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Quote: Originally posted by BKVimto on 27/9/2017
I have a 2015, Ford Grand C-max 1.5 Tdci Titanium, Diesel and have been considering a move from the tent to a caravan.
We have seen a 2018 Sprite Alpine 2 berth weighing in at an MTPLM of 1208kgs which is 101% of the car's max tow weight.
The sales person said we could get below this by reducing the user payload of 166kg. If we went for a smaller van, it has a 133 kgs payload so we have a reduced payload whatever we do.
I understand the 85% rule which would be 1020kgs matched which reduces the choice of vans substantially and I have read that experienced towers are able to handle up to the max tow weight of 1200 kgs.
My question's are:-
1 - What makes the 'Experienced' driver. I have some minimal experience of towing a caravan many years ago and more lately a small Erde camping trailer
2 - Is the advice of reducing the payload practical?
3 - Would the insurance company for the car and the van object based on the MTPLM being greater than the maximum 1200 kgs stated on the V5 document even if I reduce the payload.
4 - Has anyone experience of towing this car to the max?
My brain tells me to look for a different van but we like the Alpine and have not seen anything local to choose from - maybe a trip to NEC next month is on the cards.
My thanks in advance for any information provided
85% rule is a bit more to do with the nature of the load than the wieght, it would be much easier to tow a low down trailer of max wieght rather than a huge box of air with high sides, vast difference in wind resistance.
Regardless of how experienced you deem yourself to be the van is over the maximum towing wieght for the vehicle, and illegal match and simply not possible.
Also be aware of the 3500kgs rule on a license post 1999? Which limits you to a combined maximum of 3500kgs
Outfit: La Caravana Location: Costa del Essex Joined: 25/1/2010
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Provided caravan axle weighs less than 1200kg on weighbridge when hitched to car & all other weights are correct then legal although as stated insurer might take a different view when entertaining a claim for caravan that is potentially over car weight limit.
Op asked what makes an experience driver? It could a driver who looks at a caravan hitched to a car & thinks. "Nah, that don't look right". Which the caravan you describe hitched to a C Max would not. So choose a smaller caravan or a bigger car is my suggestion.
As pointed out though outfit could be made legal if not insurable & an experienced driver would tow it down the motorway at 56mph in convoy with the trucks & not try to mix it with faster traffic by overtaking in middle lane.
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Thanks for the prompt responses.
Your feedback endorses my initial thoughts.
I do indeed class myself of being very inexperienced concerning towing and I wanted to seek guidance from experienced caravaners and seek clarification of some of the information passed onto me by some sales people who I am sure try to be helpful regarding ways of reducing weights and suggesting the 85% rule was advisory.
We will of course now look at smaller vans or a bigger car.