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Discussion Starter #1
hi all -aspiring transporter owner, i've been trawling forums & www for info every spare mo for 3 weeks - confused & figure its best just to ask as lots conflicting info - any help gratefully recieved

we need a van to convert to basic accomodation for myself & 2 kids travelling uk with sports team, as cant cant afford repeated hotels, can only drive auto gearbox. i tow a tall trailer every where weighing in approx 350kg (unfortunaley too big kit to go in van)

Q1- i need to identify what is going to be the most fuel efficient auto box, i've only got access to current newsales book & cant afford new - in the 2000 - 2006 - what was available in auto, where they all 2.5l?
Q2- in the same way people mod engines for enhancing engine "grunt"... can an engine be mod'd to produce better fuel economy,
i'm not interested in speed off from standing start - just need best fuel economy, will do 7000 miles towing this year
Q3 are there any big auto problems that i need to know about / or bad models i need to avoid
Q4 i've seen all the thread pages on mpg / miles per tank, does any one have any data for Auto & towing a trailer... please
Q5... as Auto's seen to be quite rare without going the caravelle route (too expensive for me) any good sources of Autos pls
... any thing else i need to know
thanks Jayne
 

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Hello, hope this helps.

I have California Auto, which I tow a rally car with.

Without the car on the trailer I would say that it weighs in at around 350 kg (the trailer) so this may be close to your requirements.

My california is 2642 kg on the road with 1/4 fuel and me in it (this was confirmed at my MOT earlier this week). Thats with a odd plate and sleeping bag in it, but mostly empty. I'd say that a semi loaded up van would come in something like that as Californa's have double glazing, fancy heaters, cupboards and the like.

My T5 California is a 2.5, 174 as standard and it has been remapped to 210 hp by Pendle (very good). Towing the trailer without the car on it I can get 34.5 MPG if I cruise on the motorway, 29 around town. That's 60 mph but do notice that if I am less than very smooth with the throttle, the economy can drop to 30 on the run.

The extra power/torque isn't being used here but really come's in to it's own when the car is on the trailer. It averages 29-30 if I am gentle, towing the car. The car comes in at 687 kg plus around 100 kg of spare wheels, tools and jerry cans.

I have noticed that unloaded, the MPG can vary dependant on the road surface!! Going down the A55, driving it the same I can loose 3-4 mpg (at 65 mph) dependant if I am on tarmac or concrete slab's (Concrete being the worst.)

My van has 235 tyres on it, so the thinner they are I should think the above figures would be better.

Oh, and I find the Auto lovely to drive, cant see me ever buying a big manual car again now!! oh, and I can get 37 mpg if I keep it around 65 on a run, strangely if I stick to 60 mph it's slightly worse, could be the turbo is more efficient but I'm unsure.
 

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hello jemab

I had t4 2.5tdi 102 from new for nearly 12yrs,excellent van,but getting tired. looked at t5 for nearly 1year before buying.have towed a boat for 25yrs and last 5yrs boat has been over atonne.after long research i bought 06 plate t30 tiptronic auto with factory high roof and 27k.all research brought up on auto for t5 was excellent in contrast to dual mass flywheel problems on manuals.
have had van 1yr now and heres my thoughts.very experienced at god mpg driving and empty van did 520mls to first tank at 55/60mph.van is absolutely delightful to drive. is now fitted with 3m long awning(T45) and is always pretty loaded. best mpg since is 508miles and ive been to martin at pendle. probably now 160-170hp. exactly as martin said even smoother! and quicker if required,handy for overtaking and sliproads to motorway.dont imagine good mpg with auto. just had worst tank full of 420mls 75ltr fuel but have been driving quickly. even into strong headwind you can easily be going 80/85 with high roof and not realise its so relaxed. most fiils of fuel last 3months were440-470,with winter tyres. am now on granny speed for this tankful to see how fuel goes.
on towing front, set up to tow my boat up serious inclined slip at mallaig with forklift standby. no chance of t4 even moving boat at this slip. there was 8mile sea run to other slip.was very nervous to see what would happen. had handbrake FULL on and footbrake! here goes into drive nearly 2000 revs and van slowly pulled,held same revs at slow speed and little bit spin and pulled up slip superbly. i was astonished! i launched ther same bot with t4 and could hardly get back up with only trailer.
for towing auto is superb,better than i could imagine,especially pulling away from start. its very relaxed and only downside is mpg.one upside not anticipated with auto is acceleration from start or pick up on roundabouts etc,its shockingly quick almost like motorbike for response,see a gap put foot down especially if empty van and your there!
fitted cruise control and use for 30/40 limits,just slow down to speed,touch button and no speeding tickets!
hope this helps you.after 18k mls in year still delighted with van.

neil
 

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Discussion Starter #4
many thanks for the details - yes i think we've found one - am as excited as my children, will become a regular forumite!
cheers J
 
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