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Davexnew7 Profile
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Date Registered: 08-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 13
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Hi, I have a 2005 Ti XTrail which I tow a Pop Top with Max 1480Kg's. We run at about 1420 to 1440 and a ball download of 140Kg. When travelling, the back seat squabs are folded forward and the Waeco and annexe travels in there with the wine etc. Up against the back of the back seat I keep my tool box.
This makes the majority of the added weight in the vehicle between the wheels. This also increases the weight all up of the XTrail to be more than the Caravan.
I have a Hayman Reece coupling and load distribution. When connected the distance from the ground to the top of the front wheel arch is exactly 20mm lower than when the caravan is not connected.
I never tow the Caravan with the O/D on. Once on the open road I set the cruise at 90kph. This has the engine running at 3200 revs, right in the power band. This means if need be I can accelerate very quickly.
This set up travels very well and after 3 hours of driving I can get to my destination still feeling refreshed and relaxed.

Dave
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27/Dec/2007, 9:41 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 12-2007
Location: Trafalgar, Vic
TOTAL POSTS: 111
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Re - Towing a jayco camper trailer


Hi Ken,
Just wondering if you ever experience "bouncing" between your xy and van, on undulating roads.
I have a similar set-up to you - van on 145kg ball weight, 1550kg fully loaded, and boot lightly loaded. My hitch needs to take up about 70kg to level both van and xy.
When on undulating roads I experience some "bounce" between the xy and van, and although not serious is disconcerting if over a long distance.
I am looking at possibilities of reducing the need to take up the whole 70kg, by different springs or whatever ie make the rear a bit firmer.
Interested in your experience.
John
29/Dec/2007, 4:49 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
GeoffM Profile
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Date Registered: 07-2004
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 258
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer



There is no need to do significant modifications to an xtrail to tow Avans or Jayco pop-ups.

- A good packing procedure. Put heavy items in the van above its axel (at rear will cause swap, at front will weigh down the xtrail). We just put clothes in the xtrails "boot".

- And using "Auto" mode will provide traction to the rear wheels when required.

We've just come back from towing an old sunwagon (jayco style) up from Sydney to South West Rocks (6-7 hours including stops). Had the bike rack fall off the back, and a tyre blowout on the van on the F3.... but all due to the age of the sunwagon, not the overall setup.

FWIW, I read a survey the other day that claimed 80% of caravans are "overloaded" over their tyres weight capacity. My van definately was included in that. I replaced both tyres with Light-Truck tyres (780 kg each - previous were very old car tyres - 560kg each). Apparantly the sway that caravans do as they get towed really hurts the tyre-wall, causing it to heat up and blow-out... so light-truck tyres are essential due to the thicker tyre-walls.




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Date Registered: 10-2006
Location: Mona Vale, Sydney, AUSTRALIA
TOTAL POSTS: 5975
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


I second the idea of Light Truck tyres Geoff.
After my father fitted them to his father's caravan, the handling improved tremendously where before it used to wallow all over the road at any spe with the standard radial ply tyres.

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2/Jan/2008, 3:19 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Stevo45 Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 9
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posticon Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Geoff... Maaaaate....

Untill about a months ago I also was towing a Sunwagon - No Problem, But I could easily lift the front of the loaded Sunwagon camper on my own (I am over 60) so the tow ball weight is not too heavy.

The towball weight of my new Jaco Dove outback (heaviest in the range) is rated at about 150kg - No way can I lift that on my own.... Big difference... :-)

I also carry a waco fridge on a slide and other "bits and bobs" in the xcy - most of the weight is forward of the back wheels but, can't fit the fridge and slide comfortably there.

Add to that my xcy is a 2004 and sags on the springs a bit any way - means that In my situation I need to "do something"...

Just received today some level rides - I'll fit 'em in the next couple of days and see if they are the answer for me..

I do agree with you regarding the tyres - I had a blow out (on the Sunwagon) a month or so ago up near forster and found to my dismay that the previous owner had fitted recaps ..

I think that your camper tyres should be the best available and they are probably more important than the tyres on your car...

cheers

Steve..
2/Jan/2008, 5:41 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 07-2004
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 258
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


quote:

Stevo45 wrote:

Geoff... Maaaaate....

Untill about a months ago I also was towing a Sunwagon - No Problem, But I could easily lift the front of the loaded Sunwagon camper on my own (I am over 60) so the tow ball weight is not too heavy.

The towball weight of my new Jaco Dove outback (heaviest in the range) is rated at about 150kg - No way can I lift that on my own.... Big difference... :-)




I put my sunwagon tow ball on the bathroom scales and they came in at 140+. (scales only went to 140!). I'd say 145. She's a beast!

quote:



I also carry a waco fridge on a slide and other "bits and bobs" in the xcy - most of the weight is forward of the back wheels but, can't fit the fridge and slide comfortably there.

Add to that my xcy is a 2004 and sags on the springs a bit any way - means that In my situation I need to "do something"...



I'm a little confused by how much sag is too much, and why sag is such a problem. Fair enough if you'll be towing all the time, but for occational towing, the xtrail's rear is rated for 150kg loads plus luggage, so it is structurally tough enough.

quote:



Just received today some level rides - I'll fit 'em in the next couple of days and see if they are the answer for me..

I do agree with you regarding the tyres - I had a blow out (on the Sunwagon) a month or so ago up near forster and found to my dismay that the previous owner had fitted recaps ..

I think that your camper tyres should be the best available and they are probably more important than the tyres on your car...




Yeah, my old ones were retreads too. When they blew, it blew a hole in the wheel arch!.

Tyres on a caravan are tricky. I agree that you need decent ones, but trailer tyres generally never wear out. Caravans just dont do that many miles. They only deterierate due to age, not tread wear. The light truck tyres I got were $116 each. They'll easily outlive the van which is coming up to its 30 year birthday.
 



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3/Jan/2008, 8:26 am Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Stevo45 Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 9
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer




My xcy Owner's Manual gives a Maximum permissible tow ball load of 75Kg. at a maximun 1.164m behind the rear axle.

Even for occasional towing, loss of traction on the front wheels could be dangerous.

cheers

Steve.
3/Jan/2008, 3:02 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 07-2004
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 258
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


quote:

Stevo45 wrote:



My xcy Owner's Manual gives a Maximum permissible tow ball load of 75Kg. at a maximun 1.164m behind the rear axle.

Even for occasional towing, loss of traction on the front wheels could be dangerous.

cheers

Steve.



Maybe it is a lighter tow bar, but I'm pretty sure the standard is 150kg.

If you lever that out. 150kg about 1m from the rear axel, would have less than 50kg of up force on the front axel. That wont significantly change:
1) traction under accelration - auto mode will put power to the rear before wheel spin.
2) Braking - The carvan will have its own breaks, and with ABS the rears will have more influence.
3) steering - possibly? But you tend to drive more defensively when towing anyway.

Stifferning up the rear shocks wont make the front any heavier.



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3/Jan/2008, 3:46 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message Blog
 
Stevo45 Profile
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Date Registered: 12-2007
TOTAL POSTS: 9
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Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


Geoff..... You'r kidding me.... (Or I'm missing something important!!)


My Tow bar is a Hayman Reece and I have HR Electric brakes...

I believe maybe you are mistaken regarding the permissible tow ball weight. (please correct me if I am wrong)..

Re using Auto mode: IF I am right you also have excessive weight on the TOW BALL and if you have to use Auto mode to improve your traction then the front end is not working as designed and steering will definitely be a worry in the wet going uphill - loss of control Will be a problem that defensive driving may not fix, in an emergency situation.

I think "level rides" are worth a try - A very cheap ($50 to $100 )option if you can get 'em used online..

I think that stiffening the rear springs (and Shocks) WILL significantly improve OVERALL handling and also move some weight forward. (For about $200.00 DIY - Worth a try ??)

Further, since all our xcy's are different for various reasons and uses - The only way to see what works is to try out your own ideas.


Steve..
3/Jan/2008, 5:45 pm Link to this post Send Email PM   Send Private Message
 
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Date Registered: 07-2004
Location: Sydney
TOTAL POSTS: 258
Reply | QUOTE
Re: Towing a jayco camper trailer


quote:

Stevo45 wrote:

Geoff..... You'r kidding me.... (Or I'm missing something important!!)


My Tow bar is a Hayman Reece and I have HR Electric brakes...

I believe maybe you are mistaken regarding the permissible tow ball weight. (please correct me if I am wrong)..


I'm almost 100% sure on that one. For a start, its recomended that 10% of caravan weight be on the towball. If your towbar can only handle 75kg, that means you can only tow 750kg which is a very small caravan. The xtrail can tow up to 2000kg, which makes 150kg more realistic.

quote:



Re using Auto mode: IF I am right you also have excessive weight on the TOW BALL and if you have to use Auto mode to improve your traction then the front end is not working as designed and steering will definitely be a worry in the wet going uphill - loss of control Will be a problem that defensive driving may not fix, in an emergency situation.



There are a couple of reasons to use auto. For a start the drive train is pulling more weight (twice as much), therefore the more wheels in action the better. The only time I get the front wheels spinning is when trying to do a fast start in gravel from stationary (in 2wd drive mode). Not to mention that rear wheel drive cars have been the prefered towing setup for many years.... thats where the weight is.

quote:


I think "level rides" are worth a try - A very cheap ($50 to $100 )option if you can get 'em used online..

I think that stiffening the rear springs (and Shocks) WILL significantly improve OVERALL handling and also move some weight forward. (For about $200.00 DIY - Worth a try ??)


I'm no expert on this, but how can stiffening shocks at the rear move weight forward ? The same leverages are in action, but now the back is less spongy. I thought the reason for stifening the rear was to stop the caravan pushing it around so much.
quote:


Further, since all our xcy's are different for various reasons and uses - The only way to see what works is to try out your own ideas.
Steve..



Totally agree. And of course I'm only speaking of my experiences. If I had to spend another dollar on my towing setup it would be on a tranny cooler, rather than shocks or levelers....but thats because my xtrail looks 'fairly' level anyway, I feel like I have enough traction, and my caravan is low profile that it doesnt sway much.



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