automatic towcars
user2400443
Posted: 31 July 2008 3:15 PM
Subject: automatic towcars
 


I have a Bailey Senator Indiana Series5 and want to change my towcar to an automatic. My wife who also drives our car will not drive or buy a 4x4.Does anybody have any suggestions?
userKlyne
Posted: 31 July 2008 4:24 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 


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I tow with an automatic Kia Sorento and it does the job extremely well and also its quite relaxing to drive. A couple of things to check out if you are changing to an automatic towcar. Firstly that it does not need any additional cooling although that is a bit unlikely with modern cars and secondly make sure that you have sufficient towing weight capacity as some times autos have a lower towing weight compared to the manual version of the car.

David
userCliveH
Posted: 1 August 2008 12:01 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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I would have thought any reasonably big car would tow the single axle Indiana without too much of a problem.

It is mainly the TA's that require something like a 4x4. However that said I do believe that a 4x4 is far safer when towing anything.

I would suggest that rear wheel drive is better than Front wheel drive for traction on slippery grass especially. It also seems sensible to have the nose weight of the caravan pressing down on the drive wheels not trying to lift them up in the air!

That said most cars will tow safely as long as care is taken.

As for autogearboxes - I am a definite convert - their ability to "creep" is awesomely useful when positioning a large caravan. In wet weather on grass the ability to select low range on my Discovery allows the 'van to be positioned with ease. Just what you want after a long journey towing and you are tired.

I appreciate your wife may not want a 4x4 but do remember there are AWD cars available now. The benefit of AWD when towing is not easily dismissed in my opinion.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 2 August 2008 7:24 AM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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Perhaps worth highlighting that only traditional automatic transmissions will have the 'creeping' capability mentioned by CliveH.

Many vehicles nowadays have no clutch-pedal: however (for cost and performance/economy reasons) their transmission often involves a modified manual gearbox/clutch unit with automatic gearchanges being effected via a sophisticated electro-mechanical system. Such transmissions don't creep.
user2400443
Posted: 2 August 2008 4:05 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 


Thanks m8s I think I now have my eye on a BMW5 series looks good to tow and with a good MPG
userRanger
Posted: 2 August 2008 4:10 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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My daughter tows with a BMW Coupe automatic tows very well as the rear driving wheels are right at the back ( no boot ) has torque converter auto box which is good as Derek pointed out, an A.M.T. Automated Manual transmision is not so good as it has like Derek says got a single dryplate clutch and an E.C.U, instead of the old torque converter. If you get one with 'overdrive' take it out of 'overdrive' to climb hills or it will hunt like mad looking for the right gear, and best to tow in 'sport'/'power' mode rather than 'economy' mode. I always prefer to tow with 'torque converter auto' as the hydraulic slip gives continuous variation in gear ratios not a set number of positive gears ratios which makes for nice smooth towing. My car is A.M.T. awkard to drive, my motorhome is torque converter automatic, a dream to drive, and you can hold it on the engine when stopped facing up hill, can't do that with A.M.T. you'll burn out the clutch.
userOcsid
Posted: 7 August 2008 5:39 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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I tow with a Discovery 3 Automatic and find it excellent and in congested traffic or other situations that require frequent gear changing a significantly more relaxing drive. After being a lifelong user of manuals for towing I was a hesitant adopter of the auto but a back to back towing trial left me convinced I should change; I am glad I did.

However there is a big downside and that is in fuel economy, an increasingly important fiscal, "green" and political issue.
Whilst I have limited direct experience of comparisons with a manual whilst towing, only that trial, I have quite a lot whilst driving solo. And for most of us the vehicle does more miles solo so its a factor worth considering.
Solo using a near identical spec manual Disco on a 84 mile run I do frequently it gave me 17.4 % better fuel economy than my auto. I have done this particular journey check three times now and that 17% figure is very close to being constant. It is a rural "B" type road journey.

The nature of the auto's torque converter ought theoretically to be more punishing under the higher torque involved with towing. However on that back to back 60 mile towing trial the difference was only a surprising 6.4%.

userKlyne
Posted: 7 August 2008 8:08 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 


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Ocsid - 2008-08-07 5:39 PM

However there is a big downside and that is in fuel economy, an increasingly important fiscal, "green" and political issue.



There is no arguement that an auto is more thirsty than the equivalent manual. I suspect the maunual version of my car would return a couple more miles per gallon. You have to balance convenience against the pocket! Not so sure quite what you mean by Fiscal and Green issues but if 4X4's were used just for towing and other uses where an AWD situation was sometimes required rather that shopping at Waitrose and taking the kids to school I really don't think we would have an issue.

David
userCoachman
Posted: 8 August 2008 11:43 AM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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Sorry, have to disagree on auto using more fuel, we have the VW 140bhp with DSG gearbox and ther. is no differance between manuel and auto. Tow Coachman 1350 klg at 28/30 mpg , 42 mpg average over 30 months including 6000 miles towing.
userOcsid
Posted: 9 August 2008 4:08 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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The Audi group's DSG is not a torque converter based automatic but a twin
clutch box, so it does indeed not suffer very much in additional losses, just a bit more through windage/drag in the open clutch.

However it does not have the torque amplification, torsional vibration isolation or ability to creep of the traditional fluid coupling, torque converter type of auto-gearbox. So potentially loses out on driveline refinement and is arguably less suited for towing, at least load takeup and slow speed use.

That all said its a very good compromise bringing much of the attributes of an auto transmission without that increasingly expensive power loss we have and I think we will see more of them. Whether the versions used in our domestic cars can cope with the much heavier clutch slipping associated with towing other than light vans, relative to solo operation only time will tell.

I like the concept of them and await with interest to see how reliable they will prove for caravanners.

Edited by Ocsid 2008-08-09 4:12 PM
userALANO
Posted: 5 September 2008 3:29 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 


I Tow with a BMW 520I touring, I have also had the vehicle LPG converted WOW! 50p per Ltr, cost me £30.00 to get to Torquay also when you are solo what a car to drive. Bullet proof, best car you will ever buy. plenty about happy looking and happy caravanning.
Alan O
usertacr2man
Posted: 14 October 2009 6:02 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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An important factor with full (torque converter) auto is the lock up speed, in land rover products this varies quite a lot dependent on engine . The V8 has a lower lock up speed (i.e. the torque converter slip is eliminated) This has marked effect on mpg between solo and towing , as your towing speed may well be below the lock up speed approx 50mph on a 300tdi auto .

userterryathome
Posted: 22 March 2010 7:41 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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I have to agree with Coachman here. I have the DSG auto on a diesel Passat and i'm telling you it the best thing since sliced bread. I bought it because it was an auto and returned the same MPG as a manual and to boot tows my Bailey Pegasus 1450Kgs no problem. If i get a bit heavy with my right foot i must admit it spins the wheels up but that just reminds me to cool off a bit. Would reccommed it to anybody
Regards
Terry
userTheTravellingRooster
Posted: 3 November 2010 12:55 AM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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2400443 - 2008-07-31 3:15 PMI have a Bailey Senator Indiana Series5 and want to change my towcar to an automatic. My wife who also drives our car will not drive or buy a 4x4.Does anybody have any suggestions?


Hi to you all out there. I have been towing since 1966,large trailers and caravans.I have towed with Commercial Vehicles,Car Derived Vans and umpteen cars,Estate & Saloon. I first towed Automatic in 1966,my then, bosses Humber Hawk Estate. I wouldn't by choice, tow any other way. The advantage of automatic is the continuity of drive,no loss of friction/power as is with a manual gearbox when dipping the clutch. The other feature/advantage of automatic is the smooth unruffled low speed (in stop start traffic). It is stress-less and when using reverse the benefit of smooth take-up is to be savoured. Yes, OK,a small penalty on fuel with the older 3&4 speed auto boxes,but the more up-to date 5&6speed and more, are less thirsty and totally seamless in their up-shifts & down-shifts.
My current Towcar is a 1997 Volvo V70 T5 CD Auto,I have had it nearly 6yrs now.I normally look for pre-owned moderate mileage and about 4 to 6yrs old. I am considering either a D5 or another T5 or even the later T6 when a change is due,that is to say if my now 195,000 miler will see a year or two more.It is not uncommon for them to go beyond 250,000 mls.
usersamnjan
Posted: 8 May 2011 6:02 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 


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I think automatics make great tow cars, BUT when looking to change my car the last time (Hyundai Terracan), found out that it cost £100 more per year to tax the auto version than the manual

Sam
userPeteH
Posted: 19 September 2012 8:17 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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Hi

We just changed from an American (Pusher) R-V (auto) and have gone back to towing a 1500kg rated Lunar Quasar. Our tow car is the Chevrolet Orlando 2Ldiesel with the 6 speed Auto box. Recent trip from Yorkshire to the Malvern Show and back was an eye opener, in that I had a better than expected trip No panics or problems and was able to proceed most places at up to 60mph (where legal). At one point on the M5 I was actually showing 45mpg!! Towing @ 60mph, with the Cruise in. Getting off a Very wet Malvern (non booked disabled area) was achieved with very little fuss. and similarly the following week on a CL near York after several wet days. First impressions are good.

Over they last 40years we have towed (caravans) with cars both Auto and Manual, ranging from Ford Escorts to Cortina`s, Granada`s (auto) (two), Citroen BX (good) Peugeot 303 (OK) Chrysler 180 (auto) A Shogun (the best). and My Sons Discovery (did`t like it). But this Korean "Chevy" seems to do "what it says on the tin"

Pete

Edited by PeteH 2012-09-19 8:21 PM
userVulcan
Posted: 8 November 2013 11:53 AM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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Have a look at the BMW 5 Series with 8 speed Auto-Box, a dream to drive solo and a perfect tow-car


Vulcan
userPastiche
Posted: 30 July 2014 9:14 PM
Subject: RE: automatic towcars
 
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We have a Skoda Octavia 2.0 140 bhp with DSG box. Solo can get up to 65/70 mpg on a 50 mile run, on the 55600 miles we have done solo and towing including abroad my log is average 43 mpg. I would not expect a manuel box to do better in same circumstances.