Caravan Newbie in a panic- MTPLM - BMW530D M Sport

ScreenName712C2C851B replied on 25/07/2020 17:08

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:08

Hello Everyone

Firstly thanks for looking at this thread.

As a family of 4 (kids 10 & 12) we are looking to purchase a caravan and identified a Bailey Barcelona (MTPLM 1723kg) as our first caravan.

So speaking to friends etc they assure me that my BMW 530D which has:

A max towing weight of 2000kg, kerb weight of 1810kg / 1825kg (see two values) will be fine?

But can you help on the BMW MTPLM?

If the MTPLM is 1810kg and the caravan is 1723kg then this means 1810 = 95.2% have I calculated this correct>?

Can I tow this, some information seems to suggest you can tow between 85% to 100%

1810kg is the standard car with fuel etc, when we use the car with the caravan for holidays then we will have a roof box / boot and be putting the weight into the car, would this increase the MTPLM and make the car heavier and make it better?


The Caravan has ALDI breaks, twin axle and ALCO stabilizer (2015) model 

ScreenName712C2C851B replied on 25/07/2020 17:10

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:10

Kerbweight 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400
% of kerb
weight The ideal MTPLM of caravans you can tow
Novice 85% 850 1020 1190 1360 1530 1700 1870 2040
Confident 90% 900 1080 1260 1440 1620 1800 1980 2160
Experienced 95% 950 1140 1330 1520 1710 1900 2090 2280
100% 1000 1200 1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 2400

Tinwheeler replied on 25/07/2020 17:31

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:31

The legal requirement is that you don't exceed the car’s rated max towing weight or the GTW. The sensible ratio is to aim for the cvan's MTPLM to be around 85% of the car's kerb weight.

If the van has a MTPLM of 1723, then to achieve 85% the car needs to have a kerb weight of just over 2000kg. That’s a hefty caravan and my inclination would be to go for either a lighter van or a beefier car but only you can decide if you’re happy and legal in terms of weights and your licence categories to tow at 95%.

Don't forget too that the nose weight of the van needs to be compatible with the car. Also, don’t be fooled by the manufacturer's max towing weight ability of the car as that is a test under set conditions and doesn’t give an indication of how well the car will tow a big slab-sided white box at 60mph on the M6 in a side wind or how it will cope with hills. 

If you're a complete novice at towing, I strongly recommend that you reconsider the suitability of the caravan.

Whatever you decide, enjoy your caravanning. 🙂

Finally, can I suggest that you change your user name via your profile at the top of the page? The system seems to be having a hissy fit and is allocating ridiculous names to new folk.

ScreenName712C2C851B replied on 25/07/2020 17:34

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:34

So for example

If the car is assumed at 1810kg including the driver, then I add Adult (wife) and 2 kids with an estimated combined weight of 150kg. then add a roof box of 100kg - total 250kg to the 1810kg of the BMW = 2060kg?

The caravan Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass MTPLM is 1723kg this includes cloths and other weight? 

Would this then mean 315kg is 15% of 2100kg so 85% is then 1785kg and its ok?


Tinwheeler replied on 25/07/2020 17:50

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:50

You need to read in the handbooks/brochures how the weights are calculated and what they include, although the MTPLM of the van will be it’s all up fully loaded weight. (Take care not to exceed your payload.)

However, it is the kerb weight, or unladen weight, of the car that matters for the purposes here. No matter what you add to the car in terms of roof boxes etc, the kerb weight will not alter. 

I'm sorry but I’m beginning to wonder whether you will be overloading the car with your passengers, luggage, roof box and that heavy caravan.

EasyT replied on 25/07/2020 17:56

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:56

I assume that you have passed a test to tow assuming that your driving test was taken after 1st January 1997 whereby your towing limits would be restricted

Tinwheeler replied on 25/07/2020 17:57

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:48 by ScreenName712C2C851B

articles like this suggest no issue?

Posted on 25/07/2020 17:57

I’m not going to plough through all that but perhaps you could ask yourself what weight caravan they were towing, was the van fully loaded, did the car have 4 people on board as well as a roof box and goodness knows what else, and is the article truly unbiased.

At the end of the day, it’s your choice.