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T1 Towing a Caravan

Discussion in 'Splitty Tech Clinic' started by Airfireman, May 19, 2020.

  1. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Gday all,
    Does anyone here tow a caravan with their splitty?.
    I am currently restoring a 68 Viscount Ambassador and wanting to keep the weight under 1t, hopefully around 750kg
    I am looking to purchase DC split to tow
    Will a 1600 strongly built do the job or possibly fit a 2000
    I know going up hills will be a crawl, no rush in a kombi
    Thanks
    Tim

    2ED9CE96-769D-488B-9852-0F402C2FD09B.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2020
  2. wirrah

    wirrah Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,128
    Location:
    Lower Hunter, NSW
    Not much help I guess but I used to tow a De Havilland Offshore with a 1600 (albeit in a '72). Total weight around 600kg (boat, motor, trailer and other stuff). Hills were slow but then they always were in that vehicle!
     
  3. Barry

    Barry Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,650
    Location:
    Abbotsford NSW
    I would be upgrading the brakes to discs up front
     
    oldman likes this.
  4. Subdub67

    Subdub67 Active Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    And rears!
     
  5. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,609
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    Lot of continual air resistance there at anywhere near hwy speeds.
    Plus braking and handling weakness.
    I would expect you will end up fitting bay suspension and 2l motor, gearbox.
    Or Subaru.
     
  6. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Thanks for the input, Col i hadn’t considered bay suspension but it makes sense, i was considering a 2lt
    Appreciated,,,, looks like I’m building the caravan out of balsawood,,hahaha
     
  7. BrissyGeorge

    BrissyGeorge Active Member

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brisbane
    What about the heat build up in the engine as it will be working under strain all the time - can it cope? I seem to remember other threads where this has been mentioned when towing.
     
  8. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Oil cooler will help to reduce engine heat, i fitted one to our bay and it worked well, that was towing a timber teardrop trailer not a caravan,,,which is why the caravan needs to be as lite as possible
     
  9. BrissyGeorge

    BrissyGeorge Active Member

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Agree that an oil cooler will help, and keeping the weight down is a given but as cbus says you still have a huge air brake behind you that will be forcing the motor to use a lot of grunt to overcome, which means heat, oil cooler or not.
     
  10. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Yeah, your right,,,I’m sure they would of towed vans back in the day though, so I think it’s possible to not have to go to a subi motor​
     
  11. KahunaKombi

    KahunaKombi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    21,025
    Location:
    Bracken Ridge, Qld
    You can make minor cost effective tweaks to a base 1600 eg larger cylinders and pistons and a set of twin carbs that will give a power increase ;)

    If towing you'll also need to consider what you're going to load into the tray as weight there will also effect the towing :rolleyes:
     
  12. BrissyGeorge

    BrissyGeorge Active Member

    Messages:
    283
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Airfireman,
    Sorry if I seem to be labouring a point but I have this vision of those fiendishly clever German engineers way back in the 1930s hunched over their slide rules designing our engines and balancing the heat generated by the combustion with the ability of the fins on the cylinders to dissipate the heat -the equation considered the amount of heat generated under normal load conditions against the airflow from the cooling fan and road movement. Oil was not really part of that equation ie note the small amount of oil capacity. Hitching a large frontal area caravan to your ute suddenly changes that equation - the balance between airflows and heat generated is now askew - way more heat generated by the engine because of the extra effort required but no more revs for airflow - net result - engine gets hotter. The oil cooler will obviously keep the oil cooler, allowing it to do its job - lubricate. The rest of the engine just gets hot.

    Re towing a van way back when, of all the photos that have been posted on this site and others, I have never seen one with a kombi towing a caravan

    So, here endeth the lesson:) Promise I won`t say any more.
     
  13. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Kahuna - yes additional weight in the tray needs to be considered, looking more like a 2lt than 1.6
    George - yeah I’m hearing ya and understand what your puttin down,, this is now more like a wish list than practicality
    Never say never;)
     
  14. oldman

    oldman Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    9,307
    Location:
    Avalon Beach NSW
    Longevity of your engine will depend on how you drive when towing......
    If gears are constantly chased, you WILL have engine problems.
    Keep the rev range mid and don’t flog it up hills or otherwise.
    We putted up the hill to Dorrigo in 2nd on the steeps and passed a few water cooled vehicles that had overheated.
    If the engine sounds like it’s straining, lift your right foot up and enjoy the view.
    If you intend towing a small caravan.......you’ll be on a road trip......drive in kombi time !
    No problems.....
    Cheers,
    Mark
     
    Airfireman likes this.
  15. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    Mark - the idea is that it will be driven in kombi time and only travelling limited km,s a day possibly only a few hours to the next campsite. No long haul days
    The 2lt bay I built towed a timber teardrop with ease but that was only 350kg, the caravan will be double to triple the weight and size, made supa lite will still have air resistance
     
    oldman likes this.
  16. cbus

    cbus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,609
    Location:
    sunshine coast
    A good scenario.
    Have mulled it over.
    Even with this I would use a type 4 engine for its stronger design and better airflow rather than a type 1 based engine.
    Gearbox ? Any bay box to suit overall useage.
    Rev ranges are roughly 3350 to 3600.
    The engine will cope with all those but maybe the higher revs will suit better for cooling and closer ratios.
    I know of a 2 lt bay running 3 rib (3600) ok.
    Remember that this is normal 1600 Kombi revs.

    All above suits fitting late bay suspension in rear to support the late bay parts which is well proven.
    Fitting front bay suspension/ beam then becomes obvious for balance and better braking.
    Rear discs are a further improvement.
    Keeps Back brakes working and rear end squat compared to adjusting rear drums constantly to achieve similar.
    Better feel under all conditions but especially with caravan on rear.

    Split owners with above mods do appreciate the improvements.
    I'm not saying its essential but is marked improvement.
     
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  17. Subdub67

    Subdub67 Active Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Gold Coast

    All good points, my split was running a 2lt box (now sitting in the shed) with 2lt subie engine (123hp), good combo, box was a bit whining at highway speeds, now with 5 speed subie box (reversed pinion). Thats with disc brakes all round has been a good kombination (ha, ha). At 100km you want to be able to stop with a load on and with discs all round you wont know yourself.
    I have the subie adapter plate and 2lt box i will probably move on.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
    Airfireman likes this.
  18. Airfireman

    Airfireman Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Location:
    Sunshine Coast
    What model Sub engine did you fit, did you use bay front end for the disc brakes ?
     
  19. Subdub67

    Subdub67 Active Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Hi Mate, the subaru engine I’ve installed is a 2004 Impreza 2lt. Had the wiring loom cut down and tagged to make it easier for my Auto sparky to install. Used the stock ecu so I know it will run, can diagnose too, kept obd2 connector. Remember to get the key and barrel from donor car as the immobiliser is in the key and won’t start without it. If you want to call me happy to share any information. 0417438918.
    Bay window front end grafted in (the hard way) but know you can get a disc brake kit to suit original split front end. Ball joints appear to have a better ride. Rear removed horns and installed Bay trailing arms, shortened spring plates. Gearbox is subarugears but that’s a whole other discussion!!!Cheers, Jon
     

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