Matching your car and caravan

If you are new to caravanning there are some simple rules you should apply when choosing a caravan that you can tow with your car or visa versa.

The law states that your fully loaded caravan should not weigh more than the kerb weight of your car. For beginners it is generally accepted that the caravan should be less than 85% of the car.

There are other factors that may also limit the weight of the caravan you can choose. We advise speaking to your caravan delear to get advice. Our directory has hundreds of caravan dealers listed who will be able to help you.

If you are a more experienced caravan tow-er then you can choose a higher percentage. However, it should never be more than 100%

Terms used to describe the weights are detailed here:

Actual Laden Weight The total weight of the caravan together with all the items of luggage and extras inside or attached to the caravan. This is almost impossible to guage without the use of a weigh bridge.
Gross Vehicle Weight The weight of the vehicle which is fully loaded up to the maximum limits specified by a manufacturer
Kerbweight The weight of a car or vehicle that is empty. This is defined by the vehicle manufacturer and can usually be found towards the back of the car handbook.
MIRO Mass in Running Order - The weight of the caravan as it leaves the factory. This used to be called Unladen or ex-works weight.
MTPLM Maximum Technically Permissabe Laden Mass. This is the maximum weight that the caravan can be fully loaded. Exceeding this will mean that you are breaking the law and are at a higher risk of having an accident.

The weight of the caravan pushing downwards on the towball. Towbars are tested to tollerate a certain downward pressure. If this is exceeded they may fail and your caravan will become detached from the car. Not fun at 60MPH!

Also check out our towing guide