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Old 19 January 2021, 08:05   #1
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Towing car 8m rib and low range.

There’s a few posts from me around towing. New job now and the option of a lease car or keep the money and buy my own. Currently use 2002 discovery td5 for towing the boat and it does a grand job but now we have a 1350kg caravan and the old disco is showing its age for long family outings.

Boat is 2001 scorpion 8.1m with single engine. Apparently 1000kg dry and it really is a Lightweight boat. Trailer 490kg. Potential 300-400kg of fuel etc.

My quandary is...

Do I get a modern big tow car or end up with two tow cars, one small one large and old. I will be commuting more also. I’ve looked at cayennes, d4, discovery sport, a6, 5series etc. All the usual suspects but I am really nervous of being without low range, I use it on the slip when we are on algie or off the end of the slip on sea bed, and also when I pull boat out of garden as it doesn’t chew the lawn up when the brakes stick on trailer.

Anyone successfully launching and recovering decent sized ribs on slippy slips without low range? Or have any feedback on cars like discovery sports, cayennes or a6s for towing that size?

If I buy myself I’ll be budgeting 15k. Lease car will be less of a problem
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Old 19 January 2021, 08:39   #2
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You know you've opened up a hornet's nest with this!

To haul best part of 2 tonnes with an Audi, then in A6 guise I'd opt for a A6 TDI Allroad. Unfortunately they start at £57,900.

Pretty sure it would be badged as 50 TDI quattro which is basically a 3.0 TDI (286PS) 8-speed tiptronic. Can haul up to 2,500kg.

Down side, is this thing will be loaded with sensors, Ad Blue and a host of electronics. Fine if it's on lease, but a nightmare once it's outside warranty. It's got air suspension and I think you even pay extra for towing preparation.

A lot to be said for keeping the old Disco going!
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Old 19 January 2021, 08:50   #3
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We tow a 1800kgs caravan and retrieve a 700kgs boat with a Q7, our other car as backup tow vehicle is a X3 but sadly with manual gearbox.

I far prefer using the automatic, easier driving and no clutch to wear out. It's Tiptronic so I could use the steering wheel paddles if I really wanted.. Setup as used by Ferrari, Porche etc. Steep slipways or start/stop traffic queues (on an incline when towing) are not clutch friendly.

The concept of low range or front/rear diff locks etc is old school, low tech? Quattro or Xdrive systems put the required amount of power to each wheel as required even running the car as front wheel drive and switching to 4WD seamlessly, or cutting drive to a spinning wheel in a split second. There are loads of YouTube vids comparing systems. Either must be a cut above what you have already.

Your JLR may not have long left. Brother-in-law has a 2005 Disco and it needed such extensive welding on the inner sills he's not risking keeping it for another year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spartacus View Post
To haul best part of 2 tonnes with an Audi, then in A6 guise I'd opt for a A6 TDI Allroad. Unfortunately they start at £57,900.

Can haul up to 2,500kg.
My 2012 Q7 comes within budget and can tow 3500kgs.
All season tyres and adjustable ride height it's unstoppable.
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Old 19 January 2021, 08:51   #4
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I tow & launch our 545 which tips the scales at 1950kg, with our VW T6 camper. Van is 204ps DSG 4motion with diff lock. Iíve never had to resort to the diff lock when launching/recovering but thatís due to being cautious & picky where we launch. Iíve had a string of Discos prior to the camper, the last being a late model D4, which I rate as the best towing vehicle Iíve ever used. If you have 4wd & are sensible, I think youíll be ok whatever you choose (as long as itís not a Beemer &#129396.
My van engine/4motion/diff lock is pretty much standard across most of the VW/Audi/seat/SKODA range, so any combination of the above should work as long as youíre within the limits. E.g. the Van is good for 2500kg towing. Our Yeti has similar setup but is limited to 1500kg.
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Old 19 January 2021, 09:41   #5
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I got a 2013 A6 allroad 5 years ago and can recommend it. Its rated for towing 2500kgs and has the air suspension etc. No low range but the 7 speed auto gearbox is ok. I have an abnormally steep driveway and have twice had to pull the rib out of the garage and up the drive with both wheels locked up due to the brakes seizing on after periods of standing. No problem at all.

I am looking to change it at some point, in my search I have identified the VW Touareg comes with the same (great) engine, and in the "Escape" version a low range gearbox is included. Rated to tow 3500kgs I think. Pretty rare specification on the second hand market in this country though. Possibly worth a look

The 3.0TDI engine is good. My Audi meets the lower road tax bands and doesn't require any adblue etc
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Old 19 January 2021, 10:12   #6
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The old Landy has had 1/3 chassis done already. It’s perfect for the boat but not for the caravan as the journeys are longer and it’s quite slow.

I was an old school off-roader, hence why diff locks and low range still seem important to me. I know the new auto boxes have lower first gears and torquey diesels which sounds good in theory but I’ve never experienced it.

Sometimes you feel like you need all that potential and pulling power. Disco towed a 10t hiab with an 8m pascoe rib on a trailer out of beaulieu boat jumble many years ago. Never worked that hard again though ��
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Old 19 January 2021, 10:37   #7
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some things to consider:
BIK tax on company lease especially big 4x4.

not may comfy luxury barges with low ranges any more (unless green oval) computer wizardry now...

Pickups...AMrock and Ranger are like cars to drive and may dodge the hefty BIK tax (commercial vehicle) Ranger is tool and half!


Tax dodge lease 530e Xdrive and keep the old disco?
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Old 19 January 2021, 10:55   #8
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I decided to go with the works supplied Hybrid - perfect for driving around, great for family trips and superb on fuel.

Then bought an older rav 4 to allow me to tow the boat - shocking on fuel, lovely and comfy though and with the low box and auto gear box ideal on a slipway / beach / dump run.

The additional cost is annoying but with the hybrid options being so poor on towing and the mileage I'd usually do not being economical in a truck it seems to work out ok.
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Old 19 January 2021, 11:16   #9
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Have you looked a Volkswagen Touareg Escape? Its the only modern Touareg to have a low range gearbox as well as centre and rear diff locks.
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Old 19 January 2021, 11:17   #10
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I have a freelander 2 and my boat the the Avon SR5.4 with 75hp outboard. I donít have low range but regularly launch and retrieve in very soft ground, commonly over the grassy edge of a local lake with no slipway. Iíve never had an issue, the haldex system works fantastically.
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Old 19 January 2021, 11:19   #11
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https://www.autotrader.co.uk/car-det...us=1500&page=1
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Old 19 January 2021, 11:39   #12
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Quote:
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Have you looked a Volkswagen Touareg Escape? Its the only modern Touareg to have a low range gearbox as well as centre and rear diff locks.
Really? Can't see the need.
I understood the Touareg 4Motion system is the same engine and chassis as shared by the Q7 and Cayenne? Diff locks should not be needed. Later Quattro's are not mechanical like earlier versions.

Reason I went for Audi over VW was the non rusting aluminium body panels, and by folding down third row seats more boot space is gained in addition to the extra width (that allowed me to transport a 20hp outboard transversly). Plus it had all the goodies fitted as standard. OEM electrically deploying towball might be pushing it too far though lol.
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Old 19 January 2021, 13:54   #13
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1500-2000kg all up is not much more than a shopping trolley should be able to tow that with a fiesta.

where is your sense of adventure

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Old 19 January 2021, 15:13   #14
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1500-2000kg all up is not much more than a shopping trolley should be able to tow that with a fiesta.

where is your sense of adventure

Sunday afternoon per chance? If it fits it shifts the moto
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Old 19 January 2021, 15:18   #15
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Just check if you are going down the company-lease route if you'll be allowed to fit a towbar - can't do it under the terms my company uses.

I've opted out for last 12 years - had reliable cars - X-trail and now Skoda Kodiaq and no hassle, both been good for normal business travel and towing / launching RC5.3 / 585

Not hammered under tax either.
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Old 19 January 2021, 17:23   #16
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Tax dodge lease 530e Xdrive and keep the old disco?
Yep thatís a good idea. Get some speed for the road then.
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Old 19 January 2021, 17:25   #17
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I can fit a towbar, it’s on the spec list. However I can only claim 11p per mile with lease car or 45p personal. Looks like I will only get £3k per year toward lease so the rest will come out of my pocket ��
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Old 19 January 2021, 17:38   #18
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I believe they are the same drive system. Cayennes had low range and diff locks on mk1 and facelift. Several of the old reports I’ve read indicate the cayenne outperformed the vw and Audis without.

I understand the electronics are great, but we have rescued an x5 and Tiguan off the slip only two summers ago. Over the 22 years of boating we have probably rescued 10 cars off calshot slip and it really is quite a decent slip. Being stuck once is once too many for me, kids, wife and a bloody big boat on the back with the tide flooding. I would still feel much more assured with low range or a diff lock. However i could be wrong.

Love this video, looks great fun. https://youtu.be/i1dLWVpK0bc
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Old 19 January 2021, 18:21   #19
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I have been thinking of moving on from my 2016 disco ,athough i am very fond of ride and slip behavior ,it justs seems a little extreme for a daily driver and will be 5 years in april so adding of course i would now have too move to disco 5 which athough i quite like it , the prices are extreme ,this post is therefore very interesting with many options are being discussed , my personal throw into the mix with up to two ton towing would be a subaru forrester ,maybe not a main line choice ,but my partner has had loads of legacys over the years and 4wd is more than capable and widely regarded athough we have never had one with a tow bar so never tried for boating !
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Old 19 January 2021, 18:29   #20
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Quote:
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I believe they are the same drive system. Cayennes had low range and diff locks on mk1 and facelift. Several of the old reports Iíve read indicate the cayenne outperformed the vw and Audis without.

I understand the electronics are great, but we have rescued an x5 and Tiguan off the slip only two summers ago. Over the 22 years of boating we have probably rescued 10 cars off calshot slip and it really is quite a decent slip. Being stuck once is once too many for me, kids, wife and a bloody big boat on the back with the tide flooding. I would still feel much more assured with low range or a diff lock. However i could be wrong.

Love this video, looks great fun. https://youtu.be/i1dLWVpK0bc
I have a Cayenne, if Iím honest I havenít a clue if it has low range or dif locks because Iíve never needed them despite regularly towing 3.5 ton. Just put it into drive and go. Traction control does the rest.

I have a defender 90 puma too but the only time Iíd rather tow with that is if it was really shitty at the bottom of a slipway where the all terrain tyres would help. Itís a dreadful tow vehicle as itís too light and short.

Towing with a manual gearbox is an awful experience compared to automatic.
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