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Can a Discovery 5 tow a 3300kg caravan?

Reader question:

I am about to get a new caravan which should be about 3300 kg max when loaded. I currently tow with a Discovery 5 TD6. Other Disco owenrs find that it tows this sort of van very well. However am considering replacing the Disco with a new LC 300 or a RAM or Silverado. I think the LC is the best option on cost, resale and capability, but not as good as the US utes?

Ah, the classic towing risk with pincer movement.

The first part of the risk is the trailer. You say it’ll be around 3300kg when loaded, and I hope it is. However, experience says that caravan makers consistently understate loads either from incompetence or not caring. So, it may be closer to 3500kg, which is the maximum for the D5 and not even all D5s can tow 3500kg.

The second part is the overstated tow capacity of vehicles. The D5 is actually quite good in this respect, but still…I wouldn’t want to tow its maximum and you may find yourself exceeding one of the eight tow limits shown below. I’d suggest for a trailer of that weight a big USA ute is the best option, but do ensure it can do the job. Use my towing calculator to check.

Finally, caravans are one of the worst types of trailer to tow – 3500kg worth of car and car trailer is typically more stable than 3500kg worth of caravan. The reason is that caravan typically has poor weight distribution which cannot easily be changed, and a large slab side which the wind can push around and create sway. The car on car trailer can also easily be shifted backwards and forwards for ideal weight distribution. “Offroad” caravans also often use mud tyres, and have lifted suspension, neither of which is good for stability.

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