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Old 13 October 2006, 15:05   #1
nik
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towing with a car

I would like to hear from anyone who has towed a 6m+ boat with a passat sized car.

Combined trailer and boat weight 1500 Kg and maximum towing weight of car 1600 Kg.

I am trying to work out if this is reasonable, or if it could be a bit of a handful.

I also have my doubts about traction on a slipway or a hard, but I think this could be overcome by using an electric winch.

Thanks, Nick.
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Old 13 October 2006, 17:50   #2
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towing with a car

Nik
I tried this once with a Seat Alhambre 1.9 Tdi. All ok on the flat and on motorway but had big problems re-starting on hills eg at road junctions or at roundabouts. Had to slip the clutch excessively due to turbo not providing boost at low revs. May be ok with a petrol but still uncertain especially on launching ramps. Just my experience! My LR Deafener 300 Tdi has it's limitations but my confidence in it doing just what I expect of it is complete.
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Old 13 October 2006, 23:37   #3
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re. towing

Hello Nik,
what kind of passat are you talking about? I researched this topic to death when I was getting my 5m and found recommended towing capacity of 1600lbs and 2000 with surge brakes (yes... that is lbs not kgs). VW book was useless as for my year model (2001) it says data not available at time of printing (something about litigation threat in the US).
I figure my package with trailer weighs at about 1600 to 1800lbs and so far so good; where I live we have lots of hills so coming up is a bit slow. My car is 1.8T with tiptronic auto - I was told I may have to replace torque converter at some point... will see. Happy towing
Richard
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Old 14 October 2006, 04:17   #4
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I tow a 7 metre weighing 1800kg all in with a vauxhall vectra 3.2 petrol manual. The towing limit is 1800kg! No problems but always launch on good slipways. No need to slip clutch excessively. I think you will need a reasonable sized engine.
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Old 14 October 2006, 05:47   #5
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Thanks for the replies,
I have a v6 tdi 150bhp, so I dont think power is a problem, also first gear seems quitwe low.
I think the main problem will be transferring the power to the ground.
Nick.

PS: Paul, are you able to tell me the weight of your boat?
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Old 14 October 2006, 12:40   #6
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I am only guessing but a 6.3 ocean pro diesel inboard is 1400Kg fully fuelled and ours is a 7 metre. I tend to tow with the tank empty so I am guessing the boat will weigh around 1400kg with more or less empty tanks. The trailer weighs 400kg. On good concretre slipways with no slime we have had no difficulty getting traction and my car is front wheel drive which is theoretically worse. On the motorway it tows like a dream and that is despite my car having soggy suspension (Have now towed it twice to the West Coast of Scotland and back= 270 miles each journey). I had considered buying an old range rover but have come to the conclusion that I do not need one. However, I am sure the least bit of slime might make things a lot more difficult but if you are using good (concrete) slipways I reckon you will be alright.
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Old 14 October 2006, 13:10   #7
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I agree that engine size is not the major issue,( unless you drive up a lot of steep hills) traction is. A " always works tip" If the ramp is bad then let the tyre pressure down on the driving axle to 10 psi. this will increase your contact area by about a factor of 4. Recover boat and drive at 25mph to nearest garage and pump back up. A little inconvenient but a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated tow vehicle. I used to tow a very heavy 16 ft. speedboat behind an 850 Mini and never had a problem but occasionally had to use this method, particularly at low springs.
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Old 14 October 2006, 13:28   #8
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If traction is bad with a front wheel drive car just alter the way the boat is sitting on the trailer - it lifts the back of the car up and pushes down on the front wheels - just remember to get it right for towing on the road afterwards!!!
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Old 14 October 2006, 13:33   #9
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I think the key is finding a decent slip way. We have the VW group 2.5TDI in an Audi A6 (Auto) and it spins the front wheels quite easily on the slip way, this was towing a 16ft speedboat/ Valiant V520. The slip way in question does have a loose surface towards the bottom.
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Old 14 October 2006, 13:54   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codprawn View Post
If traction is bad with a front wheel drive car just alter the way the boat is sitting on the trailer - it lifts the back of the car up and pushes down on the front wheels - just remember to get it right for towing on the road afterwards!!!
I think if you do as suggested above all you are doing is transfering some of the weight of the car to the trailer wheels. Another codders brain crash I think. If you get a pencil and paper and draw a simple force vector diagram you will see what I mean.
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Old 14 October 2006, 15:09   #11
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NO - have seen it done many times - all about changing the c of g - same as when you put too much downforce on a car the front wheels come off the ground!!!
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Old 14 October 2006, 16:17   #12
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I agree codprawn, in a front wheel drive car, the less weight on the "nose" of the trailer the more grip the car has. I have very little nose weight on my trailer.
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Old 15 October 2006, 03:49   #13
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I agree codprawn, in a front wheel drive car, the less weight on the "nose" of the trailer the more grip the car has. I have very little nose weight on my trailer.
Thats all very well but just remember to tow safely and legally you need the nose weight in accordance with the manufacturers recommendations which is norm around 70-75Kg. The Police will be stopping a lot more trailers next year in a new campaign and the penalties for things like that and towing without the correct license etc are harsh. Also I have seen so many cars/vans and even 4x4's get pulled backwards down a slip it is untrue. A good test is after launching your boat, if your vehicle wheels spins or struggles in any way to get the trailer up the slip, that boat ain't going nowhere.
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Old 15 October 2006, 05:41   #14
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I had a Peugeot 405 Est. Had a turbo diesel 1.7 engine which is quite torquey, so not short of engine power. I had major problems with my regular slip so tried another, a Concrete one. It was crap there too and had to be recovered by a Fourtrack .

It would tow OK on the road but my advice, if you didn't want a 4x4 would be to use a rear wheel drive car. I just don't think FWD cars have a place in towing up a slipway unless the towbar is at the front IMHO.
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Old 15 October 2006, 16:25   #15
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Check out all the legislation re towing. As discussed already its not just about weight towing capability of the vehicle anymore. The other thing is if you've only got 100 - 200lbs / kilo's grace - be careful when you stick a full fuel load in your boat and all of the gear you're going out with for the day. I guarantee you'll be very close to legal limit.
I use my vauxhall frontera as my tractor and wouldnt consider launching with anything but a 4x4 round here due to the absence of slipways and dependance on beach launches, but when the boat goes in for a service, i used a mondeo 2.0 TDCI and it pulls as well as the frontera on 'normal' road conditions.

Do we have any officers of the law from the traffic section who may be able to offer a complete breakdown of what plod / VOSA would be looking for when they pull you into their road side testing station....
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Old 15 October 2006, 16:38   #16
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"I had a Peugeot 405 Est. Had a turbo diesel 1.7 engine which is quite torquey, so not short of engine power. I had major problems with my regular slip so tried another, a Concrete one. It was crap there too and had to be recovered by a Fourtrack"

I had a peugeot 205 diesel turbo, the same engine as in your 405 but a much lighter car. Once the turbo kicks in yes they are "torquey". However, I got stuck going up a 1 in 4 hill (Wrynose pass in the lake district) in first gear going slowly behind another car and I was not towing anything. This is because old turbo diesels like the 1.7dt actually have very little torque at low revs due to turbo lag. They are also not that powerful (around 80 hp). Your solution to this problem on the slipway will have been to put on a lot of revs to get the turbo spinning which inevitably means a lot of clutch slipping to get going +/- clutch fade along with wheelspin. Modern turbodiesels like Nik's have much less turbo lag and much more torque and power overall and on a none slimy slipway I am sure he will not have a problem with a boat of this size. I have a slightly bigger boat and a front wheel drive car, I do not have problems and I am not a compulsive liar. However on a beach/hard/slimy slipway then I agree a 4x4 would be needed but otherwise Nik should save his money and keep his Passat.
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Old 15 October 2006, 20:34   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limey Linda View Post
I agree that engine size is not the major issue,( unless you drive up a lot of steep hills) traction is. A " always works tip" If the ramp is bad then let the tyre pressure down on the driving axle to 10 psi. this will increase your contact area by about a factor of 4. Recover boat and drive at 25mph to nearest garage and pump back up. A little inconvenient but a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a dedicated tow vehicle. I used to tow a very heavy 16 ft. speedboat behind an 850 Mini and never had a problem but occasionally had to use this method, particularly at low springs.
Something I think most people would not think to do and an excellent tip Limey, thanks! I will put that one in my pocket.
As of yet I have always been able to pull War Machine out with my little Chevy Blazer, but on a really wet or overly steep launch ramp your suggestion could come in very handy.
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Old 15 October 2006, 21:47   #18
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Your welcome Pat.
I kinda cheat nowaday's as I use a 3/4 ton 4wd Chevy. Suburban. ( makes a L Rover look like a piss ant as a tow vehicle, just for Codders benifit) However, when going into rough areas I carry a compressed air tank in the back to blow the tires back up. Have only had to use it once when stuck in soft sand. I also always carry two 18" wide x 3ft. long strips of old carpet. Tuck those under the wheels and you are on your way. I HATE BEING STUCK.
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Old 15 October 2006, 22:00   #19
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little Chevy Blazer
There's no such thing as a 'little' Chevy Blazer!

As regards what the plod/VOSA will be looking for, VOSA generally don't have a clue. Watch them like hawks and ask to see the calibration certificates for anything they use on your vehicle.
I had VOSA using uncalibrated (and way out) gear while testing my tractor unit on one occasion-giving me a prohibition notice for a fault which didn't exist. Don't even bother trying to be friendly. All VOSA staff I've met have had the attitude of a pissed off traffic warden (and I've met quite a few )


They will be looking at everything if they stop you.Construction and use, lights, brakes, bearings,noseweight,trailer weight and axle weights for the tow vehicle as well as the trailer.
Check under your bonnet at the VIN plate and (if seperate) the weight plate on your tow vehicle. Some (usually 4x4's) have the max axle weights for the vehicle on there as well as the max towing weight. Make sure you don't overload your rear axle with gear in the car.


Essentially, VOSA are now self funding through the fines they give out so make sure everything is perfect or it could get expensive.
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Old 16 October 2006, 01:20   #20
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I used to use a 2 litre citroen turbo diesel to tow a 750kg(unloaded) rib and always carried a weight certificate from a weigh bridge but was never stopped.
I only used it for launch and recovery on good shallow angle slips on holiday and generally used a 4 wheel drive for towing.I did get stuck at the bottom of a hill where we were staying in devon with the citroen and found switching off the air conditioning,fan,lights etc seemed to help.
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