Dear Drive… Where we answer reader, viewer, and listener questions. Something on your mind? Call us on the radio show or email us at email@example.com.
Jennifer called us on 3AW to ask:
I have a 2014 Range Rover Evoque with a tow bar and want to buy a caravan. I don’t need a big one – can my car tow it?
This is a brilliant question as we are as guilty as anyone for perpetuating the myth that you need a big four-wheel drive ute or a large 4×4 SUV in order to tow.
Bottom line, you can tow with almost any car, van, ute or SUV as long as you manage your weights.
At the lower end of the scale, are unbraked trailers, like the little hire units you borrow from Bunnings to move a washing machine. Anything without brakes is limited (with load) to a maximum of 750kg.
If your car can support a towbar, then it can support a 750kg trailer. Easy. Check your owner’s manual though, as this rating (as a maximum) may be lower on some vehicles.
Moving up in sizes, specifically to caravans, you have a number of options. Something like a Jayco Swift pop top camper trailer weighs 904kg empty and can handle 385kg of weight. That’s 1289kg behind your car.
In Jennifer’s example, a 2014 Range Rover Evoque (regardless of being petrol or diesel) has an 1800kg braked tow rating. This means the little Jayco Swift, filled to the gunnels, is more than fine behind the Range Rover. You can even go bigger, but not much.
Moving up to the smallest Jayco Journey 16-foot caravan, things start to get a bit heavy for the Range Rover. The Journey has a tare weight of 1763kg which puts it close to the Evoque’s maximum before you take the 375kg loading weight into account.
This means that if you’re looking for something along the size of a pop-top or camper trailer, you will be OK. If your Range Rover is the 2.2-litre turbo diesel, you have a maximum torque of 400Nm available at 1750rpm which is perfect for towing.
Following is a list of all medium-sized SUVs (2022 spec) and their maximum tow rating for a braked trailer.
Note too, that all of this is null and void if your tow hitch isn’t up to the rating weight of the van.
While the Evoque is rated to pull 1800kg, some aftermarket tow hitches may not be rated to this. As Jennifer’s is a factory (genuine) tow hitch, we’ll assume it is rated to the correct 1800kg maximum. Note that we did a quick look around at key aftermarket suppliers and found they all matched the 1800kg rating, but this is just for the Evoque in the example.
Have a question about your next set of wheels or just need some car advice? No query is too big, small or obscure! Call in to the radio show (Trent on 2GB Sydney 1:30pm Monday and 9:00pm Wednesday, 5AA South Australia 1:30pm Tuesday, and James on 3AW Melbourne 9:00pm each Thursday), or contact us by email here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
James has been part of the digital publishing landscape in Australia since 2002 and has worked within the automotive industry since 2007. He joined CarAdvice in 2013, left in 2017 to work with BMW and then returned at the end of 2019 to spearhead the content direction of Drive.