A Guide to Modern Towing Ep. 3: Choosing a Tow Vehicle
Before you can head out onto the great open road, you need a vehicle that can take you there. If your current car isn’t up to the task, and can’t carry the weight of your caravan or camper, then it may be time to upgrade. Whilst choosing between the endless options on the market may seem like a daunting task, we’re here to make it easier. We’ve listed all the important things you need to be aware of before making a purchase, so you can choose the vehicle that’s right for you.
The first thing you need to do is know your own budget and stick to it. If you’ve just purchased a brand-new caravan, then you may want to carefully consider which car you buy. That being said, going too cheap could result in a car that can’t handle your tow load. Make a list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘nice to haves’ so you know what you need, and what you can sacrifice if you have to.
- 2WD or 4x4:
This is dependent on the locations you’re hoping to travel to. If they can all be reached without heading off the black top, then you may be fine with a two-wheel drive. If you’re hoping to do a bit more off-roading, then a 4x4 is a must.
- Manual or Auto:
This comes down to personal preference, and what you’re most comfortable with. While manuals are still slightly more economic, you may find it easier to reverse and park if you’re traveling in an auto.
- Petrol or Diesel:
We generally recommend choosing diesel – it has a far higher fuel efficiency when towing, and it’s definitely the most popular choice in the caravanning community.
If you’re traveling as a couple, you may prefer a two-seater ute with added tray space. However, if you ever plan on taking more people with you, such as children, grandchildren or guests, then a standard five-seater may be a better option.
- Towing Capacity:
This is the most important part of choosing your tow vehicle – after all, if it can’t carry your trailer, then you can’t use it for towing. You may also want a vehicle that will be able to carry a heavier load, especially if you plan on upgrading to a new caravan in the future, or adding accessories like extra water tanks or solar panels to your current model.
Nice to haves:
It might be nice to have Bluetooth for playing those road trip tunes, or you may want to invest in a DVD player for the back seat, especially if you’re traveling with a young family.
- Navigation System:
If you’re travelling far and wide, it’s easy to get lost. Investing in a navigation system could be a great idea, though if it’s a bit out of budget, remember your phone can likely handle the same task.