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UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

US vs. UK caravan towing standards



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 03:44 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 7
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

I was interested to read that the UK Caravan Club member survey
recently awarded the Subaru Forester 2.5 the "Best Tow Car" award.

My wife and I emigrated to the US West Coast in 1968. We had a Class C
motorhome for a couple of seasons, but couldn't handle the fuel
consumption, even at our low price of about 30p/litre. It was a
cabruettor-equipped 7.5L V8 in a 26' RV. We got about 6 miles per US
Gallon at sea level and about 4.8 mpg in the mountains, where quite a
lot of our touring took place.

We're now looking at a TT (pronounced "caravan"), but can't believe the
conservatism of US towing recommendations.

I remember my uncle towing an 18-foot caravan with an Austin Cambridge,
back in the late 50's and he didn't blink at tackling Germany and
Switzerland with it.

Over here, they reckon a Ford Crown Victoria (the typical police
cruiser) with 5.0 liter V8 or 6.6L V-10 petrol engine or a 6.something
liter V8 diesel can only tow a 4000 pound trailer. They reckon a Range
Rover shouldn't be used for towing at all and the Subaru Forester is a
city runabout.

Almost all caravanners here use big pick-up trucks or the equivalent
SUVs. My wife and a couple of other "vertically challenged" family
members couldn't get into one of these behemoths without being roped
together and having a qualified guide. Plus, they have horrible ride
quality, gas mileage almost as bad as our motorhome and need as much
room to dock as the QE2.

What would a UK caravanner typically use to tow a 2800 Kg caravan? Is
this bigger/heavier than most of you have? We were thinking of about a
26-foot Airstream, gross weight around 5500 pounds and a tow car like a
mid-80s full-size Cadillac, with a 6.2L diesel or a 7.4L petrol engine,
with an appropriate axle ratio, a high-performance FI chip and a
transmission cooler. Car weight would be around the same as the
caravan.

Please post comments. The e-mail address is out of date and I can't
figure out how to update it on Google!

Frank Damp
Anacortes, Washington State, USA
(top LH corner, about 75 miles south of Vancouver BC)
Former resident of Leyland, Lancs.

Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 07:08 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Nebulous
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 205
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards


wrote in message
oups.com...
I was interested to read that the UK Caravan Club member survey
recently awarded the Subaru Forester 2.5 the "Best Tow Car" award.

My wife and I emigrated to the US West Coast in 1968. We had a Class C
motorhome for a couple of seasons, but couldn't handle the fuel
consumption, even at our low price of about 30p/litre. It was a
cabruettor-equipped 7.5L V8 in a 26' RV. We got about 6 miles per US
Gallon at sea level and about 4.8 mpg in the mountains, where quite a
lot of our touring took place.

We're now looking at a TT (pronounced "caravan"), but can't believe the
conservatism of US towing recommendations.

I remember my uncle towing an 18-foot caravan with an Austin Cambridge,
back in the late 50's and he didn't blink at tackling Germany and
Switzerland with it.

Over here, they reckon a Ford Crown Victoria (the typical police
cruiser) with 5.0 liter V8 or 6.6L V-10 petrol engine or a 6.something
liter V8 diesel can only tow a 4000 pound trailer. They reckon a Range
Rover shouldn't be used for towing at all and the Subaru Forester is a
city runabout.

Almost all caravanners here use big pick-up trucks or the equivalent
SUVs. My wife and a couple of other "vertically challenged" family
members couldn't get into one of these behemoths without being roped
together and having a qualified guide. Plus, they have horrible ride
quality, gas mileage almost as bad as our motorhome and need as much
room to dock as the QE2.

What would a UK caravanner typically use to tow a 2800 Kg caravan? Is
this bigger/heavier than most of you have?


You are joking! We have a five berth caravan with a maximum loaded weight of
1300kgs. A large twin axle six berth would be around 1600kgs. Having said
that I think the towing limit of a Range Rover is about 3500kgs.

One rule often used in the UK is that the gross weight of the caravan
shouldn't be more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car.


Neb


  #3 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 07:08 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Nebulous
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 205
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards


wrote in message
oups.com...
I was interested to read that the UK Caravan Club member survey
recently awarded the Subaru Forester 2.5 the "Best Tow Car" award.

My wife and I emigrated to the US West Coast in 1968. We had a Class C
motorhome for a couple of seasons, but couldn't handle the fuel
consumption, even at our low price of about 30p/litre. It was a
cabruettor-equipped 7.5L V8 in a 26' RV. We got about 6 miles per US
Gallon at sea level and about 4.8 mpg in the mountains, where quite a
lot of our touring took place.

We're now looking at a TT (pronounced "caravan"), but can't believe the
conservatism of US towing recommendations.

I remember my uncle towing an 18-foot caravan with an Austin Cambridge,
back in the late 50's and he didn't blink at tackling Germany and
Switzerland with it.

Over here, they reckon a Ford Crown Victoria (the typical police
cruiser) with 5.0 liter V8 or 6.6L V-10 petrol engine or a 6.something
liter V8 diesel can only tow a 4000 pound trailer. They reckon a Range
Rover shouldn't be used for towing at all and the Subaru Forester is a
city runabout.

Almost all caravanners here use big pick-up trucks or the equivalent
SUVs. My wife and a couple of other "vertically challenged" family
members couldn't get into one of these behemoths without being roped
together and having a qualified guide. Plus, they have horrible ride
quality, gas mileage almost as bad as our motorhome and need as much
room to dock as the QE2.

What would a UK caravanner typically use to tow a 2800 Kg caravan? Is
this bigger/heavier than most of you have?


You are joking! We have a five berth caravan with a maximum loaded weight of
1300kgs. A large twin axle six berth would be around 1600kgs. Having said
that I think the towing limit of a Range Rover is about 3500kgs.

One rule often used in the UK is that the gross weight of the caravan
shouldn't be more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car.


Neb


  #4 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 07:31 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DaveK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 885
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

One rule often used in the UK is that the gross weight of the caravan
shouldn't be more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car.

That's a recommend for newcomers or extremely mountainous towing.
Caravans here have a body length of about sixteen feet, overall length
twenty feet. The maximum length towable by a standard car is less than
twenty five feet. They weigh about one ton unladen; luggage and kit adds a
quarter ton. Heavier caravans require a more robust tow vehicle, that means
a Land Rover Discovery turbo diesel or Japanese four wheel drive which can
tow up to three tons. You are then back in the market as 'step ladder to get
in, rock and roll handling and truck like ride'.
Considering the money you're willing to spend, how about a VW Taureg V10
turbo diesel. That's big but well capable.
Anything capable of towing about three tons is going to be a big truck-by UK
standards.
Mind you our happy breed of romantic travelling turnpike dwellers tow huge
german caravans with ordinary cars-which is against the law to us lesser
mortals.
DaveK.



  #5 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 07:31 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DaveK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 885
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

One rule often used in the UK is that the gross weight of the caravan
shouldn't be more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car.

That's a recommend for newcomers or extremely mountainous towing.
Caravans here have a body length of about sixteen feet, overall length
twenty feet. The maximum length towable by a standard car is less than
twenty five feet. They weigh about one ton unladen; luggage and kit adds a
quarter ton. Heavier caravans require a more robust tow vehicle, that means
a Land Rover Discovery turbo diesel or Japanese four wheel drive which can
tow up to three tons. You are then back in the market as 'step ladder to get
in, rock and roll handling and truck like ride'.
Considering the money you're willing to spend, how about a VW Taureg V10
turbo diesel. That's big but well capable.
Anything capable of towing about three tons is going to be a big truck-by UK
standards.
Mind you our happy breed of romantic travelling turnpike dwellers tow huge
german caravans with ordinary cars-which is against the law to us lesser
mortals.
DaveK.



  #6 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 10:59 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mary Fisher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,847
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards


"davek" wrote in message
...

Mind you our happy breed of romantic travelling turnpike dwellers tow huge
german caravans with ordinary cars-which is against the law to us lesser
mortals.


ah, but they have human rights.

Mary
in Leeds


  #7 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 10:59 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Mary Fisher
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3,847
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards


"davek" wrote in message
...

Mind you our happy breed of romantic travelling turnpike dwellers tow huge
german caravans with ordinary cars-which is against the law to us lesser
mortals.


ah, but they have human rights.

Mary
in Leeds


  #8 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 02:18 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Christian McArdle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 601
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

They reckon a Range Rover shouldn't be used for towing at all and the
Subaru Forester is a city runabout.


Well, a Range Rover here is legally allowed to tow 3500kg or around 7700 of
your US pounds. However, it does have a particularly large legal limit.
Generally you are advised to stay below 85% of the car weight, which would
be around 2100kg (~4600lb), depending on model.

The Forester has allowed towing weights from 1500kg to 2000kg, depending on
the engine. The full 2000kg (~4400lb) needs the 2.5 turbo. Again, the
weights permitted are well above the 85% rule.

Exceeding the 85% rule isn't illegal, provided you have B+E on your licence
(new car drivers won't have this by default), where you can't drive a
trailer heavier than the empty weight (which is lower than the kerb weight,
so the figures come out similarly).

What would a UK caravanner typically use to tow a 2800 Kg caravan?


They typically wouldn't. Even 1600kg would be considered very large.
Remember, things here are lighter and more efficient. The caravans aren't
hewn from solid steel and then ballasted. Also, caravan dimensions are
limited by law and are presumably tiny compared to US ones.

Christian.



  #9 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 02:18 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Christian McArdle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 601
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

They reckon a Range Rover shouldn't be used for towing at all and the
Subaru Forester is a city runabout.


Well, a Range Rover here is legally allowed to tow 3500kg or around 7700 of
your US pounds. However, it does have a particularly large legal limit.
Generally you are advised to stay below 85% of the car weight, which would
be around 2100kg (~4600lb), depending on model.

The Forester has allowed towing weights from 1500kg to 2000kg, depending on
the engine. The full 2000kg (~4400lb) needs the 2.5 turbo. Again, the
weights permitted are well above the 85% rule.

Exceeding the 85% rule isn't illegal, provided you have B+E on your licence
(new car drivers won't have this by default), where you can't drive a
trailer heavier than the empty weight (which is lower than the kerb weight,
so the figures come out similarly).

What would a UK caravanner typically use to tow a 2800 Kg caravan?


They typically wouldn't. Even 1600kg would be considered very large.
Remember, things here are lighter and more efficient. The caravans aren't
hewn from solid steel and then ballasted. Also, caravan dimensions are
limited by law and are presumably tiny compared to US ones.

Christian.



  #10 (permalink)  
Old March 18th 05, 05:52 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Capitol
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 16
Default US vs. UK caravan towing standards

Personally, I'd buy a 5th wheel side winder and a suitable truck. You
get much better living space and the ride in some of the new trucks is
pretty good. The Airstream is rather an outdated design and it's shape
does nothing for drag! The ones I looked at in Florida were extremely
cheap and instantly available.

Regards
Capitol
 



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