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Towing weights (again!)

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Chrisuzu
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 23:14    Post subject: Towing weights (again!) Reply with quote

I am totally confused ..! I have  been reading through all the posts I can find on towing, weights etc and looked on all the official sites, vosa, national trailer and towing you probably know them all, getting a lot of conflicting information. The reason I am suddenly interested is I have recently sold my caravan and been offered another one for a good price only thing is its a Big One!  Its a Hobby, weight unladen is 1560, max is 2000, and its 29 ft long....! I have a 1996 3.1th LWB auto. I guess the Bighorn would tow it, but am I legal regarding the weights and the length of the caravan??  

Would I be right in thinking my vehicles weight is 1985kg is this gross weight or unladen? Whats noseweight?

Sorry to ask as I know there are a lot of posts about this, maybe its too late and I have looked at too many to understand, but any help would be much appreciated.
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Chris B
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2007 23:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Max towing weights...

LWB 3500kg / SWB 3300kg
These weights are assuming you have the full license (ie passed before 1997 or taken B1+E test)

If you are towing something with a large size to weight ratio (ie a caravan) its recommended you only tow up to 85% of the vehicles unladen weight (85% of 1985kg = 1687kg). These weights are only a recommendation and are not UK law.

I think the maximum nose weight is 150kg (from memory)

hope this clears things up!
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Peter Bonnell
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

noseweight is the actual weight you're putting on the tow bar , but the hobby will be twin axel so as long as the van is loaded right this will not be a problem . I would check that the site's you use accept hobby's though first
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TimBanham
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:29    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris is quite correct in his statements.

Legally and technically you will have no problems with your new van - however if you fully load your new van you will be towing something heavier than the trooper - which is not ideal.  

However to put almost 400 kg of user payload in your van would be pushing it - that's a lot of weight.
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Chrisuzu
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your replies.  
Think its a bit of a grey area, spent a while last night on some sites relating to towing large caravans ie Hobby, and most seem to state its illegal to tow a caravan of this size in the UK unless you use a commercial vehicle like a LWB Mercedes Sprinter for example this was was the vehicle mentioned the most.

Does anyone know if its legal or not, spent hours surfing the net last night but to no avail..!! got my licence before 1997 which seems to make a bit of a difference

Happy new year !
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TimBanham
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:25    Post subject: Reply with quote

according to the DVLA this is the law..

All drivers who passed a car test before 1 January 1997 retain their existing entitlement to tow trailers until their licence expires. This means they are generally entitled to drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8.25 tonnes MAM. They also have entitlement to drive a minibus with a trailer over 750kgs MAM.

So me thinks you are ok - the easiest way would be to phone up the DVLA - they can be quite helpful if you ask
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 8:30    Post subject: Reply with quote

plus if you have Category B+E on your licence - which I think you will have as you passed your test before 97

then the following applies

Category B+E allows vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes MAM to be combined with trailers in excess of 750kgs MAM. In order to gain this entitlement new category B licence holders have to pass a further practical test for category B+E. There is no category B+E theory test. For driver licensing purposes there are no vehicle/trailer weight ratio limits for category B+E.
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Chris B
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you passed after 1997 and dont have the "+E" extension you can tow over 750kg as long as the Maximum weight of the trailer is under the Unladen weight of the tow vehicle AND the combined weight is under 3500kg.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correct - although in this instance that wouldn't be allowed as the maximum weight of the caravan is greater than the car
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

True!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

So looks like its no good going to look at this caravan tonight because its too heavy to legally tow in UK, even though my vehicle would pull it no probs...!
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Chris B
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris,

You can legally tow the van in the UK assuming you passed your test before January 1997 (or if passed after have taken the B+E test). However its recommended by the NTTA and Caravan clubs that you do not tow over 85% of the cars unladen weight.... this is only a recommendation for safety and is not a law! The trooper should have no problems pulling your new van, but it must be mentioned when the van is fully loaded you are probably on the upper limits of the ideal combination, when unladen your van is within the recommended ratio.

Hope this helps!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 9:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laughing

Towing, I don't even think the police / Vosa understand most of the rules!!
Jugging by most of the people I see towing, no lights, mudguards, no triangles, number plates on a bit of A4 paper or just chalked on the back Rolling Eyes , trailers that are way to big for there cars the list is end less.

just go fot it. Wink

as long as you keep the car and caravan as level as you can, it will look ok to passing police.
You can also get "things" (forgot name Laughing ) that fit in the coil springs to reduce the pulldown on the back of vehicles.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris

Chris is absolutely correct you are legally allowed to tow this van with your trooper.

As you are a caravanner anyway you should have a rough idea of how much weight you would be added as user payload to your new van - awning etc.  Add all this up to the unladen weight of the van and see what this comes to - also remember you have a large boot that will take some of the weight out of the van and will increase your tow vehicles weight so I would suggest you are going to be ok with this.

worth having a look if the price is right

PS Siweb - I know what you mean!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

They be called ..... spring assistors si! Available from most motor factors and caravan shops - only take ten minutes to fit.

So - to recap ... your van is within the towing limit of your trooper (license permitting) but right on the top end of the recommended towing ratio.

As Siweb said... just make sure your van is correctly loaded etc and go enjoy your holidays!
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