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Short wheel base vs long wheel base vehicle for towing

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    Ian HendersonParticipant

    Can anyone tell me if there are advantages and disadvantages to towing with a swb as compared to a lwb. (Besides the obvious smaller packing room in the swb). Does a swb tow as well as a lwb and if not why not?

    I have a Pajero swb, 3.2 diesel.

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    I only can comment on towing a small Gypsey (GVM 750kg) with my 3,2 D-ID SWB.

    I did not even feel  I was towing something !!! BUT WAS SEVERELY LIMITED IN LUGGAGE SPACE !

    I now have a 3.2 Diesel LWB and tow a Conqueror Supra 1 with a GVM of 1.500kg and I know that I am towing it,  in particularly uphill or during overtaking

    The GVM   difference between SWB and LWB is approx. 400kg (Tare maybe 200kg?). Dont forget the LWB is +/- 500 mm longer, carries 2 additional seats , has a larger Diesel tank ( 20 l more )and therefore is also heavier

    400kg loaded or not in addition to a caravan will have an effect

    The much better departure angle of the SWB is of no advantage to you if you are towing a  road caravan but it might help if  you tow a 4×4 or off road camping trailer with a high ground clearance.

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    Ian Henderson
    Ian Henderson on

    Thank you Gerd, for your reply. I will be towing an old Gypsey 6 with a tare of about 900kgs. I was specifically  thinking of sway control with the swb, which to me should be better. ( I know about correct loading of the caravan) but wonder about the effect of crosswinds etc.

    Did you find the turning circle differs with the different length vehicles while towing?

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    Although the turning circles of the SWB and LWB are very similar, if not identical (I am not sure  of the actual spec) your space for turning with the LWB plus caravan will be somewhat restricted due to the extra  length of the LWB.

    I towed the Gypsey with an old Merc A-class A160 and had to use a  blade because I experienced swaying at speeds of 90 – 100 km /h -ON HIGWAYS WITHOUT WIND !!

    But I think this was caused by the light weight of the A-class. Afterwards I towed the same van with the SWB and as I said – I did not even know I was towing anything – NO SWAY at speeds of 120 km/h +.  This should not be copied because you have to be mindful of the small van tires -and they are basically truck tires ! But I wanted to know the “border lines”

    Maybe you should try to tow without any anti-sway device and see how it goes, because the vehicle weight of  nearly 2 tons helps greatly as well..

    In summary I would prefer the LWB for the fairly large van (Tare 900kg) simply because you must avoid overloading the van and  since you have the 6 berth version I ssume you travel with family ?? and then the massive extra loading space of the LWB will  be saving your bacon (otherwise you would pack everything into the van, which might exceed the GVM and contribute to swaying….

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    https://www.caravansa.co.za/wp-content/uploads/hm_bbpui/47635/rc4v5ps63id4cheggwsjys3masa061py.jpg

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    Hi Ian

    I trust the previous 2 replies are helping with your choice LWB vs SWB

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    Ian Henderson
    Ian Henderson on

    Hi Gert, Yes very useful. I’m sticking with my shortie, as there are only 2 of us in the vehicle and with the rear seats removed there is enough space for everything we could ever want to take on a trip.

    Out of interest, when you towed with your Pajero, going down a long steep pass, did you just use your brakes or did you put the auto into manual mode to use the engine braking?

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    Excellent, I loved my SWB …

    I am not sure whether you know  the SANI Pass going up into Lesotho ??!

    When up or down I used 4-wheel drive at all time and manal gear selection, especially on the sections with lots of switchbacks…..space left and right limited and no safety rails and road  with wet patches ….engine braking comes in very handy (actually it is very necessary !!) and on the down trip even more to prevent your brakes from cooking and loosing brake power (dangerous on all passes but in particular on wet gravel,

    So, use what Mitsubishi has given you….and IN PARTICULAR WHEN TOWING A CARAVAN!!!!

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    Gerd Kopanski
    Gerd Kopanski on

    I am towing an off-road trailer and in oredr not to put too much weight in there (in addition to what is there already) we have decided to go for the LWB .

    All the camping equipment  (NL 72 l fridge /freezer, cloths, cool boxes, food etc etc etc goes in the Pajero  and only tents and accesories in the trailer.

    The main thing is to enjoy your trips….

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    Ian Henderson
    Ian Henderson on

    Thanks Gert, I know Sani pass very well. Ran it up and down a few times in my younger days.

    You have been most helpful.

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