In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a 1.4 car tow a caravan? We will explain how much any car can tow, what kind of hitch to use and how to avoid the wear of the car’s tires while towing a heavily loaded vehicle.
Can a 1.4 car tow a caravan?
A 1.4 can pull a caravan, as long as you consider your caravan’s Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass, that must not exceed 85% of your car’s kerb weight. If you do not respect this rule, you will find towing a heavily loaded caravan much harder and it can also pose danger for less experienced caravanners.
Below are three of the most popular 1.4 engines that can tow a caravan and their specs.
- VW Polo 1.4 TSI 150 GT 5dr
|Maximum braked towing capacity 1,200kg||Unbraked towing capacity 610kg|
|Torque 250Nm@1,500rpm||Kerbweight 1,249kg|
- Skoda Octavia 1.4 TSI 150 SE
|Maximum braked towing capacity 1800 kg||Unbraked towing capacity 620kg|
|Torque 249Nm@1,500rpm||Kerbweight 1,202kg|
- Vauxhall Astra 1.4 150 SRi Sports Tourer
|Maximum braked towing capacity 1,500kg||Unbraked towing capacity 640kg|
|Torque 245Nm@2,000rpm||Kerbweight 1,322kg|
How much can you actually tow with your car?
It is very important to verify this before buying your caravan. The last thing you want to do is wear out your suspension, engine, and transmission. Vehicle specifications are actually available to help keep your vehicle in peak condition. Your vehicle will indicate a few things: conventional/caravan capacity, fifth wheel caravan, gooseneck caravan and payload capacity.
Conventional caravan means pulling the bumper with a frame-mounted hitch. It would be really unwise to tow from a ball mounted directly to your bumper, as the brackets from the bumper to the frame are not that strong. With a frame-mounted hitch, there are a few other things to keep in mind.
The conventional caravan will be more common for most beginner caravans as this is the best way to start. to camp. You will find it most common with tent caravans and your standard enclosed caravan.
The fifth wheel camper will mount directly to your truck bed. This will provide a greater caravan capacity by providing greater weight distribution on the rear wheels and suspension. You’ll start to see this in your 3/4 and 1-ton trucks. the fifth wheel camper will also provide you with the best driving comfort when hitting roads and going up and down hills more easily.
Fifth wheel hitches will use a kingpin and bolt receiver and you will find a wide variety of different receivers. The fifth wheel camper will also find it to be the most expensive route so it is generally not recommended for your first camper purchase.
The gooseneck caravan will generally be intended for towing horse caravans and the actual hitch itself will be a ball and coupler. This bracket will remain in the centre of the platform between the wheel wells to help distribute the weight of the caravan. This and the fifth wheel will generally be similar on the caravan capacity documents of the vehicle you own or purchase.
What kind of hitch should I have for a regular caravan?
Class 1 Hitch – Caravan capacity is up to 2,000 pounds and is designed for small RVs, bike racks, and cargo boxes. I really recommend not towing anything with these little hitches. Also, the size of the hitch will generally be smaller than your generic receiver.
Class 2 Hitch – Caravan capacity will be up to 3,500 lbs. You will usually find this on Van / SUV trucks and light trucks. The hitch size will actually be larger than the standard size you want, but I would still only recommend towing a caravan/hybrid or a tent caravan. It is also recommended not to exceed more than 2 utility vehicles or a small boat.
Class 3 Hitch – Caravan capacity will be up to 8,000 lbs and more common on those 1/2 to 1-ton pickups. This will give you the ability to tow between a small and medium caravan.
Hitch Class 4/5 – Caravan capacity will be up to 18,000 lbs. This will be more common on boring, heavy, full-size trucks. With this, your options are open to tow a large caravan up to even a space shuttle (if it’s on your cards).
Can I avoid the wear of the tires while towing a caravan?
The only thing I find that makes the biggest difference in the camper is how it moves down the road. Dealing with every bump and headwind can be affected by the bumps from your vehicle. There are several ways to combat the ‘squat’ problem or that no-level truck look.
The cheapest and easiest installation will be standard auxiliary springs. They generally cost between $ 80 and $ 100 and must be installed in less than 2 hours generally depending on your vehicle.
The second option and the one that will likely have the greatest impact on your vehicle would be airbags. I’m talking about extra caravan support with airbags. They help take less weight off the springs and shocks.
Each vehicle will vary, but they can go between the rear springs or be attached to the leaf springs and mounted to the side of the frame. The air-lines will go to the rear of the vehicle and you can inflate them manually with an air compressor or, for convenience, have an air compressor on board. It is truly amazing what a difference airbags can make and have an air compressor on board.
Either option will be great, but you need to compare the cost of the weight over time. Airbags will cost you more, but the general adjustment hassle is much easier. Yes, you can mount auxiliary springs and set the adjustment and never leave it, but when your truck is not under load, it is not always better to have it set in the same position. You will notice much more rigid driving without having the caravan attached.
Overall, installing one of these will make the ride better, your vehicle will love it for it, and it won’t wear out your tires or shocks as quickly. The other thing is also that if your truck is not level it will be lighting everyone’s eyes and your vehicle is less aerodynamic so this will translate to terrible fuel economy.
The bottom line
Always check with the manufacturer’s manual whether your car can tow a caravan/trailer and what is the maximum towing capacity for both unbraked and braked vehicles.
And lastly, don’t overload the caravan. You may feel confident enough to go above 85%, but this will only create unnecessary risks, especially if we are talking about an unbraked caravan.
Be safe of the road and please let us know if you have any questions or comments on the content.
FAQ on Can a 1.4 car tow a caravan?
Can a 1.5 diesel pull a caravan?
A 1.5 diesel could pull a caravan, although many drivers see it as a challenge for the MTPLM. A 1.5 diesel or 1.5-litre petrol are not usually among the favourites for towing a caravan.
Can a 1.6 petrol engine pull a caravan?
A 1.6 petrol can pull a caravan, as long as you consider your caravan’s MTPLM that must not exceed 85% of your car’s kerbweight.
What are the legal requirements for towing a caravan?
The legal requirements for towing a caravan is to have a Category B drivers licence. You can pull a trailer or a caravan as long as both vehicles’ combined weight is not more than 3500 kg or 7.71 pounds.