Camper Trailer with 306 XSI
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Thread: Camper Trailer with 306 XSI

  1. #1
    Tadpole
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    Default Camper Trailer with 306 XSI

    Can anyone offer advice about towing a camping trailer with a Pug 306 XSI, manual, year 2001, runs well. I'm thinking of a trip around parts of Queensland for a few weeks with a hired camping trailer. Currently I don't have a tow bar.

    Is "don't do it" the best advice? Or can anyone here suggest anything from their own experience.

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    Gary

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    I'd probably get something like an F250 to tow a 306 and a camper van. Should be good to have the 306 as a run around once you're set up.

    '92 205 Mi16
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    1000+ Posts BIGRR's Avatar
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    I know someone that towed a 16' caravan behind an FB Holden for around 15 years, and my younger brother towed a 26' tri axle caravan Perth to Sydney with 186 Holden (He only needed a help up Mt Victoria).
    I towed an all up 680kg car and trailer Sydney- Brisbane- Melbourne - Adelaide (and back) quite a few times with the 504.

    The 306 XSi probably has nearly more torque than 504 and the Holdens.
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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    and if the trailer has brakes and weighs under 1000kg, it might even be legal (540 kg without brakes) -
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    1000+ Posts BIGRR's Avatar
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    I once towed the same 680kg all up car and trailer (No brakes) behind a 205! Right up till the first corner, I returned home immediately (with a pale face) and removed the tow bar from the 205!
    FedGrapes and DoubleChevron like this.
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    In days of yore I towed an unbraked trailer, and also a van, behind a Morris Minor, so the Pug should kill the job. (The problem wasn't GO, it was STOP)! I would avoid mountain roads, or loooong hill climbs like the Newcastle Expressway though (the Morrie did them both with a load in 1st & 2nd gear - a bit over walking pace I suspect, certainly under 20 mph).

    The 306 has more engine oomph than an old Landrover (though not the clutch), so it isn't about power or torque, more about the mass of vehicle and trailer, and the related legalities.

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Fordman's Avatar
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    My bro-in-law wanted to go camping in their new Mazda 3 a couple of years ago, and was going to borrow my roof box (Thule). I told him it would kill the Mazda relative to what you could carry in it (fuel consumption-wise). Suggested they would be better off using a light camper trailer - less load on the car (suspension) and probably equivalent fuel consumption to Thule roof box or better if trailer narrower than car. Also solved the problem of the Mazda's ridiculous spare wheel, which is actually a space saver with a smaller diameter than the other tyres - how they allow this I don't know, but certainly not good for a trip to Mt Isa from Perth. With a trailer we could mount a decent spare for the car as well on the front frame.

    IIRC the unbraked towing capacity of the Mazda was 500kgs. We built a camper that weighed 300kgs empty.

    Bought an Oztrail 6 camper (was then $2000). Weighs approx 100kgs.
    Camper 6 canvas camper trailer tent 4 Person

    Originally we were going to go for an Erde brand lightweight trailer, but too pricey. Was amazed that I could get a custom made steel trailer from a reputable local manufacturer for $1500. Had it built as a 6' x 3'6" to suit the width of the camper base. Included "Sunraysia" type wheels and new LT tyres. Weighed under 200kgs. Bolted camper to trailer as specified and had a good basic camper with plenty of room for up to 200kgs of extra gear. Unfortunately the Mazda got written off in a hailstorm before they could use it, and we sold the camper trailer for a small profit. But the exercise proved that you could have a decent camper for well under 500 kgs.

    So the weight of the trailer is a problem that can be overcome. However, the logisitics of getting a towbar on a 306, and whether the car is up to the job, is another matter. Peter T. above does not sound too convinced.

    Good luck.
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    I towed a 6' x 4' trailer full of concrete slabs for 10km behind an R12 wagon, in traffic. Never again. Brakes? What brakes? Where's my torque gone?


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

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    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Short wheelbase, FWD, it's all bad. You'd have to be very careful with towball weights, packing the trailer etc.

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    1000+ Posts Peter Chisholm's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the fact that a 306 is front wheel drive be a problem - reduced traction?

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    Fellow Frogger! andrepug's Avatar
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    FWD certainly a problem on gravel going up a hill but I tow a Teardrop style camper with a 406 HDI without problems

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    1000+ Posts cav91's Avatar
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    I agree I've never had a problem towing in a front wheel drive. My 406 towed another 406 on a trailer for about 120 kms twice. The second one was a smashed up coupe. If your careful you won't have a problem.

    I was also towing a 206 on a trailer once in the wet and it actually took off quicker and without spinning the wheels than the xr8 Ute next to me. I couldn't help but smile when my fully loaded peugeot took off faster and easier than the empty rear drive falcon.
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    Interesting the way people think about towing, esp with small cars. I don't see the problem, provided you aren't being stupid. There are plenty of small, lightweight camper options that would be legal and tow fine. It all depends on your expectations. Many people who never tow are not used to the additional weight. Same people would also not be used to the dynamics of a full compliment of occupants and luggage in their car, either. I doubt you would motor up steep freeway hills at 110km/h in fifth, but do you need to? Certainly don't think you'd have to get down to walking pace in first like the Morris mentioned above
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  14. #14
    Tadpole
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    Thank you everyone for replies. It's a good wide ranging discussion about things to consider. One not mentioned is the cost to find out whether it would be ok - fitting a tow bar, a thorough check of the car, possible replacement of suspension, hire of maybe three camper trailers to find which will run ok for a 3,500k trip, partly on gravel & dirt.

    Against that cost, and considering front wheel drive and clutch, I think I won't risk it. I don't want to discover that it was an interesting experiment in demolishing transmission or suspension, trapped somewhere remote around south west Qld.

    Thanks all.

  15. #15
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    FWD hydraulic cit's would be one of the best tow "cars" (NOT truck... ie: 3ton wank tanks) ever made. The issue you'll have is "camper trailer" is a very open ended statement. I'm guessing it's going to be a ridiculously heavy offroad unit that weighs close to 1.5tons loaded.

    Lookup cub camplet on ebay for example. You could alway sell it when you get back. You want a sensible ON ROAD lightweight trailer.

    Jayco CUB O Matic Camper Trailer in Lang Lang, VIC | eBay

    I don't understand the "offroad"caravan/trailer fad. Trailers make sense, but I imagine only 1 in 1000 of them actually get used for there designed use.... and "offroad caravan" is just stupidity. Anything that ways 2tons+ and has no departure angles is NOT going "offroad". It'll get hung up on the drawbar or bogged instantly unless you have a tracked vehicle pulling it.

    BTW: YOu don't need a 3ton wank tank just to travel. I'd be happy to take a reliable poogoe. We did it when we were kids before all the roads were fixed in a kombi van towing an "on road" caravan. I see no reason at all that you would need more than you have unless you intend towing a big caravan. The biggest issue I reckon wiht towing on roads these days, is the requirment of not holding up traffic. 30years ago you would grind up a hill in 2nd gear with the trucks. These days you couldn't do this. I have Bdouble trucks overtake me uphill when I'm not towing. Who'd want a line of 1000 pissed off people lined behind you while you climb every rise at 50km/h This was normal 30years ago.

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    Last edited by DoubleChevron; 17th February 2015 at 11:58 AM.
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    Fellow Frogger! andrepug's Avatar
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    This thread about Teardrop campers was on Aussiefrogs awhile ago;
    Teardrop Campers
    The advantage is to stop for a cupper you just lift up the back, to turn in for the night you just get in, no acres of damp canvas to fold up and dry out when you get home. You can still rig up a fly for shelter when you want to.
    More stuff about them;
    Teardrop Camper - Welcome
    Aussie Teardrop Campers
    Models & Prices
    Teardrop Trailer Plans
    Queensland seems to be the mecca for Teardrops ( because you do tend to spend more time outside)

  17. #17
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrepug View Post
    This thread about Teardrop campers was on Aussiefrogs awhile ago;
    Teardrop Campers
    The advantage is to stop for a cupper you just lift up the back, to turn in for the night you just get in, no acres of damp canvas to fold up and dry out when you get home. You can still rig up a fly for shelter when you want to.
    More stuff about them;
    Teardrop Camper - Welcome
    Aussie Teardrop Campers
    Models & Prices
    Teardrop Trailer Plans
    Queensland seems to be the mecca for Teardrops ( because you do tend to spend more time outside)
    the little cub campers have a swing out kitchen on the back door. There a pretty nifty setup for something that only weighs a couple of hundred kg. YOu'd have to be cautious with water though and carry plenty as I don't think they have a water tank

    I used to want to get one when I was using old CX's and ID's as only cars. but they were out of my price reach.
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    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterT View Post
    Short wheelbase, FWD, it's all bad. You'd have to be very careful with towball weights, packing the trailer etc.
    This is what can happen if you dont get the tow ball weight right and it doesn't have to be a heavy trailer for it to ruin your day

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Twwge3tH7C8
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    1000+ Posts BIGRR's Avatar
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    The 1st thing wrong that bloke did was to apply the brakes, he should have put his foot on the loud pedal. Good youtube viewing though.
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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Chisholm View Post
    Wouldn't the fact that a 306 is front wheel drive be a problem - reduced traction?
    Nope not a problem at all.
    In fact the way i look at it, tyres are much easier to replace than a clutch, and I loooove new tyres.
    When I'm cracking a waterlogged boat off the mark and dragging it up the ramp with the fuego, which has rather poor traction and too much power, I simply drop the clutch and do a burn out all the way up the ramp untill the vehicles are traveling at a pace where I can switch back to full traction.
    In contrast, the rx4 (AWD) has to labour the clutch....You can smell it.

    IF you realy have traction issues, either your driving style or the combined weight need some serious scrutiny.

    Jo

  21. #21
    1000+ Posts renault8&10's Avatar
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    I can't see a problem with it
    Why not
    FIVEDOOR, BIGRR and Fordman like this.
    KB


  22. #22
    1000+ Posts FIVEDOOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by renault8&10 View Post
    I can't see a problem with it
    Why not
    Classic
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    I had an '01 306 XT that I had fitted a Hayman Reece towbar to, just for box trailer use. I think the ratings were 750Kg unbraked and only 850 braked. I would guess as long as you don't go too silly in loading up the camper trailer it should come in under 600 Kg. I did once gently tow 1100Kg with my 306, certainly movements were carefully made, and brakes gently applied, and it didn't feel very nice. I was more worried about tearing the rear out of the car as they are not very heavily built back there.
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  24. #24
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jo proffi View Post
    Nope not a problem at all.
    In fact the way i look at it, tyres are much easier to replace than a clutch, and I loooove new tyres.
    When I'm cracking a waterlogged boat off the mark and dragging it up the ramp with the fuego, which has rather poor traction and too much power, I simply drop the clutch and do a burn out all the way up the ramp untill the vehicles are traveling at a pace where I can switch back to full traction.
    In contrast, the rx4 (AWD) has to labour the clutch....You can smell it.

    IF you realy have traction issues, either your driving style or the combined weight need some serious scrutiny.

    Jo
    pulling a heavy boat out ... center diff lock in ... low 1st, let the clutch out and it'll idle away like there's nothing on the back Easy does it. The only car I've seen do the fuego trick was some middle aged guy years ago with a yatch he pulled out of the water behind his saab turbo. He had some young blonde thing with him and she obviously said "no" when they were out on the water. You could clearly hear the turbo blowing full boost in 1st up the ramp. It was a crying shame about the low hanging branch at the top of the ramp that took the roof off his boat, along with the mast. We didn't roll on the ground laughing.... promise

    seeya,
    Shane L.
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  25. #25
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    Not a problem at all if you drive as you should be, with a loaded trailer.
    I recently drove my 306 S16 from Sydney to Perth with a full car and a (correctly) loaded 7x4 cage trailer which included 2 motorcycles and all my tools. I would have been on my max unbraked towing weight, plus a completely filled car which looked like a low rider . She handled it with no problem what so ever.

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