How to choose the best tow vehicle

Towing a fully loaded trailer or caravan is going to call for a lot of power. You’re going to need the right vehicle to get the job done. Here are some things to consider when choosing the best towing vehicle.

Power – Make sure that your vehicle has enough power to cater for the weight of the caravan. If you choose a car with an underpowered engine then you’re going to pick up trouble. From a safety point of view you’re going to need the power to tow while maintaining manoeuvrability. Getting up a hill without stalling is only going to be possible if you have sufficient power. If your engine is underpowered then you’re bound to do some damage to the engine, clutch or other components.

Brakes – When you think about towing you often only think about moving forward. While pulling power is very important, stopping power is crucial as well. Your vehicle may be able to stop just fine under normal circumstances but can it still stop when going downhill with a heavy load behind it? This is when it gets really challenging.

Power steering – Manoeuvring a caravan is a bit of an art. Reversing it into just the right spot is going to take some practice but you don’t want to make it harder than it already is. Make sure that your vehicle has power steering. You don’t want to have to fight with your steering wheel for 10 minutes when you’re supposed to be on vacation.

Visibility – Your rear view mirror may work just fine when you’re not towing but how are you going to see behind you when you’ve got the caravan hitched up? You want to make sure that your vehicle is wide enough so that your side view mirrors are still effective. Alternatively you’re going to need to install additional side mirrors for when you’re towing.

If you speak to both the caravan and tow vehicle dealers then you’ll get a good idea of what to choose for a good match. If in doubt, rather err on the side of too much power than too little. Alternatively, reduce the size of caravan or trailer that you choose so that it’s better suited to the car you’ll be towing it with.