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Zafira Diesel Towing Capabilities...


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#1 Fireybob

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 07:22 AM

Hello All,

I have purchased a Swift 530es and am looking at the figures for towing with my Zafiradiesel and would appreciate your thoughts on the following;

Car Vauxhall Zarifra 1.9 DT 120 Break horse, Kerbweight according to the handbookis 1660kg. Towing cap of the car is 1300kg.

Swift Challenger 530se, MRO 1167kg, MTPLM 1440 declared.

Looking a tthe weights and without going into too much detail, I can tow the van lightlyloaded to stay within the 1300kg towing cap for the car and 85% recommended guidelines and load the car up with the heavier items as long as I don't exceed the max gross train weight.

Is this common practice or should I be looking at changing my car?

Are there any others out there that tow with a similar set up and what are your experiences?

Many thanks in advance,

Neil.

Edited by Fireybob, 05 March 2011 - 07:47 AM.


#2 xtrailman

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 08:12 AM

I'll shortly be towing at 90%, which i think is really too high, but I'll see how it goes.

Personally i think you should change your tow car.
Not so much because of the kerb weight, but because your towing limit is only 1300kg.

I get what you mean about not loading the caravan up to full weight, but its surprising how odd and sods go into the caravan over time, and get left in.

I couldn't believe the junk that we took out of our old caravan.

If you can't really stretch to replacing the car, then at lest get them both weighed on a weigh bridge.

#3 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:03 AM

As XTrail posted, you'll be exceeding your towing limit so you need a change of towcar.

Unless it's going to/from dealers empty, I don't think anyone can really "lightly load" much below their MTPLM, particularly beginners - there are a few notable exceptions with German caravans where the payload can be upgraded above the EN1645 minimums in 100kg steps but British caravans use the absolute minimum permitted payload in their calculations.

#4 Brian Dobbie

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:20 AM

What is the nose weight of the caravan? and what is the limit for your car?

Brian

#5 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:31 AM

What is the nose weight of the caravan? and what is the limit for your car?

Brian

The caravan noseweight will depend how it's loaded and could vary enormously.

Mid-size Vauxhalls are usually 75kg noseweight limit, which is within the 5-7% of MTPLM range now recommended by Caravan Club.

#6 Fireybob

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:35 AM

Hello Guys,

Thanks for your replies so far, the nose weight for the Zafira is 70kg.

Would that make much difference - If I load the van correctly to keep the NW in the region?

Regards,

Neil.

#7 Brian Dobbie

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:44 AM

If you can keep the nose weight at 70kgs and light load the van without putting too much in the car then I think this would be acceptable.
However as xtrailman says take the van and car to a weigh bridge and confirm the weights are acceptable.
Light loading will be difficult:
1. Try a small battery
2. Lite gas cylinders
3. water heater empty
4. reduce food and buy when you get there
5. reduce amount of cosmetics, the other half, deems as absolutely essential. good luck on this one, I have never managed it.
6. and now the biggest of all, no beer in the fridge.

Some others may have more ideas.

Brian

#8 dave11a

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:52 AM


I would change your car as you say the Towing limit of the car is 1300kg.and the van weighs 1167kg empty so 2 gas bottles, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery in your van and you will be very close if not above your cars limit, not worth it in my opinion.


#9 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 09:53 AM

Hello Guys,

Thanks for your replies so far, the nose weight for the Zafira is 70kg.

Would that make much difference - If I load the van correctly to keep the NW in the region?

Regards,

Neil.

I don't think noseweight is the issue - you need a car with a towing limit of 1440kg or more, kerbweight of 1700kg (to get 85% although your current 1660kg is close enough) and power output of about 150bhp (to get 40 bhp/tonne).

Check out Zafiras with the 150 engine, they might have higher towing limits.

#10 Thingy

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:07 AM

Had a Zafira, early one paired with a Swift Milano, and I didnt find it particualrly stable as a towcar. Ours was the 1.8 petrol Elegance, pulled OK but was prone very much to cross winds even solo. When the van caught an artics bow wave it could get a bit unsettled. Although the Zafira is nowadays a fair sized car, its still not got much kerbweight.

For us the noseweight was an issue, the Milano towed like a drunken pig if the nose was light, and at the time the Zafira noseweight was only 60kg. The other issue was trying to get a Milanos nose down that low without counterbalancing.

I personally would look for another car. Perhaps the Last model Vectra Estate (wasnt the Diesel about 160BHP?)

#11 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 10:12 AM

I personally would look for another car. Perhaps the Last model Vectra Estate (wasnt the Diesel about 160BHP?)

Close, it was 150 - the Vectra-C Estate is an excellent car solo or towing - it had 4" longer wheelbase than the saloon/hatch it was based on so has massive room inside and a very stable towing platform.

#12 Thingy

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:02 AM

Probably get a low mileage at a good price too!

#13 Fireybob

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:18 AM

Hello Guys,

Once again thanks for your prompt responses; it's a shame really because the Zafira is a nice car, drives well and has great economy.

Does anyone tow with a Sante fe TD, old shape? I've also been looking at those, towing figures look good but the fuel economy may be a concern when you consider that you may only be towing the van seven or eight times a year and the rest of the time it's a normal family runaround.

Cheers,


Neil.

Edited by Fireybob, 05 March 2011 - 11:19 AM.


#14 6sense

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 11:38 AM

Check out Zafiras with the 150 engine, they might have higher towing limits.


I had a Zafira 150bhp auto before my current car and can confirm it had a towing limit of 1500kg. I towed a Swift with it which was MTPLW of 1450kg and it was excellent.

#15 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:02 PM

Hello Guys,

Once again thanks for your prompt responses; it's a shame really because the Zafira is a nice car, drives well and has great economy.

Does anyone tow with a Sante fe TD, old shape? I've also been looking at those, towing figures look good but the fuel economy may be a concern when you consider that you may only be towing the van seven or eight times a year and the rest of the time it's a normal family runaround.

Cheers,


Neil.

The Hyundai Santa Fe has used 3 entirely different diesel engines - the "old shape" 2001-2005 model used a 110bhp 2.0CRDi bought in from VM Motori but built by Daewoo in Korea - the "new shape" 2006-2009 uses a 145-163bhp 2.2 CRDT VGT engine designed, developed and built by Hyundai in Korea - the "current shape" 2010-on uses a 194bhp 2.2 CRDi R-series engine designed, developed by Hyundai in Germany but built by Hyundai in Korea.

The original Santa Fe isn't a big car, unlike subsequent models.

I have a 2011 Santa Fe but no practical experience of the original model.

Edited by RogerL, 05 March 2011 - 12:03 PM.


#16 Fireybob

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:18 PM

Hello,

It would probably be the 2.0TD model, somewhere around an 04/05 plate meaning it will be the 110bhp model which is slightly less than my Zafira but it will comfortably tow a lot more! I am happy with the engine in my Zafira it is purely the low towing cap, presumably because the model is based on an Astra floorpan.

The Sante Fe looks to be good value, need to look at the fuel figures though. Looking at the above I might have to change my car Posted Image

I picked the Zafira originally because it got good right ups on What tow car etc, unfortunately before I fell in love with my Lovely end bathroom Challenger.

Regards,

Neil.

#17 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 12:31 PM

Hello,

It would probably be the 2.0TD model, somewhere around an 04/05 plate meaning it will be the 110bhp model which is slightly less than my Zafira but it will comfortably tow a lot more! I am happy with the engine in my Zafira it is purely the low towing cap, presumably because the model is based on an Astra floorpan.

The Sante Fe looks to be good value, need to look at the fuel figures though. Looking at the above I might have to change my car Posted Image

I picked the Zafira originally because it got good right ups on What tow car etc, unfortunately before I fell in love with my Lovely end bathroom Challenger.

Regards,

Neil.

But a 110bhp engine would give you a poor power-to-weight figure - around the 150 is where I think you should be looking.

Like all manufacturers, Vauxhall test very many parameters before deciding on towing limits - front grip is fundamental for the hill start test and Zafira won't be much higher than Astra because their front axle loads aren't dissimilar - Zafira does give cooling issues that the Astra doesn't suffer and the original Zafira 2.0 diesel had a 1000kg towing limit but increased to 1300kg for the later 1.9 diesel.

#18 logiclee

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:31 PM

I think recommending bhp per tonne can be a little missleading with todays diverse engine technology. The figure was ok when everyone towed with normally aspirated petrol cars.

But now take 140bhp and you could be looking at a 2.0litre normally aspirated petrol, 2.0litre turbo diesel or perhaps a 1.4litre turbo petrol.

All three will have very different towing performance and the 1.4 turbo is going to have more bottom end torque than the 2.0 petrol.

Then we have to consider gearing, a 4x4 or sports model are going to have lower closer ratios than a eco version which usually come with very tall gearing.

So always best to look at specfic vehicles reviews and ask for advice on here rather than setting a bhp level.

Cheers
Lee

#19 RogerL

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 02:44 PM

I think recommending bhp per tonne can be a little missleading with todays diverse engine technology. The figure was ok when everyone towed with normally aspirated petrol cars.

But now take 140bhp and you could be looking at a 2.0litre normally aspirated petrol, 2.0litre turbo diesel or perhaps a 1.4litre turbo petrol.

All three will have very different towing performance and the 1.4 turbo is going to have more bottom end torque than the 2.0 petrol.

Then we have to consider gearing, a 4x4 or sports model are going to have lower closer ratios than a eco version which usually come with very tall gearing.

So always best to look at specfic vehicles reviews and ask for advice on here rather than setting a bhp level.

Cheers
Lee

Caravan Club sticks with 40bhp/tonne minimimum.

The 40bhp/tonne figure arose from the days when virtually all cars were normally-aspirated petrol - it was questioned when non-turbo diesels became popular because their power was low but torque high and made decent towcars even if nowhere near the 40 figure - now we have high output turbo-engines and it's every bit as relevant to use power-to-weight.

I'm not always supportive of the Caravan Club but on 40bhp/tonne I do!

#20 logiclee

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 04:06 PM

I just think it can be missleading Roger. Take a 2.0 Mondeo mk3 petrol 145bhp and diesel lets pick the 130bhp version. With the right caravan you can end up with the petrol being above 40bhp/tonne and the diesel below 40bhp/tonne when in reality the diesel is in an entirely different towing performance league compared to the petrol version which has to be worked very hard to cope with over 3 tonnes of gross train weight.

Ive towed my 1440kg van with both varients.

I know its a guide and not a rule but you do need to look much further to make a good tow car choice.

Cheers
Lee




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