Can a 1.6 diesel pull a caravan? (A guide)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Can a 1.6 diesel pull a caravan? We will talk about the towing capacity of a car and which cars are the best for towing. 

Can a 1.6 diesel pull a caravan?

You can pull a caravan with a 1.6 diesel, keeping in mind your caravan’s MTPLM (maximum laden weight) must not exceed 85% of your car’s kerbweight. Of course, you might be inclined to break the rules by a few pounds, so hopefully, the table below (courtesy of Out & About) will guide you no matter where you find yourself. 

Towing capacity and the ideal caravan’s maximum laden weight to tow, depending on your experience:

% of kerbWeight 
% of kerbWeight
Somewhat experienced
% of kerbWeight
% of kerbWeight

How much can your vehicle tow?

A vehicle can tow as much weight as the vehicle manufacturer rated, whether it is a pickup truck towing capacity, SUV towing capacity, or another towing capacity vehicle.

Manufacturers, including trailer manufacturers, usually provide several different weights, which are decided upon after extensive testing and testing. Therefore, the maximum towing capacity should always be observed in all towing situations. Exceeding this capacity – or towing more than your vehicle’s weight – is extremely dangerous. Be smart and know the limits of your vehicle!

Below is the meaning of each of the data to be considered. You will find most of this information on the safety data sheets affixed to the front on recreational vehicles’ left side.

  • Vehicle weight/ Unloaded Vehicle Weight. 

This data refers to the weight of the vehicle you are driving while it is in running order. It includes the filling of all fluids made, with no occupant on board. You can usually find this information on your registration certificate or in the owner’s manual.

This is the weight of the recreational vehicle unloaded and without additional equipment, so as it left the factory, to which is added the weights of the fluid tanks if they were at full capacity. Fluids usually include RV gasoline and generator gasoline, this will also include propane in some cases. This measurement does not include the weight of the water tanks.

  • Maximum loading capacity/ truck payload

This is the maximum weight you can add to your vehicle. It includes the occupants’ weight, their luggage and any other merchandise in the trunk or on the roof, as well as any accessories or options. It also includes tongue weight, the definition of which follows.

  • Maximum tongue weight

The maximum weight that the trailer and its load or bike rack can carry on your vehicle’s trailer hitch. In several vehicles, the maximum authorized tongue weight is 10% to 15% of the vehicle’s maximum towing capacity.

CAUTION: This is not the trailer’s weight as such, but the vertical weight that the coupling hand of the trailer places on the trailer hitch.

  • Maximum towing capacity

This is the maximum trailer weight that the vehicle can pull, as established by the manufacturer.

  • Cargo Carrying Capacity 

This is the maximum weight that can be loaded on your recreational vehicle without exceeding its GVWR.

  • Gross Vehicle Weight  

This is the total weight that your recreational vehicle should not exceed when equipped and loaded with all accessories and your luggage. This weight is the sum of the Cargo Carrying Capacity and the Unloaded Vehicle Weight.

  • GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating OR Gross Nominal Vehicle Weight 

This measurement is similar to GVW or GTW, it is the maximum weight that your vehicle should not exceed.  It includes the weight of the vehicle itself as well as that of the occupants, luggage, cargo on the roof. The tongue weight is also included in this data.

  • A subcategory of GVWR is Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR). 

It corresponds to the maximum authorized weight on each of the axles of the towing vehicle. This information is usually available on the label affixed to the B pillar when opening the driver’s door. As it is implicitly included in the GVWR, we will focus on the latter.

  • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR)

This data corresponds to the maximum weight of your convoy. It includes your vehicle (with luggage and occupants) in addition to the weight of the trailer and its contents. 

  • Hitch Weight 

This is the part of the towed vehicle’s weight that rests on the towing vehicle. The tongue weight ratio to GVW or GTW usually is around 10 to 15% for a conventional trailer and around 15 to 25% for a fifth wheel.

Which cars are the best for towing a caravan?

To tow a caravan we must take into account two aspects. One is the maximum towable mass of our vehicle, and the other is the amount of weight we want to tow.

You must know that the maximum permissible mass cannot exceed 3,500 kilos (7.71 pounds) between car and caravan. If you want to find the best combination of car and caravan, it is recommended that the vehicle weigh 20% more empty than the loaded caravan. And another tip is that the vehicle towing the caravan has a power greater than 100 HP.

As for the engine, diesel engines are usually a better option for towing a caravan because they have a great tractive force and great performance. Although many prefer the gasoline engine, even knowing that the expenses will be higher. You should not use hybrid engines since they are not prepared to tow so much weight.

The truth is that when you drag a trailer with your car, many things change: driving, speed, stopping distance …, that’s why you must first inform yourself. The capacity of the tractor car is something of the most important. Although many vehicles of different sectors and brands are approved for towing, it is essential to check the trailer that your car is authorised to carry.

Here are some vehicles that have been chosen as the best for towing a caravan:

  • Ssangyong Korando D22T 4 × 4 178 CV
  • Open Insignia Grand Sport 1.6 CDTI 136 CV
  • Skoda Octavia Scout 2.0 TDI 150 CP 4 × 4
  • Volkswagen Golf Alltrack 2.0 TDI 4Motion 184 CV DSG
  • Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TDI 4 × 4 DSG 190 CV
  • Volvo XC60 2018 D4 Inscription
  • Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine Momentum
  • Volkswagen Amarok Highline 3.0 V6 TDI 4Motion 224 HP.

The bottom line

It is essential to consider all of the above when shopping for your vehicle. Failure to respect the capacity of your towing vehicle can lead to road accidents. The most critical measurements are GVWR, tongue weight and dry weight.

If you ask whether a 1.6 diesel can pull a caravan, consider that the caravan’s GVWR should not exceed your vehicle’s towing capacity. Remember to include the equipment you are going to put in the towed vehicle, which adds to the dry weight.

Then you have to compare the load capacity and tongue weight. The total weight of the equipment loaded in the towing vehicle, in addition to the drawbar weight exerted by the trailer, must not exceed the load capacity of the towing vehicle.

If you have any questions or comments, let us know.

FAQ on can a 1.6 diesel pull 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.

What engine is best for towing?

The best entice for towing is considered by many the Ford 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin-turbo V6 engine. 


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