Finding the best van for towing
In this guide we will look to find the best van for towing. We will consider van maximum towing weights as well as general van towing guidelines.
Remember to always double check the max towing weight that is applicable to your chosen van and local legislation, it is usually stamped on the VIN plate or printed within the paperwork.
Best van for towing car trailer
Most medium sized vans and upwards such as the Ford Transit or Transporter are suitable for this purpose. For big heavy cars, you would most likely be near the limit on the lower specification medium sized vans.
Heavy-duty models (LWB and the Transporter T32 for example) or VW crafter/Sprinter sized vans would be more suited to heavier cars.
The best van for towing a car trailer of cause depends on the size and weight of the car itself.
The Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) indicates how much a van or a trailer can legally weigh while driving on the road.
Then there is Gross Train Weight (GTW) or Gross Combination Weight (GCW) which is the total weight of the van, the trailer, and the load on the trailer (in this case car).
If you have a car with a GVW of 1 ton for example, you then need to factor in the weight of the trailer itself (which can sometimes reach 750kg – 1 ton depending on size). This means you could potentially need a van with a towing capacity of 2 tons.
Van towing trailer speed limit
In the UK, any vehicle (including cars and vans) towing a trailer cannot exceed 60mph on the dual carriageways. The car and van towing speed limit is further reduced by 10mph on single roads.
Best medium van for towing
The most popular van for towing in the UK is the Ford Transit as it has a wide range of variants that suit different needs.
With a wide range of models, it caters to all kinds of towing needs and its average 2.8 tonnes of towing capacity is the best in class.
There is also the heavy-duty models with 3.5 GVW have the towing capacity of 3500kg which is good enough for towing a car, boat, industrial equipment and other bulky items.
Best van for towing a caravan
Towing a caravan is a tricky job since weight and power are two critical factors. You need to ensure that the kerb weight of your van is sufficient for the job and the caravan weight shouldn’t exceed 85% of your van’s kerb weight.
Most vans are capable of towing a caravan as the average weight of a caravan is usually somewhere between 800kg and 1.2 tonnes. The Transporter and Transits towing ability are rated highly in terms of handling, stability and and power,
For larger 4 – 6 berth caravans between 1.3 Tonne and 1.8 Tonne you would be better going for models with higher BHP and larger towing weights to allow some head room for luggage.
Best van for towing 3500kg
There is a host of medium and large vans that can tow 3500kg. Iveco Daily, the largest panel van in the market, stands out in this category. With an 8 gear, power engine, almost all of its variants can tow this kind of weight.
Then the heavy-duty version of Ford Transit is capable of towing 3600kg. Similarly, the rear-wheel-drive versions of MAN TGE, Nissan NV 400, Vauxhall Movano, Renault Master are up to this job.
Some vans like the sophisticated Merc Sprinter can be specced with reinforced trailer coupling to tow 3500 kg.
Van towing capacity chart the UK
The following table lists the towing capacity of the most popular vans in the UK market
|Van Model||Braked Towing capacity (In Kg)|
|Nissan NV 400||2500-3500|
|Mercedes Benz Sprinter||2000-3500|
The UK government has put down elaborate rules and regulations for towing with a vehicle (car/van). These are listed on the UK government site. You can also download a detailed pdf of the same.
VW transporter towing capacity
The VW transporter has been doing great service to businesses across the country.
Currently, in its sixth generation, the massively popular mid-sized van has so many variants that it would be unfair to bracket its van towing capacity in a single figure. But we still need to summarise it.
So the unbraked towing capacity of the T6 is 750 kg and the braked towing capacity for SWB models ranges from 1800kg to 2500kg while for the LWB models it ranges from 2200kg to 2500kg.
Ford transit towing capacity
Ford Transit has an impressive towing capacity which varies across its three body lengths and two wheelbase lengths. Since it’s a large van, it isn’t used much for towing unbraked trailers.
The braked towing capacity ranges from 1650 kg to a whopping 3500 kg. The 3.5T heavy-duty, rear-wheel-drive version can tow an additional 100 kg over and above the max capacity.
There is a reason this van is a best seller. However, the maximum payload of 969 kg is a bit of a dampener to its stellar reputation.
VW Crafter Towing capacity
Just like its smaller sibling the Transporter, the VW Crafter is a name to reckon in the large van segment and with so many variants, it offers a range of options when it comes to towing capacity.
It ranges from 2500 kg to 3000 kg for the front-wheel-drive variants while the rear-wheel-drive variants can tow upto 3500kg with its 5-tonne version.
Volkswagon also offers an optional trailer assist system that positions the trailer and ensures precision and safety during parking.
VW caddy towing capacity
The caddy has a decent capacity for its size. The small van can tow between 670 and 750kg of the unbraked trailer while its capacity ranges from 950kg to 1500kg for braked trailers.
Mercedes Vito towing capacity
The firm and stable Vito stands upto the name of Merc. For its segment, it offers the best towing capacity which ranges from 1300kg to a whopping 2500 kg for a braked trailer.
However, it is advisable not to stretch it to its limit and instead go for a medium van like a VW transporter if the trailer is around 2500kg.
Mercedes sprinter towing capacity
The sprinter is a premium, class-leading van. For years, all its variants were comfortably towing 2000kg.
The 2019 upgrade has an increased general towing capacity of 2250 kg. But its distinguishing feature is its ability to be configured for extra muscle. With a reinforced trailer coupling spec, it can tow an astounding 3500kg.
With such a wide range of towing capacities available across small, medium, and large vans, you need to carefully analyze your towing requirements before carefully picking your van.
And before hitting the road, we hope you ensure the safety and legality of your journey with all the details we shared above. Happy towing!
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