Are Go-Pods easy to tow?

Towing a caravan often seems a daunting prospect for the uninitiated - but it shouldn't be!

With the rise in popularity and availability of "micro" caravans, even those with little to no experience in towing, or vehicles with limited towing capacity, can get in on the fun!

Go-Pods are at the forefront of this revolution in the caravan industry. They're compact, lightweight 2 berth caravans with an aerodynamic, one-piece fibreglass shell that greatly reduces wind resistance while towing and best of all, there's no steep learning curve for beginners.

The core concept of Go-Pods is that they're easy to tow, use and store, allowing you to focus on what really matters - enjoying your time away. Caravan 'newbies' are always pleasantly surprised by the smooth and comfortable towing experience that Go-Pods provide. In fact, a common remark we hear from our customers is that they often forget the Pod is there when they're towing!

The aerodynamic shape of Go-Pods & why it's important

When the idea of Go-Pods first came to be back in 2006, the caravan industry was dominated by traditional twin axle caravans and long-wheelbase motorhomes, with a focus on cramming as many 'home comforts' as possible into the package. No consideration was given to whether there was an untapped segment of the market who would value a more minimalist, easy to manage alternative in a compact package.

Go-Pods were designed specifically to plug that gap in the market. The idea was to produce a small, lightweight caravan that could be towed by almost any vehicle and by any user regardless of their level of experience in towing. Our market research indicated that the major manufacturers were more concerned with offering as many different internal layouts as possible in the same large 'boxy' designs without any consideration for aerodynamics or towing experience. In short, you could say that they were more concerned with the destination rather than the journey. The main issue seemed to be the flat fronts of these caravans which produced a lot of wind resistance and drag, meaning that more engine power was required to tow them as well as specialised "anti-snaking" devices fitted to the hitch to reduce the impact of crosswinds.

The brief, therefore, was simple: to produce a caravan in a design that focused on aerodynamics and improved towing experience, and without requiring the aid of anti-snaking devices that can cost up to thousands of Pounds. We experimented with a number of materials and outer shells in various shapes, before settling on a single piece fibreglass mould with a gentle curve at the front to allow air to pass freely over the front of the Go-Pod.

As well as creating one of the most aerodynamic caravans on the market, we also looked at weight distribution and found that offsetting the wheels around two thirds of the way along the Go-Pod greatly improved stability when towing. By doing this, Go-Pods are effectively anchored to the ground in transit.

The original design has been refined and perfected in the years since, making Go-Pods the easiest to tow caravans on the market - perfect for beginners and experts alike.

A lightweight caravan for the modern age

With the rise of eco-friendly and eco-conscious travel and tourism in recent years, the demand for smaller leisure vehicles capable of being towed by less powerful cars and electric vehicles has steadily risen.

More low emission zones are popping up across the country on a regular basis, so large caravans that require vehicles with powerful engines (often diesel) to tow are simply not suited to the modern world. Planning a journey with such a caravan and tow vehicle is becoming an impossible endeavour for some caravanners, especially any journeys that require passing through or near close proximity to major cities.

Go-Pods have no such issue - they can be towed by some of the smallest vehicles on the market and most modern EVs, so they're able to traverse routes that simply aren't available to those with larger caravans.

With an MTPLM (Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass - the total weight that the Go-Pod cannot exceed when fully laden) of just 750kg and an independent AL-KO braking system, Go-Pods can be towed by any vehicle with a "braked towing allowance" of 750kg or more (which covers over 90% of cars sold in the UK).

Your vehicles braked towing allowance can be found in the V5C (also known as the 'log book') under the heading "O.1: braked (kg)". If this figure matches or exceeds 750kg, you can legally tow a Go-Pod.

If your V5C doesn't list a braked towing figure, you should first check that there are tow bars available on the market for your vehicle (assuming that you don't have a tow bar fitted already). If there are tow bars available, this is a good indication that it is able to tow and you can also use the "85% rule" which stipulates that any caravan or trailer being towed by your vehicle should not exceed 85% of the vehicles gross, fully laden weight.

For example:

Gross laden weight of vehicle: 1,250 kg

85% of gross laden weight: 1,062.5 kg

MTPLM of Go-Pods: 750kg

In this scenario, the tow vehicle would be suitable for towing a Go-Pod as per the DVLA's 85% rule.

Wherever your car will go, the Go-Pod will follow

Another crucial element of the Go-Pods design that aids the towing experience is their compact size. At just 4.20m long, 2m wide and 2.05m in height, Go-Pods can access roads and lanes that larger caravans simply can't. For the most part, if your car can make it, the Go-Pod can too!

This is especially helpful in more rural areas of the country. Any caravanner who frequents Devon or Cornwall, for instance, will have numerous horror stories of logjams in tight country lanes causing tailbacks for miles. The old country lanes are often built upon centuries-old horse & wagon tracks that just aren't suitable for large vehicles or long, wide caravans and this can create nightmare scenarios when 2 or more such caravans meet an impasse at a particularly difficult-to-navigate section of road.

Go-Pods are able to navigate these routes with ease as they are no wider than most cars, and if you do happen to find yourself caught in a tailback caused by larger caravan owners, unhitching, spinning the Go-Pod around and then re-hitching to escape the chaos takes just a matter of minutes - so you'll always have an easy escape route!

They're also able to pass under the vast majority of height barriers, meaning more routes to your destination will be available than with other caravans and leisure vehicles.

Another often overlooked point is that, as Go-Pods will most likely be no wider than your tow vehicle, extended towing mirrors are not required to provide an unimpeded view to the rear of the Pod.

So what's the verdict?

If the idea of towing makes you sweat, whether that be due to lack of experience or bad experiences in the past, Go-Pods are made for you! They're designed to provide the smoothest towing experience possible, making them perfect for first time towers or even those downsizing from larger caravans for an easier life.

Of course, we haven't focused solely on the towing element as that is just one piece of the puzzle - Go-Pods are absolutely packed with features and provide all of the modern amenities and convenience of larger caravans, in a compact, lightweight easy to manage package. More on that in future blog posts though!