Automatic Or Manual - Which Is Best For Towing A Caravan?
Owning a caravan gives you the freedom to go on holiday where you like, whenever you like. It can save you time and money, and with so many wonderful locations to visit in Britain and Europe, it's no wonder that more and more people are discovering the joys of caravanning. New caravanners often wonder whether manual or automatic cars are best for towing a caravan, so let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each.
The Advantages Of Towing With A Manual Car
The most significant advantage that using a manual car brings is cost and availability. Automatic cars are becoming more popular than they once were, but there are still many more manual transmission cars in the UK. This means that you can buy a good second hand car for a lower price. Spare parts are usually cheaper for a manual car as well, so you can save money on maintenance and repair costs. Manual cars are also more fuel efficient, and with the added weight of a caravan to consider, this can mean big savings at the fuel station.
The Disadvantages Of Towing With A Manual Car
Driving whilst towing a caravan can feel very different to driving an unburdened car, especially if you haven't done it before. Finding the biting point, and finding the optimal time to change gear, may not be as intuitive as you're used to. On long journeys especially, this can be mentally and physically fatiguing.
The Advantages Of Towing With An Automatic Car
Driving a car that has an automatic transmission is incredibly easy, even if you're towing a caravan. That's why many experienced caravan owners are making the switch to automatic vehicles. You'll find that the journey feels much smoother, and is a more enjoyable and relaxing experience as a result. On busy stretches of road, you don't have to worry about clutch control or changing up and down gears. This also means that you can forget about wearing out the clutch over time, and having to pay for an expensive repair. Once you reach your destination, you'll also find it easier to manoeuvre around the caravan site itself, as you'll be able to keep both hands upon the steering wheel at all times.
The Disadvantages Of Towing With An Automatic Car
The main disadvantage of towing with an automatic car, is that they typically have lower maximum towing limits. It's important to know and understand what the towing limit for your vehicle is, as exceeding it will invalidate your insurance and means that you could be pulled over by the police. In effect, this means that automatic transmission cars may not be suitable for the heaviest caravans, although you should always check with the individual manufacturer.
Which Transmission Is Best?
As can be seen, both manual and automatic transmission cars have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to towing a caravan. Nevertheless, if you can afford the extra initial outlay and increased fuel and road tax costs, automatic vehicles can make towing significantly easier. A third option to consider is the hybrid transmission vehicle. Semi-automatic, or tiptronic, vehicles are becoming more readily available, and provide the benefits of both transmission types. In years to come they may be the transmission of choice for caravan owners.