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Old 10 May 2009, 05:10   #1
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Steep slip vs. front wheel drive car?

I realise that this is a 'how long is a piece of string' type question, but here goes...

Having had a slightly hairy recovery on a slip I had not used before (I love the smell of clutch material in the morning ), I was wondering how other people assess the suitability of a slip before getting to the point of no return?

Boatlaunch is a help - if it says steep slip or 4x4 only I know to avoid it. My car's manual (manual Astra 1.7 diesel) specifies maximum incline of 12% when towing - does this sound like a useful guide, or is it likely to be over cautious?

Any thoughts / opinions?

Cheers

Chris
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Old 10 May 2009, 05:47   #2
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i think it is as much about surface as angle. A falling tide will have a wet slip, as it will if it is busy. One trick i used when recovering after finding the slip was busy was to put the car at the top of the slip where it is usually dryer and flatter, most seem to level off. Tie a rope from the tow bar to the trailer, put the jockey wheel down, then pull it out. Obviously not ideal, but if you are in difficulty it is better than spinning your tyres to no rubber, or burning your clutch out.
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Old 10 May 2009, 08:17   #3
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Quote:
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i think it is as much about surface as angle. A falling tide will have a wet slip, as it will if it is busy. One trick i used when recovering after finding the slip was busy was to put the car at the top of the slip where it is usually dryer and flatter, most seem to level off. Tie a rope from the tow bar to the trailer, put the jockey wheel down, then pull it out. Obviously not ideal, but if you are in difficulty it is better than spinning your tyres to no rubber, or burning your clutch out.
I've found roping the best way too. First read about it ages ago in detail in Peter Whites Power boating book.
I've got a LWB VX transporter shuttle with a tiny 1.9 TD in it. That plus the 5.4SR makes for a 34ft rig that weighs allot.

Two people are best but you can rope it on your own.
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Old 10 May 2009, 12:34   #4
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Yea I use the rope method too when I had the Astra come to think of it I still use it and I have changed to a Sorento. I suppose it is just habbit and good sense in that I keep things very managble and hubs dry in the car!! Over cautious I know
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Old 10 May 2009, 14:23   #5
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Thanks guys for the feedback.

Normally I would launch by sliding the boat off the trailer onto its launching wheels then launch by hand, but this wasn't an option. Next time I will have a rope handy in the car and be prepared

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Chris
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Old 10 May 2009, 16:15   #6
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12%

The 12% that is mentioned in the manual is to do with how a car's towing rating is calculated.

One of the limits used when a manufacturer calculates the towing weight is what weight can a hill start be performed with on a 12% gradient. If you're not up to the limit you might be able to go a bit steeper.
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Old 11 May 2009, 08:54   #7
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Turbo diesels can be a nightmare if the turbo kicks in higher up - you have to slip the clutch to get the turbo on boost.

If it's lack of traction is the problem shifting a boat back a bit on the trailer to lift the rear of the car can help. Also having people sit on each front wing can work wonders - extra weight on the front wheels makes all the difference.

If the slip is really slippery a few buckets of sand will give a lot more traction - they use it on trains all the time!!!
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Old 12 May 2009, 09:38   #8
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towing on slip

for the past 30years & on diferent cars i have fitter a toe ball on the front .the weight is over the drive line allso you go right rib goes right .you pull rib follows
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Old 12 May 2009, 10:26   #9
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for the past 30years & on diferent cars i have fitter a toe ball on the front .the weight is over the drive line allso you go right rib goes right .you pull rib follows
Paul exactly what have you fitted it to if you say you pull your rib?
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Old 12 May 2009, 12:00   #10
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for the past 30years & on diferent cars i have fitter a toe ball on the front .the weight is over the drive line allso you go right rib goes right .you pull rib follows
You may still be in trouble on a fouled slip, though; assuming you're attached to the trailer while recovering, and the slip is mossy or muddy, your drive wheels are well down in the muck.

The front ball would come in handy for people who have to park the trailer in tight spaces, though; or for those driving RV's and such where you can't see the trailer.

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