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Old 04 September 2013, 08:30   #1
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Tow vehicle advise please

Will be buying Avon SR5.6 (or similiar) when the right one comes along, unfortunately it means my trusty old Astra has to move on as well in favour of something more suitable for towing it's been perfectly adequate for towing my present hard boat and think it would be ok with SR5.6 on the road, however when it gets to a steep slip really struggles amazed I've never burnt out the clutch

Hate spending money on cars so looking at absolute max 7K considering RAV4 possibley Suzuki Grand Vitara but even 8-9 year old with 70K plus mileage fetch 6K plus, so was wondering what the rest of you use for this type of boat? should I look more at estate car(s)?? the only other thought I had was to buy the car I really want (Mazda MX5 ) which are cheaps as chips! plus an old knackered shed on wheels for the weekends but don't fancy doubling up on all the running cost!!
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Old 04 September 2013, 09:09   #2
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Originally Posted by Budgie1 View Post
Will be buying Avon SR5.6 (or similiar) when the right one comes along, unfortunately it means my trusty old Astra has to move on as well in favour of something more suitable for towing it's been perfectly adequate for towing my present hard boat and think it would be ok with SR5.6 on the road, however when it gets to a steep slip really struggles amazed I've never burnt out the clutch

Hate spending money on cars so looking at absolute max 7K considering RAV4 possibley Suzuki Grand Vitara but even 8-9 year old with 70K plus mileage fetch 6K plus, so was wondering what the rest of you use for this type of boat? should I look more at estate car(s)?? the only other thought I had was to buy the car I really want (Mazda MX5 ) which are cheaps as chips! plus an old knackered shed on wheels for the weekends but don't fancy doubling up on all the running cost!!

My Subaru Forester 2.5 turbo 4wd gives me more fun on the open road than a Mazda MX5 would and pulls 1400kgs up a steep slip without any problem. Couldn't recommend it highly enough.
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Old 04 September 2013, 13:18   #3
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If you go to the "other stuff" page on Ribnet, there's another page, inside of that, dedicated to towing vehicles etc.

Have a trawl through there and you'll find loads on just that subject
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Old 05 September 2013, 01:38   #4
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Any family size (Mondeo etc) hatch/estate car should be more than capable of towing your boat and you should be able to pick up a 3-4 year old one with reasonable mileage within your budget.

I would recommend a diesel for extra torque and automatic for easier hill/slipway starts.
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Old 05 September 2013, 01:48   #5
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A mondeo estate has a reasonable towing capacity (1,800kg?) but only front wheel drive so you may struggle on low tide poorer slips. Another pos is a Skoda Octavia scout which gives you 4x4 and more ground clearance, and big boot for boat kit. Definitely go diesel. My preference is manual for towing, and cruise control is useful for longer runs.
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Old 05 September 2013, 02:06   #6
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Buy an old landrover defender and do it up, then youve got two hobbies, the boat and the landy. If its old enouth could probably get classic car (banger) insurance, just needs to be mechanically sound and great fun.
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Old 05 September 2013, 05:53   #7
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Thanks for the advice chaps think you've talked me out of getting 4x4 ... for me Desiel is a must but 'automatic' didn't see that one coming! have always assumed manual is essential so you rev the hell out of it, slip the clutch etc !! but thinking about it with increase torque of desiel engine more lesuirely approach would be more appropriate,

Quick scan of autotrader makes me wonder if Passat estate would give me better value for money?
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solent spence View Post
A mondeo estate has a reasonable towing capacity (1,800kg?) but only front wheel drive so you may struggle on low tide poorer slips. Another pos is a Skoda Octavia scout which gives you 4x4 and more ground clearance, and big boot for boat kit. Definitely go diesel. My preference is manual for towing, and cruise control is useful for longer runs.
Alternative to the Octavia Scout is the normal Octavia 4x4. Still has the suspension raised a over standard but the lack of body cladding makes it a little better on MPG. Otherwise mechanically the same as a Scout. They are rare and hard to find though. I picked up a 2006 TDI with 50k miles on the clock last year for 6K. It has been great on the slips towing the 5.5m Humber and can return 50mpg on a solo run if you keep to 70.

I would have liked a Scout but a a year after getting my 4x4 the cheapest on autotrader is still over 6k with 136k on the clock.

I toyed long and hard with the idea of an old 4x4. If you have the time to maintain it yourself I'd be tempted with the MX5 and old 4x4 option. That was my original plan as I already had a Z4 but ended up with the Octavia 4x4 instead.

Mark.
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:01   #9
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Audi allroad - diesel, automatic, all wheel drive and 2100kg towing capacity
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:02   #10
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I tow a similar sized / probably a bit heavier boat with a volvo v70 estate 2.4 d5. it does it fine, even on quite steep slips. Good deals on them if you search, and they are very practical. they come in a 4x4 version too (XC70)
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:02   #11
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https://www.gov.uk/towing-with-car/c...d-width-limits

Watch your Gross weights etc.......
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:03   #12
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...and get a V8 Land Rover.....
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:06   #13
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Gross weights are only relevant to driving licences, it's actual weights that are relevant to vehicles
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Old 05 September 2013, 06:19   #14
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I have an XC60, great car - though I have seen someone pull a 5m plus rib up a very steep slipway with a Golf, was impressed - I also saw a Land Rover Defender slipping all over the place trying to pull a small power boat out at Chichester - so I guess much depends on the driver and the tyres.
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Old 05 September 2013, 07:20   #15
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And the slip...
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Old 05 September 2013, 08:26   #16
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A5 3.0l quattro auto. I toyed with idea of having two vehicles normal car for work and 4x4 for the boat. Didn't want the cost of running two vehicles. I would stick with the ideas of a 4 wheel drive car like the scout. Definitely auto I have had my trailer off the edge of the slip at very low tide so I was in a load of seaweed and it pulled my rib with no problems no wheel slippage and you don't have to faff around with getting the car on the bite as the auto sorts out hill starts
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Old 05 September 2013, 09:57   #17
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Gross weights are only relevant to driving licences, it's actual weights that are relevant to vehicles
Quite right. My comment was a 'catch all' ,well meant to be

When I had a 15 ft GRP boat, I used to tow it whith an 1100cc 2wd Panda - might not have been legal but it was a damn good tow car. Dale & Llangwm slips on Milford Haven were no problem.
Never tried Hobbs point

I also agree with Thomas - technique and traction are everything!
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Old 05 September 2013, 11:48   #18
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One thing to watch if you go down the "4x4 car" route - much increased running costs due to the extra weight, the torque converter that will inevitably die, and unless it is fitted with auto freewheeling hubs or similar will chew through tyres a lot quicker than a 2wd.... Not to mention the fuel consumption.

I;ve been hauling a not too dissimilar boat out the water for years using a 2.0l Focus diesel estate (manual gbx). Yes, There are slips that I wouldnlt take it down, but at the same time Ipd be wary of taking any 4WD down them.....

Do you use the same slip(s) all the time? Are they steep & weedy? - Has your Astra ever failed you with the current boat? - The answers to that will give you a good feel for whether you need a "super tractor" or not......

I suspect like a lot of us your tow car also needs to keep you & your family mobile as cheaply & comfortably as possible for the other 98% of the year!
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Old 05 September 2013, 12:03   #19
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Skoda Octavia 4x4.Had 2 over the years......negligible extra cost over a 2wd car.Great vehicles.
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Old 05 September 2013, 13:29   #20
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Audi allroad - diesel, automatic, all wheel drive and 2100kg towing capacity
Agree. Just check the airbag suspension is working properly. Genius car for geniuses.
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