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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12th September 2006 Thread Starter
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Espace Towing - experiences

I have a 1997 2.2dt Espace and have generally been v.pleased with the car as a fine family vehicle.

Last year we invested in a Caravan (1000kg unlaided). I reviewed the towing specifications and selected a caravan within the 85% limits.

I have towed trailers (some heavy twin axle car trailers) with other cars but this is my first experience with a caravan and towing (other than small box trailers) with the Espace.

My Espace seems generally underpowered and struggles to maintain speed on hills. This is especially noticeable on motorways with long drag hills forcing me down to 50mph.

Feedback from others towing with same car would be appreciated. If the power is the issue then anyone had succcess with chipping.


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12th September 2006
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A quick Google rates the 1997 2.2 Espace as 115bhp - quite a bit lower than the 150ish that the later 2.2dCi's manage to kick out.

On top of that, the engine already has a lot of work to do shifting the bus, and sticking a tonne of caravan on the back is going to make it suffer. But to be honest, I'm surprised you're down to 50mph on motorway hills.

I know diesel drivers tend to get lazy when it comes to using the gearbox, so are you taking advantage of the torque multiplication of a lower ratio gear? I don't know about the Espace, but my Lag dCi is quite happy doing 60mph in 3rd, and it'll hold that speed up the steepest dual carriageway gradient I've come across to date, even with 17 feet of caravan hooked to the back. But then I do have a lighter car and probably about 20% more torque.

Chipping will boost torque throughout most of the rev range, and will definitely improve matters. They generally claim a torque boost of up to 30%, but as with anyone trying to sell you stuff, that figure can be a tad optimistic. The question is whether or not you really want to part with a couple of hundred quid when you're probably not going to make use of it every day.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 14th September 2006
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some other advice in these posts
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 3rd October 2006
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I have towed with all versions of the Espace, and all the diesels, usually a caravan weighing 1300 Kg, and did not experience any lack of power, right into European touring. Up to 80MPH was possible even with the 89HP original diesel and in 5th gear.
On Motorway steep hills as M6 in the Lakes, M5 Winchester, it will be necessary to down shift to 4th gear, maybe 3rd exceptionally. If there is a strong headwind, or even sidewind, this will increase the caravan's drag enormously, and slow you down unless clog it hard. The 2.2 DT increaed the Espace weight by 300Kg, so you will notice this on hills, as the torque did not increase in proportion till the 2.2 dci which I now own.
Is you engine running OK? - Air filter clogged?
Good caravanning,

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espace , experiences , towing

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