What Size Caravan Can I Tow?

Before looking at caravans, it’s important to know the size and weight of caravan that you can tow. The last thing you want is to purchase a caravan and then find out that you can’t tow it anywhere!

What size caravan can I tow? The answer to this question will depend primarily on two factors:

  • The size of your vehicle
  • Your licence

In this blog post, I will tell you why the size of your vehicle and your licence will affect the size of caravan that you can tow. I’ll also give some examples of caravans that basically anyone will be able to tow.

How Does The Size Of Your Car Affect The Size Of Caravan You Can Tow?

Most modern cars are capable of towing caravans, so it’s safe to assume that you will be able to tow a caravan of some sort. However, it’s also important to know which size caravan your tow car is capable of pulling.

All cars have a towing capacity. This is the maximum weight that your car is capable of towing. It is crucial to know the maximum weight that your car can safely tow. If you exceed the maximum towing capacity of your car, it’s illegal and can be dangerous. The limit is there to keep you and your car safe.

There are multiple places that you can find the towing capacity of your car.

  • The vehicle’s handbook
  • Calculated from the vehicle’s VIN plate

The first place to look for the towing capacity of your vehicle is the vehicle’s handbook. The vast majority of car manufacturers will publish the information that you need to know in there. If you don’t have your vehicle’s handbook in your possession, the car’s manufacturer is likely to have it on their website.

If you cannot find the information in the handbook, you can work it out using the numbers on the vehicle’s VIN plate. On a VIN plate, there are two pieces of information that you need:

  • Line One: Maximum Allowable Mass
  • Line Two: Maximum Train Mass

To work out the towing capacity of your vehicle, subtract line one from line two. The number that you have is the towing capacity of your car.

Some cars have much higher towing capacities than others. The Land Rover Discovery 3.0 TD6 HSE was voted one of the best cars for towing a caravan. Image: Lloyd Motor Group

Now you’ve worked out the towing capacity of your vehicle, we can work out whether or not you can comfortably tow a caravan. The average 2 and 4 berth caravan weighs around 1,000kg, although they can weigh from 800kg to 1,300kg. For 6 berth caravans, the weights will usually range from 1,300kg to 1,800kg.

If your car is capable of towing the caravan that you want, fantastic. If not, click here to jump to the section of the blog where we detail some of the lightest caravans, perfect for people using a tow car with a low towing capacity.

Can I Legally Tow A Caravan On My Licence?

So you have a tow car that is suitable for towing the caravan of your choice. Next, let’s have a look at whether or not you can legally tow a caravan. Many do not realise that they may be unable to legally tow a caravan on their licence. But if you break the towing law, you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and 3 points on your licence.

Before reading, you must know when you passed your test. If you passed it before 1997, the rules are different for you. Similarly, if you passed since 19 January 2013, the rules are different. Here’s a break down of what you need to know.

If you passed your test before 1 January 1997, usually you can:

  • Drive a vehicle and trailer combination up to 8,250kg MAM.

If you passed your test on or after 1 January 1997, here’s what Gov.UK says:

If you passed your car driving test on or after 1 January 1997 you can:

  • drive a car or van up to 3,500kg maximum authorised mass (MAM) towing a trailer of up to 750kg MAM
  • tow a trailer over 750kg MAM as long as the combined MAM of the trailer and towing vehicle is no more than 3,500kg

If you passed your test since 19 January 2013, you can tow:

  • A trailer weighing no more than 750kg
  • A trailer weighing over 750kg providing the tow vehicle and trailer combined weigh no more than 3,500kg MAM

If you passed your test after 1997, you’ll probably find that there are many caravans that you cannot tow. There are caravans weighing under 750kg, which I’ve compiled further into this blog post. However, you can take the Car and Trailer Test, also known as the B+E test.

After passing the B+E test, you can drive a tow vehicle weighing no more than 3,500kg MAM towing any trailer that falls into the towing capacity of your vehicle. This offers you much greater flexibility to tow the caravan that you want to tow, rather than compromising and choosing a caravan that you don’t want as much.

Caravans Weighing 1,000kg MAM Or Less

Fortunately, if you are restricted by either your car or your licence, there are numerous caravans available that weigh 1,000kg MAM or less. As part of the research for this blog post, I tried to find all the caravans currently available that weigh 1,000kg MAM or less.

Here’s a list of the caravans that might meet your needs. They are all 2 or 3 berth caravans, so they are too small for a large family. However, they are more than suitable for smaller families looking for a nice caravan for weekends away.

Caravans Weighing Under 1,000kg

ModelUnladen WeightMTPLM (Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass)
Freedom Microlite Sport580kg750kg
Freedom Microlite Discovery600kg750kg
Freedom Sunstream650kg750kg
Freedom Sunseeker650kg750kg
Freedom Jetstream Twin Sport700kg750kg
Freedom Jetstream First Class700kg750kg
Caravelair Antarès 335830kg1,000kg
Bailey Discovery D4-2884kg995kg
Swift Basecamp902kg994kg

I’ll take a closer look at some of the caravans mentioned above to give you a rough idea of what to expect.

Freedom Microlite Sport

The Freedom Microlite Sport, a 3 berth caravan. Image: Freedom

The Freedom Microlite Sport is a 3 berth caravan and also perhaps the lightest caravan ever made. This is the perfect option if you enjoy caravanning on sites without worrying about purchasing a better car and so on.

The Microlite Sport has plenty of storage as well as a basic but well-planned kitchen. In the kitchen, you will find:

  • 2-burner hob
  • 3 way fridge
  • Sink
  • Cupboard
  • Overhead storage

Beyond that, you have more storage as well as plenty of seating, in addition to a table that is fit for a small family.

Bailey Discovery D4-2

A Bailey Discovery D4-2. Image: Bailey

The Bailey Discovery D4-2 is a rather luxurious 2 berth caravan. It’s heavier than some of the models mentioned on this list, but it has far more luxuries inside as a result.

The Discovery D4-2 contains a full bathroom, a spacious seating area that converts into a kingsize bed, a fantastic kitchen and more storage that most caravans of this size.

The seating area of the Discovery D4-2. You can see the 3-burner hob as well as the full oven and grill. Image: Bailey

The kitchen in the Bailey Discovery D4-2 has:

  • 3-burner hob
  • Grill
  • Full oven
  • Fridge
  • Sink
  • Overhead storage space

In my opinion, the Discovery D4-2 has the best kitchen that you’ll find in a caravan of this size and weight. Additionally, it has one of the best bathrooms that you will find in a lightweight caravan. The bathroom is relatively spacious, as far as bathrooms in small caravans go.

Swift Basecamp

The Swift Basecamp is a unique 2 berth caravan. Image: Halley Caravans

The Swift Basecamp is a rather unique 2 berth caravan. It has a very sporty appearance and seems very modern internally. I would say it is the perfect 2 berth caravan for people with a good sense of adventure, wanting to explore the wilderness.

The Basecamp has a full kitchen as well as a washroom, as well as a comfortable seating area. The seating area converts into a rather spacious double bed.

I wouldn’t describe the Basecamp as luxurious, although it seems premium. The design style suggests that it isn’t aimed at those looking for luxury, but those looking for an exciting adventure.

The kitchen and seating area of the Basecamp 2 SE. Image: Halleys Caravans

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