In this guide, we will answer the following question: Can a Mercedes C class tow a caravan? We will talk about the legal requirements for towing a caravan and give you a few crucial tips for a safe trip.
Can a Mercedes C class tow a caravan?
Any Mercedes C class can tow a caravan as long as the total permissible laden weight of the towing vehicle + caravan combination does not exceed 3,500 kg. A Mercedes C class has a braked capacity of a maximum of 1800kg and is on the winning side when it comes to towing a caravan. Please see the table below for more information.
Mercedes-Benz C-Class Towing Capacity
|Year||Braked capacity from||Braked capacity to|
How to calculate the towing capacity of your car
To know for sure whether your car will be able to tow a caravan or a fully loaded trailer, you have to understand the following basic concepts:
- Maximum Authorized Weight: Each vehicle (truck, caravan, trailer, a semi-trailer) corresponds to a Maximum Authorized Weight or maximum laden mass of the car (Maximum authorized mass).
It corresponds to the maximum weight that the vehicle must not exceed, load included. It is indicated in kilograms on new grey cards in European format. It was noted in tonnes on the old registration cards. The MAW is defined according to the number of axles. It is also indicated on the vehicle’s tare plate and on its certificate of conformity.
- Total authorized rolling weight: Also LMA (Loaded Mass of the Assembly) corresponds to the sum of the maw of the towing vehicle and of the caravan. It is indicated in kilograms under column F3 of new grey cards in European format.
On the one hand, logically, and independently of the road combination, the actual weight of the car (that indicated on a scale during a weighing) must not exceed the MAM indicated on its vehicle registration card and the actual weight of the trailer must not exceed the MAM indicated on the trailer’s registration document either.
On the other hand, the assembly’s actual weight (weight of the car + caravan indicated on the scale during a weighing) must not exceed the MAW indicated on the vehicle registration card.
For example, if the car weighs 1 ton, the caravan 1 ton, then the scale indicates that this tractor unit weighs 2 tons. If the grey card means in column F3 that the MAW, in other words, the road combination must not exceed 1.5 tonnes, that is not alright.
- Finally, the last and more complicated rule, the caravan’s real weight must not exceed 1.3 times the real weight of the car. So if weighing the scale indicates that the caravan weighs 1.3 tons, you cannot drive if the car weighs less than 1 ton.
What license and what power to tow a caravan?
Wondering what license and what engine power is required to tow a caravan? It all depends on the Total Authorized Weight:
- If it is less than 750 kg, a B permit is sufficient.
- If it is greater than the empty weight of the towing car or if the two cumulative masses (car + caravan) exceed 3,500 kg, the E license is then required.
Indeed, if a caravan adds length to the convoy, it is above all its weight that represents the greatest danger. Towing a caravan implies a significantly reduced possibility of acceleration, along with an increase in braking distances. So :
The towing vehicle must provide sufficient power and effective braking to compensate for the additional weight of the caravan. A family model or a minivan will offer you great guarantees of stability.
Which car to tow a 1500 kg caravan? 1800 kg? Double axle? A mid-range sedan like an Audi A4, Mercedes E or VW Passat can tow up to 1800 kg. Beyond that, prefer a 4×4 or an SUV.
Good to know: towing a caravan with an automatic gearbox is perfectly possible. Thanks to the great flexibility and ease of use of automatic driving, it is even a solution favoured by some drivers.
How to distribute the weight in a caravan?
Since mass is therefore the essential criterion for simplified towing and safe driving, it is important to know how to distribute the weight in a caravan:
- Take into account the weight of all accessories (ladder, awning, ground cover) in order to distribute them judiciously in the caravan.
- Place heavy loads between the axles, distributing the weight well between the two.
- Avoid overloading the rear of the caravan (fridge, water tank, cupboards, etc.).
- To distribute the mass of the loads evenly, calculate the weight on the boom of the caravan, which corresponds to:
- 7% of the PTAC for caravans less than or equal to 1200 kg;
- 5% of the PTAC for caravans over 1200 kg.
What insurance to choose for your caravan?
Now that you know how to load your caravan and how much power is needed to tow it, it’s time to make sure!
For a caravan with a GVWR of less than 750 kg, the car contract is generally sufficient. For a higher weight, specific insurance is necessary.
Please note: the minimum third-party insurance is insufficient to cover even the most common risks. Theft, fire and damage to the caravan are essential guarantees. It is then useful to provide various guarantees when the caravan is used as a home. To find the best insurance for your caravan, compare the different offers with our online simulator.
Final tips for towing a caravan with a Mercedes C Class
If you want to get in by towing a Mercedes C Class, you will have to stick to a few measures. We present them below:
- Do not drive on motorways, as the speed you will be towing your Mini Cooper can endanger you and other drivers if you do so on a highway.
- Do not exceed 25 km/h (15.53 miles/h).You must constantly maintain control of both vehicles, a high speed will not allow you to predict possible challenges, and the towed car can enter the first
- Limit yourself to short-distance trips. If you have to travel several dozen kilometres, it is best to call a tow-truck.
- When towing, try to make sure the Mini Cooper and the car towing it are correctly aligned, to maintain good handling.
- Turn on the warning lights on both vehicles.
If the Mercedes C Class being towed has no battery, you will need to use a removable license plate attached to the first car so you can warn drivers behind you.
If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know!
FAQ on Can a Mercedes C class tow a caravan?
What can a Mercedes C Class tow?
A Mercedes C Class can tow a fully loaded trailer with a maximum weight of 2000kg. Depending on the year the car was manufactured, the towing capacity will vary between 1650kg and 2000 kg.
Can you tow an automatic Mercedes C Class?
It is best not to tow an automatic Mercedes C Class because the automatic transmission may be damaged in the process of tow starting vehicles with automatic transmission.
What is the best small car to tow behind a motorhome?
The best small car to tow behind a motorhome is the Chevrolet Spark. This car is a good option if you want to go on short trips to the beach or local market during the trip.