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Old 04 August 2015, 01:40   #1
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What Tow Vehicle

Readers advice please. Need a good load lugger for 300 mile trips to France. Also must be able to launch a 6m RIB on a steepish slipway without grounding. Previously had a 2005 Merc E320 diesel estate with the right carrying capacity but rear end grounded on the ferry and slipways.

Then tried a Freelander2 for 18 months which was pretty good but not enough carrying capacity with back seats down. Actually maybe we should have stayed with this and added a roof box!

Now on a 2011 Range Rover Sport which seems a complicated over expensive option, although a lovely drive and tows anything.

Looking for something that does the following:

- load lugger
- tow RIB up steep slipways without rear end grounding.
- reliable
- long distance cruiser
- better than 30 mpg
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Old 04 August 2015, 01:42   #2
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Be ready for 101 answers
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Old 04 August 2015, 01:51   #3
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Only 101

The 30 mpg would possibly be a sticking point with a lot of bigger tow vehicles

I've had Nissan Navara's and just got a Ford Ranger can't fault the auto's and with a back on loads of room to carry gear. mpg in the high 20's (30 if you drive like a girl)
Go for a high spec and it's not to far from driving a car, Fords a lot firmer ride
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Old 04 August 2015, 03:03   #4
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Possibly overkill, but good for beach launches!

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Old 04 August 2015, 03:10   #5
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More seriously, if you take more than two people on long trips and don't tow the RIB all the time, maybe an A6 Allroad would do all those jobs better?

Audi A6 Allroad Review | Top Gear
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Old 04 August 2015, 03:18   #6
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Possibly overkill, but good for beach launches!

He said 30mpg not 3
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Old 04 August 2015, 03:24   #7
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More seriously, if you take more than two people on long trips and don't tow the RIB all the time, maybe an A6 Allroad would do all those jobs better?

Audi A6 Allroad Review | Top Gear
Not one I had considered but worth a look.

Re the 30 mpg if a vehicle actually managed 29 mpg I would not dismiss.
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Old 04 August 2015, 08:30   #8
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There's something to be said for sticking with your RRS.

On the other hand, I've got a Defender 110 Station wagon. My SIB is only a little one, but I often tow one of our rowing club's 34 foot trailers loaded with £100,000 worth of delicate carbon fibre, aided by half a dozen giggling rowers in the passenger seats. The outfit can negotiate narrow conty lanes, and on arrival be greeted by a car park marshal who invites me to reverse the zigzag course between two other badly parked outfits. The defender's straight sides and huge mirrors make the process effortless.

It does 28 rather than 30mpg solo, and surprisingly about the same towing- Its large form punches a nice hole in the air, and slower towing speeds seem to offset the extra weight.

For slipways it not only has the traction, but has axles that are actually designed for wading- the axles breathe via tubes that go right to the front of the vehicle and open high under the bonnet.

Pete
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Old 04 August 2015, 10:04   #9
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How about a van. I had a VW transporter (2.5tdi) version and it pulled my 6m Ribeye easily. Don't bother with any of the lower powered ones though. It was fine pulling my RIB up a medium steep concrete slipway too.

A high spec one would be very comfortable for long distances and I averaged 40mpg. There are loads of mods you can do to the suspension if needed to.
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Old 04 August 2015, 11:47   #10
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There's something to be said for sticking with your RRS.

On the other hand, I've got a Defender 110 Station wagon. My SIB is only a little one, but I often tow one of our rowing club's 34 foot trailers loaded with £100,000 worth of delicate carbon fibre, aided by half a dozen giggling rowers in the passenger seats. The outfit can negotiate narrow conty lanes, and on arrival be greeted by a car park marshal who invites me to reverse the zigzag course between two other badly parked outfits. The defender's straight sides and huge mirrors make the process effortless.

It does 28 rather than 30mpg solo, and surprisingly about the same towing- Its large form punches a nice hole in the air, and slower towing speeds seem to offset the extra weight.

For slipways it not only has the traction, but has axles that are actually designed for wading- the axles breathe via tubes that go right to the front of the vehicle and open high under the bonnet.

Pete
Pete - maybe I will stick with the RRS. It is a lovely go anywhere drive and one would not know the RIB is on the back when towing; I just wonder if a RRS is just too complicated/sophisticated for its own good. The Freelander was far less complicated, cheaper to run and other than less room pretty competent. I had considered the Merc ML 350 Bluetec but not sure there is anything to gain over the RRS. Any of the considerations would be no newer than 2 yrs old as new 4x4s are silly money. At one stage I had considered the Santa Fe over the Freelander but it did not drive as well although it meets the criteria for luggage space. I agree the Defender is a real work horse and certainly not as complicated as the RRS. Would not touch the new Discovery Sport as it as lots of early life issues.
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Old 04 August 2015, 12:20   #11
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What pulling weight...? Are you looking new or 2nd hand? How flashy?

I'm about to test drive a Ssangyong Korando can pull 2T. 46mpg (EU Test data). Not the highest spec on market but not 2 bad... Highly rated as a tow car in the metal tent community...
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Old 04 August 2015, 12:49   #12
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If it's cheap and cheerful you want and something to do the Job a Nissan Terrano takes some beating.
Towed me and the loaded RC 6.8 the lenghth of the country 3 times......and cost it less than my friend paid for a service on his Four yr old Range Rover!
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Old 04 August 2015, 13:08   #13
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What pulling weight...? Are you looking new or 2nd hand? How flashy?

I'm about to test drive a Ssangyong Korando can pull 2T. 46mpg (EU Test data). Not the highest spec on market but not 2 bad... Highly rated as a tow car in the metal tent community...
Repair and breakdown support in France is important so Ssangtyong although good has a fairly small dealer network.
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Old 04 August 2015, 13:10   #14
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If it's cheap and cheerful you want and something to do the Job a Nissan Terrano takes some beating.
Towed me and the loaded RC 6.8 the lenghth of the country 3 times......and cost it less than my friend paid for a service on his Four yr old Range Rover!
I don't doubt the cost of a RRS service particularly with a main dealer. They are not cheap to run but are a hell of a vehicle 'if' running without issues.
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Old 04 August 2015, 13:27   #15
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Repair and breakdown support in France is important so Ssangtyong although good has a fairly small dealer network.
In that case you need to look at French Cars ;-) the French don't know anyone other than CitreonPeugeotRenault make cars...!

I've broken down once properly (limp home mode) with a car in the last 13 years (260,000miles). Couple of times I've had engine management lights but no limp and twice I limped but engine off and on fixed it temporary till I got a wiring harness fault fixed. Prior to that with much older cars (also petrol incidentally) I broke a fair few times. I'm not expecting my next car to be any worse. 300 miles in UK is a day trip for me.

With good breakdown cover I've never been concerned. Haven't had the 'pleasure' of European Breakdown though...
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Old 04 August 2015, 13:33   #16
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XC70

Or

XC90 if you need more space.

Have had both and either towed the 6.5m fine as well as being great everyday cars.
Not fast though!
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Old 05 August 2015, 03:05   #17
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Stick with the RRS is my advice. Had one for three years and apart from one suspension issue, quickly fixed and not too expensive, it did everything asked of it. The benefit of having such a high tow weight means loading and weight distribution is never really an issue.
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Old 05 August 2015, 03:25   #18
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Stick with the RRS is my advice. Had one for three years and apart from one suspension issue, quickly fixed and not too expensive, it did everything asked of it. The benefit of having such a high tow weight means loading and weight distribution is never really an issue.
Difficult to argue - thanks
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Old 05 August 2015, 07:52   #19
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Stick with the RRS is my advice. Had one for three years and apart from one suspension issue, quickly fixed and not too expensive, it did everything asked of it. The benefit of having such a high tow weight means loading and weight distribution is never really an issue.
The ranger has a 3.5t trailer limit and 245kg nose weight
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Old 05 August 2015, 09:18   #20
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X-Trail would probably tick all your boxes.

Mine's great for towing and day to day use and get 39 mpg not towing, 28 with the boat behind at 60mph.
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