Ask an expert
I am very safety conscious and would like some advice on towing a small 3m lightweight braked British built caravan.
Would a 2 - 2.5 litre Front Wheel Drive (FWD) car such as a Toyota Avensis or VW Passat be suitable for such a task?
Any tips or things to watch out for when towing with a FWD car would be appreciated.
From the "Ask Jack" archives - 17 November, 2010
Rear wheel drive vehicles have long been the preferred choice for towing reasonably large loads such as caravans and boats.
However in your situation, and with a small caravan and the cars you mention, you would not have a problem generally. One exception would be if you were to tow on loose surfaces on a regular basis. Starting off on an uphill gradient for example can be a problem with a FWD as wheel spin can be easily induced.
They are also weaker in the final drive / differential area and will not tolerate long term excessive wheel spin particularly in a situation where one front wheel has less grip than its partner.
You should also check the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended towing weights for each vehicle and for towing such loads a genuine towbar is the way to go.
With common sense you should have no major concerns, especially if you keep to sealed roads.
Certainly a braked caravan does reduce risk, just make sure the system is in good working condition and if electric brakes are fitted, ensure they are set-up correctly to match the towing vehicle.