Suzuki Vitara Towing weights -
Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
I am selling my 1994 5-door Suzuki Vitara 1.6 16v. A friend is interested provided it will tow her Lunar Clubman 4 berth caravan. I have tried to look up the info on the 'net but it is a bit confusing especially when terms such as 'MIRO' and MTPLM' get bandied about. Could someone just tell me whether or not it will tow it? I have tried using the formulae but came out with a max towing weight of 1.5 bags of sugar.....D'oh!!!
If the limit on an unbraked trailer is 50% of vehicle kerb weigth, then I doubt a Suzuki Vitara is light enough!
As far as I know, 500kG is the absolute limit for unbraked.
Actual towing wights are usually specified in the car's handbook (a dealer ought to be albe to tell you as well). I don't think all cars are capable of 85%, wherease some (mine) is something like 175%. However towing a large mass relative to the towing vehicle is quite different, and one does not go very fast!
MIRO - mass in running order; the eqivalent of a car's kerb weight, a particularly useless figure as the only time you will see a caravan weighing its MIRO is when it rolls onto the transporter on its way to a dealer.
MTPLM - maximum total permitted laden mass; the weight of a 'van with clothes and other caravanning necessities on board as one would take it on holiday, although the MTPLM weight is often exceeded by caravanners who never weigh their 'vans on a weighbridge.
In theory, the MTPLM of the caravan shouldn't exceed the kerb weight of the towcar, and for those new to towing, it is advisable to limit the MTPLM to 85% of the towcar's kerb weight.
The above is providing that the MTPLM does not exceed the maximum that can be towed by the car, a figure which should lurk in the owner's handbook.
And remembering also that caravan weights (or masses to the pedants) vary from year to year of the same model as the furniture, fittings etc. Your friend's van should have the MTPLM stamped on the drawbar or if it is an older van, the eqivalent figure is Maximum Gross Weight or MGW.
Sorry Andrew for not giving you a straight answer ...
Stranger in a strange land
A useful site for this type of info is www.clicreports.co.uk/
though it tends to concentrate on latest models.
A cursory glance would suggest that a Grand Vitara has a kerbweight of between 1200 and 1300kg and the van an MTPLM of between 1000 and 1250kg, meaning that the Vitara should pull it and van should not exceed 100%, and could well be within the 85% "rule" - unless you are "unlucky" with the combination.
The British public took to the original Honda CRV like they did to curry and chips. When it arrived, in June 1997, it was four-speed automatic only. But it was ahead of the Freelander, and you could have one NOW rather than wait for it.