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Subject Topic: Towing Fibs.
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Message posted by saint linz on 05/9/2006 at 7:41pm
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We are newbies to caravaning and we bought a van we thought our car Toyota Avensis 2.0 D4D would be ok. ( it struggled and then burned its clutch out)

Then we talked to other people with  caravans who said things like,`we`ve got a people carrier / 4x4,we don`t know the van`s there,we don`t even feel like we`re towing`

So we bought a big 4x4 a little bit of overkill but we wanted to tow easily.

Wrong,we know the vans there,we know we are towing.

Yes its easier to tow,but not as easy as we were lead to believe.

So to anybody out there thinking of buying a caravan / tow car here is one little bit of help, when people give you advice just be careful they might be exaggerating a bit.



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Message posted by pieeater on 05/9/2006 at 7:57pm
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"Bloke (or bloke-ette) down the pub" don't usually know it all, and may well be prone to exaggeration!

But the folk on here I've always found to be very honest and very helpful!

Unless you tow with a sherman tank, you'll always know the van's there.  When you strap a ton upwards of van to the back of a car, it's obviously going to put a dampener on the performance.

We used to have a V6 Vectra, the performance of which was brilliant when not towing.  But, with the caravan on the back, it became much more sluggish than I expected.  Not to mention stupidly thirsty in the process!

So, we chopped it in and got a Jeep Cherokee diesel.  Obviously, performance-wise it's nowhere near on a par with a Vectra when not towing.  But when towing, it's a league apart.  Much better fuel economy, and much better performance - a lot more pulling power.

Yes, we certainly know the van is on the back, but we find it a lot more easy to tow with this than the Vectra - not to mention more relaxing, because we're not forever changing down gears when going up inclines like we used to have to!

 


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Message posted by Basilbrush on 05/9/2006 at 7:57pm
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I'd suggest that anyone who tows something along weighing around or over a tonne & claims not to know it's there aren't safe on the road.

The way I see things with tow cars is that any vehicle working hard will obviously knock a clutch out faster than a car used solo. People need to do their own homework & know the weight of their car, know the horse power & torque of their engine & work it out knowing the weight of the proposed load they intend moving with the car.

We towed for year with manual box espaces, 2 litre petrols to start with followed by a 2.2 Tdi & then a 2.2 dci (the difference I don't have a clue) The last one was a beautiful car but it was working hard with our van with most of the contents of the house & shed packed in it & to be honest, I suspected the clutch might be on its limit & decided to change to an automatic. I bought a 3.0 dci auto espace & it does tow the van really well. Much better than any of the ones we had before but only because it's 180 Bhp with torque coming out of its ears & it weighs two tonnes. It makes easy work of our Bailey provence but I certainly know the vans there.

I'd never be afraid to seek advice, I often bug people by asking how their car performs if I like the car but I always reserve my own judgement.

BB    


Message posted by darthillcat on 05/9/2006 at 8:43pm
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I use a 2lt petrol mondeo to tow our old A-Line equipe van max weight 865kgs and I know the van is there but the car tows it well

We are well within the 85% rule for safe towing , what was the Avensis's kerb weight and what did the van weigh loaded .Did you check this

David



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Message posted by corrakid on 05/9/2006 at 8:48pm
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 When people say (they don,t no it,s there) it,s a figure of speech, what they are saying is it,s comfortable, the towing car is on top of the job, you know the van is there,there,s always something there to remind you, like white van man going past at 80mph,you get that little rock or sway, and it brings you back to reality with a bump, you look in the mirror, and you see the old tin top looking back at you don,t let them kid you, you always know it,s  THERE.


Message posted by scarletsfan on 05/9/2006 at 8:54pm
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The higher kerb weights of 4x4 and MPV make towing a little more stable, but many cars out there have engines in them that shame 4x4's for towing power.

I have towed with 5 cars and 2 4x4's and can honestly say that the 4x4 does not make that much difference when towing on the tarmac.



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Message posted by richardsfavorit on 05/9/2006 at 8:55pm
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You will definitley know when a caravan is behind you! It makes a big difference on performance no matter what car you have. I can pull my relatively light caravan with a Skoda though - no joke!

If you need good advice, and how well your car will perform have a look at whattowcar.co.uk and ask on here. Apparently mine is a bit rubbish - but I managed to leave a queue of traffic behind up a hill the other day so it can't be that bad! (only up to 50mph though )



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Message posted by hippy chick on 05/9/2006 at 8:56pm
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There's us longing to be able to afford a Kia Sorento thingy for our Ellie but to be perfectly honest....our dear Vectra pulls it a treat most of the timeTrue she puffs and pants a bit on some of the humungous hills we have to tow up in Cornwall but otherwise she does just fine and dandy and it's only a 2 litreBless her

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Message posted by gm4pgv on 05/9/2006 at 9:07pm
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Please dont think I am showing off, but I tow my old Compass 420/4 with an equally old Mercedes E220 auto and I can honestly say I have to look in the mirror to make sure the van is still attached, it is that effortless to tow! Another sure way to check you have a van on tow is to look at the fuel gauge!!!!!!!!

Message posted by darthillcat on 05/9/2006 at 9:14pm
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richardsfavorit is that a 1600 petrol felicia you have becouse the 1300 petrol and 1900 desiel version have a restricted towing weight of 750kgs max that is the reason I sold my felicia 1900 estate could not find a van light enough

David



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Message posted by bordercaz on 05/9/2006 at 9:36pm
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I may not feel the caravan is there when cruising along a motorway (until a coach whizzes past at 70 mph + ) but driving it round a town when we get lost on the way (frequent occurrence due to map reading not being on Tony's school curriculum like it was in my day) then I certainly know it's there.

The nicest car for towing that I've had was a 2 litre petrol Accord - bags of oomph and hardly any changing down for hills, but the van I had then was only 900 Kgs full up. The one I have now is 1100 Kgs full up and the 2.5 TD Shogun does need a lot of shifting down the gears on hills. Fuel consumption is abysmal too - averaged 21.38 mpg over our hols - and 200 miles of it was solo. The Accord only dropped to 25 mpg when towing and solo it was heaps more frugal.



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Message posted by timtheenchanter on 05/9/2006 at 9:47pm
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Strangle i feel my van more on the motorway than around town, its the constant having my foot flat down to the floor on any slight rises in the road.

BTW whattowcar gave my Multi a 4 1/2 stars saying it would be great, it isnt bad but its only worth 2 1/2 - 3 stars, thats with the info put in manually, cos strangly enough it doesnt have 29YO vans on it!!


Message posted by maryloo on 05/9/2006 at 11:14pm
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We tow with a mondeo 2 ltr diesel estate and we still know the van is there but---- it feels more controled than with some of the other cars!! Hubby prefers it anyway.

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Message posted by Sparky1958 on 05/9/2006 at 11:21pm
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Weather has quite a lot to do with it.

When I tow my unit up to Lossiemouth at a weekend it is very rarely that I am in lower than 4th out of 6 gears.

We can go up the following weekend with the wind in our face and places where we would normally be in 6th we find ourselves having to change down to keep the pace up.

 



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Message posted by Patrick17 on 06/9/2006 at 12:06am
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Hi all, really interesting thread!

Only starting camping last year but have been thinking that sometime in the future (I daren't say as we get older) we might like to move to a tin tent, hence I've started reading this forum for advance tips etc.  Don't really envisage the day when I'll be driving a "gas-guzzoller" (currently have a Volvo V40) so have assumed that we'll be looking at a Freedom or some other lightweight, maybe even one day an Eriba??!! But all these threads about the weight that your're towing behind your cars/vans/mini-trucks and the HUGE effect this has on performance etc is really making me start to reconsider.  Perhaps we'll only ever be able to manage short (and flat) trips???!!! 

Thanks for all the honest advice and coments from this site as usual!

Patrick

    


Message posted by wizzo1968 on 06/9/2006 at 12:19am
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Hi u can have the fastes car going with 500bhp put it will still be no good for towing diesels same to be the better car for towing less bhp but more grunt more bottom end power so probs better going for diesel than petrol i had a 1.8 turbo petrol audi a4 and a swift challenger 520 about 1200kg  was ok for pulling but not the best 4x4 always over taking me  so when i got home i got a 4x4 3.1 trooper yes it is a big engine but it pulls like a dream now i have a compass aztec twin wheeler 1700kg it pulls like it does not have a caravan on so the morall of the story is do  you get petrol or diesel or big or small all depends on whight   and size you want to pull ............. 

 

 



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