Guide: Towing A Caravan With An Electric Car

Owning an electric car shouldn’t stop you from taking a trip with a caravan. This guide explains everything you need to know about towing a caravan using an EV.

It’s understandable why people assume that you can’t or shouldn’t tow a caravan using an electric vehicle (EV). Despite constant attempts, in terms of the range, electric vehicles will often still fall behind the typical petrol car. Towing a heavy vehicle will reduce fuel efficiency further and lower the battery range of an EV. 

That said, electric cars also provide instant power delivery. This is in direct contrast with a traditional petrol or diesel engine which will require a build up overtime. Petrol and diesel engines will need to build up the revs to achieve the power necessary to tow the extra weight of the caravan while moving at a slower speed. Due to this, electric vehicles should be the perfect option for towing a caravan. 

So let’s explore some of the key factors that you need to consider if you are using an EV to tow your caravan.

an electric car at charging point 

Check The Towing Capacity

Before you attach a caravan to your EV, you need to check the towing capacity. This is the quoted mass or weight that the vehicle can tow safely, according to the direct specifications of the manufacturer. 

There are two types of towing capacity: braked and unbraked.

Braked towing capacity is always higher than unbraked because the car can carry more weight due to the extra stopping power provided by the vehicle being towed that has its own braking force. Essentially, this means that the heavy load being towed will not overpower the braking system of the car itself. As such, whether or not your car is capable of towing a heavier caravan will depend if the caravan in question does have its own set of brakes. 

Usually, more expensive and larger vehicles will have higher towing capacity. However, it is possible to purchase a smaller EV that has a towing capacity large enough to take the load of a caravan. 

Check The Torque

You also need to make sure that you are checking torque. Torque is provided in the car specs as an ‘Nm’ figure. A higher figure means that the car has more torque which results in an increased level of power at lower engine speeds. High torque will mean that you won’t need to push the car to the limit to get the car moving. 

With an electric car, it’s possible to produce the maximum level of torque as soon as the car starts moving. This is ideal for pulling off or overtaking a slower vehicle on a busy road. 

It’s also important that the car has enough weight. If a car is too light, then there is the risk of it becoming overpowered by the caravan on a corner or when stopping and braking. EVs are generally quite heavy due to the larger batteries that are required to power the vehicle. Particularly, if you have a larger car. 

Check The Brakes

Brakes are key when towing a caravan. You need to make sure that there is enough power in the brakes to stop the car and the caravan, even at high speeds. Electric vehicles are useful because they offer regenerative braking. The motor is used to provide more power to the brakes. 

Journey Requirements 

If you are comfortable that your EV can effectively tow your caravan, you should complete a few journey checks.

The first is the range of the car. Be prepared for this to change when you start moving and the car computer realises that you are pulling a sizeable weight. You could start with a range of 350 miles which might suddenly drop to 100 miles when the car is on the road. 

As such, you may need to plan a mid-journey stop as part of your caravan trip. You should check for charging points that are available on route to your destination as well as how long it will take to charge your vehicle. 

Even with the best EV on the market today, it is unlikely that you will be able to drive to a caravan site and back without at least one other charge. As such, you should also make sure that your chosen site has charging options for EVs available to ensure that you can get back home. 

We hope this helps you understand the key points you should consider when towing a caravan with an EV. 

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