While petrol engines have become smaller in recent years, with a view to lower consumption and emissions, caravan enthusiasts are looking for a car with a lot of pulling power.

How do you recognize a good caravan tractor?

And what about electric cars?

Four-wheel drive or not?

Whether or not a machine?

And to what extent are (partly) electric cars able to tow a caravan?

Many caravan enthusiasts worry about this.

The most important point of attention according to the ANWB, however, is the weight ratio between the towing vehicle and the trailer, so that you are on the road with a safe combination.

According to the association, for a caravan, where air resistance due to driving wind plays a significant role, you should not just assume the maximum towing weight that the manufacturer has determined (this is stated on the registration certificate and on the website of the RDW).

"As a rule of thumb, we maintain that a loaded caravan may not be heavier than 75 percent of the mass (or the weight) of the loaded towing vehicle. Weighing 1,600 kg. And for a large caravan that weighs 1,500 kg, you need a (laden) towing vehicle of about 2,000 kg, "said a spokesman for the ANWB.

On various websites, such as caravantrekker.nl, you can find handy calculation tools with which you can see exactly what the maximum weight of the caravan is based on your car and its load.

Especially with relatively heavy electric cars and heavy SUVs with plug-in hybrid drive, it is important to pay extra attention to the kilos.

For example, it is not inconceivable that you need a driving license B + or even BE for a Tesla Model X with a heavy trailer.

A little extra engine power is included

Once on the road, you benefit from a car that performs well.

Previously, diesels were praised as caravan tractors, because of their pulling power at low revs.

Modern petrol engines with turbo now have a similar characteristic.

The ANWB points out the importance of a little extra power: "In the usually flat Netherlands you quickly have enough power, but in the mountains you need more reserves."

The BOVAG points out that an engine in combination with a CVT (continuously variable transmission) or automatic transmission with torque converter has its advantages when towing a caravan.

“These transmissions lack the traditional clutch that needs to be operated with care when starting on slopes or in traffic congestion,” said the association of garage owners.

Finally, you would do well to choose a car with relatively firm damping.

"The damping of the rear axle can also be quite strong to absorb the influence of the pressure on the towbar, for example when you drive through a pothole," says the ANWB.

Therefore, make sure that you do not exceed the maximum nose weight.

This value is stated in the car's owner's manual or sometimes on an informative plate by the towbar.

"Exceeding the maximum nose weight can cause the car to collapse too far from behind. As a result, the front axle has less grip and the combination becomes less stable," explains the BOVAG.

Electric cars are great caravan tractors

While most people now know that you can also tow a trailer or caravan with hybrid cars, the fact that this is also possible with more and more fully electric models is not yet very common.

Unfortunately, because the ANWB praises electric cars as good towing vehicles.

"Due to the high weight and the immediately available torque (maximum pulling power as soon as you touch the pedal, ed.), They are actually very good caravan tractors".

However, you do have to be wary of the decrease in the range, which means that you may have to charge more often on the road.

Admittedly, many popular electric cars, including the Kia e-Niro and Hyundai Kona Electric, cannot be connected to a trailer.

Still other models such as the Jaguar I-Pace and the recently introduced Mercedes-Benz EQA have a limited towing weight of 750 kilos.

Yet the list of cars that can pull a lot more is getting longer.

Electric cars that can tow more than 750 kilos

  • Tesla Model X: 2,270 kilos

  • Audi e-tron: 1,800 kilos

  • Mercedes-Benz EQC: 1,800 kilos

  • Polestar 2: 1,500 kilos

  • Volvo XC40 Recharge P8: 1,500 kilos

  • Skoda Enyaq iV: 1,200 kilos

  • Volkswagen ID.4: 1,000 kilos

  • Tesla Model 3: 910 kilos

Autoweek published a practical test of an electric Audi E-Tron with caravan last year.

You can read the result here.


Can you go on holiday with an electric car and caravan?