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Towing Guide: The best van for towing

February 23, 2023

When it comes to towing and determining what is the best van for towing it’s crucial to consider several factors as there are so many models and variations available. It can be difficult to know which one is the best fit for your needs.

In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the key factors to consider when selecting a van for towing, and recommend some of the best models currently on the market.

Weight towing capacity

One of the most important factors to consider when selecting a van for towing is weight capacity. The weight capacity is the maximum amount of weight that the van can safely tow, including the weight of the trailer and any cargo inside. Exceeding the weight capacity can result in dangerous overloading. This can lead to a loss of control, reduced braking ability, and damage to your vehicle.

Before selecting a van for towing, it’s important to determine how much weight you’ll need to tow. This will depend on the size and weight of the trailer, as well as any cargo that will be transported. Once you have an estimate of the total weight, you can look for vans with a weight capacity that exceeds this amount. Pick-up trucks also have the ability to tow. Most pick-up trucks can tow more than 3 tonnes, and many can tow the maximum 3.5-tonnes.

Power and performance

In addition to weight capacity, power and performance are also important factors to consider when selecting the best van for towing. Vans with larger engines and higher horsepower will generally be better suited for towing heavy loads. Similarly, vans with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive may provide better traction and handling on rough or slippery terrain.

When evaluating vans for towing, it’s important to look at factors such as horsepower, torque, and towing capacity. These specifications will give you a good idea of the van’s overall power and performance capabilities, and help you determine whether it’s a good fit for your towing needs.

The best van towing safety features

Towing can be a dangerous activity, particularly if the trailer is large or heavy. To minimise the risk of accidents or injuries, it’s important to select a van with strong safety features. Some important safety features to look for when selecting a van for towing include:

  • Trailer sway control: This feature uses sensors to detect when the trailer is swaying and applies the brakes or adjusts the throttle to stabilise the vehicle.
  • Rearview camera: A rear camera can provide a clear view of the area behind the van, making it easier to manoeuvre and park when towing.
  • Blind spot monitoring: This feature uses sensors to detect vehicles in the van’s blind spots and provides warnings to the driver.

Other things to consider when towing

You'll need to ensure that your vehicle is equipped with a tow bar, which typically includes a ball mount and clip. Additionally, you'll need to have a wiring harness to ensure the towed unit's electrical system, including the brake lights, is functioning properly. It is also essential to have a spare number plate for the vehicle you're towing with to display on the trailer.

It's worth noting that large vans generally have a towing capacity exceeding 3000kg, allowing them to tow a wide range of trailers, however, even among different versions of the same van model, the towing capacity can vary significantly. Check the plated weights of the vehicle – these can usually be found inside the door frame of the van.

Finally, it's crucial to take into account the van's gross train weight (GTW) or gross combination weight (GCW). This weight represents the maximum combined amount the kerbweight of the van, its load, and the trailer can be. For example, if your 3.5-tonne van can tow up to 3000kg, you'll need a GTW of 6.5 tonnes to use both the van and the trailer fully loaded. If the GTW is lower, you'll need to adjust the payload of either one or both accordingly.

Best Van for Towing

With these factors in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best vans currently on the market for towing.

  1. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter: The Sprinter is a popular choice for commercial and personal use, thanks to its impressive towing capacity. The Sprinter is capable of towing large trailers up to 3.5-tonnes and transport a large amount of payload as well. It also features a range of safety and convenience features, including blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, and adaptive cruise control. Read about the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dimensions.
  2. Ford Transit: The Transit van is another popular van for towing, with a high towing capacity, good stability and range of safety equipment. It too can tow 3.5-tonnes. The option of an all-wheel drive system will improve traction when towing. The Transit also features a range of safety and convenience features, including a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning. Read about the Ford Transit dimensions.
  3. Volkswagen Crafter & MAN TGE: The Crafter has giant payload capacity and a high towing weight at 3.5-tonnes. It’s too has a raft of safety features, but also has a clever Trailer Assist system that lets you steer the angle of the trailer using the wing mirror view adjustor.
  4. Fiat Ducato: The Ducato is a powerful van that is well-suited for towing heavy loads. It’s towing capacity is slightly less than the Sprinter and Transit at 3.2-tonnes but it also has an array of safety system including trailer sway control, a rearview camera. Read about the Fiat Ducato dimensions.

Need more help with towing?

Our extensive guides on the towing capacity of individual models can be found in the towing section of the website.

There you will find individual articles on the towing capacity of models from small to large including the following:

Written by: thevanreviewer 

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