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Thoughts from the caravan gurus please
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discoteca
 


Member Since: 08 Mar 2010
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 1455

United Kingdom 2016 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 SE Tech Auto Corris GreyDiscovery 4
Thoughts from the caravan gurus please

I think of myself as a reasonably experienced tin tent owner having towed one for over 15 years.

Something that has always bothered me is the plate weights on a caravan and the law. Now, Miro (mass in running order) is what I call an absolute weight. It is the weight of the caravan as it leaves the factory plus a few kg as defined by the caravan council (has varied over the years but currently an allowance for gas bottles, some water in the water heater and some water in the toilet tank broadly I think). It's an absolute value, it is what it is. That is your empty caravan weight.

MTPLM (maximum technically permissible loaded mass) on the other hand isn't an absolute figure. It's a statement about the maximum weight the caravan can be when loaded. The actual loaded weight can only be found by weighing it. It's useful as a benchmark when matching towcars to caravans, but legally as long as the MTPLM isn't exceeded that's all that matters. For all other calculations as to whether an outfit is legal the MTPLM is irrelevant, because it isn't the actual weight of the loaded caravan, which can only be found by weighing it.

There's good reason why I'm being pedantic about the above. Our van had a plate upgrade so the MTPLM is much higher than the MiRO. I'm possibly going to have to tow our van once this year with my father in law's car rather than the D4, too complicated to go into why here, suffice to say I need to be sure it's legal and not too great a risk, so opinions welcomed on the outfit below.

Caravan
MiRO 1642kg
MTPLM 2000kg
MTPLM of same caravan without plate upgrade 1820kg

Car
Kerbweight 1985kg
Max tow weight 2500kg
Max train weight 4485 kg

I think that the above combination is legal. Ill advised because theoretically the legally loaded van could weigh more than the car.

On this trip there will only be the two of us, so both the back seat and boot will be available for luggage and i intend to pack everything possible in the car not the van, including stuff I normally leave in the van when pulling it with the disco, the awning for example. The aim will be to try and keep the van as close to its MiRO as possible.

The car is an Audi A6 Allroad, 320PS diesel with air suspension and four wheel drive. Thoughts on suitability and stability of the outfit?
  
Post #19241179th Mar 2018 12:53 am
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Jamiehol
 


Member Since: 13 Nov 2015
Location: Ipswich
Posts: 55

United Kingdom 

From a legal perspective then yes it is legal.

Even without the weight plate upgrade then you would be over the 80% weight guidelines, but given you have had a van for a while then it is down to how you feel towing over the 80% guideline.

The other thing to watch is the noseweight.
  
Post #19241259th Mar 2018 7:51 am
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discoteca
 


Member Since: 08 Mar 2010
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 1455

United Kingdom 2016 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 SE Tech Auto Corris GreyDiscovery 4

Thanks. It's 83% if using the MiRO rather than the MTPLM.
  
Post #19241279th Mar 2018 8:00 am
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Erea
 


Member Since: 19 Mar 2012
Location: Munster
Posts: 1121

Ireland 2006 Discovery 3 TDV6 Commercial Manual Zambezi SilverDiscovery 3

That Audi is a big car and probably as heavy if not heavier than Most small SUVs with the huge advantage of a lower centre of gravity.
Worth a read.
https://www.practicalcaravan.com/reviews/t...a6-allroad
  
Post #19241339th Mar 2018 8:44 am
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discoteca
 


Member Since: 08 Mar 2010
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 1455

United Kingdom 2016 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 SE Tech Auto Corris GreyDiscovery 4

Thank you, yes the PC review rates the Audi very highly. The review was done pulling about 1650kg from memory. My worry is that even if I remove as much as I practicaly can from the van I'm going to be knocking on the door of 1800kg.
  
Post #19241399th Mar 2018 9:11 am
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Erea
 


Member Since: 19 Mar 2012
Location: Munster
Posts: 1121

Ireland 2006 Discovery 3 TDV6 Commercial Manual Zambezi SilverDiscovery 3

the caravan they tested has an initial higher MiRO than yours. I know yours will be a bit heavier with your stuff in it but as you say you are going to load the car as well. I guess look on AUDI forums and see what others do. Bottom line when towing is keeping the speed down to a safe level.
  
Post #19241829th Mar 2018 12:21 pm
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Dexter
 


Member Since: 21 Sep 2007
Location: Aberdeenshire
Posts: 1128

Scotland 2016 Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 Landmark LE Auto Waitomo GreyDiscovery 4

Legally all you have to consider is the max tow weight stated by the car manufacturer. The 85% rule is just a guideline / good practice.

The revised MTPLM is now applicable to that caravan as that is what the plate states.

If in doubt you can carry heavy items in the car rather than in the tin tent, however from the figures you quote you don't have anything to worry about unless you drastically overload the caravan. And then it's illegal whatever you're towing with as you've exceeded the MTPLM.

Dex
  
Post #19242239th Mar 2018 2:28 pm
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gvw
 


Member Since: 16 Jan 2012
Location: South Yorkshire
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England 2009 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 HSE Auto Santorini BlackDiscovery 4

Assuming your driving license is ok for towing the outfit then I would have thought that as long as the loaded caravan weighs less than the MTPLM then it is legal regardless of what it is being towed with.
Now as to wether it is safe or not is another matter and is why the 80% rule is used but as far as I’m aware this is only for guidance and not a legal requirement.
If you’ve been towing for 15 years I guess you will know if you are comfortable towing it Thumbs Up
  
Post #19242259th Mar 2018 2:32 pm
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gvw
 


Member Since: 16 Jan 2012
Location: South Yorkshire
Posts: 793

England 2009 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 HSE Auto Santorini BlackDiscovery 4

Beaten to it Smile
  
Post #19242269th Mar 2018 2:33 pm
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KenR
 


Member Since: 17 Jan 2010
Location: Argyll Scotland
Posts: 199

United Kingdom 2010 Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE Auto Zermatt SilverDiscovery 4

I would be interested in where this 80% figure came from, why not 75% or 85%?
  
Post #19242789th Mar 2018 5:17 pm
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Ray Clayton
 


Member Since: 15 Aug 2014
Location: Ilkeston, Derbyshire
Posts: 269

England 2008 Discovery 3 TDV6 SE Auto Buckingham BlueDiscovery 3

Hi

Here you go.
It is a recomendation, not a rule, but ignore it and have an accident,then they may not look at you in a good light.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/syst...ailers.pdf


Thumbs Up
 Regards
Ray
____________________________________________________
2008 Discovery 3 SE
7 Seater
Buckingham Blue 
 
Post #19242819th Mar 2018 5:31 pm
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KenR
 


Member Since: 17 Jan 2010
Location: Argyll Scotland
Posts: 199

United Kingdom 2010 Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE Auto Zermatt SilverDiscovery 4

Thanks Ray, I have not seen that document before. One wonders why the Discovery has a max towing weight of 3500kgs which is well above 85% of the vehicle weight!
I would still be interested in HOW they arrived at this figure of 80/85%.
  
Post #19242859th Mar 2018 5:44 pm
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discoteca
 


Member Since: 08 Mar 2010
Location: Warwickshire
Posts: 1455

United Kingdom 2016 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 SE Tech Auto Corris GreyDiscovery 4

The vast majority of cars have a max towing weight that is above 85% of the car's weight. Many are above 100%.
  
Post #19242869th Mar 2018 5:48 pm
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KenR
 


Member Since: 17 Jan 2010
Location: Argyll Scotland
Posts: 199

United Kingdom 2010 Discovery 4 3.0 TDV6 HSE Auto Zermatt SilverDiscovery 4

I quite agree, which would seem to make the 85% figure a bit of a waste of time, as legally you can tow up to the vehicle max figure.
  
Post #19243059th Mar 2018 6:20 pm
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nearlee
 


Member Since: 15 Dec 2012
Location: where the sheep are scared
Posts: 1598

Wales 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 S Auto Bonatti GreyDiscovery 3

I'm going to throw a spanner in the works.
What I've read is ideally no more than 75% match ratio however if an experienced caravan/trailer tower then a 100% match is very doable.
 Just remember:-
Amateurs built the Ark
Professionals built the titanic 
 
Post #19243819th Mar 2018 8:31 pm
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