Take Your Caravan Out With The Top Down!
Summer is officially here.
The interminable April showers have eased and we all yearn to be outside again. My eye keeps wandering to the golden glow at the window. And I didn’t even need a coat this morning!
Caravanners, a new season has arrived.
Time to enjoy the freedom of dry sunny days - the open road, taking your home on a trip, with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair…
But towing your beloved caravan using a stylish convertible isn’t actually possible….
Or is it?
TOP 5 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN USING A CONVERTIBLE TO TOW YOUR CARAVAN
1. Do your research: Firstly, your convertible needs to have been officially approved for towing. The general towing rule is that the weight of the loaded caravan needs to be 85% of the car’s kerb weight. As convertibles usually weigh more than their hard-top counterparts – this can actually help balance the car/caravan ratio. But be prepared to shop around to get the right car and caravan combination.
2. Be prepared to compromise: With the roof down, you will lose boot space – so plan your packing carefully to make this a non-issue. The rear seats may be cramped in many convertibles, so this is important to bear in mind if there are more than two of you travelling. This should streamline your packing to just the essentials, so is always a valuable exercise! You won’t be able to put your bikes on the roof, but you will be enjoying the sun - and you can always put the bikes in the van.
3. Be confident: Remove the roof of a car and the structure will weaken - so unless the chassis is especially strong, there is a risk of damaging the car by twisting. Older convertibles tended to flex a lot because of this; most modern convertibles have reduced this issue considerably – but it is still worth being prudent. Make sure that you have enough experience towing a caravan to feel confident, before you convert to a soft-top.
4. Choose the right model: The model that you choose may be very influenced by cost, but make sure that is suitable for all your caravanning needs. Again, it is essential to do you research and make sure that you are getting the right deal from the seller -whether you are buying new or second-hand.
- Audi A5 Cabriolet 3.0 TDI Quattro: Price from £45,225. Kerbweight 1975kg. Legal towing limit 1900kg. Fast, considering its weight and a 320-litre boot space.
- Used Volvo C70 T5 SE: Priced around £4,000 (with 90,000 miles on the clock). Kerbweight 1711kg. Legal towing limit 1500kg. Affordable and stylish, with a powerful engine. Fuel won’t be cheap though.
5. Things to consider:
- You may want to choose your ‘roof-down’ moments so that they work for you; ie it may not be so pleasant on motorways – but idyllic in the countryside.
- For practical reasons (mainly space) you may want to keep the roof down while towing and when the caravan is parked, use your stylish convertible to investigate the local area.
- You can fit wind deflectors behind the front seats to help with wind noise and drafts.
So now you have your convertible towing car and your van – and you are praying for sun.
Have a lovely ‘roof-less’ summer.