
 
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#22
Imho unless that’s a diesel Passat forget the idea . Even a 1.6 diesel is pushing the limits .it may well tow the van on the flat its when you get to steep hills that you will really struggle . ..you might be better off with something along the lines of a folding camper which would give you a potential six berths .. or get a bigger car and if used look for one with a tow bar already fitted.. sign up to u.k campsites and go to the caravan forum you will get better answers on there than on a photography forum .
 
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#24
I once saw a Peugeot 206 diesel tow a large caravan onto a site in Yorkshire , it turned out he had only travelled about 3 miles though ..
 
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#25
Right ladybird go to “ towcar info” which will give you a fairly accurate free matching service input your car details make ,model ,engine etc and then the caravan details ... if you can’t find the exact model look for one with similar weights .. do the match it should give you a far better idea of whether you would be legal or not than giving vague info on here
 
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#26
Seriously if this is likely to be a one off adventure, then I would hire a static caravan, the additional costs will be more than offset by the towbar/electrics/reduced fuel economy while towing/hassle. And towing if not used to it is very stressful, sharp left turns, reversing, crosswinds are a nightmare, screaming kids in the car, etc........

Make life easy for yourself.
 
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Ladybird12345

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#28
All great info here
i typed all the info to tow bar and it tells me my car is fine with the caravan i bought
I’m prepared for the stress
next question the tow bar has 7 pins the caravan has 7 pins whats the point of 13 pins on a car and 7 on a caravan
 
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#29
Before the 13 pin socket became the 'standard' caravans had one and sometimes 2x 7 pin sockets. They were by convention 12N Normal (black) and 12S Supplementary (grey) if my memory serves me correctly. The black socket provided power to operate the the caravan 'road' lights such as indicators, sidelights, stoplights etc and the grey socket was used to provide power to operate a fridge or caravan battery charger via a split charge relay (i.e. when the engine is running).

These were amalgamated into the single 13 pin standard that is now used for new vans. A quick Google should reveal more details if you need them. e.g.
http://radixtheme.com/12n-wiring-di...gram-2b-gallery-image-for-12n-wiring-diagram/

You should be able to buy an adapter to convert 13 pin to 7 pin if required
 
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#30
Welcome to the national road blockers and aggravation club (lol) ... do sign up to campsite u.k forum as it’s very helpful , don’t forget its now the law to fit your car with towing mirrors both sides .. what van did you actually get ? Make.model.age. .. does it have a divorce maker with it ( awning) ... if possible try to keep your battery topped up at all times if caravan is in storage take battery home to charge it 365 days per year ... the water system needs purifying. Before use each year to ... and most important !! ! Check the age on your tyres they should be changed every five years although they will look fine .
 
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Ladybird12345

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#31
Welcome to the national road blockers and aggravation club (lol) ... do sign up to campsite u.k forum as it’s very helpful , don’t forget its now the law to fit your car with towing mirrors both sides .. what van did you actually get ? Make.model.age. .. does it have a divorce maker with it ( awning) ... if possible try to keep your battery topped up at all times if caravan is in storage take battery home to charge it 365 days per year ... the water system needs purifying. Before use each year to ... and most important !! ! Check the age on your tyres they should be changed every five years although they will look fine .
It was or is a 1978 Cotswold wind rush with awning were does the saying divorce maker come from and I have just joined a camping forum
 
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#32
Wait till you put up a poled awning together ,especially in a slight breeze .. it will answer the question itself LOL .. 1978 hope you have checked it thoroughly .. good luck

They are classed as antique/ collectibles though .. and as long as the interiors sound and no sign of damp should keep going for years , single glazed glass windows I think .. it will certaintly attract a lot of interest on campsites to
 
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#33
Some years back we watched a couple having 'fun' erecting a trailer tent & zip-on awning. Everything was going well until they discovered they had attached the awning inside out; the body language from the lady of the 'tent' was priceless...... I wonder if their marriage survived......
 
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Ladybird12345

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#34
This was the advertisment for sale
Cotswold windrush 13 foot touring caravan.
Not original in any way.
Stripped about 3 years ago and reinsulated with 25mm celotex. Any water damage repaired and the caravan rewired and reboarded. New floor
This is an all aluminium body with glass opening windows. All the window seals have been renewed. All the metal sealing strips around the roof and body were removed prior to painting and replaced. This van does not leak.
There is an awning that comes with it that doubles the usable space.
Inside is a double bed with storage below. There are two custom units. One at the end houses the sink and hob and grill.(fitted but not connected) the others is a shelving unit. There is additional storage above the wheel arches and some high level shelving.
I have fitted led downlighters at one end and led up lighters at the bed end. There is also a halogen main light and an outside light. Additional wiring is in place for more lights.
There is also a clever unit like a house fuse board. This allows you to use the vehicles battery if the caravan battery goes flat or use the car to recharge the caravans battery. It is also linked to a 240v system with a 2 way fuse board.
There is a stereo with aux input and a 12 power outlet as well.
The interior has been left ply finish. This could be painted or papered.
 
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#35
Oh dear , this then does not comply with the weights you supplied for a tow match ... I will assume that it’s heavier in which case you could have a problem with hills .. .. if you have already bought it I can but wish you good luck ... if it was me I would be finding a public weighbridge to find out the real weight .. and hire a mobile caravan engineer to check it over especially the gas and water systems
 
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#36
I hate caravans, especially when towed along country roads by inexperienced drivers using unsuitable cars - but I do tow trailers a lot, usually big ones with heavy loads, so have some experience.

A bit of advice. . .
Get the van checked out thoroughly to makes sure that it's safe.
1. Make sure that the towing hitch isn't worn, it isn't good if it comes detached from the car or can't be detached from the car when it needs to be..
2. Check that the brakes work correctly, they often don't.
3. Check that the tyres are safe, they may have plenty of tread on them but if the sidewalls have cracks then they need to be replaced.
4. Check for corrosion.
5. Make sure that you actually know how to tow a trailer. You may or may not have grandfather rights, i.e. a towing licence that you're entitled to simply because you passed your driving test a long time ago, but there are skills involved. It can be hilarious watching some caravan towers trying to reverse, but it isn't funny to see people driving dangerously, including but not limited to driving too fast for the conditions.
6. Ensure that the trailer is level. This is vital if it has twin axles but even if it only has a single axle you still need it to be level in order to get the noseweight right. If your car doesn't have adjustable ride height you may need to get a height adjustable towing hitch, for example https://www.trailertek.com/trailer-parts/towbar-and-towing-accessories/height-adjustable-couplings
7. Have consideration for other road users - if you jacknife or tip your caravan over the road will be blocked for hours:)
 
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