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Old 16 August 2006, 07:15   #1
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what do you tow with?

This one has probably been done to death over the years

But.

It's time for a new vehicle. I have used various 4x4s on and off over the years and for long, slippery, steep slips they're superb. But I notice a lot of the dive clubs use Tivos, VW transporters and the like. I would really like a van because of all the gear you can throw in the back and I can also sleep in the thing if I want to. But I have no experience of them

I have towed my rib (ribcraft 585) once with a Tivo from Dover to Portsmouth and it was a fine wagon, but I have never launched or retrieved with one ... and of course that is a rather important part of the whole operation.

Anyone out there know how vans compare to 4x4s for the all-important launching/retrieveing lark? (think Cherbourg on a low spring!)

TIA

FB
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Old 16 August 2006, 07:38   #2
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I use a Jeep Wrangler 4 litre.
Its a short wheelbase with selectable 4 wheel drive and air locking differentials.
I've never had to use 4wd or diff locks on a slip as the trailer nose weight, slipway ramp angle and rear wheel drive all give enough grip even with the wheels wet.

4wd comes into its own on a beach recovery.

Can't sleep in it though, but then I'm quarter of a mile from the slip!

I imagine any RWD van would be just as good on a slip, especially older VWs with the engine in the back - perhaps a porsche 911 is the answer? More likely to cop off and have somewhere to sleep...
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Old 16 August 2006, 10:20   #3
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Mitsubishi L200 Double cab Trojan (old shape, not the horrible girly retro curvey new one).

Utility cover for rear pick up bit.

Can hold loads of gear, cab area nicely seperate so doesn't get to stink of seaweed, dogs, be full of sand, etc.

Can happily carry four well built divers and gear.

2wd on road so better for fuel economy.

Second vehicle is a Landrover 110, superb for launching as also has towbar on the front.

Simon
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Old 16 August 2006, 10:53   #4
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Don’t know if they are available over there but I love my Toyota Tundra. 4 door truck with a shell for the back. Can carry 4 divers with room to spare and a ton of room for gear in the bed. The four wheel drive is a must around here if you want to use the unpaved ramps. I get roughly 4.5 miles to the litter freeway towing a 6.5 meter rib and loaded down with dive gear and 5.7 when I’m not towing.
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Old 16 August 2006, 11:12   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbait
This one has probably been done to death over the years

But.

It's time for a new vehicle. I have used various 4x4s on and off over the years and for long, slippery, steep slips they're superb. But I notice a lot of the dive clubs use Tivos, VW transporters and the like. I would really like a van because of all the gear you can throw in the back and I can also sleep in the thing if I want to. But I have no experience of them

I have towed my rib (ribcraft 585) once with a Tivo from Dover to Portsmouth and it was a fine wagon, but I have never launched or retrieved with one ... and of course that is a rather important part of the whole operation.

Anyone out there know how vans compare to 4x4s for the all-important launching/retrieveing lark? (think Cherbourg on a low spring!)

TIA

FB
I tow our 6 metre rib with a vw transporter. I use it for work anyhow, but it tows with ease and never had any problems recovering and as you rightly say acres of lockable space for gear.
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Old 16 August 2006, 11:35   #6
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get a Kia Sorento- best value for money there is . Train - can take up tp 2800 kgs gross and you can throw a lot in the back as well. Also , nobody wants to steal a Kia .. wonder why???????. If you want something like a van get the Toyota pick up...

Jonathan
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Old 16 August 2006, 15:52   #7
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Or a LWB Landrover County with a roof tent!! Bit of a slug mind, and with the turning circle of Noah's Ark!
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Old 16 August 2006, 15:57   #8
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Anyone got an opinion on a Mazda Bongo as a tow vehicle?
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Old 16 August 2006, 17:31   #9
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As can be seen on other threads I use mainly Hummer H1 Iceland conversion special......

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Old 16 August 2006, 17:48   #10
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It actually looks exactly like that too!
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Old 16 August 2006, 18:23   #11
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Defender 110 Hard Top?

You could probably fit a mattress in the back if you wanted to sleep in it

I use my 90 for towing mine and it works well, also I like the 90 because rearward vision is excellent when I am reversing the trailer, which is important in negotiating the exit to my yard from where the boat is stored out on to the road.
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Old 17 August 2006, 04:03   #12
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I use a Smart Car for towing It's the forfour (four seater version) and it's actually not too bad for a 4m RIB (weighs in at just under the 1/2 ton complete). Get about 38mpg with the boat on the back!!
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Old 17 August 2006, 04:54   #13
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thanks for all the responses folks. Has anyone tried a van and a 4x4 often enough to know the pros&cons of launcing retrieving on awkward slips (or even getting to the slip in eg Cornwall?)

Quote:
I tow our 6 metre rib with a vw transporter. I use it for work anyhow, but it tows with ease and never had any problems recovering and as you rightly say acres of lockable space for gear.
Have you ever pulled your rib up a slippery/long/steep/ slip with the VeeDub? This is the crux of what I'm at here...I towed for ages with a volvo estate (2L) no probs, in fact you can tow - on the flat - with anything. The fun starts on steep hills and Less_Than_Perfect launching/retrieving sites, which is where the 4x4 comes into its own - but there's all the other stuff you can do with a transporter.

TIA

FB
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Old 17 August 2006, 05:27   #14
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I occasionally use the companies Transit we have fitted with towbar also in the front and it does well with the smaller boats (Bayliners and Valiant) but useless ones it comes to the weight of 1300 kg and above

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Old 17 August 2006, 05:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbait
The fun starts on steep hills and Less_Than_Perfect launching/retrieving sites, which is where the 4x4 comes into its own - but there's all the other stuff you can do with a transporter.
Indeed. I wouldn't like to try using anything without low range gears on the slip I use (photos attached) , as I usually crawl up in 1st low range difflock, but if it was a smooth concrete one and if I had a roller trailer which was a ton lighter than the one I use, I expect a biggish car or van would be fine, an automatic would probably be best.
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Old 17 August 2006, 07:11   #16
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110 County Station Wagon Landrover

There's a slip I've launched from in South Shields that regularly gets sand on it, that can trouble a 4x4 as well as a car or van.

No experience of using a van though, how about a VW Synchro?
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Old 17 August 2006, 10:40   #17
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£400 worth of............

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Old 17 August 2006, 10:57   #18
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Troopers are Tuff!
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Old 17 August 2006, 15:02   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nos4r2
Anyone got an opinion on a Mazda Bongo as a tow vehicle?
Yup, a friend had a 4x4 one and it towed and launched top banana (6m osprey) really well.

In the later days i used a Volvo V70 AWD and still haul ribs and other boats about with it. A truly excellent comprimise and really confuses people when the front wheels are spining up the slip and you are still moving (plus being able to do 150mph as well is great )
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Old 17 August 2006, 15:16   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjarvis
I use a Smart Car for towing It's the forfour (four seater version) and it's actually not too bad for a 4m RIB (weighs in at just under the 1/2 ton complete). Get about 38mpg with the boat on the back!!
I used to use my Ford transit . Its was a better tow vehicle for the open road than the Ford Maverik I now use , the van was wider and more stable and better on fuel

I changed to the 4x4 for 2 reasons only . Reversing was a pain with the transit , getting my boat into my drive which is tight and steep was near impossible , and I also got stuck on a slipway .

The slipway problem could be cured by using a winch for most situations but if you ever have to reverse trailers into tight spaces a long panel van makes life very difficult .
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