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Dannyprice1989

would you recommend towing with my car?

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Hi everyone, new to this site so thanks in advance any messages of help 👍🏼 me and my girlfriend currently camp a lot we have a huge tent with all the extras but now we want a little more luxury. We have been looking at caravans, small ones I should add as we don’t need lots of room as there’s only two of us. I currently have a Ford Focus 1 litre ecoboost, produced 125 bhp and 170 torque (if I remember right) now my car has a small turbo on hence the high bhp from a 1 litre engine. Would you recommend towing with my car? Not sure if it’s a stupid question or not, been looking at a freedom sunseeker which is 750kg maximum and my car is ‘legally’ allowed to tow 1200kg braked. So legally I know I can tow this but I don’t have the experience to know if this will damage my engine or make it a miserable experience for me. Any I formation is welcomed whether it be positive or negative 😁 thanks again!

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If the Freedom suits your needs, it sounds like a good first match.

 

The 1. 0 Ecoboost isn't the best engine for towing but with such a lightweight caravan it should be fine.

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Thanks for the reply Black grouse, as long as we have somewhere to sleep, cook and relax whilst enjoying a bevvy were fine. Was worried it may damage or strain my little turbo

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Just make sure you don't overload the caravan. I had a 1. 6 Focus petrol sometimes it was a struggle pulling an 800kg folding camper.

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@oldboy Thanks for the reply, what kind of folding camper was it please? Been looking at these too as I might have to resort to one

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I'd also have a look at the kerb weight of the Focus compared to the MTPLM of the caravan - the 85% rule is a good bench mark for caravan beginners. I have a feeling the 1 litre engine is going to struggle a bit on inclines - and if the weights aren't matched you might have the tail wagging the dog.

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@B1ngo Iv’e done the checks on towcheck website I think it was, says it’s a ‘perfect match’ but there’s towing weight and towing a caravan, the wind increases drag doesn’t it, only ever towed once in a 3. 0 V6 with a caravan which was 1200kg and couldn’t feel the caravan was there, just hoping someone on here has tried with the same car as mine before

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A 3. 0 litre V6 is quite a lump of car - I'd say totally the other end of the scale of what you're considering. Personally, I wouldn't do it - I don't think I'd consider towing anything with less that a 1. 6 litre diesel.

 

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You’ll be fine, the Freedom is only 750kg and as ou say the Ecoboost is rated to tow 1200kg - it has plenty of torque and sufficient power. You’ll probably need to keep it in a lower gear much of the time and use the rev range, but that’s what it’s there for. If Ford were concerned about the ability

of the turbo the towing limit would be much lower.

 

30 years ago people happily towed similar size caravans with a 1. 6 naturally aspirated petrol with 90-odd bhp and naff all torque - they survived!

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9 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

 

30 years ago people happily towed similar size caravans with a 1. 6 naturally aspirated petrol with 90-odd bhp and naff all torque - they survived!

 

Exactly.

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12 minutes ago, FrankBullet said:

You’ll be fine, the Freedom is only 750kg and as ou say the Ecoboost is rated to tow 1200kg - it has plenty of torque and sufficient power. You’ll probably need to keep it in a lower gear much of the time and use the rev range, but that’s what it’s there for. If Ford were concerned about the ability

of the turbo the towing limit would be much lower.

 

30 years ago people happily towed similar size caravans with a 1. 6 naturally aspirated petrol with 90-odd bhp and naff all torque - they survived!

30 years ago cars were much heavier and caravans were lighter. The OP will do as he sees fit, no doubt - but he asked for opinions.

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Thanks for the info peeps 👍🏼 My car is 1279kg, this is an ideal weight for a caravan of 750kg right?  If everyone disagrees with towing with my car I would certainly not tow as I have little to non experience with caravans. I think sometimes experienced caravanners disagree because they’re towing with a big jeep 4x4 but I welcome any opinions and information 😁

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55 minutes ago, B1ngo said:

30 years ago cars were much heavier and caravans were lighter. The OP will do as he sees fit, no doubt - but he asked for opinions.

 

30 years ago cars were lighter too - my 1. 6 Escort was 955 kg kerbweight

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1 hour ago, B1ngo said:

30 years ago cars were much heavier and caravans were lighter. The OP will do as he sees fit, no doubt - but he asked for opinions.

 

Cars weren’t heavier

 

He did and a Focus Ecoboost will not be pushing 85% on a 750kg caravan!

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2 hours ago, Dannyprice1989 said:

@oldboy Thanks for the reply, what kind of folding camper was it please? Been looking at these too as I might have to resort to one

The folding camper was a Pennine Fiesta 2x2 and the car max towing was 1200kg it was a struggle going uphill.

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A work colleague had one of those eco boost cars. He also towed a caravan occasionally (family shared one with his dad and sister) 

The engine failed twice. ... due to a failed pipe (from memory)

he did a bit of research and seems the engine is quite highly stressed so moved it on after the second failure.  

Was this anything to do with the occasional towing,? dont know, he never linked the two.

 

Go ahead with the caravan as its a decent match and if its for you maybe think about changing your motor to something with more torque as it will make the towing less stressful as you will have a bit more pull when getting up to speed in traffic.

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Google Ford Ecoboost problems, and a recent TV programme, indicate that there is a possibility of engine failures and fires with some examples of Ecoboost engines. Towing might find any weaknesses more quickly. My son has a Ford 1. 0 Fiesta Ecoboost and loves it, but he doesn't tow. Does anyone tow with a Fiesta?

Good luck with the project.

 

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I’d be ensuring the car isn’t one of the 1. 0 models affected by the weak coolant hose and that any recall work is completed, irrespective of towing or not.

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If looking at folding campers, you can't go much wrong with the Pennine/Conway (both now the same company).  The Pathfinder is the really big one, but try a Countryman (we loved ours).  You will get plenty of space rather than a Freedom caravan.   The only pegging you need to do on a folding camper is the awning part (you can even get an air awning for the folding campers now).  We had folding campers for years and would highly recommend.   If you visit France, these are even free if going on the toll motorways unlike caravans

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On 30/10/2018 at 19:46, FrankBullet said:

30 years ago people happily towed similar size caravans with a 1. 6 naturally aspirated petrol with 90-odd bhp and naff all torque - they survived!

 

But the engines were no where nears as stressed as modern engines 

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Stressed?

 

Rarely these days do you see engines that need to be serviced every 6,000 miles, rarely do you see modern cars breaking down due to a mechanical failure (due to being too-highly strung) or be in a position where at 100k the engine needs some sort of a rebuild.

 

Of course there is a thinking that smaller higher output engines ‘must’ be stressed but they are designed to operate safely within those parameters (granted the Ecoboost has suffered a cooling issue due to poor pipework, although that doesn’t seem to be down to being downsized or stressed, it’s simply a materials selection issue).

 

As we go back to a Ford 1. 6CVH producing something like 90bhp in 1988 there were probably older folk decrying that as witchcraft because in 1958 you could probably only get 50-60bhp out of  a similar engine - that 1. 6 CVH would be ‘stressed’.

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Weight wise you have absolutely no concerns with a focus and a caravan weighing 750kg.   I also wouldn't be too concerned about the little engine, it has enough power to tow it but you will probably find you are revving the car a lot more, however revving is not a bad thing its what these little engines are designed to do.  

 

However one thing you will notice with a car with relatively low power is that the wind resistance on the caravan will make a considerable difference to the performance.   So a 750kg folding camper will be considerably nicer to tow than the same weight full height caravan.  

 

Personally if you are looking for something easier and more comfortable than tenting i would probably go for a folding tent trailer thing. You can get the ones which are really quick to set up where you just fold out the two end pods, they look half caravan/half tent.  

Edited by tom_1989

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52 minutes ago, tom_1989 said:

Personally if you are looking for something easier and more comfortable than tenting i would probably go for a folding tent trailer thing. You can get the ones which are really quick to set up where you just fold out the two end pods, they look half caravan/half tent.  

 

I agree, unless the OP is considering winter caravanning.  

 

The folders are difficult to keep warm whereas a Freedom will be a doddle to heat up.   Of course, with a Freedom or similar you will be much more pushed for space and might feel the need to resort to an awning for longer trips (something that is worth avoiding if you can).  

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I think these small petrol engines while they produce high hp they are high revving and what effect on the clutch in time will show .

 

A engine revving at 4000-5000 rpm and a stationary gearbox drive shaft is different to a diesel engine with high torque and only revving at 1500 rpm .

 

 

Dave

 

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You'll do ok. I used to tow our trailer tent (490kgs) & other trailers with a 1. 4 Peugeot 106 auto.   Not what you'd call a powerful car.  It always got us there in one piece & home again.  

You may find you need a lower gear on a hill, but thats what a gear box is for.

 

Enjoy.  

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