Latest News: Forums Technical Road Towing??

This topic contains 19 replies, has 0 voices, and was last updated by  Hoggy 9 years, 4 months ago.

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  • #4127

    Hoggy
    Member

    I would like to know if anybody has or does tow their Wayfarer with a Ford Fiesta? I have read the other posts and It gives me the impression I would be ok, just! I wonder if anyone can actually confirm it for me? I will be carrying the wife and daughter and luggage.
    Not likely to be camping that often if at all. I did check the towing weight according to a web site but this showed that I can tow up to 950 kg. Is this correct? My fieasta is a 54 plate 1400cc three door. Any help will be gratefully recieved. πŸ˜•

    Thanks,
    Geoff

    #9067

    Shackleton
    Member

    Hi Geoff,

    I have not towed with a Fiesta, but having a quick browse, there appears to be two parts to the answer:

    1) Your Fiesta does have a 950KG max towing weight (according to http://www.cuddles.abelgratis.net/ford.htm#fiesta305), but:
    2) Unless you have a very fancy road base, it will be unbraked. If it is without any braking, it is classed as a Type 1 trailer. The rules (Law) appears to state a maximum trailer of 750kg gross trailer weight or half of the towing vehicle’s kerb weight. Focus on whichever is less. In the case of your Fiesta, this would be approx 475KG.
    (http://completetowing.co.uk/towinglaw.aspx)

    Hope this helps

    AH

    #9068

    BluTak
    Participant

    I tow with a 1300cc P reg ford escort full of cruising gear and it tows fine. We took it to the Shannon (Ireland) last year no problems. I Hope this Helps. (You obviously need to change down on hills and I try to put the heavy stuff engine, anchor and chain etc in the car) Robert

    #9070

    Hoggy
    Member

    Thanks to both for your help I will check the likely weight of my trailer and boat and will take it from there. I reckon I will be ok from what I know now.

    Thanks again!!

    Geoff

    #9087

    Colin Parkstone
    Participant

    Good Luck Geoff, it is not the towing but the STOPPING !

    Also remember that you must have a safety wire or chain from the trailer too the car.

    In this case I would say you must have it if you get into trouble without the car weight to help you.

    C P 😯

    #9242

    Hoggy
    Member

    Colin, sorry for the delay in replying to your last post on this topic. I take it from your reply that you think I am likely to be taking a chance in towing with my Fiesta ? I do have a wire tether on my trailer (made by RM Trailers). πŸ™

    #9244

    triton
    Participant

    As mentioned earlier by Shackleton, you just need to ensure that the gross weight of the trailer does not exceed half that of the towing vehicles kerb weight. If in any doubt, then use the facilities of a public weighbridge. Providing the gross weight is within those parameters, then stopping should not be a problem. (It will obviously require a greater stopping distance than normal).

    A secondary coupling/safety cable for all unbraked trailers are a legal requirement on all unbraked trailers manufactured after
    1 January 1997.

    #9249

    Hoggy
    Member

    Thanks for your reply Norman I will look at it from that point and get the whole thing wheighed and go from there.

    Thanks again,

    Geoff H

    #9268

    Anonymous

    The maths says yes. Might be worth thinking a couple of things through though.

    1) Is this towing on a regular basis or one off? If a one off check where you will need to drive the combination. At the coast, roads can be very narrow and steep, as can slipways. Regular towing? How powerful is the car? Modern small engines are much more powerful than in years gone by but pulling a boat with gear regularly will obviously cause more wear and tear on the engine, clutch and gearbox. Take a long warp so you can pull the boat up steep slipways with the car without putting the boat on the slope.

    2) Noseweight. This is the amount of force the trailer exerts on the towbar of the car. Too much and steering becomes vague and grip for front wheel drives is compromised. This is where I would disagree with some comments from other contributors. If you put the heavy kit in the boot of the car you increase the noseweight effect. I would put heavy gear in the rear of the boat to offset noseweight. The caravanning club should have some advice on noseweight on their website.

    I think you should be able to pull the boat with some careful planning and packing. If you decide the car won’t cope, don’t let this stop you having a wayfarer. Change the car!

    Martyn

    #9265

    Bob Harland
    Participant

    @thehairs1970 wrote:

    The maths says yes. Might be worth thinking a couple of things through though.

    2) Noseweight. This is the amount of force the trailer exerts on the towbar of the car. Too much and steering becomes vague and grip for front wheel drives is compromised. This is where I would disagree with some comments from other contributors. If you put the heavy kit in the boot of the car you increase the noseweight effect. I would put heavy gear in the rear of the boat to offset noseweight. The caravanning club should have some advice on noseweight on their website.

    Martyn

    I would not agree with putting anything heavy in the rear of the boat while towing;
    This will put a strain on the boat.
    Increase the risk of snaking.

    Anything heavy in the boat should be over the axle.

    Hope that helps

    #9270

    Hoggy
    Member

    Thanks Martyn and Bob for your replies I will take your thoughts into consideration. I will not be towing any great distances that often but if i do I will borrow the inlaws Zantia which I used to tow it home when I bought the boat. I don’t think the wife would like the idea of changing the car though!! πŸ˜‰

    #9275

    Anonymous

    @Bob Harland wrote:

    I would not agree with putting anything heavy in the rear of the boat while towing;
    This will put a strain on the boat.
    Increase the risk of snaking.

    Anything heavy in the boat should be over the axle.

    Hope that helps

    Yeah Bob, totally agree. The point I was trying to make (poorly), was not to put heavy stuff in the boot of the car.

    Martyn

    #9276

    Adrian Pery
    Member

    As I understand it, as well as a horizontal towing limit (half the car’s kerb weight or as defined above) most vehicles also have a maximum vertical load for the tow bar. I believe this is to avoid overloading the car behind the rear axle (rather than the physical limits of the tow ball). In my experience this is typically about 70-80 Kgs but may well be less for a light vehicle. The maximum vertical load is usually defined and written in the cars documentation. I have no idea what happens to your insurance or leagl liability if you exceed this limit – but I am sure that in today’s world it would give the insurance company wriggle room.

    Heavy loads in the car should be stowed between the axles and well secured (put the rear seats down if necessary) and then the trailer should be easily lift-able onto the tow bar. Otherwise a heavy trailer nose weight combined with heavy items on or behind the rear axle will give you the bad to dangerous handling characteristics described above.

    #9277

    I use a diesel Clio to tow my boat. The hull weight is stated on the website as 167kg, and I reckon that with trailer and luggage and everything it is probably up aroung 300 or 350kg…so very well within the legal limit. Certainly the Clio performs as a marvellous little tractor and it all feels very effortless. I also know that the UKWA cruising secretary used to use a Renault 4 to tow his Wayfarer….850cc of raw power – possibly a bit sluggish. My guess is that your fiesta is a lot more powerful and has much better brakes that the Mk 1 Cortina automatic that Frank Dye used to take his boat and all his equipment to Scotland, but I guess also that road conditions have changed a bit so perhaps the comparison isn’t valid!
    Charles

    #9278

    Hoggy
    Member

    Thanks for that Charles I appreciate your input and agree my Fiesta is likely better if not equal to some cars stated so far in this string of posts, No slur intended to those other cars or their owners. πŸ™‚

    Geoff H

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