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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, does anyone have any experience of using a 307cc to tow? I've been towing caravans and competition cars on trailers for years but have only recently had a tow bar fitted on the 307cc as my 97 Frontera Sport is getting a little tired.

The car performs well when towing a competition car on a trailer and gives me over 30 mpg (2.0 petrol engine and auto box) when towing the caravan, BUT, my caravan becomes unstable at anything over 50 mph when behind the Pug. The caravan was stable behind the Frontera (the only other car that I've towed this particular caravan with) and I've today had all the caravan running gear serviced to make sure that it hasn't developed a fault. It hasn't - all is fine with the caravan.

Has anyone else a similar experience?

I do not use stabilisers as I've always believed that I'd rather know if the unit (car and/or caravan) is unstable before it gets to the natural limit of a stabiliser and so goes big time.

Any and all comments will be welcome especially if anyone can suggest something that will allow me to do a little more than 50 mph on the 400 mile round trip that's coming up.

Thanks in adavance.
 

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BillMex said:
Hello all, does anyone have any experience of using a 307cc to tow? I've been towing caravans and competition cars on trailers for years but have only recently had a tow bar fitted on the 307cc as my 97 Frontera Sport is getting a little tired.

The car performs well when towing a competition car on a trailer and gives me over 30 mpg (2.0 petrol engine and auto box) when towing the caravan, BUT, my caravan becomes unstable at anything over 50 mph when behind the Pug. The caravan was stable behind the Frontera (the only other car that I've towed this particular caravan with) and I've today had all the caravan running gear serviced to make sure that it hasn't developed a fault. It hasn't - all is fine with the caravan.

Has anyone else a similar experience?

I do not use stabilisers as I've always believed that I'd rather know if the unit (car and/or caravan) is unstable before it gets to the natural limit of a stabiliser and so goes big time.

Any and all comments will be welcome especially if anyone can suggest something that will allow me to do a little more than 50 mph on the 400 mile round trip that's coming up.

Thanks in adavance.
Having towed any number of trailers and caravans with a variety of vehicles, I always found it best to use a stabiliser. Even although we towed a 18.5cwt caravan with a Range Rover Discovery (easily within it's towing limit), the stabiliser was still put on for peace of mind.

It sounds to me as if the front end on the 307 is a bit light. What's the nose weight of the caravan? Your Frontera would have coped fine regardless of the noseweight, but the 307 is lighter and lighter still on the steering which could inadvertantly cause tail-end wag.

Another question would be whats the GVW of the 307 versus your caravan? A weighbridge is the only way to determine the real weight of the caravan you are towing as with extra accessories & bits loaded you can no longer go by the manufacturers spec. Remember to load your caravan as if you were going away for a real holiday before going to a weighbridge as everything add to the overall weight (sleeping bags, chairs, windbreak etc etc etc). You'd be surpised how easy it is to add that weight.

They say 85% of the towing car GVW is the limit.... (no comment!! ;) ).
 

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You haven't mentioned what 307cc you have, but I've noticed that the maximum for a braked trailer (or caravan) for a 307cc is 1200kg.
http://peugeot-northcyprus.com/pdf/307cc.pdf

Your caravan's ex-works weight is unladen weight - 1046kg with a maximum laden weight of 1250kg (based on the 2 birth version).

You are already at 87% without anything loaded!

If you load the permitted 204kg (you have probably gone well over to be honest), you're already at 104% :eek:
 

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I suggest having an Alko hitch fitted onto the caravan. Also reads as if your caravan does not have the correct weight distribution. Check the noseweight of the caravan using a bathroom scale and a piece of wood.
The noseweight of the caravan should be about the same as the noseweight of the car. With the Frontera even if the caravan was incorrectly loaded you probably would not have noticed the difference.
 

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im sure i've read this elsewhere c4u perhaps:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Many thanks for such comprehensive responses

I've clearly got some thinking and rethinking to do!

Reading through these responses and those I've received on a caravan forum I use (well spotted trem1 - I thought it might help to get comments from both aspects!) there's a good chance that my problem is any one, if not all, of three possibilities; poor weight match, poor loading and/or aerodynamics.

I did check out the weight match/compatibility before fitting the tow bar to the 307cc. My owners manual agrees (as we'd expect) with peugeot-northcyprus.com but my car is the 2.0 16v auto and not the 1.6 16V manual 307cc for which the braked trailer limit is 1200 kg. The max for my car is 1320 kg.

According to the model year 2000 information that came with the caravan its mass in running order is 963 kg and maximum technically permissible laden mass is 1250 kg. While I haven't (but certainly need to) put the van on a weighbridge I don't believe that I have exceeded the user payload even after allowing for the "essential habitation equipment" as it is so quaintly referred to in the literature.

In all events, 85% of the car's kerb weight of 1543 kg is 1337 kg which gives me a reasonable margin for error even before taking account of my short but beer bellied frame and chunky domestic management.

Having been towing caravans for over 25 years I'd assumed (probably wrongly) that I should have a reasonable idea how to load a caravan to correctly distribute the total weight. My habit is to keep as much weight as possible over the (single) axle but this van is still quite new to me and it is perfectly possible that I got it wrong, however, the symptoms were the same both with and without the payload. As for noseweight, yes I really must use the bathroom scales. Again, I'd assumed that I could judge 60 kg but I almost certainly have tended to load to minimise noseweight. I do stand well back from the rig to visually check the ride height of each end of both the car and the caravan preferring a VERY slightly lower end at the front of the van (without excessive but still unconfirmed noseweight) which has always seemed the most stable configuration in the past.

I have also tried towing the caravan (without payload) with the 307's roof up and down and there was no noticeable difference to the speed (almost exactly 50 mph) at which I saw and felt that gentle wag.

One other thing that puzzled me (and the main reason why I chose to get the running gear checked and serviced) is that the gentle tail wag comes on at the same speed uphill, downhill and on the flat. Does this mean anything in particular? I'd concluded that this meant that the problem was unlikely to be weight related either in respect of the payload distribution or noseweight.

Please, please keep the comments coming. I'd much rather hurt my pride by being wrong than my hurt my health or wallet by having something go seriously wrong!

Thanks again to all.
 
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Irrespective of towing weights etc, even the 180 barely has the energy to move itself and the, thankfully rare, 1.6s take longer to 60 in real life than a 107, so it's not a well suited powertrain/fat git car combination.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
chopper1192 said:
Irrespective of towing weights etc, even the 180 barely has the energy to move itself and the, thankfully rare, 1.6s take longer to 60 in real life than a 107, so it's not a well suited powertrain/fat git car combination.
Each to their own Chopper!!

I certainly wouldn't have chosen the 307cc if I'd wanted to cultivate a "Boy Racer" image.

Thanks for expressing your opinion.
 

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BillMex said:
I've clearly got some thinking and rethinking to do!

*SNIP*
From an outsiders point of view, it's difficult to say what the problem might be. I honestly don't think it aero-dynamics.

Personally I would be inclined to load the caravan like you would do when going on holiday (and don't forget a single thing) and visit the weightbridge.

For instance, we used to carry some fresh water in the water in the water container incase we stopped for a break and a cuppa. The toilet had water to flush it. We had the security devices, full gas bottles etc etc. And of course all the clothing incase of bad weather. We were probably worse than some as we used to go to France and take 2 sets of boule!

How much stuff do you load in the front lockers? Extra jack? Caravan spare wheel? Cleaning gear?

Just think holiday mode and load it accordingly.

All these items add up and although we never thought we had exceeded the maxweight, when I think about it I'm not so sure.

We have since sold the caravan and have a small motothome, but the same problem still applies. That too has a maximum load weight (no comment! ;) ).

Please do let us know the outcome and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
307cc as a tow car - update

We've now returned from our 400 mile round trip and I'm pleased to say that the caravan was more stable this time albeit that it could still be better.

I deliberately increased the noseweight and took extra care to balance the total payload. I'm fairly convinced that most of the improvement was down to simply increasing the noseweight.

I'm still reluctant to fit a stabiliser but may do so if I don't see a further improvement next time out.

Thanks again for all the helpful comments.
 
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