Towing

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Stu
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Towing

Post by Stu » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:55 am

As I think might have been obvious to a few of you, the weekend just gone was our first weekend away in the Caravan. We picked it up on Friday and towed it about 40 miles to a local site. Whilst I have towed before it's generally been small trailers and I certainly don't have much experience of towing great big caravans about. Whilst towing I found that car didn't feel smooth it felt a bit juddery, in fact we did even have a quick check to ensure that the caravan hand brake wasn't on and that the motor mover wasn't engaged.

It did feel to me as though the brakes were being applied. When we arrived at the site I did feel the wheels and they felt pretty hot, tyres were cool. I didn't feel the hubs as I didn't want to burn myself as I assumed if the wheels were quite hot and tyres were cool then the heat must be from the brakes?

I just wanted to check what is normal?

It has an Alko ATC system on it and that connected with a green LED (meaning all good).

I've contacted the place where we bought it from but I just wanted to get peoples views as I don't want to take it back if its normal.


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Re: Towing

Post by xtc » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:14 am

Wheels & hubs should not be hot. slightly warm at most... I would suggest it needs looking at. And as you know, I am a expert on wheels & bearings... :D


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Re: Towing

Post by Stu » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:43 am

That was my thoughts. Do you get any juddering (almost feels like a clutch slipping or being pulled back) when you tow?

I'm hopeful it is the caravan that has the issue and not the disco, or that it's normal and I just need to get used to it.


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Re: Towing

Post by CDS » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:45 am

Torque converter? Mine is on it's way out, and the first real sign was when towing the 'van.


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Re: Towing

Post by PillowSmuggler » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:03 pm

Not sure a torque converter issue would cause hot hubs though?

I don't think that can be normal; you may get feedback from any swaying the van does but a dragging feel is almost certainly that, brakes being applied for some reason.

It sounds to me like your traction control/stability control has been firing the brakes for some reason; any fault codes?
Were the caravan's wheels hot too?

I don't suppose you left a mighty load in the thetford that was lifting your car's back wheels of the ground?


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Re: Towing

Post by countrywide » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:06 pm

There is adjustment on the over run brake, if it is not right the caravan brakes will snatch or they could be dragging.

Hopefully they did adjust them during the service. Our one was smooth and don't think the brakes ever got really hot.



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Re: Towing

Post by z4cAtS » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:10 pm

I have found our van wheels could get hot when towing after using the handbrake.

I don't use it any more (when safe) and haven't had much issue with it.

Get yourself a temperature zapper - very useful for avoiding burned fingers.


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Re: Towing

Post by Stu » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:12 pm

To be clear, it is the caravan wheels I'm talking about. Sounds like the brakes. I'll get it booked in.


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Re: Towing

Post by CDS » Tue Jun 21, 2016 12:35 pm

Sorry, didn't read it properly, thinking about it, if the brakes are sticking on on the caravn, the extra strain could be highlighting the torque convertor?? Is it the car or 'van that is shuddering?


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Re: Towing

Post by mzplcg » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:09 pm

Caravan brakes Stu. There are quite a lot of places who think it's fine to adjust them by taking slack out of the bowden cables. It's not. It causes what you describe.

Basically the brakes should be adjusted with the cables loosened right off. A bit like adjusting a Disco handbrake. Set the shoes so they just about touch the drum when the cables are loose.

Then adjust the cables so there is 5mm of free movement on the ALKO hitch head, i.e. you can push it in by about 5mm before the cables tighten up and pull the shoes.

Also note, if you decided to DIY (which I do) the hub nuts are a one-shot deal. You have to buy new ones.

Of course you can always buy a S/C FFRR. I managed a whole motorway junction with the caravan handbrake on before I noticed the smoke. :whistle:


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