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X Trail Doesn't Like Reversing The Caravan


mary ross
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Twice now OH has tried reversing very slightly uphill onto a pitch on soggy ground, and the car keeps stalling, then if he picks up the revs to prevent that, the clutch is really smelling. We have a 2. 2DCi, which tows fine apart from this. We have tried 2WD, Auto and 4WD doesn't seem to matter which we choose. Are we missing something? Or have we got a problem?

Edited by mary ross

2003 Autotrail 635SE Mercedes Sprinter, 2011 Hyundai i10

'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.'

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Have you checked the hitch coupling to ensure that it is compressing fully and not putting the brakes on.

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First time it happened was about 6 months ago on a very wet field, yesterday was returning it from service, so everything should have been fine with the van, and we managed to move it the last couple of feet with the motor mover, so I don't think the van is the problem.

Edited by mary ross

2003 Autotrail 635SE Mercedes Sprinter, 2011 Hyundai i10

'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.'

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First time it happened was about 6 months ago on a very wet field, yesterday was returning it from service, so everything should have been fine with the van, and we managed to move it the last couple of feet with the motor mover, so I don't think the van is the problem.

 

You said it! You need someone like Tradetech to have a PROPER look at it. I can imagine that the 'tick sheet' was filled in so the brakes must have been OK . .... :huh: shouldn't they?

Do you know some one else who will try their car to see if the problem is 'van or car related? My money is on the 'van ;)

Lunar Delta 520/2 towed by Omega 3. 0 Elite

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Unfortunately this is one of the known problems with the XT. If you read various forums you'll come across many examples of folk burning out clutches. Best to use your motor mover.

Nissan X-Trail Tekna + Coachman Festival 450

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Hi, I Have had the same problem with my last 5 manual cars, ( mondeo, 3 vectras and a passat )BUT. . our new passat auto, reversing the same caravan, is no problem at all. I am told it has somehing to do with the clutch plate material on modern cars. Hope this sheds some light.

Kevin

Vauxhall Insignia SRi Nav 160 Auto, 2013 Bailey Unicorn 2 Valencia

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Unfortunately this is one of the known problems with the XT. If you read various forums you'll come across many examples of folk burning out clutches. Best to use your motor mover.

I fullyagree with the above because, when I had one, mine also would not reverse on grass with a van on the back without stalling or the clutch smelling. Practical Caravan managed to burn two clutches out on their long term test vehicle.

A Fiat Doblo camper and a Lunar Ariva 2019
grace my drive.

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Thanks for all the comments so far.

 

I should have said that the van has previously been reversed when the car was on a road, but both of these occasions the car and van have been on soft ground.

 

Sounds like the motor mover will be getting more use!

Edited by mary ross

2003 Autotrail 635SE Mercedes Sprinter, 2011 Hyundai i10

'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.'

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I burnt the clutch out doing the same manoeuvre with my X trail, luckily it was under warranty, I've since read it's happened to few X Trail owners when reversing on soft ground with a caravan. Now I know I try not to do it again.

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My 2006 XT did exactly the same and while I was wondering what was wrong my mate turned up with the same car and caravan combination and exactly the same thing happened.

 

It is OK on flat hard ground like tarmac but won't handle grass or an incline in reverse. I find that 'Auto' works slightly better than '4WD' but now I try to avoid reversing if I can.

 

This has been discussed before but I don't remember any conclusion.

 

Apparently cars with automatic gearboxes and also low ratio gears don't have the problem.

 

Bill

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Not a very technical answer, but, I think it may be to do with modern gearboxes having a higher reverse gear ratio than in the past. So to get enough torque to push a van backwards on ground that is not perfect needs more revs which means more clutch slip to avoid going to quick. Clutch slip = wear. I am changing my car soon and an auto box ( with a fluid torque converter) is top of the list of requirements. Hearsay does also suggest that clutches are lighter than they were. Pity they don't do the X trail with a proper auto box.

It still could also be effected by the caravan brakes not being adjusted properly.

Edited by ChrisUK

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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Not a very technical answer, but, I think it may be to do with modern gearboxes having a higher reverse gear ratio than in the past. So to get enough torque to push a van backwards on ground that is not perfect needs more revs which means more clutch slip to avoid going to quick. Clutch slip = wear. I am changing my car soon and an auto box ( with a fluid torque converter) is top of the list of requirements. Hearsay does also suggest that clutches are lighter than they were. Pity they don't do the X trail with a proper auto box.

It still could also be effected by the caravan brakes not being adjusted properly.

 

I want to change my X Trail soon and am disappointed that the new X Trail automatic version has such a low towing weight so I am thinking of getting an automatic Freelander 2.

 

Bill

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The X trail diesel is a CVT auto (remember the DAFs), no good for towing, or much else I believe. I don't know how these double clutch autos are for towing, eg. VWs, do you wear our 2 clutches instead of one?

Chris in Warwickshire, Elddis Odyssey 482 (2008), Mitsubishi Outlander diesel, 2017

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  • 2 weeks later...
I fullyagree with the above because, when I had one, mine also would not reverse on grass with a van on the back without stalling or the clutch smelling. Practical Caravan managed to burn two clutches out on their long term test vehicle.

 

No help to the nissan but i have had same probs with 2 vectra's that i have towed with. Trying to reverse up slight slope on grass makes the the clutch smell i was begining to think i was doing something wrong. Not sure how the over run works when reversing ie not braking when hitch is compressed.

 

Dave

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I want to change my X Trail soon and am disappointed that the new X Trail automatic version has such a low towing weight so I am thinking of getting an automatic Freelander 2.

 

Bill

Excelent decision! Wish I could afford to do the same.

A Fiat Doblo camper and a Lunar Ariva 2019
grace my drive.

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We have just returned from a 5000 mile around France, Spain, Portugal towing a Pageant Burgundy MTPLM 1420 kg with our X-trail sport 2. 2dci sport and stayed on 12 different sites, nearly all the european sites had small pitches some with difficult access and have had no clutch issues at all .

Perhaps its all down to method and how confident you are at reversing

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Perhaps its all down to method and how confident you are at reversing

 

I know what you're saying but OH drives for a living, and has been towing for 20 years, with a variety of outfits. It's only on muddy ground that we have encountered the problem.

2003 Autotrail 635SE Mercedes Sprinter, 2011 Hyundai i10

'Life is too short to stuff a mushroom.'

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My 2006 XT did exactly the same and while I was wondering what was wrong my mate turned up with the same car and caravan combination and exactly the same thing happened.

 

It is OK on flat hard ground like tarmac but won't handle grass or an incline in reverse. I find that 'Auto' works slightly better than '4WD' but now I try to avoid reversing if I can.

This has been discussed before but I don't remember any conclusion.

 

Apparently cars with automatic gearboxes and also low ratio gears don't have the problem.

 

Bill

 

Hmm, I'd be a bit reluctant to use 4wd when revrsing unless it was a fairly straight reverse, the reason being that at an angle using the 4wd setting "locks" the drive between front & rear, and any maneuvres in 4wd on anything other than a slippy surface may cause transmission wind-up, which is why auto may be better, a 4wd with transmission wind up is reluctant to make sharp maneuvres.

 

We've had the XT for over a year now, and always reverse onto pitches, only one caused any concerns, and we'retalking an uphill reverse onto a rutted pitch in a gale. Tend to prefer hardstandings anyway, but I'd wonder if people are experiencing problems due to the pitch surface??

"Scars are souvenirs you never loose"

2010 Swift Charisma Freestyle 550 + 2007 Nissan Pathfinder Aventura.

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Isnt there quite a bit of history on this site with the X trail having clutch problems. That was one of the things which put me off buying one, that and the limited towing capacity of the auto option

 

 

I ahd a nissan estate 02 plate and that gave me no end of problem with the clutch smelling and stuff when reversing. My solution was to get a disco. ....more probs i know but hey it looks good.

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I ahd a nissan estate 02 plate and that gave me no end of problem with the clutch smelling and stuff when reversing. My solution was to get a disco. ....more probs i know but hey it looks good.

Yet another good decision! ;)

A Fiat Doblo camper and a Lunar Ariva 2019
grace my drive.

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I must admit I do enjoy the challenge of reversing a trailer / caravan, it used to be part of my job. However we have a Subaru Outback, I was so concerned with the clutch burning on reversing up a slight gradient (the smell in the car was enough to give you a headache) I got the clutch replaced. No difference. I tried it on two caravans and it definitely is a car issue. It was a result of this I bought a Grand Cherokee no problem now. I do think this is a problem with some car designs.

 

Kevin

Edited by kevinktwo
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Thats the Nissan X Trail, and Subaru Outback off my list as a replacement tow car thanks for the good advice. Cheers.

Edited by iwoo
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