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Old 16 June 2003, 02:59   #1
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Tow Vehicles

As my Freelander is now getting a bit long in the tooth at 106K and as it lacks a low gear box for those slipways Iím looking at replacing it. I got my clutch very warm (interesting aroma!) recovering a 6m on a very steep slip a few months ago and had to change the clutch last month Ė connected? I donít want to test this hypothesis again as its an expensive game.

I was wondering what everyone else was using / recommended for towing a 6-7.5 m boat.

Jelly
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Old 16 June 2003, 03:41   #2
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Ohh, suspect choice of tow vehicle could almost get as emotive a subject as choice of RIB and engine!

There has been some discussion before when I was in the market for a new vehicle myself........

http://rib.net/forum/showthread.php?...ht=tow+vehicle

IMHO there can be a helluva lot of difference between tow vehicles for a 6m and a 7.5m RIB. I used to tow, launch and recover a 6.5m relatively succesfully with a Mondeo. With the 7.5m RIB I have now on a 4 wheel trailer I needed a meaty 4x4 - a Freelander wouldnt be man enough for the job. (IIRC the towing capacity is 2000kg or less?)

In the end I went for an Isuzu Trooper. 3L Diesel, Autobox and 3500kg towing capacity. Tows like a dream, is roomy and comfortable. Downside is that it is bloody expensive on spare parts and has a 6000 mile service interval which gets expensive when you do 20K+ miles p.a.!

My other 10c's from 18mths spent working at Landrover would be to buy something else! Build quality is still a problem at Lode Lane I'm afraid. (all IMHO , alledgedly and with no predjudace!)

If I only needed to tow 1800kg and wanted some performance I'd go for a Subaru Forester turbo (either the old S Turbo model or the new XT). Full time 4x4, Excellent handling, some offroad ability, tows upto 1850kg and does 0-60 in 7.9 seconds!
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Old 16 June 2003, 04:21   #3
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I'd second that Alan. I've been driving a Disco for the last 18 mos. and done 70,000 miles. It's a great towcar. You don't even notice the boat on the back (except I can't see through the rear view mirror) and as for slipways, it pulled Greyswish out at Mayflower last month no problem............. oh, with Daniel's Peugeot 405 attached, with a siezed handbrake! But, the quality is crap! I've call out the breakdown service four times, had new fuel injectors, radiator, numerous rattles (which I've given up trying to get fixed), electrical faults, not at all what you want from any car, let alone one which costs £35k!

I'm seriously considering the Subaru Forester. As you say, the turbo drives like a performance car, the lower spec. models have a low ratio box (and a towing capacity of 1500kg) and they all have legendary quality, after sales service and reliability (regularly alongside Lexus in the JD Power surveys). Also, the highest spec model is £20k.

As an ex-LR lightweight nutter and three times Disco owner, I'm really sorry to say I've bought my last Land Rover.

Dave
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Old 16 June 2003, 04:39   #4
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Get a Landy and a car. Old land rover is cheep to insure tax free and will provide a vehicle that you are not bothered if it gets salty or a bit bashed about. You can then have a car not a 4*4 pretending to be a car or a car pretending to be a 4*4. What you need for towing is not always bhp. I learnt to drive in a Lada Cossack (yes laugh away) it only had a 1.6 L engine but it was a fantastic vehicle. In bottom box it would climb anything including steps. and would pull most things including a fallen oak tree. It is one of the few 4*4 that had a centre dif which locked all 4 wheals. Forget slip ways we lunched on shingle sand and mud. Being worth almost nothing we took it of road loads and was not bothered about the paint when in/on bushes and small trees. When you are tiered and it is dark put the car in the sea and unload the boat straight into the door. (Yes I know this is not good for them but when they are worth a few hundred does it matter) If you have not driven them these types of vehicles are not like cars they are noisy slow and steer like barges. But do what they were made for better than any modern car.
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Old 16 June 2003, 07:20   #5
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Get yourself a Nissan D22 pick up. Gutsy 2.5 litre turbo diesel 4 x 4. Great value -half the price of a Landrover and much better. Tows up to 2.5 ton.
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Old 16 June 2003, 07:25   #6
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What Car?

Hi Guys

Well IMHO it must be a 4X4 with a low ratio gearbox.

Sadley the Freelander dips out on this, other wise an excellent tow car, especially the V6 or TD4 model.

Disco's are even better, if you get a good one! I put 200,000 miles on one with no mechanical breakdown's other than normal wear & tear & servicing.

The Range Rover would be my next choice. Functionality of 4X4 plus Luxury of a prestige motorcar. Turbo Diesel will return 30mpg if you are not too heavy footed.

There are lots of other vehicles on the market but as with my opening statement it must be 4X4 with low ratio for all those slippery slopes, sandy beaches. or sheer grunt for pulling heavy items.

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Old 16 June 2003, 07:50   #7
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Having had several 4X4 jeeps, and I regulary tow a 3.5 tonne digger on 1 ton trailer ( highly ilegal. 4.7 tone all up ), You just cant beat Jap jeeps, for toughness and the abuse that gets thrown at then on building sites.
At the moment I have Mitsubishi L200 with 4 door and pick up at the back, which is covered in. This is my second mitsubishi and I like them. the Isuzu troopers are more solid than the mitsubishi but less powerful. Disco was the worst of the lot, But it would climb trees if you wanted.

I am shying away from jeeps at the moment as I want the comfert of one ,and ease of driving. that subru sounds good.

For towing you need low range box to pull up slipsways and rough ground.
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Old 16 June 2003, 08:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by TIM
For towing you need low range box to pull up slipsways and rough ground.
Wouldnt neccessarily agree with that - depends on slip, weight of boat, amount of crud on slipway etc etc. I only use low range on one particularly steep slip. In fact I suspect an auto box to get away from the clutch burning smells is more valuable most of the time!
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Old 16 June 2003, 08:09   #9
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What you need is ............... RIB International.

Endless info about 4x4s there - it is the best vehicle mag on the market by far, spolit only by occasional references to boats

Allen


ps mine's a Range Rover
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Old 16 June 2003, 10:26   #10
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Hi all,

I opted for a second car for towing my Rib, which weights appox 750 kilos without fuels.

I use a 1.7i Lada Niva. Very cheap to buy (6.200 pounds brand new, with aircondition) and maintain, very tough, permanent 4x4, Low Gear Box, 100% Block Central Diff Lock (available in a separate "stick").

My towing speed is usually 80 - 100 Km and recovering from slipways was never a problem. In a number of occations I recovered the boat directly in sand beaches (no spliway at all).

Build quality is not good but who cares. As an offroad vehicle it will beat quite easily expensive 4x4s.

Regards


Dimitris.
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Old 16 June 2003, 10:30   #11
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The LOW box is not neccessary at most times, But it good to use to keep the strain off the clutch etc..........

Autos are v good for towing work, pulling from slips, tralers through sites etc, but high fuel economy and the tendicy to want to over heat, the second you thrash them, with either a heavy load on motorway or trailer that is stuck... its a pain in the ass..... Landrover do one of the best towing autoboxes..... Japs dont.
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Old 16 June 2003, 11:15   #12
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I Use a Vauxhall Frontera.

First was a 2.0l 3 Door petrol,
2nd was 2.2L 5 door petrol
Now is 2.2 Turbo Diesel.

Build quality is not the best in the world, niggly things like lens covers on courtesy lamp comes off. Reliability has been good.

4 wheel drive is selectable as is high/low ratio
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Old 16 June 2003, 11:30   #13
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4x4

Had 2 Discos both ok but quality poor very good offroad in mud sand but slow on road .Then had midlife crisis(50) and bought Subaru Turbo forrester 200hp upgrade etc.
I kept it 3 months and traded for Isuzu Trooper Why ? beacuse if I had kept the Subaru I would have died !or lsot my licence 130 mph with no trouble and handling to match very heavy on gas and no low box coupled with low profile tyres not much good on slipway etc .Trooper is fantastic very quiet and superb towing with auto box and shift on move 4x4 makes it ideal . Also good top speed in excess of 100 mph all day in France makes it great for winter holidays !Yes I know about the speed limits ! We live in a nanny state .
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Old 16 June 2003, 12:01   #14
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Automatic Disco, tow anything legal or not. Wavehumper don't even think about it. You need an HGV to move that thing.


The auto box and low range are brilliant on the slip even with 2 tonnes of Pacific 22.

Pete
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Old 16 June 2003, 12:27   #15
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I much prefer to get my boat towed around with another Rib - it saves my fuel. Only last weekend I called up Cstart because I was running low - told them I had water in the fuel, they towed me home all the way back to Portsmouth from the Needles. They are great sports well worth the membership.
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Old 16 June 2003, 12:48   #16
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mmmmm Trooper

mmm Landy

mmmm Disco


Theres no bad advice here, Jasper and I have an old one of each between us and I think they are all good buy Diesel as petrol engines are uneconomical.

The Trooper engine is truly excellent and they are very well equipped. It is worth noting that Troopers were voted Caravan Club Tow vehicle of the year for many years and a lot of them have not been near the water. That is a real advantage.

The Troper and I towed the Camel boat (2 tons plus) more than 2800 miles in 10 days and she never missed a beat. J reg £2700 18 months ago



I have a really old 110 C reg and that's a lovely truck to drive (if you can handle Double declutching and no power steering) and tows really well but slowly again very reliable and very solidly built. Engine is not as strong as Trooper though and the finish is agricultural but that kinda suits me.

K reg Disco, I bought Pete 7's old Disco off him which was a superb well maintained immaculte bargain great truck don't use the others anymore.

Having said that I havent seen a Isuzu, Nissan, Toyota, Landrover or Mitsubushi that I didn't like especially the Pickups

Ideal two car situation Old Trooper and New Elise (I Wish) yummy

I understand that Pajero bonnets crumple quite easily if you run into the back of something, anybody on the Forum know if that's true?

Isuzu are 40% owned by GM who own 100% of Vauxhall who rebadge the Trooper as a Monterey and the parts are a lot cheaper in a Vauxhall dealers than an Isuzu dealers
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Old 16 June 2003, 14:00   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by THEWAVEHUMPER

Isuzu are 40% owned by GM who own 100% of Vauxhall who rebadge the Trooper as a Monterey and the parts are a lot cheaper in a Vauxhall dealers than an Isuzu dealers
That was true. Vauxhall did sell the rebadged Trooper as a Monterey but havent done for a while AFAIK. So parts for older Troopers / Montereys may be interchangeable but not for newer ones. (post 98 I think). Also, Isuzu are no longer making the Trooper so no more new ones according to my local dealer. (They do do a utilitarion 4x4 pickup). Dont get me wrong, I like my Trooper a great deal. Its very comfortable, capable and will stonk along the motorway all day at above the legal limit (alledgedly).

To get back to the original question I think Budget is the a key piece of info. We may be recommending an old Trooper when what you really need is a £75k Range Rover!!
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Old 16 June 2003, 14:29   #18
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I bought a G reg Daihatsu Fourtrak 2.8TD for towing the boat. Bit of an old plodder but the price was good.

Wouldn't like to go long distances in it though - too slow and with leaf springs all round, very lively but pulls like a train.
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Old 16 June 2003, 15:22   #19
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I've got a Pajero 2.5TD auto. Best tow car I've had, never even had to use any of the ratios or diff locks for RIB recovery yet. 2500kg tow capacity. Got a mate that tows a 25 foot bayliner with his ,no probs. Don't know anything about bonnets crumpling though stuart? Pajero much the same as a shogun but a bit more chrome and a few more extras. However Both trucks are great. Used to use a cavalier V6 (200hp FWD) just wheel span all the time and I couldn't see round the boat without extension mirrors. Don't need any bolt on caravan specials for the pajero, plenty of rear visibilty all round. Quite fancy a BMW X5 or Range Rover HSE though!!!!
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Old 16 June 2003, 19:14   #20
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Well, as this tread started about freebies and 6m boats

I tow my Ribcraft 5.85 on a rather large 4- wheel trailer and have no problems at all.

OK it is a V6 Automatic which would solve the "cluch burning" syndrome - but it does tow the boat up slipways remarkably well - I've never had any problems, and I've used some steep and slippy slips that you can hardly walk on without falling over

On the road again excellent - set the cruise control to 60 MPH (or other suitable speed ) and off you go .... no problem at all.

The auto gearbox is fantastic, it auto senses that you are towing and goes into a special "Tow Mode", don't ask me how, I just know it works very well. You can also use the box as a 5-speed steptronic box and select your own gears, but I only find I need to use this when decending steep hills for engine breaking.

OK so its a bit thirsty on the juice, so I had mine converted to LPG which makes it cheaper to run than my last diesel Freebie

I would definately go for one again.... but the V6 isn't on our car list at work However the Defender 90 is. Now that must be the ultimate tow car - but what about driving it for the rest of the week?

Now all I need is the promotion to get the fully expensed 90..... If pigs could fly
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