Why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - dieseldogg
Surely we should be able to trust the manufacturers figures?
Or do they assume that the average caravan owner not a competent driver?
Since they were advocating that one would require a Toyato Land Crusier, or similar
to tow a 1800kg Hymer caravan, which actually only weighed some 1500 odd kg empty
When if I recall correctly a Subaru Forrester will legally ( and i would have to presume safely) tow 2000kg
Hey even the TDI Galaxy will legally tow 1600kg, so she should be fit for it.
It would be a whole lot greener to use the minimum sized car, yes

Edited by Pugugly on 15/11/2009 at 14:38

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Old Navy
The amount of kit that most caravaner's seem to drag around, they must be allowing for overload. Small tow cars aren't green they are underpowered and slow.

Edited by Old Navy on 15/11/2009 at 14:42

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - gordonbennet
Plus how many people who tow anything have any idea how to weight the combination for stability.

They probably build the safety margin into their recommendations so that in the event mr clueless weights his van so he can lift it off the hitch with his little finger the tow vehicle still has a fair chance of controlling it.

Seen too many cases of the tail wagging the dog.
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Alby Back
Not that I'm likely to tow a caravan in the foreseeable futiure, but out of curiousity GB, what is the correct way to weight a trailer etc. ?

Just in case I suddenly get the urge you understand ! Found myself admiring cardigans the other day so it might only be a matter of time ......
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Pugugly
Oh no Humph, no,no,no,no Humph.
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Old Navy
Humph, buy something totally unsuitable as a tow car, quickly!
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Alby Back
Wouldn't mind one of those gimungous motorhome things with a Westfield or a Caterham stashed in the locker underneath, a couple of trailies slung on the back and a year or three off though.......

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Old Navy
In the USA they use full sized 4X4 tow cars to push their motor homes! :-)

Edited by Old Navy on 15/11/2009 at 16:50

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - gordonbennet
Not that I'm likely to tow a caravan in the foreseeable futiure but out of

It's all over, you'll be in trackie bottoms and trainers next, with a baseball cap to finish off the new image:-)

The caravan will have a recommended maximum nose weight and the towbar will have too...whichever is the lesser should be the maximum weight imposed on the tow hitch.
I'm sure there is a formula that applies but i don't have it, istr 5% of van weight to be imposed on tow vehicle but that may be miles out.
reckon on min 50kgs, up to 125ish kgs range of noseweight.

Meself i always try to get the maximum weight as permissible forward, but keeping it as near to just in front of the trailer axles as poss.
It's the weight at the rear overhang end that causes a lot of problems.

There always seems to be disagreement 'tween the experts whether to load the boot of the towcar with heavy stuff or the front of the van, meself i always reckon on a good helping of comon sense with this as with so many others.

You'd be surprised or maybe not just how many truckers don't have a clue how important this loading ratio is for stability incuding overhangs, many seem under the impression that so long as axle weights are not exceeded all is well, nothing could be further from the truth.
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - b308
Watch the nose weight on modern cars, many are very low by older standards, 50 to 70 kgs are the max in many cases... though you can beef up the rear suspension if you wish, there are kits out there to do that... I've even still got the noseweight gauge (though a stick and set of bathroom scales will do the trick I'm lead to believe!)...

I never tended to put heavy stuff in the boot, just loaded it over the axle in the 'van... though one thing I did do which many caravanners could do with doing is load up the 'van and then take it to the local weighbridge to see whether it was still within limits, its surprisng just how much those extras people put in (cassette loos, awnings, etc) weigh.

As regards the OP question, I suspect its more to do with a safety margin than anything else, though when we are talking cars for towing rather than something like a tractor unit which is designed for towing I'd much rather the tow vehicle weigh more than the 'van for stability and ease of towing...

Edited by b308 on 15/11/2009 at 17:38

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - injection doc
85% rule is a saftey margine to allow for those who flex it in loading on a van. I have usually towed at 100% but keep most weight in boot, 75kg nose weight & any excess on the floor in the van around the wheel area. I keep all weight out of the lockers above & they tow fine.
i always like to make sure i have a suitable tow car that can maintain the max speed limit up hill.
Most vehicles will only take a 60-75Kg nose weight on the tow bar & some bigger saloons or 4X4's will take 90-125Kg but thers no need to go to this nose weight as I have always found 75Kg perfect. Too much nose weight & the suspension dips too much unless you have self levelling & the steering can become lighter with too much nose weight.
For smaller vehicles towing the 85% rule is a good margine for stability but once up arounf the 1800-2000kg vehicle weight towing goes mostly un-noticed
I have caravanned for years but even i get frustrated at the 30/40 mph mob that hold everyone up & the underpowered ones that get to a hill and struggle.
I used to tow a 1600KG van with a Carlton GSi24v 3.0 that weighed 1600KG. Power was ample & weight & stability was perfect & had many a good trip to the south of France.
The self levelling suspension mean't that the car was still totally level with the van on the rear soit was poetry in motion
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - kithmo
AFAIK all caravans have a plate somewhere that gives the unladen weight.
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - b308
Handbook usually gives the details as well.

Edited by b308 on 15/11/2009 at 17:54

why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - Pica
Copyright of The Caravan Club 2009

Outfit/weight ratio

Q What does The Club recommend as a safe outfit weight ratio for towing a

A The principle must be to have the heaviest possible towcar for a given caravan, otherwise the chances of a swaying trailer becoming uncontrollable and snaking are very real. Aim for a towed load 85% of the car?s kerb weight (KW), or the vehicle manufacturer?s towing limit, if lower. The nearer the caravan laden weight approaches the one-to-one ratio, the more careful the driver must be. Remember that the towed weight is the actual laden weight (ALW) that the car is asked to pull (empty weight of caravan plus what you add), not the theoretical Maximum Authorised Weight (MAW) or (from 1999 production models) Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass (MTPLM).

Q What is noseweight, and how important is it?
A Car manufacturers quote a maximum permitted noseweight for each car model, which is the maximum caravan hitch weight permitted on the car towball. It is important that this is not exceeded; however, it is equally important for stability that the caravan noseweight is heavy enough, and it is recommended that the optimum for stability of the outfit when towing is generally found to be approximately 7% of the caravan?s ALW (generally between 50 and 90kg). You can appreciate that those car manufacturers quoting a maximum noseweight of 50kg or less will restrict the choice of caravan quite considerably. Caravan manufacturers often quote a noseweight limit too - check this is compatible with the 7% recommendation.
why does the caravan club? use the 85% rule? - injection doc
all vans have a plate that displays unladen & max weight. IE the plate may say 1250kg unladen, gross 1550KG.
The advice about going to a weigh bridge with an out fit is an excellent one, i have done this many times.
A pal of mine was stopped in germany towing & was 5kg under his max limit, he's very carefull now as some countries give heavy fines