We will cover different types of towing, include tow caravans, horse boxes and racing boats among many others, and are particularly handy for those on vacation going for road trips, camping or taking their boats to the ocean. Before deciding on which equipment to buy, the following are factors that need to be considered.
The load to be transported little caravans weigh approximately 750 kg on the lower end. The heaviest weigh around 2500 kg. Therefore, as a buyer, you need to thoroughly evaluate the kind of cargo to be transported before selecting the vehicle. Another factor to consider is the extra items that get transported alongside the caravan or the trailer. That is the loaded items as well as toolkits.
Towing capacity Most manufactures do specify the maximum loads that can be handled by a specific car. However, one thing to notice is that the quoted capacity is meant for physical weights. Safety considerations are not taken into account. As a general safety rule, it is advisable not to tow loads that exceed 85% of the vehicles weight. Furthermore, a lower weight to load ratio is better for stability and control.
Braked or unbraked towing mechanisms auto-makers normally specify whether the cars are braked or unbraced. Just to clarify, a braked system is one in which the trailer or caravan is hooked up to the vehicle’s braking system. Whenever the driver depresses the brake pedal, all brakes get activated. In an unbraced system, the trailers are not connected to the braking system. If the item you are towing does not include its own brakes, you are much safer carrying a lighter load.
Preferable tow vehicles for heavy loads heavy loads do require vehicles that have high amount of torque. For horse boxes and boats, an 4x4 SUV would do you justice. Some good models for these types of loads include the Volkswagen Tuareg and the Land Rover Discovery. These vehicles can tow weights of up to 3.5 tons while braked.
Vehicles preferable for medium loads For medium loads, you would require quite a different type of cars. The most preferable are medium size estate cars and SUVs. Some good SUV models include the Toyota RAV 4 and the Honda C-RV. Estate cars, on the other hand include the Audi QS and the Skoda yeti.
Cars suitable for lighter loads By lighter loads, we are talking about those that do not need an All-wheel-drive vehicle. For this purpose, medium sized hatchbacks are well up to the task. Good models include the ford focus, Volkswagen golf, and the Audi A3. The cars can typically tow weights of between 600 to 1800 kg whether braked or unbraced.
Trailer stability assist during towing, a trailer or caravan can easily jack-knife or wallow. Electronic stability assists help to eradicate these effects to a great extent. Buying a car with this system helps enhance safety during towing. However, you get the advantage at an added cost.
Nose weight Nose weight mostly applies to caravans. This refers to the weight resting on a car’s tow ball. That is the part that attaches to the load. All loads are required to be under the tow ball limit.
The type of tow bar Nowadays manufacturers offer bespoke tow bars. On major advantage of these is their ability to retract inwards while not in use. However, they usually come at a higher cost compared to proprietary tow bars that are just as efficient.
Whether to use diesel/petrol/hybrid cars Diesel vehicles offer high torque while maintaining fuel efficiency. Petrol cars, on the other hand, have the advantage of fast response, high acceleration. The downside to petrol vehicles is that they lack fuel economy. Especially high capacity engines. When you decide to go the hybrid way, be careful. Vehicles the likes of Prius and Auris are not advisable for such use. You are better off going with the Lexus RX450h. This car rivals the diesel engines in performance. Another option is the Volvo V60 PHEV.