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More Brake Horse Power ? Bigger Quoted 'braked Towing Limit' ?

horse power towing limit BHP PS

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#1 shefchap

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 12:40 PM

Our Volvo V50 Diesel (136 bhp) is underpowered, especially when we often have a 12% hill with a bus route and stopping buses to negotiate near home. Not withstanding the fact that I know I'm towing at around 95%. (cars unladen kerbwt = 1469 and we put all the heavy stuff in the car). The caravan's MTPLM is 1500Kg but in reality, as a small family, the van's likely to be nearer 1350 - 1400 Actual Laden Weight as we don't put much in for travelling. The car struggles up the hill, and its quoted max braked tow weight is 1500.

so we're thinking of changing up to a bigger car, eg a 1 yr old Mondeo or there abouts, which quotes max tow limit of 1800 or 2000 depending on the version. Also, the intended car would have a bigger BHP of around 163-170PS. However, the kerbweight of the mondeo is around 1575kg.

What difference is it likely to make on hill climbs especially, and also long distance drives having more bhp (on a front wheel drive) and a bigger quoted max tow limit. Does the 85% guideline have any bearing in this (assuming the car and caravan have been sensibly packed as with the present outfit ?)

I just want to get the outfit up and down hills safely without wheel spins, have decent hill starts, not wreck clutches, and not have to get a car that's otherwise oversized for our needs when solo ?! I don't want a gas-guzzling 4x4.

Any positive comments or help over increased BHP / quoted tow limits much appreciated.

#2 CommanderDave

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:07 PM

Have you weighed your caravan and towcar ? or are you guessing the combined weight as your Volvo is 136 bhp and you combined weight of around 3T would be compatable with the 40 bhp per ton . A monedo 2.0lt would give you a bit more power but I dont think 24 hp more will be that noticable against cost of changing the car . IT is easy to under estimate the weight of a caravan when loaded .

I would suggest something of 180 hp + to notice a real difference but fuel consumption would go up with more power .


Dave

Edited by CommanderDave, 07 October 2011 - 01:07 PM.


#3 SamP

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:15 PM

Well im towing a 1430 mtplm van with a mondeo estate kerb weight 1560 which is about a 90% match and its a 1.8 tdci with 125ps and dont have problems with hill starts so not sre if more power would be much more help.

How old is your volvo, could that be anything to do with it?

#4 bigjimmy

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:21 PM

I often wonder how people get on with high to very high power and front wheel drive. Surely traction is likely to be a problem most especially on the inclines the OP is talking about, so if the OP is thinking of changing tow cars, why doesn't he consider a BMW 5 series?

As for cost of ownership, from my experience of owning Bmers in the past I found that if you used a good non franchised specialist then the actual costs were in most cases lower than with most mass market cars we were running.

#5 peterjohn

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:22 PM

My son used to tow a 18ft MTPLW 1500 Lunar with his 2.0 tdci mondeo '53 plate with 130,000 on the clock, I must say it behaved immaculately and he certainly never had any power problems. Regards, Peter :)

#6 Alansl

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 01:43 PM

I think one of the latest 2.0 tdci 163 Mondeos would be worlds apart from your V50 and is well worth considering.

#7 xtrailman

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 02:37 PM

I think 136 bhp is more than adequate to tow 1500kg power wise, but you don't quote your torque or the band that the torque is available over.

Unless your car is very highly geared it should cope towing 1500kg.

As Volvo give this figure as the maximum, it implies that the caravan is capable of a hill start with this load, on i believe a 12% gradient.

I towed with a 134bhp xtrail which was rated at 2000kg, and had more than adequate low end pull.

I honestly don't think the 171bhp version i have now has anymore low end grunt. But performs better over 2k revs, rather than below.

Why don't you consider a tune up or remap, as you may have a faulty, or out of range sensor.

Edited by xtrailman, 07 October 2011 - 02:39 PM.


#8 Bill Lord

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 03:09 PM

I currently tow a 1450kg hymer caravan with a 115bhp 55 plate mondeo TDCi and I have absolutely no issues with it on hills or with hill starts. more or less all the power is available at 1750 rpm where the maximumtorque of 210ft lbs is also available, all in all it beats the spots off any of the higher powered petrol engined cars I have used to tow with before.

#9 shefchap

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 05:13 PM

Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions. Most helpful
In resopnse to Xtrailman, I haven't looked in to the torque and those kinds of things - I'm not that techie, but I'm grateful for your input

I think 136 bhp is more than adequate to tow 1500kg power wise, but you don't quote your torque or the band that the torque is available over.

Unless your car is very highly geared it should cope towing 1500kg.

As Volvo give this figure as the maximum, it implies that the caravan is capable of a hill start with this load, on i believe a 12% gradient.

I towed with a 134bhp xtrail which was rated at 2000kg, and had more than adequate low end pull.

I honestly don't think the 171bhp version i have now has anymore low end grunt. But performs better over 2k revs, rather than below.

Why don't you consider a tune up or remap, as you may have a faulty, or out of range sensor.


As for remap - I prefer to be honest and upfront with the insurance - and it would double the insurance at least, and leave me only a handful of insurers to choose from.
In response to Trade - I had also passed a covetous eye over a BMW but thought it may be a bit OTT for my budget - but if running (and maintenance costs) are really that much better, I might just rethink! the neighbours might think I've had a windfall !!! (ha ha)
thanks all (and would still welcome further input)

#10 Artleknock

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 06:50 PM

I used to tow a 1150kg van with an S60 auto CD petrol, great performance, but heavy on the juice.
I now tow a 1450kg van with a Mk3 Mondeo Diesel estate (65reg) and after a five week trip around the coast of Scotland and a three week trip around Cornwall, I am very happy with its performance.

#11 bbrown1664

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:01 PM

Its all about torque not bhp!

#12 Dorchester

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:06 PM

I often wonder how people get on with high to very high power and front wheel drive. Surely traction is likely to be a problem most especially on the inclines the OP is talking about, so if the OP is thinking of changing tow cars, why doesn't he consider a BMW 5 series?

As for cost of ownership, from my experience of owning Bmers in the past I found that if you used a good non franchised specialist then the actual costs were in most cases lower than with most mass market cars we were running.

Spot on, excellent advice Jimmy. I totally agree with you, as front wheel drive, towing and hilly terrain do not mix very well in my opinion (especially when the road is wet!).

Regards,
David

#13 bbrown1664

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:33 PM

4wd is better still.

#14 gumdrop

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 07:46 PM

I used to run a last version Cavalier after a couple of years the power waned
so I thought it was time for a change. I needed a new back box fitting so left
it at a garage. When I went to collect it the mechanic said it was down on power
and needed a service, I said it was going he said spend the money on a service
and I would keep it.
Well he was right it had a full service and rolling road check before and after, amazing
like a new car! and for a lot less.

I am looking to get my current 1.8 115bhp (torque184lb/ft) TDCI remapped to 155bhp (torque 249lb/ft)
cost around £360 from celtic tuning. The fly in the ointment was my insurance company, they will not insure
"tuned" or non standard engines! My mates company just told him thanks for telling us .......

#15 Bill Lord

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:28 PM

I used to tow a 1150kg van with an S60 auto CD petrol, great performance, but heavy on the juice.
I now tow a 1450kg van with a Mk3 Mondeo Diesel estate (65reg) and after a five week trip around the coast of Scotland and a three week trip around Cornwall, I am very happy with its performance.


A 65 plate Mk 3 Mondeo? Is there some mistake there?

#16 bbrown1664

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 10:53 PM

I had a 55 plate TDCI 130 Mondeo that towed a 1500kg van with no problem. Power and breaking was ok but it just felt too light and active when towing. By contrast the Santa fe feels nicely planted when towing the same van but had even more power in reserve due to more HP andtorque. The 4wd comes on handy too.

#17 CommanderDave

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Posted 07 October 2011 - 11:41 PM

Excessive nose weight on the caravan will lift the front of the car and a front wheel drive car will wheel spin easier .


Dave

#18 Brassneck

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 11:25 AM

Our Volvo V50 Diesel (136 bhp) is underpowered........................

I don't want a gas-guzzling 4x4.................................

Any positive comments or help over increased BHP / quoted tow limits much appreciated.


You need to do a lot of research here and be prepared to educate yourself. 136 BHP is more than adequate for your van, in theory. Ive dragged 1800kgs round France on the back of an 1800kgs Shogun Sport with 136 BHP and had not an issue on any hill.

The torque level may not be brilliant on the Volvo, and the torque is the factor for pull, BHP is the factor for speed. Rough guide, but accurate.

A lot of modern 4x4s are as good on fuel as a lot of modern cars, dont get swayed into the hype and bull that they arent.

So have a good look through the towcar section, and take onboard real time advice, not brochure blurb.

#19 reevsie

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Posted 08 October 2011 - 09:12 PM

Their is more than BHP when it comes to towing. I used to drive a car transporter carrying 9 Mondeos, The fully laden weight was about 31 tons. My unit was only a Volvo FL7 and it only produced 263 bhp.

It would pull the load all day long and not bother it.

As well as BHP you need to look at the torque the car produces along the power band. You can always have the car chipped to give a better power/torque band. A chiped car can give a totally different towing experiance. But remember to inform your insurance company.

#20 RhayaderSax

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Posted 09 October 2011 - 12:36 AM

Why don't you consider a tune up or remap, as you may have a faulty, or out of range sensor.


I am looking to get my current 1.8 115bhp (torque184lb/ft) TDCI remapped...


The advice I've received previously is to be very careful when towing with a remapped engine. A remap is likely to run the engine nearer to the limits of it's components. Adding the load of a caravan to the mix could result in an expensive repair bill. Do please take professional advice.

I often wonder how people get on with high to very high power and front wheel drive. Surely traction is likely to be a problem most especially on the inclines the OP is talking about...


4wd is better still.


4WD doesn't have to mean chelsea tractor. My Insignia 2.0T 4x4 pulls like a train at 220bhp, but there other options like the 4WD Skodas, Audis or Subarus.




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