Comment: Suspension

Great article. As usual though, you leave out the hydro active suspension used by Citroen for over 60 years now. We tow with a C5 2.2 l biturbo diesel which has such a suspension. It makes it so easy to tow our van, a 17 ' viscount pop top weighing around 1000 kgs. Sure, the tow ball weight needs to be kept low ( around 80 kgs) but that is a safety issue in any case. Too many people tow with much higher tow ball weights at their own peril.
Wired properly, the on board computer is constantly adjusting the rear suspension load. To in/hitch simply raise/lower the suspension as required.
We use an alko anti-sway coupling and coupling bars as well. Make sure all the heavy load is on or just forward of the single axle and well balanced. The diesel pulls up steep grades with the slightest of effort and averages around 25 mpgs towing, and around 45 mpgs unhitched. Challenged by a v8 uphill? No problems. Just plant the foot and in a couple of seconds the turbos kick in and bye bye idjut.
Why you'd bother towing with a 4x4 I've no idea.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 16:22

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 16:22
"Why you'd bother towing with a 4x4 I've no idea."

Maybe because they like to go where Citroen C5 Saloons and Tourers and other sedan type vehicles limited to street tyres and low clearance can't go.


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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 17:37

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 17:37
People often post here expressing happiness with their travel rigs..... rare (for a member) is the tendency to insult others who have carefully chosen different hardware, or driven uphill at a lower speed than you.
If don't know why some ball loadings correctly exceed 80kg, or why many vanners choose 4WD tow vehicles, why not ask ?

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Reply By: Bigfish - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:01

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:01
You summed it up well with your last have no idea...
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Reply By: Member - Terry W4 - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:29

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:29
My Cub Supamatic Regal Off-road camper can be towed by a holden commodore. But the commodore can't pull it up sand dunes and fire trails and even if I go to my destination on bitumen I need to then explore other off-road areas. That's why I tow with a 4x4.
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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:31

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 18:31
One thing I agree with is lower tow ball weights....and the rest of what you said....ummmmm.

I tow heavy weight all too often, and the usual suspect is 3.5 tonne with a 340 ball weight trailer. I have also had the privilege of towing a superior trailer setup (Australian built) at 3.5 tonne with a 180kg ball weight. The lower ball weight was incredibly beautiful to tow, when compared to the most Australian manufacturers of using the 10% rule.

I chose a 4wd to tow this heavy weight, to tour and to escape the riff raff.

But in your case, if you are towing a little trailer and not intending to go offroad, then your combination is fine.

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Reply By: 671 - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 19:25

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 19:25
Why you'd bother towing with a 4x4 I've no idea.
It is really very simple Peter. For decades my wife and I toured and towed all over just about everywhere in this country that a C5 can go. We are now having a good look at the "other half" of the country. This half contains no end of breath taking scenery and beautiful camping spots along with roads full of sand hills, river crossings, rock covered near vertical hills that fall into the "you have to be kidding" category and so on. If you want to see this half as well then you had better trade the C5 in real quick and buy one of those inferior 4x4s. You have no idea what you are missing.
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Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 19:26

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 19:26
Great Post. That'll stir them up! They love to post about French diesels on this forum.

I remember Lucien Bianchi driving a Citroen DS in the 1968 London-Sydney marathon - he was leading this huge event until a crash with a spectator's mini near Nowra on the final run to home. I was there at the time. Tragic!

But I'd never buy a Citroen, unless it was a really old DS!
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Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 20:25

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 20:25
This might be some reasons why more people don't use them.

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Reply By: Member - Rob D (NSW) - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 20:52

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 20:52
Mark Twain — 'Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.'
If you relax at a faster pace you can get more relaxation in for a given time.
Regards Rob

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Reply By: gbc - Friday, May 16, 2014 at 21:14

Friday, May 16, 2014 at 21:14
98kw and 314nm 0-100 in 8.3 seconds. Wow that's some fire breather. Is this your first car? Is it school holidays again?
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Reply By: disco driver - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:25

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:25
Gee, it is a shame that when someone asks a question/makes a statement , depending on how it is taken, that the attack dogs do not reply to the question but ridicule the idea that some one is more than happy with his choice of transport/camping set up, even if it does not coincide with theirs.

(who doesn't want to see another long diatribe on mine is better/bigger than yours, like the post on DIY servicing finished up being..
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Reply By: Member - Peter J15 - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:30

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 00:30
He he. I owned a 4x4 once. A land rover lwb. Absolutely the worst car I ever owned.

Ok, I can see that if you want to dig up sand dunes or wreck forest tracks a bulldozer would be better than a C5, but for towing a small van, ie, Under 7 meters(there goes the bloody French again) just saying that it's a good car with many of e necessary suspension mods that come as standard.

Also, bet you didn't know your territory and LPG discovery have the same motor was the C5 did you, just minus the second turbo.

Anyway, I'm more than happy with our rig so far, and we probably go up more dirt roads than the majority of 4x4s I see towing fancy vans around, and at about 1/5 the cost I imagine. So who's laughing now.

Oh, and by the way, the motor develops as much torque as a commodore V6. Top speed, 136 mph. Too bad there's nowhere to wind her up in this country.
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Reply By: Erad - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 01:01

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 01:01
This post has brought out the diehards of this world who cannot think beyond their own limited field of experience. Peter - you do have limitations as to where you can go, but you can still go a lot further than most of the dunnydores and fowlcans can. More importantly, you can do it with infinitely more comfort than any 4WD or common autos. And you can do it all using about half of the fuel that the big 4WD's use.

I owned a DS21 injection for 17 years and we towed a 17'6" 4 wheel full height caravan with it. It was magnificent except that the heat that came through the firewall was excessive. But for stability, performance and economy the rig was unbeatable. Until I tried one day to drive up a gravel driveway into a service station. The front wheels simply spun their hearts off and we couldn't get there. Had to back off and take a fast run at it. Eventually the electronics became unreliable and despite it going for over a year without letting me down, I simply didn't trust it any more and sold it. To this day it is still running, although it has had problems with the electronic injection. That was the first of the Bosch petrol electronic injection and nowadays they are a lot more reliable although I am still petrified that one day I will turn the key in either of my vehilces and it will fail to start. What do I do then? Especially way outback.

I graduated from the Citroen to a Range Rover. It had ride qualities nearly as good as the Citroen, but you got gravel rash on the elbows as you went round corners. Then I got sick of it leaving little puddles of oil in my driveway and bought a Pajero NL. I forgot to order springs with it and for the next 13 years, we bounced our way around Oz, but still fondly remembering our earlier days in both properly suspended vehicles. Then I bought a NW Pajero and it is better, but still needs proper suspension. At least the fuel situation is better - we just came back from a 2100 km trip with our 16.5 ft Jayco poptop van, using 215 L of diesel. It doesn't leak oil, but gee I wish it had a decent suspension....
AnswerID: 532603

Follow Up By: Member - Peter J15 - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 09:50

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 09:50
Thanks erad for you civil reply.

I get that 4x4s can go places I can't. Basically I don't want to go there anymore. I did that when I was younger. Also I love how people here think citroens have low clearance. Just obviously ignorant of French design.

I drove a Renault r16 into my cousins property one day in remote NSW. He swore I'd never get out of this car graveyard which he believe only penetrate with a 4x4. What he didn't know was that do adjusted the suspension before I'd left home giving me more ground clearance than the old Land Rover.

Anyway, the front wheel drive did get stuck getting out of this hell hole until I ordered my then wife onto the bonnet. To my cousins surprise this was all it needed to get out of this pickle.

I get you now about suspension. Thanks for your input which confirmed for me exactly what I'd first though, that your vehicles where not built properly in the first place. Anyway, if it works out cheaper for you, all the better. As I said, I'm no friend of land rovers. Great until something goes wrong and then ouch.

By the way, my cousins swear by Nissan Patrols as the most reliable and stable of the 4x4s so there you go.

Thanks again.
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 22:08

Saturday, May 17, 2014 at 22:08
Time was in the past..back when 4wds where expensive and agricultrual....most caravans where towed by pasenger cars.

Lots of people still tow with pasenger cars.

A good friend of mine used to tow a rather large sound equipment trailer with an top of the range ford had self leveling suspension.. factory..that made it an exceleent towing vehicle.

Back in the 60's my family towed a plywod caravan all over the state with a 1954 Morris oxford....before that we towed a matching canvas canopy trailer behind a morris Z utility for holidays.

I went out with a girl im my youth who's family where die hard caravanners....that was when carravns represented a cheap holiday for the working classes.......they towed a rather large van with a six cylinder XY falcon waggon.

Lots of people used to tow big things with ford and holden sedans and waggons....but times change.....under the current towing rules and engineering expections they would not be legal.

People use 4wds because the pasenger cars will not make the towing capacities that are needed.

Hell even the common 4wds dont make the towing capacityes needed to tow the monster rolling gin palaces that some people seem to want to tow.

As for Citroen and other weirdo euro vehicles...there have always been die hard devotees to these euro brands....and the euro brands tend to have a push into our market every 20 or so years.....but the same always happens....they get an enthusiastic reception by a few....then..they are found to be expensive to own and not well supported in an island counrty a long way from europe.

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Follow Up By: Member - Peter J15 - Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 18:14

Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 18:14
Good on you bantam. Great reply. I remember those days well being towed first in an XP Falcon wagon with a 170 pursuit motor, a 16' viscount in tow. I remember when the car failed to go around a corner because of too much tow ball weight and no load distribution bars fitted.

Your comments about caravan size and weight brings me back to the point I was making.

I'm a second generation caravaner and camper. I lived in a tent for twelves months when we had the landie, so you new chums should be a bit more careful with your assumptions.

As far as the suspension article is concerned, the point I think I'd like to make is why don't/can't you buy a factory vehicle to do the job? Probably because the engineers do not think the vehicle is suitable for what you people intend to use it for.

So many times I see people driving without weight distribution, with massive tow all weights, too old to be taking on such a difficult task ( when did you last get medical clearance to do what you intend to do) driving along in rigs that would probably require a hefty mortgaging of the family home. Why?

So you can see the country? I really doubt whether too many of these Toorak tractors get stretched too much in the off road department, while those who do, often have a blatant disregard for the environment, tearing up mountain tracks, and digging their way through the bush with no idea of the destruction they are reaping on the Eco-system.

Bantam, you should know better. Citroen, peugeots and renaults were renowned in reliability trucks in this country EVEN when they were assembled here in West Heidelberg, Vic. Yes, the old Aussie vehicles,articulately the Fords were ever reliable and very easy to work on.

Those days are gone. Yes, things have changed heaps since the LWB land rover days (thank Christ!) and some of the Jap vehicles are great hybrid on and off roaders a la the Range Rover. It did have variable rear suspension fitted from memory, but the maintenance costs?you have to royalty to own one.

I get concerned when people modify complex machines. Perhaps that us because of my heAvily technical background. Mods need a lot of nouse to apply successfully. The best mods generally get taken up by the factory. Note here, the iPhone.

So, oki doki, the article looks sound and well written. The mods are even feasible, but I question why you want to haul such big rigs. Is it pressure from the wife, over compensating for lower testosterone levels, or just a desire to destroy the environment/spend your children's inheritance?

What was wrong when times were simpler. When people did the right thing and learnt from their mistakes? Dad eventually upgraded to a cortina 250. He was scary when he drove that thing. He towed the same old van though, the 16' viscount with mum in the seat beside him. When he retired he and mum worked in a caravan park for a while at Zumsteins. He must gave towed at least the equivalent of Melbourne to cairns three times.

I tow 17'6" viscount. It has a tare weight of 1000kgs so that I never exceed the manufacturers towing recommendation of 1600kgs. I've had to change the rig slightly to get the tow ball weight down to 80kgs. I doubt whether many people on the road would even understand what I've just written but they would still fork out a small fortune to have their vehicles (il)legally modified? And you call that safety?

We are happy with our rig. It's warm and comfortable and can go anywhere I'm preorder to drive with a van in tow. 175hp/380nm mostly below 2000 rpm. Nothing strange about that. No wonder many manufacturers are getting Peugeot to make motors for them (ranger rover incl)

I don't care if people don't want to listen. I've gad many French cars over the years and never been let down once(touch wood). Actually, good luck to you all and I hope your modified vehicles are as safe as possible.
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