When choosing a the best vehicle to tow a caravan, it’s also important to have a vehicle that has the power to safely and comfortably tow it. Loading up the van for an adventure and unplugging from technology is a great experience at any age, having a reliable towing vehicle ensures you arrive safely. We have compiled a list of items for you to consider as a well a summary to help you make an informed choice from what is available on the market today. Which make and model of vehicle you choose is often a matter of personal preference, this guide is to help you consider what type of vehicle will best suit your needs.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Vehicle to Tow a Caravan.
Is the purpose of this vehicle just for towing, or will it also be used everyday?
Taking this into consideration will have an impact on the type of motor, seating configuration and fuel consumption of the vehicle in question. You may not get all you want from the one car and some compromise may be required. Which is more important overall, the comfort levels of long drives, or the fuel capacity for trips around home?
Who will be driving the towing vehicle?
Will the towing vehicle need to be driven by a variety of drivers? Would an automatic or a manual be better suited for versatility? If it will mainly be the one driver, getting a vehicle that is a comfortable size for you to feel confident and secure while towing the caravan is most important. Feeling ‘dwarfed’ by the size of the car can place unnecessary stress on the driver.
Where will you be driving the towing vehicle?
Are you mainly on road between cities and campgrounds, or off road after you reach your site? Is a 4WD option a necessity or a luxury? If there are many hills en route, having a heavier vehicle means there is less chance of the caravan pushing the car around when braking or going downhill, and possibly losing control.
What safety features do you want?
Technology keeps improving and provides extra features for safety of both the driver and the other people on the road. Trailer sway control may be a viable option for you, or an electric brake controller (with a manual override). Long range fuel tanks as also a worthwhile consideration, to ensure you have enough fuel to get to your destination.
How heavy is the caravan?
If you have a little pop-top, a sedan can be a viable option, or even a Ute with sufficient weight added to the back to steady the rear on bumpy roads or in windy conditions. Be sure to confirm the safety rating and towing capacity with the manufacturer or your mechanic, as a mismatched car and caravan can lead to jackknifing or rollovers. If you have a middle to larger sized caravan then you will need a specific vehicle to ensure it gets towed safely, and to avoid any constraints with insurance not covering you if you were unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident.
Best Towing Vehicle Summary.
We have found for most people who are towing a caravan, the main items they look for are:
- Reliability – a vehicle with a regular service history, or good reviews
- Diesel – for long distance travel
- High Braking Capacity – for safety
- Big and Heavy – the towing vehicle needs to have the control to tow the caravan, and not the other way around.
Know the weight of your caravan and the towing capacity of the vehicle you want to use, and get advice to confirm they will be a good match. Then all that’s left is to load up and make some happy trails!