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BEST SPEED FOR TOWING

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    John de Lange
    Participant

    Hi all, I have been caravanning for about a year, but have not been camping that much. I am planning on doing a proper caravan holiday this December. I will be towing almost 2000km.

    I am quite comfortable towing, but would like to hear from other about towing speed. I see people towing very slow, but other still speed on the highway at probably 140km/h.

    Is this not dangerous, or are modern caravans (let’s say from the past 5 to 6 years) fine with these speeds?

    I have always heard people say you should tow at 100km/h. Does this count for all vehicles and caravans, or can I go a bit faster – I want to get as far away from the city as fast as possible, and at 100km/h it takes a while.

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    HAppy Camper
    HAppy Camper on

    hi John.

    Sure, i also cant wait to break away from the city at a million miles per kilometer too.

    BUT, for the safety of myself and my family in the car with me ( not including the other road users) i prefer to keep things steady at 100 or 120 if i feel that it is safe to do so.

    being that i reside in the western cape, the N2 and the N1 has pretty good tarred roads. which i am very familiar with. so i dont mind opening the taps to full at 120 kmph,

    however if ever i feel that i am driving on unfamilar roads i generally keep it between 80-100. depending on the road conditions obviously. if you dont know the roads, you wont know whats coming.

    i might just add that i have an onroad caravan, NOT an offroad one. so i take extra special care when towing.

    the only advice i can give you John, is that safe towing is the ability to predict all the bad things that could possibly happen.

    Has your caravan ever fish tailed before?

    Have you ever experienced a blow out at 100 Kmph?

    Have you ever driven over a pot-hole at 80kmph?

    Have you ever tested how long it takes to brake with your caravan fully loaded at 140 Kmph?

    Lastly, did you know, your caravan insurer wont pay out if they discover you exceeding 100! or 120 ( outsurance is 100 and cara-sure is 120 if i recall)

    Then ask yourself what is the value of each life in your car?

    Because any of the potential hazards i have explained above could occur at ant time while towing a caravan.

    so ask yourself – at what speed would you prefer to face these deadly obstacles which i have explained above.

    Remember, its not a holiday until you arrive safely.

    God speed!

     

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    Peter Strauber
    Peter Strauber on

    Towing speed depends on road conditions, familiarity with the road and obviously your rig. I rarely exceed 110km/h with the Echo behind me.

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    Clarence
    Clarence on

    I can only echo (agree with) the responses to the OP’s question. For most caravans it is risky to tow above 100km/h. The only time you should attempt it is when the mass / weight of the tow rig comfortably exceeds the maximum tow weight allowed.

    If your car is rated to tow max 1400kg and the caravan is (say) 1400 kg, don’t exceed 100km/h. However, if your Pajero is towing a little Ventertjie of 600kg there is no sensible reason why you cannot travel at 120km/h.

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    Agree fully with everything said before…..

    Just two  more important things to consider:

    1. Your towing vehicle’s tyres are designed for sustained high speed and full load (provided you increase the tyre pressure prior to travelling.

    Your van’s tyres are mostly  different, ie. many are (small)truck tyres and not radial and therefore behave differently in all road situations (speed, swaying, braking and driving in the wet).

    2. Caravan and camping trailers tyres are  used far less than car tyres because they are stationary for long periods. After 3 or 4 years  they still might look great with lots of tread left but a tyre degrades over time whether used or not (mainly UV ) .So, make sure of the manufacturing  date of the van tyres and  replace after max. 5 years irrespective of tyre appearance (This is a Tyre Industry recommendation).

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