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General Chat Thread, What Engine Size For Towing? in General; Had some conflicting advice on other forums so thought I'd check out the wisdom of fellow Edugeekers. What is the ...
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    tech_guy's Avatar
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    What Engine Size For Towing?

    Had some conflicting advice on other forums so thought I'd check out the wisdom of fellow Edugeekers.

    What is the recommended engine size for towing approx. 750kg? Or rather, the minimum recommended engine size for towing something of that weight? I know kerb weight is the main factor but I was wondering about engine size.

    Used to use a 1.8 Mondeo with no problems but somebody told me I was pushing it?
    Last edited by tech_guy; 27th March 2012 at 11:25 PM.

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    bossman's Avatar
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    @tech_guy:

    Have a look at this: Towing Capacity Ford,

    Hope this helps

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    tech_guy (27th March 2012)

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    A diesel will also be better than a petrol due to the higher torque from the engine.

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    newpersn's Avatar
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    A Diesel would be better. My 1.9 DCI will pull anything

    My dad drove a 1.6 Focus with a trailer. It didnt like hills. But once up to speed it was alright..

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    dosent the vin plate tell you what a car is legally allowed to tow?

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    It depends how often you would be towing. I've towed a 1100Kg caravan with a 1.6 Focus which was fine until I hit a slope with a slippy surface. A 1.8 petrol should do well but if you tow a lot then go for a diesel 1.8 or above. As you say, the kerb-weight is the most important. The recommendation is 85% of the cars kerb-weight although you can tow up to 100% and stay within the legal limits. Another consideration is whether the trailer is braked or not. If not then the heavier the vehicle is compared to the trailer the better but I imagine at 750Kg it would be braked anyway.

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    The vehicle manufacturer will specify a weight for the power train (car + trailer) & towing limit. Stay within this & you should be ok.

    The caravan club & similar organisations advise that a trailer weigh no more than 80%-85% of the towing vehicle for stability....

    As others have pointed out, torque is a critical element for towing. I have towed a 950kg caravan with normally aspirated petrol engines as small as 1.6 litre; I have also towed bigger caravans with petrol 2.4 litre turbo & as you can imagine it makes quite a difference. The best tow-car I had for torque was a 2.4 litre turbo diesel.....

    Modern petrol engines tend to be multi-valve & often have variable valve timing; these tend to be a bit gutless unless revved, so you might have to get used to a very pedestrian style of motoring with a petrol towcar.

    Modern turbo charged diesel engines are undoubtedly far better for towing substantial weights; I would have said almost any petrol engined car would handle a 750kg trailer though as long as it is within the manufacturers limits. I would probably avoid trying to tow with a Smart car
    Last edited by broc; 28th March 2012 at 08:33 AM.

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    Damn, so that's the Smart Brabus out of the window then

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    Although engine size is important for power while towing you also need to be aware that its the cars brakes that have to stop the load (though some trailers have brakes), I use to tow a horse box carrying two horses, heavier than a caravan and would not of used a car for this purpose. The manual for the vehicle should specify a towing limit and a maximum gross traim weight. For the later you'll need to factor all weight added to and including the vehicle when working out your load, passengers whats in the boot etc. Exceeding this load reduces the vehicles handling and can cause damage to the drive shafts/gearbox and brakes. See this dft document here

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