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towing- any thoughts? - concrete

With reference to my previous post. I currently have a Skoda Superb 1.9Tdi 130 PD diesel. It is nearly ten years old, mine from new and has about 200K miles on the clock. Full service and repair history. Original clutch, exhaust etc. Friends advise me to fit a towbar to it and use it to get used to towing a caravan in a vehicle I know well. Given the age of the car I was reluctant to put the added strain of towing onto it, but I was going to virtually give it away anyway, so nothing to lose really. Any thoughts from experienced caravan towers will be welcome.

Cheers Concrete.

towing- any thoughts? - Bromptonaut

Old enough for engine to be a proper torquey diesel. Should be a reasonably capable tow car. In fact I think one of my co students on the Caravan Club towing course had something of similar type/age. Aslong as you follow the weight rules discussed previously you should be fine.

A decent towbar and electrics will be £500+ at a guess though. I assume a decent approved fitter such as a Witter agent would be able to source necessary parts.

towing- any thoughts? - RT

As a long service tugger with both manuals and automatics, my main concern from your description would be the strain on the now elderly transmission, specifically the clutch as it's original.

Other than that, go for it.

towing- any thoughts? - gordonbennet

Have bought from the above several times, they also fit on their premises for a fair price, there's also Towsure who make some solid well priced towbars, you don't need the Gucci of towbars...unless they happen to be at a bargain price..:-)

My thoughts are yes, it might make sense to do this but you might end up needing a new clutch after a while.

The thing about towing isn't just stability, it's the increasing problem of cars, especially turbo versions, with gutless engines below spool speed, leading to frustrating pull away, almost impossible hill starts without clutch abuse, and difficult junction negotiation, and thats not even thinking about the too high reverse gears many cars are saddled with.

This is where Bromp's Berlie wins, basically a van with ideal engine mapping and lower than the usual car first and reverse gears.

By using your present car, the engine of which does have some low speed grunt, it should give you a yardstick to judge your next car by re towability.

Some people don't use their normal cars for towing, instead keep an old Landcruiser or similar (often petrol engined, can be bought cheaply and usually much lower mileage too) and use those for their towing needs and the obvious winter and bad weather duties, handy for tip runs and shifting stuff cos they are huge inside....not saying this is for you just floating it past you, LC's are rated between 2.8 and 3.5 tons towing dependent on model, forget loading and stability worries.

Edited by gordonbennet on 05/09/2015 at 19:20

towing- any thoughts? - veryoldbear

The Skoda Suberb is an excellent barge, and I think that vintage had a decent clutch, but that is likely to be the biggest problem. But a darn sight cheaper than buying another car ... if you have clutch problems, fix it and carry on. the rest will last.

towing- any thoughts? - DirtyDieselDogg

Just di it, simples, 130hp in a Superb, with a longer wheelbase.

OK 200,000 miles, just might, or might or could be an issue Concrete, BUT, since you are still on the origional clutch, and therefore demonstrably kind to clutchs, i.e. you do not NOT treat them as Torque Convertor subsitute, I can see no reason for concern.

I took the 124bhp (tweeked up from 110bhp) Galaxy to 253,000, incl heavy towing, and the clutch was still 100%, showing absolutly no signs of slipping at all.

At all.


towing- any thoughts? - veryoldbear

DDG you are a Clutch Hero!

towing- any thoughts? - concrete

Great comments and they give me a lot of confidence to proceed. The Superb is the besr car I have ever owned, it even shades the Honda Accords I used to run through the 80's and 90's.

The clutch is original but the vast majority of the miles have been on M/way or main roads at cruising speeds. Not much town work at all. In nearly 50 years of driving I have never had to replace a clutch on any vehicle I owned.

I now live in rural Kent and not much traffic around here either. A local man fits towbars on the driveway so I will get a quote. When the time comes for purchasing the caravan I will again ask for adivice from you experienced tuggers.

Thank you all. Cheers Concrete

towing- any thoughts? - DirtyDieselDogg

vob, I will take that as a compliment.

Indeed I do "pride" myself of the correct and sympathetic use of a clutch, something drilled into me by my father, a farmer who tinkered at the tractors when needed, BUT never needed to fit a clutch, despite one tractor ALWAYS doing loader work, he bought tractors new and kept them working for 20 or 30 or 40 years.

A clutch is either "in" or "out", with the briefest period of modulation to bring a heavy PTO load up to speed.

Like all modern tractors now do with electronically controlled clutch modulation.

I loathe and despise those who say things like, I burned the clutch out cos I was bogged,(An ambulence driver btw!) or spinning, wtf! is the connection?

And indeed those, in tractors or cars, who habitually drive with their foot resting on the clutch pedel, because the MIGHT need to change gear.


The Galaxy gear box was also origional and unabused, as was the "alledgedly" troublesome cable operated gear change mechanism.

I drove the Galaxy through fields, towed on unpaved mountain tracks (in Portugal), towed trailers in excess of permitted weights, reversed with trailers etc etc.

The Army has a wonderful "catch-all" for charging soldiers in respect of mechanical failure, "neglect, misuse and damage"


Edited by DirtyDieselDogg on 06/09/2015 at 19:56


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