Wanted van rated towing of 3.5t,

mandy

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preferably mwb and automatic, needed to tow Horsebox, be everyday vehicle, and not be super thirsty😳
My beautiful Toyota Alphard won’t tow the new box so looking for alternatives. Either keep alph 🥰 and get a cheaper (under 5k) tow vehicle but expense of 2 mot,tax,insurance 😏 or get suitable van and convert.
Need the auto as bum knees 🥺
Anything out their ticking the boxes? Or suggestions?
 

mark61

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If buying new, I think the options will be Ford Transit, VW Crafter/MAN TGE, Mercedes Sprinter and Iveco Daily.

I think all but the Daily will need the optional heavy duty tow pack box ticked, Daily does it in standard form. All will be available with an auto option, either a conventional auto with torque convertor or a robotised manual/clutch.
 

mark61

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Demountable on a pick up is a very good idea and good use of one vehicle for different tasks. Specs need to be well checked though, in many of the pick ups, the 3.5t towing capacity is reached by eating into the vehicles payload, some by a fair bit too.

In this situation you can achieve both uses from a pick up, a campervan and a tow vehicle , but will you be able to do both at the same time?
May well be the case that you'll never want both at the same time.
 

mandy

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mandy

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Demountable on a pick up is a very good idea and good use of one vehicle for different tasks. Specs need to be well checked though, in many of the pick ups, the 3.5t towing capacity is reached by eating into the vehicles payload, some by a fair bit too.

In this situation you can achieve both uses from a pick up, a campervan and a tow vehicle , but will you be able to do both at the same time?
May well be the case that you'll never want both at the same time.
Good idea🤩 would definitely tick the boxes if camper needed only need to pull small trailer. Will need to see if their are any for sale
 

Nabsim

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My sprinter van original plating was 3800kgs with gross train weight of 5800 so could only have towed 2tonnes before it was uprated. You can’t add any unused payload to the towing capacity as you will know. My sprinter is an auto. A friend has a new Transit Custom auto and he cat tow 1 tonne legally. Tow capacity has always been reduced compared to manual versions of the same vehicle in everything I have owned 👍
 

Nabsim

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The Ford Ranger auto can tow 3.5 tonnes if you can find one at right money, don’t think it will sip fuel though
 

mark61

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My sprinter van original plating was 3800kgs with gross train weight of 5800 so could only have towed 2tonnes before it was uprated. You can’t add any unused payload to the towing capacity as you will know. My sprinter is an auto. A friend has a new Transit Custom auto and he cat tow 1 tonne legally. Tow capacity has always been reduced compared to manual versions of the same vehicle in everything I have owned 👍
Not so sure about that.
The publishing of towing weights and the options of higher tow capacities are relatively recent in panel vans. ( Say last 10/15 years)

Actual towing weights were never given and only GVW's and GTW's/GCW's were given. As long as you didn't exceed any, you are ok. That is still the case as far as my local trailer hire company are concerned. Not that I've had to defend it in court. 😂
 

Nabsim

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Not so sure about that.
The publishing of towing weights and the options of higher tow capacities are relatively recent in panel vans. ( Say last 10/15 years)

Actual towing weights were never given and only GVW's and GTW's/GCW's were given. As long as you didn't exceed any, you are ok. That is still the case as far as my local trailer hire company are concerned. Not that I've had to defend it in court. 😂
All good then if that is the case but that’s not what I understood. I know it is the case with cars as a relative got fined some years back so thought it would be the same. Son in law recently checked if he could tow his caravan with his VW Caddy Maxi and was told he couldn’t. Overall train weight could be inside limits if it was just him in the vehicle bot van was a hundred kg over what VW said it could tow so that isn’t the same thing this 👍
 

mark61

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As rules seem to change so quickly though it's time I checked again.

"7.3 GCW - Gross Combination Weight​

This is specified by the manufacturer of the towing vehicle and it means the maximum permitted weight of the combination (ie total of the towing vehicle and the trailer, including the loads on both). Also known as Gross Train Weight (GTW). To help find the maximum weight of trailer that can be towed, you could subtract the GVW of the towing vehicle from the GCW. (in this example a 2000kg trailer would be permitted). However if the towing vehicle is not fully laden, any spare weight capacity can be used by the trailer, so long as the GCW and trailer GVW are not exceeded."

Section 7.3

https://www.gov.uk/government/publi...towing-a-trailer-with-a-car-or-van-the-basics
 

Nabsim

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So, does that mean son in law can in fact tow his caravan even though VW say no?

Think I need to check the bit in the manual and see what they called it. If you can count unused payload then he comes under max train weight. I know it was very confusing and wasn’t helped by him not having trailer test but he was looking to see if he could do it after passing that.
 
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mark61

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All good then if that is the case but that’s not what I understood. I know it is the case with cars as a relative got fined some years back so thought it would be the same. Son in law recently checked if he could tow his caravan with his VW Caddy Maxi and was told he couldn’t. Overall train weight could be inside limits if it was just him in the vehicle bot van was a hundred kg over what VW said it could tow so that isn’t the same thing th
So, does that mean son in law can in fact tow his caravan even though VW say no?

I really wouldn't like to say. With manufacturers now quoting towing weights and selling heavy duty towing pack options it's hard to say.

As far as I can see, you are not breaking the laws that cover towing but you are working outside of manufactures recommendation, which may mean you are breaking another law, it used to be so easy. 😂
 

wildebus

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Not so sure about that.
The publishing of towing weights and the options of higher tow capacities are relatively recent in panel vans. ( Say last 10/15 years)

Actual towing weights were never given and only GVW's and GTW's/GCW's were given. As long as you didn't exceed any, you are ok. That is still the case as far as my local trailer hire company are concerned. Not that I've had to defend it in court. 😂
I've been investigating my GVW, GTW, etc on the Motorhome in the last few days actually as a precursor to getting a weight uprate ...

Post Motorhome conversion, Autotrail state the GVW and the GTW - but they do also state a max towing weight as well - which is GTW minus GVW. So that does
mean like Nabsim says, you can't take spare capacity from the van and put a greater load in the trailer.
As far as Panel vans go, my VW LT was just the same - the VIN had a GVW of 4600 and a GTW of 6600, and the handbook stated a maximum towed weight of 2000. So no weight loss in the van to allow a heavier trailer allowed there either.
The info is not on the VIN plate, but very likely in the drivers handbook and I bet your Sprinter will have exactly the same stipulations as my VW and Nabs Mercedes.
The phrase ".....any spare weight capacity can be used by the trailer, so long as the GCW and trailer GVW are not exceeded" could be key, but what it the manufacturer has implicitly stated a towing limit? Their design limit will superceed that phrase I am sure.
Note the wording earlier in that sentence also ... "To help find ...". So guidence only.


PS. I was not familiar with the term "GCW" so I did a search .... something the unwary need to watch out for - the term GTW has two different (VERY different) meanings when it comes to towing and weight limits. In the UK, GTW = Gross Train Weight, yes? In some other countries, the term GTW changes to GCW - Gross Combination Weight and GTW changes meaning to Gross Trailer Weight!
e.g. On-line info such as:
"Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the same as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) when referring to a trailer. Again, the only way to accurately determine the GCW is to drive the entire assembly on a scale."
or
"Gross Combination Weight (GCW) – Equals GVW plus GTW."

something for the unwary to become aware of if searching the web for info on trailers and weight limits.



Little extra bit ...
Picked this paragraph up from the What Car website:
"The popular Mercedes Sprinter only has a towing capacity of two tonnes, but as with most Sprinter vans there is an option for everything, and a special reinforced trailer coupling can be specified to transform the maximum into 3500kg, which makes it far more versatile"
So Mercedes are saying to tow over 2000kg and upto an extra 1500kg, you need a special reinforced trailer coupling. If the GTW limit was as simple as the trailer can be any weight as long as the GTW is not exceeded, the driver could have an empty Sprinter and likely tow 3000kg. So why the need for the reinforced coupling?
 
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mark61

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I've been investigating my GVW, GTW, etc on the Motorhome in the last few days actually as a precursor to getting a weight uprate ...

Post Motorhome conversion, Autotrail state the GVW and the GTW - but they do also state a max towing weight as well - which is GTW minus GVW. So that does
mean like Nabsim says, you can't take spare capacity from the van and put a greater load in the trailer.
As far as Panel vans go, my VW LT was just the same - the VIN had a GVW of 4600 and a GTW of 6600, and the handbook stated a maximum towed weight of 2000. So no weight loss in the van to allow a heavier trailer allowed there either.
The info is not on the VIN plate, but very likely in the drivers handbook and I bet your Sprinter will have exactly the same stipulations as my VW and Nabs Mercedes.
The phrase ".....any spare weight capacity can be used by the trailer, so long as the GCW and trailer GVW are not exceeded" could be key, but what it the manufacturer has implicitly stated a towing limit? Their design limit will superceed that phrase I am sure.
Note the wording earlier in that sentence also ... "To help find ...". So guidence only.


PS. I was not familiar with the term "GCW" so I did a search .... something the unwary need to watch out for - the term GTW has two different (VERY different) meanings when it comes to towing and weight limits. In the UK, GTW = Gross Train Weight, yes? In other countries, the term GTW changes to GCW - Gross Combination Weight and GTW changes meaning to Gross Trailer Weight!
e.g. On-line info such as:
"Gross Trailer Weight (GTW) is the same as Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) when referring to a trailer. Again, the only way to accurately determine the GCW is to drive the entire assembly on a scale."
or
"Gross Combination Weight (GCW) – Equals GVW plus GTW."

something for the unwary to become aware of if searching the web for info on trailers and weight limits.



Little extra bit ...
Picked this paragraph up from the What Car website:
"The popular Mercedes Sprinter only has a towing capacity of two tonnes, but as with most Sprinter vans there is an option for everything, and a special reinforced trailer coupling can be specified to transform the maximum into 3500kg, which makes it far more versatile"
So Mercedes are saying to tow over 2000kg and upto an extra 1500kg, you need a special reinforced trailer coupling. If the GTW limit was as simple as the trailer can be any weight as long as the GTW is not exceeded, the driver could have an empty Sprinter and likely tow 3000kg. So why the need for the reinforced coupling?
Will check again later, but 99% sure my operators manual refers to GCW, as did previous one and other previous ones too.
 

wildebus

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Last edited:

mark61

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Page 283 & 284 quote weights, including a trailer load weight, which represents "Maximum permissible gross weight of the trailer, if the trailer is equipped with a separate functional braking system"

That looks like a US Site (Ibs). The UK Manual doesn't seem to specify weights of braked trailers in the handbook?

No, not mentioned. Just says do not exceed GCW.
Funny, gives unladen/laden tyre pressures for about 100 different tyre sizes, think a few extra pages on towing would have been easy

BTW, I was only pointing out that the law allows you to make use of the towing vehicles payload.
I did also say in post 15 that may be trouble as well if it conflicts with manufacturers spec.

Ticked heavy duty tow pack option on current van, it's just easier. :)
Why the 4x4 max option is 2.8/3.0 tonne and normal Sprinter is 3.5 tonne is a bit strange though, but that is same with the Transit and Crafter/TGE too. 🤔
 
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