Towing problems help needed

14 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi all

I have towing problems with my VW Passat 52 reg and my 2003 luner ariva gts 2 berth as I carnt get the car and caravan to stop doing a see saw effect. Nose weight for the VW is 75 kg but my caravan sits at the weight 85k on the nose and that's totally empty tried to move the weight ( I.e the awning TV bits and pieces) over the axial of the caravan but no . moved the weight to the front but no . moved it to the back and still the same I even emptied the front locker and put all the weight in the cars boot but no still the same. I even got a new black handle alko stabiliser for the caravan fitted it but I still get that see saw effect . Had new shocks on the car with spring assisters as well.. Just carnt seem to get the right balance between car and caravan I am really at my wits end with it The only time it behaves its self is when I am going uphill ?

Has anybody got any ideas

Marco

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Posted

Have you tried increasing rear tyre pressures up to max laden pressure? I have found that this helps with previous towcars.

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Posted

Hi there. I haven't but will blow them up to the max pressure just to see if that helps

Many thanks

Marco

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Posted

Hi there. I haven't but will blow them up to the max pressure just to see if that helps

Many thanks

Marco

It is unwise to exceed the car manufacturer's specified tyre pressures which should be on a plate on the driver's door frame. Not all cars have increased pressure when fully loaded or towing.

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Posted

Sound advice from the previous post ^^^^^^^^^^^

Just a thought, do you have an original VW towbar on your car or an after market one or even a DIY one..I have came across the following once before,whereby the towball protruded much too far beyond the rear bumper,even a couple of inches will throw the max laden weight on the towball out by a few kilos and even might cause a see-sawing effect..Have you or the previous owner put a spacer or even a cycle carrier between the towbar and the towball..if this is the case try taking them out and see if it makes a difference..Just another thought,make sure you have a 50mm towball fitted.

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Posted

wine.gif

If my memory serves me correctly (For a change) the Ariva has an end kitchen which means there's a substantial amount of weight at the rear which may well cause of the pendulum effect regardless of the loading.

Points I'd look at in no particular order are:

1. Reducing the rear loading as much as possible

2. Load the front to the max permissible noseweight

3. Check the condition of the rear shocks on the car

4. Possibly fitting spring assistors

5. Fit shocks to the van if not already fitted

6. Check operation of stabiliser if fitted - if not fitted then fit one

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:England:

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Posted

Nose weight empty is a useless figure, it has no bearing on what the car will be like when everything is loaded. So load the caravan with what you will be taking, put everything into it dedicated place or in the place you would like it to be. Now check the nose weight. If it is too heavy then move the EHU lead from the front locker to the very back of the van, that should make about 10kg difference. Put your awning on the floor about a foot behind the axle, put your water barrels and the like at the back of the van, take things out of the front chest and into a box behind the axle. Do everything you can to lower the nose weight to 75kg, but do not load the boot of the car. If you have a boot full of heavy stuff this will cause what your problem. Things are better off inside the car between the axles, it gives a more even loading. Get the nose weight right and the car loading right your problem will disappear.

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Posted

wine.gif

If, as I suspect, you have an end kitchen do NOT load heavy items to the rear as all it will do is exaggerate the pendulum effect ! At the very most move them to just behind the axle. Believe it or not I'm talking from experience as I had the same issue with my first outfit

PS

Getting the noseweight right will not sort out a car suspension issue - guess how I know ...

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England.gif

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Posted

thanks bob that's what I thought putting all the gear at the back of the van will make it worse I will try to load it as best as I can but I don't have much room between the wheels and the kitchen... and it does have a full cooker I do have new shocks on the back and spring assisters or could it be down to the brake system if its not set up right ie being to slack making the tow hitch move in and out more than it should causing it to rock and roll as I have noticed it seems to be ok going up hills ? it is running on 155 .13 tyres at the moment do you think it would be wise to change to 165 .13 tyres

many thanks

marco

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Posted

We carry everything in our car . Bedding ,clothes , food awning . If we take bikes . Etc . I just leave what we would leave in the van anyway . Ie tv .water containers.

Anything that I pack I put in the car .

This has worked for me . I had a lot of problems with my bailey rimini and car Mondeo 2.2 tdci . Great car but the caravan was terrible. No problems with our last van.

I had tried moving things from front to back etc . But it was not good. I just have one box with the lose items that I put over wheels . Other wise it's in car. Even my clothes that I would hang in wardrobe go in the car .

The last twice we were away it was much better. I just pack the car very neatly .

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Posted

We used to tow with a Passat. :yes: ('99 110BHP estate) Is yours an estate or a saloon? We used to suffer some slight instability when following tankers etc because of the buffeting - the car was low and relatively aerodynamically sound so there was a lot of turbulence hitting the front of the 'van. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the saloon version was far worse for this.

Assuming you're not overloading the Lunar, (load it up, and pop along to your local weighbridge: they'll often give you a verbal reading for free and a printout for about a fiver) and you can get the noseweight to 75kg (I thought that the noseweight on a 97-05 Passat was 85kg, but I can't be certain) then the car should have enough power; that's why you're better off going uphill. I tried running at 70-75kg with previous 'vans and they didn't like it with the Passat, but moving things forward to get it up to 85kg worked wonders. Two 4x4s down the line and I've towed the new van at 90kg with both. It likes that.

As others have said, try putting the heavy stuff (awning etc) in the car.

Check that when hitched up, the 'van sits slightly nose-down.

On a nice flat motorway (I'd suggest France... :laugh: but you might find a bit of one of ours that isn't ruttted to b*ggery) try it at 50 and see how it feels, increasing speed in 5mph increments until you find the 'sweet spot'. Our Passat liked 58mph better than 55. No idea why. Perhaps it wanted to get to its holidays quicker? :laugh:

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Posted

Hi all.     Update.     Checked my brakes and adjusted then moved my weight over the wheels got my nose weight to 65kgs took it out for a spin and I think it was wrong so got my nose weight to 75kgs and it went ok.   Hoping to get away soon before the dreaded winter turns up   

Thanks 

 

Marco f1

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Posted

Had a variety of tow cars and over my 20 years towing (Is it really THAT long) I have found stability is a strange beastie our nearest to yours was a Skoda Octavia Estate (I always like estates ) which is based on a VW /Audi floorplan next group up from yours.

Suggestions

first look at the LOADED outfit is it level ??

where is the spare wheel (PLEASE not the front box) 

How heavy are the gas cylinders ? we use CalorLite as the empty cylinder weight is less than 3kg (holds 6kg - 6+3=9kg full) whereas a normal 7kg cylinder weight is near 9kg empty (add 9+7 =16kg full)

Caravan nose down 1 inch is OK nose UP 1cm is dangerous I know that is very non technical but we have found that a nose up caravan wags like an excited dogs tail and a level van sits in the cars dirty air just right  (think of an aircraft wing when the leading edge is raised then extra lift is produced and a caravan doing that is scary)

So when you have a loaded van to plated weights does it look right -- and more than an inch nose down starts putting the cars nose up so steering is affected the wrong way

Over the years we have seen some horrendous outfits how they have been loaded even one that when the Dutch owners emptied it on pitch I wondered just how they got it all in (it included domestic freezer, washing machine, armchairs, a 40inch TV and lots more stuff to turn their awning space into a kitchen and lounge to match their home) 

 

is the towbar right for the car has it got extensions (which are bodges in my opinion) is the towball right for the stabiliser --  daft but some need a microscopically larger towball to work and even a layer of paint on the ball stops it working and Grease kills them

Is the suspension right on the rear of the car - how far down does it go when the van is on the hook -  shouldn't be more than a few inches but the rear wheel surface should still be seen at the top of the wheel-arch.

 

We load the car and caravan evenly but our last van was a pig as it's noseweight empty was high but loaded it towed a dream even at French speeds -

this caravan tows well at all speeds upto the French maximum but we tend to stick to lower speeds for fuel economy (not bad we get 24mpg at 65mph and 27mpg at 60mph)

Just keep on trying different layouts but my advice would be - 

Get a bigger car and a bigger caravan  - - we have found that a four berth tows far more stable than a two berth and gives more room to live in on site, and a larger car helps you STOP your trailer easier.  Yes I tow with a 4x4 now but that's because I want to go off road for other pastimes but my BEST towcar was a Renault Laguna Sport - a 1.9dci estate car with 90bhp but a gearbox to die for (the torque was right in every gear unlike our Nissan where it's on the high speeds and super low speeds but not normal driving speeds) we accidentally got up to 90mph towing because we didn't realise our speed and it was such a stable tow car - btw I slowed as fast as was safe -thank goodness we were in France not the UK 

 

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Posted

When we picked up our new (to us) Supercyclone last year, the truck was well loaded with gear as we'd had to take everything with us for an Easter weekend. The trailer was basically empty. However after leaving Consett for a drive over part of the A68 to Barnard Castle we were quite put off by the amount of pitching. Despite this being our dream van I said to the wife that if that's the best a twin axle can do, it can go!

Anyway got on site, both seasick, and got sorted out. I was rummaging about working out how to make sure the water system was on external and that's when I noticed there was about a third of a tank of water left in the onboard! After our couple of days familiarisation, (where we found the drain tap which now remains open unless the tank is in use), our ride home was absolute luxury... well maybe not when you're sat 6½ hours in a LR D1 with mud tyres, high suspension, etc, etc. Can't wait to buy the replacement Landcruiser...

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