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Towing with a 4Motion - what is the heaviest you have towed?

L

LittleGreyCat

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5
Location
Suffolk
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Looking to buy
As stated in my Introduction, I am considering a 4Motion as a tow vehicle to replace a VW Touareg, which is a pretty good towing vehicle.

We have a 2 Tonne Hymer Nova 580 which we use for longer breaks of a week or more, but it is a bit of a hassle to get it all sorted out and hitched up just for an over night or weekend trip.

Last few vehicles:

Autosleeper Trident HiTop based on VW 2.5 water cooled rear engine.
Hymer B544 A Class - 6 metres long.

Both these were used as commuter vehicles and for short trips out as well as long ones. The main disadvantage was no car parks with height barriers.

When we found that we were stopping for a week or more in one place, putting the awning up then hiring a car for local trips we decided to switch to a caravan.

The caravan works well but we miss the spontaneity of a camper van/motor home.

So one option is to get a camper which can also tow the caravan.
We picked the Touareg because of the towing capability and the 4WD which in theory makes pulling a very heavy caravan off a wet and muddy site a little easier.

If we did go for a 4Motion it would have to be the top engine specification (204 PS, I think) and an automatic gearbox as that set up works well with the car/caravan at the moment and is also easy for long non-camping journeys.

So I am asking for experience from current owners.
Which 4Motion set up do you have, what is the maximum that you have towed with it, and how does it behave off road?
 
5i1ver8ack

5i1ver8ack

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
265
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
204 PS 4Motion DSG Ocean

Eriba 320 Touring. Max Gross weight 1,500kg.

An easy tow, but clearly not as heavy as yours.

Off road (as in a field) - excellently, although I don't go where I'm likely to get stuck. Off-road (as in down a green lane) - no idea!

The Ocean is capable, but it's not as good as my Land Rover, as might be expected.

20180603_175929.jpg
 
L

LittleGreyCat

Messages
5
Location
Suffolk
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Looking to buy
There's the rub.
Allegedly you can take a Touareg anywhere a sensible person would go in a LR.
[Leaving aside some interestingly modified ones I see around from time to time.]
So I would be trading ff some tugging and off road ability for much more flexibility.

Although it looks as though the next 3 months+ is going to be hunkering down time.
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
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Messages
490
Location
Bournemouth
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
As stated in my Introduction, I am considering a 4Motion as a tow vehicle to replace a VW Touareg, which is a pretty good towing vehicle.

We have a 2 Tonne Hymer Nova 580 which we use for longer breaks of a week or more, but it is a bit of a hassle to get it all sorted out and hitched up just for an over night or weekend trip.

Last few vehicles:

Autosleeper Trident HiTop based on VW 2.5 water cooled rear engine.
Hymer B544 A Class - 6 metres long.

Both these were used as commuter vehicles and for short trips out as well as long ones. The main disadvantage was no car parks with height barriers.

When we found that we were stopping for a week or more in one place, putting the awning up then hiring a car for local trips we decided to switch to a caravan.

The caravan works well but we miss the spontaneity of a camper van/motor home.

So one option is to get a camper which can also tow the caravan.
We picked the Touareg because of the towing capability and the 4WD which in theory makes pulling a very heavy caravan off a wet and muddy site a little easier.

If we did go for a 4Motion it would have to be the top engine specification (204 PS, I think) and an automatic gearbox as that set up works well with the car/caravan at the moment and is also easy for long non-camping journeys.

So I am asking for experience from current owners.
Which 4Motion set up do you have, what is the maximum that you have towed with it, and how does it behave off road?
Hi I tow quite a lot but not normally over a ton these days . I’ve had several land rover 110s .Discovery , Range Rover and Landcruiser Amazon 4.2 VX diesel ( the best ) The Cali isn’t as good but ok but you can do a lot more with a Cali ! The problem is there’s a lot of weight in the back even before you put anything/ one inside . The standard Cali 4 mo will wallow if towing much over a ton . I think a t32 lwb will be a lot better but they don’t make a Cali . One thing that’s essential for towing with 4 motion Cali in my opinion is to upgrade the rear suspension . I had main dealer fit t32 rear springs and Bilstein b6 rear shocks . Instantly transformed towing but also improved handling dramatically when not towing ( it’s quite common for Calis to break rear standard springs ) . The other thing you can do is slide the rear bench seat as far forward as possible ( it’s very heavy ! ) . Cali 4 mo is a great vehicle and drives better then any land rover especially with dsg . We towed a 1ton trailer through to Nordkapp last year 7k miles up west coast And back so some serious mountains . Barely knew it was there . You might want to consider a remap for towing torque .
 
Velma's Dad

Velma's Dad

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1,955
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Buckinghamshire
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T5 SE 180
I have a 2WD Cali (180bhp, manual) and it will tow very happily (on road) a 1.25 ton lump of a pre-war car on a 500kg two-axle trailer so all-up about 1.75 tonnes. It's quite sensitive to getting the nose weight right (trial and error) but when properly balanced, power and traction are not a problem except when pulling away uphill in the very wet when I get a tad of wheel spin unless careful. I'm sure a LR would be a better tow vehicle but the Cali does the job well enough for me.

Not a 4Mo and not the use-case you're envisaging but I hope that's some help.
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
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490
Location
Bournemouth
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
I have a 2WD Cali (180bhp, manual) and it will tow very happily (on road) a 1.25 ton lump of a pre-war car on a 500kg two-axle trailer so all-up about 1.75 tonnes. It's quite sensitive to getting the nose weight right (trial and error) but when properly balanced, power and traction are not a problem except when pulling away uphill in the very wet when I get a tad of wheel spin unless careful. I'm sure a LR would be a better tow vehicle but the Cali does the job well enough for me.

Not a 4Mo and not the use-case you're envisaging but I hope that's some help.
Hi Velma's Dad . Very interesting. How do you find on hills ? Think the manual will be better than Dsg for this weight . The twin axle trailer will help a lot with Cali towing but more critical with single axle . What make of car are you towing ?
 
Velma's Dad

Velma's Dad

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Buckinghamshire
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T5 SE 180
To be honest I've never needed to take it over very steep/winding roads, around hairpins etc, or in snow/ice which I'd guess wouldn't be a barrel of laughs. I'd not want to tow a single axle trailer at that weight, the twin axle makes it stable enough provided I get the fore/aft weight balance about right - ie by adjusting position of the payload car on the trailer (which as you ask is a 1936 Riley Lynx, but I also sometimes cart a smaller car, a 1962 TR4 which is just under one tonne payload and noticeably slightly easier to pull).

I've never towed caravans so hopefully someone with relevant experience can comment on that.
 
Bjohnson

Bjohnson

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395
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Bath
I have a 2wd 180 DSG and tow a 6.5m rib on a single axle trailer. Tows fine as my boat and trailer are well balanced.
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
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Messages
490
Location
Bournemouth
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
To be honest I've never needed to take it over very steep/winding roads, around hairpins etc, or in snow/ice which I'd guess wouldn't be a barrel of laughs. I'd not want to tow a single axle trailer at that weight, the twin axle makes it stable enough provided I get the fore/aft weight balance about right - ie by adjusting position of the payload car on the trailer (which as you ask is a 1936 Riley Lynx, but I also sometimes cart a smaller car, a 1962 TR4 which is just under one tonne payload and noticeably slightly easier to pull).

I've never towed caravans so hopefully someone with relevant experience can comment on that.
Just looked up Riley Lynx Velma‘s Dad . Even I’m not old enough to remember that . Very nice . Also TR4 . I did have a 1936 Canoe Stern Yawl about 25 years ago though which I restored . Good year .
 
Erbster

Erbster

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687
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Midlands, UK
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T6 Ocean 150
I have a 2WD 150DSG Ocean and regularly tow and launch my trailer sailer. The trailer is about 7m and weighs about 1800kg all up. I sometimes wonder if I should have got a 4wD but have no regrets really. No problems on the winding roads, the motorway or the slipway. All season tyres make a difference though, the standard tyres are good on the motorway but no grip on anything soft.


 
C

Calibus

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72
Location
Milton Keynes
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T6 Beach 150
DSG 150ps fwd Beach, tow around 2t on a weekly basis and has never caused any problems.

Also have a 2011 Amarok, I will choose the Cali if I’m towing 2t or less, it’s just nicer to drive and better mpg.
 
Damon18

Damon18

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Messages
91
Location
France
Vehicle
T6 Coast 204
Hi,

We have a 2WD 204ps DSG Coast with VB FullAir suspension and tow an Eriba Nova GL which has a Max Gross Weight of 1.8T. (towed around 8000 kms in 2019).

Fitted VB suspension (self-levelling) as felt rear end was sagging a bit due to caravan weight on tow hitch (Cali had standard suspension, really should have ticked reinforced when ordering).

Have weighed the caravan with all our stuff on board and we know it’s around 1.7T.

The Cali tows superbly, with the DSG box doing a great job at keeping us in the correct gear, no problems whilst overtaking or being overtaken (this could also be due to the caravan’s Alko ATC).

Essentially use camp sites with hardstanding so have no real experience on grass other than here in France where it’s usually like concrete.
DSC02450 crop.jpg
 
D

Delfhill

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8
Location
West Yorkshire DSG
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
My old T5 4 Motion with winter tyres and diff lock was amazingly good in the snow and regularly got me to places other “proper” 4WDs couldn’t manage. It has also got me out of thick mud almost down to the axles. Having had Land Rovers, Range Rovers and Discoverys for the last 50 years, I feel the 4Motion with suitable tyres and diff lock is just as capable. I regularly tow a boat, approx 1500kg and a caravan, again 1500 kg with no problem even with the old T5 130 hp.
Now we have a new California 4Motion with DSG and the roughly 200 hp engine and would love to tell you how it tows but never got the chance before lock down. Based on the old T5 it should be very capable. The old T5 did need T32 rear springs.
The campervan and caravan combination works well with us, the campervan is also used as an everyday vehicle.
 
shane

shane

running a muck in NZ...
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Messages
130
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New Zealand
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
I have nothing but praise for the Cali for towing. We have a 2018 T6 204 BHP 4Motion and it pulls a 1500Kg trailer boat up hills without even noticing its on the back of the van. Launching on slippery surfaces hasn't been a problem either, we've seen a number of vehicles like larger 4x4 and tractors struggling in the same place.

Considering Goodrich AT tyres next so we can beach launch.
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
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Messages
490
Location
Bournemouth
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
I have nothing but praise for the Cali for towing. We have a 2018 T6 204 BHP 4Motion and it pulls a 1500Kg trailer boat up hills without even noticing its on the back of the van. Launching on slippery surfaces hasn't been a problem either, we've seen a number of vehicles like larger 4x4 and tractors struggling in the same place.

Considering Goodrich AT tyres next so we can beach launch.
Hi Shane . I fitted BFgGoodrich K02 about a year ago 225 /65/17 . Fantastic towing and off road . I put them on my steels first but soon put them onto my alloys and leave on all year now .
 
shane

shane

running a muck in NZ...
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Messages
130
Location
New Zealand
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hi Shane . I fitted BFgGoodrich K02 about a year ago 225 /65/17 . Fantastic towing and off road . I put them on my steels first but soon put them onto my alloys and leave on all year now .
hi Trebor, thanks for the info. Did you need a lift kit to raise it or do the tyres fit ok? Which alloys do you have? I have 18" on mine and was wondering if I should put 17" on with those tyres.

cheers
Shane
 
Trebor

Trebor

No looking back .
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Messages
490
Location
Bournemouth
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
hi Trebor, thanks for the info. Did you need a lift kit to raise it or do the tyres fit ok? Which alloys do you have? I have 18" on mine and was wondering if I should put 17" on with those tyres.

cheers
Shane
Shane ,
No fit fine on standard 17 in alloys and the extra rubber over 18 inch will help I’m sure . Only thing I haven’t sorted is some chains that fit front wheels for when legally required to carry them . Standard chains don’t fit .
This is a photo with 17 in steels . I do have t32 rear springs and Bilstein b6 on rear which raises rear about 3/4 in .



View attachment 56726B73369A0-6296-4A44-92D5-A18775164BC6.jpeg
 
Last edited:
shane

shane

running a muck in NZ...
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Messages
130
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New Zealand
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
they look cool, plenty of room. 18's maybe be too tight without the lift kit. Be looking to order once the world is back to normal..
 
L

LittleGreyCat

Messages
5
Location
Suffolk
Vehicle
Looking to buy
I have nothing but praise for the Cali for towing. We have a 2018 T6 204 BHP 4Motion and it pulls a 1500Kg trailer boat up hills without even noticing its on the back of the van. Launching on slippery surfaces hasn't been a problem either, we've seen a number of vehicles like larger 4x4 and tractors struggling in the same place.

Considering Goodrich AT tyres next so we can beach launch.
Shane,

part of our longer term plan is to move to NZ (if the rules don't get changed again).
Have you done any off road driving?
Not just gravel roads, but the more rugged stuff where a 4x4 is recommended?
A few years since we last visited, but I am thinking of a road which goes roughly North between Hanmer Springs and 63.
Always fancied trying that but so far haven't had enough vehicle.
Pretty sure the Touareg would handle it (if driven right!) and trying to judge if the California would be able to cope.
 
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