Selecting The Correct Tow Vehicle
To ensure you select the correct tow car follow our simple steps below. If you have any questions please contact the team at Swift Caravan Services.
Identify the Aggregate Trailer Mass (ATM) of your caravan. The ATM is the total mass of the van and whatever you add as payload e.g. water, gas, food and luggage. The ATM is specified by the manufacturer.
Identify the towball weight of your fully loaded caravan. This is the weight on the back of your car or on the jockey wheel if the van is uncoupled. Usually you can expect the towball weight to be around 10% of the ATM. A more accurate measurement is preferred. Take the van to a weighbridge or use your own bathroom scales if their capacity is adequate.
Now that you know the caravan ATM and towball weight, we need to look at the specifications for your potential tow vehicle. In particular, we need to look at the tare weight, the gross vehicle mass (GVM) and the gross combination mass (GCM), as well as the tow rating, and the ball weight rating.
The caravans ball weight should be less than the tow vehicles ball weight rating, and the caravans ATM should be less than the tow vehicles maximum tow rating. Add the trailer ATM to the tow vehicles GVM, and the combined weight should be less than the GCM. If the total of the ATM and GVM is higher than the GCM, you may still be able to tow the caravan if you don’t load the caravan and tow vehicle to the maximum.
Important: Where the towball weight exceeds 150kg, it is recommended that you use a heavy duty weight distributing hitch.
It is important to ensure your ball weight does not fall below 10% of the total caravan weight to prevent sway issues.