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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.
Currently in Horatio's garage:
2010 Laguna III Initiale.