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.

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.


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  1. Yes, completely wrong to do that. I am currently looking for a vehicle that can genuinely tow 3.5t and the Ranger of course is not on my shortlist due to reasons you explained very well in your article. In my opinion with this stunt, Ford is badly compromising all their messages to potential customers, can I believe anything they claim in their commercials? What are they thinking?

  2. You are very wrong and applying Towball weight wrongly. The towball weight does not come off the 2500 left by the caravan.. it transfers from the caravan to the tow vehicle sure, but as long as it is still under it’s GVM it is legal.
    The ball weight is part of the bigger picture. AS long as the car when attached to the caravan does not weigh more than its GVM that is legal. By your math and philosophy a GCM of 6000kg is impossible to achieve. SO the caravan weighs 3200kg which means you have a payload available of 2800kg on the ranger. But you are right that the 3500kg is almost impossible to achieve if touring, but is practical for work.
    You get pulled over.

    They weigh your car first with caravan attached.
    Weight for ranger is 3120 GVM. LEGAL (3200GVM Max) (320kg Ball) (2800kg GVM without caravan)
    They weigh everything for a 5900 GCM. LEGAL (6000GCM Max)
    They now remove caravan and do Ball weight. 320KG LEGAL (350kg Max)
    They weigh Caravan 3100KG LEGAL (3200GVM)

    So by the law you are legal? Where do you think you are not? The disappearing weight only has bearing if it tips your Ranger over 3200kg. Because it has not disappeared it is just re distributed.
    On what planet did you get your information? Quite disturbing to be honest for an article.

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