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New Ford Ranger Wildtrak tows 15 caravans…but does it send the wrong message?

Ford Europe revealed its latest stunt earlier this month which involved a new Ford Ranger Wildtrak towing 15 caravans, but why and does it send the wrong message?

Everyone loves to see something being done we didn’t think was possible. Someone dragging a 747 with a rope between their teeth…but what about if the stunt is technically illegal? For instance, a Ford Ranger Wildtrak towing 15 caravans might look cool but it’s illegal, in that the vehicle, by Ford’s own guidelines is only allowed to tow a maximum braked trailer weighing 3500kg.

It’s safe to assume the 15 caravans being towed in the video weighed more than 3500kg combined. So, was the intention to show the strength of the Ranger? Of course, especially so when Ford said the caravan of caravans weighed 20 tonnes. But doing it in the particular way surely sends the wrong message.

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For instance, here’s the math for the Ranger Wildtrak and its towing capability. The Ranger can tow up to 3500kg but only with a genuine Ford towpack and with a 350kg towball download (more than the Amarok). The vehicle’s kerb weight is 2246kg while the GVM is 3200kg and the GCM is 6000kg. So, say you’re towing at the maximum of 3500kg, subtract that from the GCM and the maximum your vehicle can weigh is 2500kg. Subtract the kerb weight of 2246kg and you’re left with 254kg of payload and you still haven’t subtracted the 350kg towball download. Meaning, if you tow a trailer weighing 3500kg, well, you can’t legally drive it.

So, technically and actually, the Ranger can’t even tow a caravan weighing 3500kg if it’s towball mass is 350kg, let alone 15 caravans weighing 20 tonnes. So, what’s the point of the ‘stunt’?

While the video is plastered in disclaimers, you can’t escape the video’s headline: ‘tow whatever the hell you want!’ Hmmm.

In a statement, Ford said, “A month in the making and shot on location at Millbrook Proving Ground in the UK, the film required the caravans to be reinforced with steel frames and equipped with tow bars front and back.

“This was the slowest stunt I’ve ever done – but also one of the hardest. Trying to keep the caravans on the straight and narrow while the car drove past was a tough challenge, and one that really demonstrates the Ranger’s capabilities,” said stunt driver Paul Swift who drove the Ranger.

So, am I being a wowser and trying to suck all the fun out of the world, or do you think demonstrating the Ranger’s towing capability like this is wrong? Let me know by leaving a comment.


Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.