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Old 10 June 2011, 17:09   #1
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Which is better, Manual or Automatic for Towing/Slipway?

About to get myself a new vehicle, but am slightly torn between getting a manual or automatic.

Well used to towing with a manual, but never done so with an Automatic.

Will putting an automatic in Park on a slipway, absolutely mean it won't move?

Will an automatic cope with a slippery slipway and 6.5m Rib OK?

Any advice gratefully received!
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Old 10 June 2011, 17:22   #2
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Went through the same thoughts myself some time ago when I considered a diesel estate automatic (Audi Allroad). I had not owned an automatic before, but have not looked back. Copes with my 6.5 metre Osprey very well. The big advantage for me is the ease of manoeurvering when trying to get the rig back into my place where I have a difficult reversing manoeurvre - no cannot logically explain why it is easier, it just is. Maybe I can only cope with one pedal when in reverse
For me the bigger issue would be 2 vs 4 wheel drive - no prizes for guessing which is best on the slipway! Putting it into lock does stop all movement on the slipway for my 4 wheel driver, but a 2 wheel driver........
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Old 10 June 2011, 17:36   #3
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td5 auto tows great, pulls and pushes the boat on slips no bother, just use brake when reversing, and low gear when pulling back up slippy slips.
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Old 11 June 2011, 16:30   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayfish2
td5 auto tows great, pulls and pushes the boat on slips no bother, just use brake when reversing, and low gear when pulling back up slippy slips.
And the 4ltr V8 auto tows much much better - auto everytime no contest. The real benefit that outways everything else is theres no clutch to burn out!

Park position locks the g/box and therefore transmission. It wont slip unlike a handbrake! But as above just use the foot brake and a bit of throttle. If you go for a proper landy (stand fast freelander) the 'handbrake' is really a transmission brake also much better for no slip!
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Old 11 June 2011, 17:09   #5
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Park on anything with front wheel drive is not likely to be great on a wet or weedy slipway!

Personally I think whether an auto has any advantage depends on two things; what type of engine/transmission you have and what sort of shunting around you have to do. If it's a buzzy petrol engine that needs 3000rpm to avoid stalling and has no low range gears, then an auto is definitely going to be easier than smoky clutch.

I tow with a diesel (either the Defender with a 300Tdi, or my Ranger XLT 2.5TD) and the control of a manual with the transfer box in low range is excellent, I don't feel there would be any advantage in an auto really, but I'd probably have a different view if I had to use a normal car - though in all honesty a normal 2WD car would not cope with where I launch anyway.

Reversing in tight spots is easy in low range but much less so in high, so a non 4x4 vehicle or a soft-roader with no low range would certainly be easier with an auto.
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Old 12 June 2011, 06:21   #6
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AUTO end of!
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Old 12 June 2011, 07:43   #7
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I agree with Ian M, I have one of each, both 4x4. TBH, when recovering the boat, there's not a jot of difference between them as both have enough grunt, the 4L option on the L200 could tear the trailer apart.

Auto is nice when pulling away uphill with a lot of weight on the hitch. When quick changing from 1st to 2nd, a clutch slip is sometimes required, not with an auto.

So, IMHO, an auto does edge it for towing , but not necessarily for recovering.

4x4? Defo.
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Old 12 June 2011, 13:24   #8
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I've owned Discos for over 20 years both manual & auto, I'd never go back to manual. Hill starting is much much easier with auto, pulling the boat out on slippy slips is a doddle. power can be applied gently & you can hold the combo on the engine without faffing with brakes. On one particular steep slip in France I launch by putting the car in drive & allowing the weight of the trailer/boat to pull the car backwards down the slip whilst the engine tickover acts as brake. If it starts to pickup speed I just add a touch more accelerator to brake the combo. Who needs HDC!
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Old 12 June 2011, 13:45   #9
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If you can drive properly, you don't need someone to work the gearbox for you.

Yes, auto is an easier drive, but it's more to go wrong. As long as you go for 4x4 and a big engine or a diesel nothing is hard.
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Old 12 June 2011, 13:45   #10
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Quote:
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I've owned Discos for over 20 years both manual & auto, I'd never go back to manual.
I find that when there's next to no grip, sheet ice on a slope etc, an auto wont allow you to put the power down gently enough. 1st low at tickover with a manual might just get you out of there.

Prob. down to my shite driving.
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