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Can you tow a caravan with a hybrid car?

By Phil Gardner | August 20, 2021

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Are hybrid cars good for towing caravans and trailers? Should you tow a hybrid car if it breaks down? Click here to find out...

There are over 6,000 caravan parks in the UK, with a total of 438,076 pitches up for grabs. It’s estimated that there are 555,000 touring caravans on the roads and 225,000 motorhomes. It’s a huge industry and it’s no wonder that the caravan owners are asking ‘Can I Tow a Caravan with a Hybrid Car?’

Audi Q7 E-Tron

The simple answer is: ‘it depends.’ Hybrid cars come in all shapes and sizes, much like regular petrol or diesel cars. So no, not all hybrid cars can tow a caravan, just like you wouldn’t use any supermini or small hatchback to tow a caravan. There are, however, plenty of larger hybrid vehicles which have a towing capacity that would be sufficient for pulling a caravan.

For example, the Audi Q7 E-Tron, which combines a 3.0 litre V6 Diesel engine with a battery and electric motor has a maximum towing capacity of 2,800 kilograms - which is plenty of pulling power for the majority of caravan owners.

Similarly, smaller cars such as the Toyota Prius Plug-In, are only certified for towing up to 750 kilograms, which may be ok for towing a small trailer but is not much use to anyone hoping to tow a caravan with their hybrid.

Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid

Better still, the Porsche Cayenne e-Hybrid has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 kilograms, so is certainly up to the task. It’s worth noting that the efficiency will decrease notably while towing, which is the same when towing with a petrol or diesel engine. This is down to a number of reasons, such as compromised aerodynamics and the extra weight demanding more from the engine. 

So to answer the original question of: ‘Can you tow a caravan with a hybrid car?’- yes you can. Hybrid vehicles come under the same scrutiny as petrol and diesel cars when it comes to towing and they have an awarded maximum towing capacity to reflect their capabilities. 

Always check the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle before towing.

Can you tow a hybrid car

Interestingly it is typically advised that Hybrid cars should not be towed. This is because of the system used by hybrid cars for regenerative braking. 

If you were to tow a hybrid or electric vehicle behind a towing car, the regenerative braking system would start generating energy and attempt to charge the battery. This is a very unnatural method for the battery to gain charge and it, therefore, runs the risk of damaging the onboard electrics or battery.

If you have a breakdown in an electric or hybrid car and the vehicle cannot be fixed at the roadside then it is strongly advised that the vehicle is recovered via a flatbed recovery truck, instead of being towed behind a recovery vehicle. 

The majority of manufacturers advise that customers specifically request that their vehicle is recovered, instead of towed, by their breakdown cover provider.

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