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The tack room

Towing vehicle

13 replies

Liz38 · 11/03/2018 15:46

I'm in a slightly odd position as i borrow a pony for DD, have no towing vehicle but own a trailer (was given it). If we carry on, I'm hoping to talk DH into investing when our current car dies, what's a good basic (cheap! ) car with enough welly to tow? It's a light trailer and I'd not be towing two big horses, one tubby pony most of the time although these things have a habit of spiralling... it's hilly where we live so I'd need to be able to get up hills, have horrible memories of the Volvo when I was a kid, in first gear and not being very convinced! Suggestions gratefully received, tia.

OP posts:
Moanranger · 11/03/2018 19:10

First, you need to know actual weight of trailer and if it is braked or unbraked. Then add weight of horse/pony. Then add your eight, DDs weight, and weight of tack. So my trailer weighs 900 kg, horse weighs 650kg, DD + self is £100 kg, and tack & equipment 50kg. So that would be a vehicle with a braked towing capacity of 1700kg.
Then look up the technical specs for a car you have in mind and it will included the towing capacity.
It is, in reality, pretty complicated. A “tow anything” vehicle, such as a Jeep Cherokee, Mitsubishi Shogun, etc are v expensive. I bought a Skoda Yeti, 14 marque diesel which can tow 2200 kg. Took an awful lot of research to find a good tower, as there were a huge variety of Yetis, with greatly varying towing capacities. You are right, you do not want to be underpowered, esp on hills or in mud. DO NOT ask a dealer, they are clueless.

Liz38 · 11/03/2018 20:15

I knew there was a reason I didn't want to do this! Thank you.

OP posts:
hellocanyouhelp · 14/03/2018 06:13

As Moanranger said really important to know weights etc.

Would suggest taking a look on horse and hound forum as loads of information on there.

What trailer is it you have? I only tow one in a light trailer so only have a small 4x4 but it is plenty capable for the weights I tow.

RatherBeRiding · 15/03/2018 16:13

If you look on your trailer, (usually on hitch frame) there will be a weight plate which gives the unladen weight of the trailer, and then the total max weight it can take. This last figure is the weight the police will look at if they stop you. It won't matter to them if you are only towing a miniature Shetland - for all they know you are on your way to drop off Shetland and come back carrying 2 big hunters which would theoretically take your trailer up to its max load weight.

You can get your trailer "downgraded" so that the max laden weight is less than the manufacturer's spec but not sure how you do that - government website probably a good place to look.

So unless/until you get your trailer's max laden weight downgraded, you need to look at a towing vehicle that can tow the max weight on the weight plate. Eg - my (heavy) trailer has a gross laden weight of 2700. I pull with a Trooper that has a 3500 braked towing capacity.

I never have that much weight in the trailer - I tow ponies, usually one at a time - but the fact remains that if the police wanted to pull me at the roadside they would look at the weight plate, then they would look at what I was towing with.

You can tow lightweight trailers with a car, especially if it's a single trailer and something like a Cheval Liberte and I believe Bateson pony trailers are also quite light. Someone at my old yard pulled a single Cheval Liberte with a large saloon quite comfortably (and legally).

The number of people still towing illegally is shocking. And very unsafe.

AnnoyedByAlfieBear · 15/03/2018 16:33

You also need to check on your diving licence for the max weight you are allowed to tow. DH recently had to take a trailer test so he could tow with a heavier car (max weight of caravan/trailer plus car).

DiplomaticDecorum · 15/03/2018 22:22

SsangYong rexton are becoming more popular. They tow 3.5t, you get a lot of car for your money, and IMO drive better than a Discovery or Shogun. Downsides are not many garages have the computer for it, so may have to go to main dealer for anything electronic, which in the age of sensors for everything is an annoyance.

RatherBeRiding · 16/03/2018 11:11

And the best place to check the max braked towing weight of any vehicle is online on Parker's Guide - the site can take a bit of navigating but if you have a particular make/model of vehicle in mind you can check exactly what it can legally tow.

Moanranger · 18/03/2018 22:13

Agree with rather. When last in market for towing vehicle, I used Parker’s, tho I had to pay for a basic subscription as I had to keep checking towing capacities for the endless model variations of the Skoda Yeti.

user1488061528 · 22/04/2018 09:18

They recommend 85% of kerb weight too. My VE toureg can tow 3500kg, but that's max, if your car was fully laden, with 5 people and luggage. This usually catches people out as you never go to shows with 5 people! The gross weight of my 511 trailer is 2800kg, so 85% of 3500kg is 2975kg, so I'm ok. Plus I did my trailer test, because I passed my driving test after 1997, so you can't automatically drive a trailer over 750kg. Good luck.

thetemptationofchocolate · 24/04/2018 10:00

www.towinghorsetrailers.co.uk/towing_vehicles.htm

This website is useful to calculate what weights you need to consider.

landgirl1 · 24/04/2018 10:07

Friends swear by their Kia sorrento , plenty of space & power without being huge or expensive to run, we have very steep hills round here and you see a lot of kia’s towing without a problem, a good 10 year old one will be around £5k so not a budget killer

Sarkyharky · 25/04/2018 07:05

Don't buy a normal car. It's really dangerous to tow with anything even slightly underpowered. A kia sorrento (old one) is ok. We've had jeep cherokee (long wheel base) and a Nissan truck. Both good.

Sarkyharky · 25/04/2018 07:06

This usually catches people out as you never go to shows with 5 people!

We do!!

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