4/5/2018 What to look for in a Tow Car
When you are looking to buy a tow car to match your brand new or existing caravan, it’s important that you choose one that is suitable for the weight, size and distances you want to travel.
No matter the length of the journey or the terrain that lies ahead, you’ll need to know what to look for so you can invest in the perfect choice for you. Whether you opt for a Jeep, Land Rover or something else entirely, there are many cars out there that can do the job well, but what is it exactly that you have to look for? We’ve pulled together a quick guide below.
What Can It Tow?
First of all, you need to be looking for cars that will actually be able to tow the weight that you want it to. Opting for a small 3-door hatchback to tow your 3300kg caravan isn’t likely to be the smoothest journey! If you are looking for a car to tow a heavy caravan for long distances, you’ll likely be better off looking for a 4x4 like the Land Rover Range Rover as opposed to a rear-wheel drive alternative. While it’s not vital to have a 4x4, it certainly helps as it can easily move the weight that is put on the back of the vehicle thanks to its rear wheel drive motion.
Is It Stable?
When looking for a tow car, the number one thing you want is stability. You want the car to feel comfortable and without strain as it pulls a heavy load so you can keep full control of the vehicle. You don’t want to be cruising downhill when suddenly your trailer is swinging out behind you or threatening to crash into the back of you. A good rule to go by is the 85% rule. This rule has been set in place by many regular towers and it basically means that if the weight needed to be towed is more than 85% of the vehicles kerb weight, then it is deemed unsafe and could be a potential hazard. Without this rule, you could potentially risk having your trailer swing from side to side behind you.
An additional extra that comes with some cars is a feature that goes by the name of Trailer Stability Programme or Trailer Stability Assist. This good bit of kit helps keep your trailer under control and can predict when a trailer is beginning to feel unstable therefore acting to stabilise the car by applying the breaks so any risk of an accident is eliminated.
What Is The Engine Power?
When you pull heavy loads in your vehicle, it can put a lot of tension on the car’s gearbox and engine. To counteract this, you want a car with a powerful engine. Make sure you look for an engine’s torque; this effectively means the car’s pulling power. Cars that take diesel tend to be more effective than those that use petrol, the reason being is that diesels tend to be heavier then petrol cars which are important because the weight between the car and caravan will be more spread out.
To conclude, all of these aspects are important for you to keep an eye out for so you can find a vehicle that can easily tow what you need it to. However the most essential of this list is by far the stability – without stability, the potential of causing danger, especially in unforgiving weather conditions, is much higher.