Fwd towing with swan outback

Submitted: Wednesday, Dec 06, 2017 at 20:21
ThreadID: 135958 Views:1305 Replies:6 FollowUps:13
I am thinking of buying a jayco swan outback and have a kluger 2wd but I don’t wish to upgrade has anyone had any experience towing in one I have heard front wheel drives aren’t very good for towing ?
Back Reply Expand Un-Read 0 Moderator

Reply By: Kenell - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 07:46

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 07:46
Johnny,
Everything in camping / caravanning is a compromise. My first foray into this world was brought on by necessity. I had 3 young children, a wife who was a stay at home mum, a job that wasn't paying heaps and a mortgage that took most of my bring home dollars. I wanted my kids to enjoy family holidays as I had done and camping was the only way I could do that. A Jayco Swan hooked up to the company provided Magna (front wheel drive) no brakes on the Swan and off we went. The Swan was a 70s version that was quite heavy unlike the more recently built versions. Was the towing ideal - not really. I don't remember too many hairy moments though apart from misjudging the fuel usage driving it over Mt Hotham. Your front wheel drive shouldn't be a problem with a relatively lightweight trailer. Get to know how it feels to tow fully loaded. Get to know the braking etc before you do any long travels. How you load it can have an effect on how well it tows as do tyre pressures on both tow vehicle and trailer. It is a matter of experience and practice in my view.
Good luck with it - you'll have a ball.

Ken
AnswerID: 615393

Follow Up By: Johnnykluger - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 10:30

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 10:30
Thanks Kennell your experience sounds a lot like mine I have 2 young kids and have been tenting for a few years now so we are going to take the plunge soon so I’ll just go out there and not worry I know the kluger will be up to the task
0
FollowupID: 886402

Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 09:18

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 09:18
Johnny .

You will be fine .
Enjoy the camping .

Cheers
AnswerID: 615394

Reply By: Keir & Marg - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 10:08

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 10:08
We used to tow a Penguin Outback with a Landrover Freelander TD4 (which is a part time AWD). Wet days were a problem with wheelspin until the part-time AWD decided to engage the rear wheels. Put on a Hayman-Reese WDH which put some of the weight back on the front wheels. No problems and the combined rig felt much better both on the blacktop and the dirt. Check the towball download of the Swan Outback and make sure the Kluger and its towbar is rated for this weight.
AnswerID: 615395

Reply By: splits - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 19:59

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 19:59
" I have heard front wheel drives aren’t very good for towing ?"

A lot depends on the design of the car. Collyn Rivers COLLYN said in one of his technical books that a particular model Citroen was a good tow car despite being front wheel drive. The reason was it had next to no overhang at the rear. The overhang is the distance between the rear axle and the tow ball. That distance is a lever and the van will use it to try and wag the end of the car from side to side if it starts swaying. .

The main problem with a front wheel drive is a load on the back will take weight off the front wheels. These are responsible for driving, steering and about 80% of breaking. Having them in full contact with the road at all times should be your number one priority.

Toyota will almost certainly have designed the Kluger to have a higher tyre slip angle at the front than the rear. That is the angle between the distorted tryre in corners and the wheel. The reason for the higher angle at the front is to make the car understeer in corners instead of oversteering which is sliding its rear end out first. Look through these photos and the charts. Little suspension changes can make a big difference.HANDLING

Loading up the rear and adding weight on the tow ball can reverse this feature of the suspension design. To help restore it you can lift the rear up with a WDH [weight distributing hitch]. This may be listed in the car's handbook as being essential , it is on my Toyota, so do not ignore it if yours is the same. They lift the rear of the body and take weight off the rear axle. That weight is then redistributed between the front wheels of the car and the wheels of the caravan. Lifting the rear with stiffer springs or air bags can not do this.

Two problems can develop here. One is a WDH is not suitable in many off road conditions because the angle between the car and trailer may exceed the bending limits of the bars and damage them or the car. The other is the latest overseas research is saying you should not allow a WDH to put more than 50% of the weight removed from the front wheels back onto them.

If you find your car feels a little light in the front end while towing then reduce the front tyre pressures by about 5 psi to help increase the slip angle.

Other things to do are:

Insist on the dealer weighing the van and its tow ball weight before you buy it. Vans are notorious for having higher tare weights and tow ball weights than are listed on the specification sheet.

Try and avoid having anything mounted outside on the back of the van. Weight out there just makes it easier for it to swing its tail from side to side.

Do not overload the rear end of the car. If it sags below its limits then you have done something wrong, not Toyota. If you start modifying the suspension then you can end up with a car that looks good and feels great on the road until that one day when something causes the van to get the wobbles then all hell can break loose in seconds. Look up caravan jack knifing on Utube and you will see what I mean. The idea is to have a car that is always in control of the van, not the other way around.

These two links are always worth reading if you are new to towing.
DYNAMICS

TOWING WEIGHT GUIDE
AnswerID: 615401

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 20:35

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 20:35
Great post, Splits, thanks
0
FollowupID: 886408

Follow Up By: Johnnykluger - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 21:53

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 21:53
Thanks splits great advice I will take it all on board
0
FollowupID: 886409

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 13:14

Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 13:14
Johnny

After reading Splits reply I wouldn't be surprised if you decide never to leave your driveway while towing . Just drive to the conditions dont overload and you won't have a problem .
Talk about overthinking something . !
1
FollowupID: 886411

Follow Up By: RMD - Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 14:37

Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 14:37
Mark D18
When towing all is well until it isn't. Splits is trying to alert Jonny to avoid the " when it isn't situation. Just going cruising with little awareness CAN be fatal, perhaps not to you but to someone. At a guess I would think Kluger ( shocking name) will not have shocks good enough to control any more tail load mass than a normal load. If it can't control that mass, then the fun starts. Allow people to make others aware and not dismiss it as trivial. Caravan crash statistics might persuade you to be more concerned when advising others.
2
FollowupID: 886412

Follow Up By: splits - Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 21:29

Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 21:29
Mark D18
When towing all is well until it isn't
-------------------------------------------------------------
So true. Hundreds of caravans jack knife each year while cruising along the highways but try and find a driver who knew something was wrong before it happened.

------------------------------------------------------------
At a guess I would think Kluger ( shocking name) will not have shocks good enough to control any more tail load mass than a normal load."
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Unfortunately few are carrying a normal load. The usual thing is owners load the car up with whatever they want to put in it with each item placed wherever they want it to go. They then hook up their van or trailer and if the rear end sags it is the car manufacturer's fault not theirs.

They then turn to the aftermarket industry to solve their problem without having a clue as to how their suspension alterations are going to make the car handle in an emergency situation, particularly when towing..

You can put the maximum load on the tow ball and the maximum load, correctly distributed, inside the car but you can't do both at the same time.
0
FollowupID: 886415

Reply By: Member - Taxi Driver - Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 22:39

Thursday, Dec 07, 2017 at 22:39
Hi, I have a 2010 swan which I towed with a Kia Sportage awd diesel. I had no trouble with it on hills winding roads dirt long distance short distance and had the benefit of good fuel economy
Brian
AnswerID: 615402

Reply By: Johnnykluger - Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 10:37

Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 10:37
Just curious how many of you towing swans have used a wdh?
AnswerID: 615410

Follow Up By: Member - Taxi Driver - Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 22:34

Friday, Dec 08, 2017 at 22:34
No. Just tow it.
0
FollowupID: 886416

Follow Up By: Johnnykluger - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 07:38

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 07:38
Everyone is saying I should use a wdh but I have been camping for about 3 years now I have seen many swans and not one of them use a wdh
0
FollowupID: 886419

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 09:05

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 09:05
Johnny,

What is the towball weight when the Swan is loaded up for touring? Full fridge, clothes, bedding, water, gas, etc

If it's light it may not be worth it.
1
FollowupID: 886420

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 09:19

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 09:19
I was going to say it costs nothing to try it without the wdh and see how it handles. Not on a full trip of course, just a test drive in an appropriate place without the family.
1
FollowupID: 886421

Follow Up By: Johnnykluger - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 10:29

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 10:29
Yes I think that would be the best way to do it Michael try it without the wdh first I have also checked my towball weight it is 200kg and jayco specs on the swan outback says 109kg unladen weight
0
FollowupID: 886422

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 11:39

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 11:39
200kg is worth a WDH on a Kluger, IMO.
0
FollowupID: 886427

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 14:52

Saturday, Dec 09, 2017 at 14:52
Always check the towing instructions in the owner's handbook. Some manufacturers say don't use them. Toyota says they are essential for any ball weight above half the maximum for my ute but that may not apply to all Toyotas.
1
FollowupID: 886429

Popular Content