The car chosen for towing was a 110 hp diesel with almost 10 years and more than 160,000 km, a vehicle with an average consumption of about 7 l/100 at regulation speeds; so nothing spectacular in performance but very reliable mechanically. The caravan chosen was one of the “CaravanCol CLASSIC” models with a weight of about 500 kg and an axle without brakes.
The trip began in Avilés, the first thing we realized is that the mirrors that usually carry the caravans were not necessary because our CaravanCol measures 150 cm wide box and although the axle and wheels protrude up to 205 cm, the caravan does not disturb the rear view with the side mirrors of the car and only seen at the bottom of the mirrors, the wheel arches of the CaravanCol.
First surprise, the speed of 90 km / h at which it is allowed to circulate with any trailer is “too” easy to reach and maintain, it is more you have to be careful because the aerodynamic design and weight content make that without realizing you see in your mileage meter values above 110 km / h without apparent effort. Our team of “MT Ingenieros” has applied its extensive knowledge of aeronautical design to our CaravanCol, making the aerodynamics of the set one of its strong points, with frontal or side wind. Its “retro” but very effective rounded profile and the special lines of its rounded chest with the sloping lid make the wind resistance coefficient of the CaravanCol incomparable to other camping vehicles.
The dynamic behavior is really excellent. Lacking an inertia brake, you do not notice any pull or thrust when accelerating or braking, with an average car you do not notice the need to carry inertia brake, but there is a version with inertia brake for those who believe it convenient or necessary. However, we must always bear in mind that our braking distance will always be somewhat greater than what we are used to with our vehicle without a trailer, and that we must take the utmost care in this situation, even more so when driving on wet ground.
The special design of CaravanCol, its weight distribution and light materials with which they are built, make the weight supported by the ball of the car is about 45 kg, which is a real delight to drive on twisty roads, the width of the axle (205 cm), its low height and low center of gravity make the lateral stability and the passage through the curves is incomparable compared to a much higher traditional caravan.
It is “very important” to respect the maximum weight indicated by the manufacturers of the vehicle hitches (ball). In a car the vertical weight must be between 30 and 60 kg, it is forbidden to exceed it. This can be easily checked with a simple bathroom scale placed under the jokey wheel. Exceeding these limits causes our car to be “overloaded” on the rear axle, making it unstable, with the potential danger that this entails. So be very careful with this section when loading, buying or renting your caravan.
We have been hot, it could not be otherwise, the descent from Asturias to Tarifa by the Ruta de la Plata is more entertaining than Madrid, but at this time, the heat is the usual trend, until we reached the coast of Cadiz, where again the Atlantic softens the temperatures. Throughout the journey you see how many drivers are surprised to see our CaravanCol, on highways or freeways some drivers, after passing us “loosen their gear” allowing themselves to overtake us to return to overtake us again and look at them carefully. Which is flattering for us, to be honest.
A few days in Tarifa, enjoying the great atmosphere, using our CaravanCol, attracting the attention of our camping neighbors, visiting friends and back on the road; this time on the way to Barcelona via Madrid. As soon as we leave Cadiz we put the air conditioning back on, which increases the consumption, but it is inevitable that the alternative is to endure more than 35 ºC and that is “very hot” for those of us from the north.
We decided to stop in Madrid, a city we know, to see relatives and to see how our CaravanCol performs in a big city. We didn’t have any problems, except for parking. You need two spaces next to each other in line or a couple of spaces in a row (lengthwise), in a subway parking lot. You have to have a certain skill to park in line, it is not easy to maneuver in reverse, but there is always the solution to unhook, park the car and then put the caravan in by hand (it weighs very little) and hook up again.
With a little practice in a suitable place, maneuvering in reverse is within everyone’s reach. When they saw us entering and leaving a parking lot, they were wondering what to do, but we have always paid for “one parking space” even though we have always occupied two.
It is the same on highways where your car with trailer always pays as “one vehicle”, the normal rate for cars, without any extra charge.
We left Madrid behind and continued on to Barcelona. Here we stayed at a friends house in the center and left our CaravanCol in one of the many subway parking lots in the Eixample and moved around the city by public transport.
A couple of days later we left Barcelona towards the Pyrenees, here we were going to try narrower roads, a lot of mountain passes and the occasional summer storm that tested the tightness of our CaravanCol. Clearly this was its territory, manageable, stable and with many beautiful places to spend the night, it took us a couple of days to reach Irati (Navarra). Upon arrival in Navarra was where we encountered the only problem that gave us our CaravanCol. After many roads with uneven road surface, when we opened the tailgate we found that one of the hydraulics for opening the tailgate had come off the support, without knowing why it had lost the washer that held it.
Nothing important, we put a new retaining washer and when we returned to the workshop we inverted the hydraulics of all our models to transfer the maximum effort to the most consistent support found on the tailgate leaf, problem solved.
Since we were in the Pyrenees until our arrival in Asturias we did not have to use the air conditioning again, a relief because I like to drive with the window down even in winter, that coupled with the roads were narrower and twisty, have made our average consumption down significantly, not everything is going to be highway with air conditioning on.
Bilbao, Cantabrian coast and again we are back in Asturias, after 4,000 km, we have obtained an increase in consumption of 1.6 liters more per hundred kilometers (22% increase), on the usual consumption of the car.
We congratulate ourselves for having managed to put on the market a quality product, with European homologation and with excellent dynamic qualities and stability to be able to move it safely on the road.
At another time we will do a “camping” test where the opinions on comfort, insulation and practicality will be more “subjective”, but we invite you to share with us your opinions on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pd. The Guardia Civil de Carretera has stopped us on a couple of occasions, Leon and Huesca, they did not resist their curiosity about the model we had hooked up and we ended up showing them, after all “all” feel that curiosity the first time we see a CaravanCol. “Fantastic to go to GP of Spain in Jerez”, they commented, motorcycle enthusiasts are like that, I added.