Saturday, October 16, 2010

Towing with TDI EV: 5000lb Westy from Seattle to Corvallis

In tow--265+ ft/lbs of torque at work
 I get asked the question about towing with a TDI EV often and so far my answers have been mostly theoretical.  Well now, I have some real world experience and in short my new answer will be, "No problem, tow away!"

Early this morning we headed up to Port Orchard, WA (400+ miles round trip) to pick up an 82 diesel Vanagon Westy that we just couldn't pass up.  We opted to take the EV since both of our normal tow rigs ('06 PSD and an 85 F250) are fuel hogs and bolstered with my recent dyno #'s I felt compelled to use my Eurovan and see what all that torquey TDI engine could do.  Well, we were both impressed the whole way home.  It did awesome cruising back at 60-65mph, and took all hills at a min. of 50mph, limited not by the power available, but by my hawkish eye on the EGT gauge ;-).  At 50+ mph on the big hills the temps. were very comfortable at below 1250* F pre-turbine.  Overall we had a 100% flawless trip, with no engine temperature issues whatsoever (a steady 193*F the whole way).  The power wasn't only adequate it was comparable to what our big trucks are like under tow.  Very impressive.

Overall trip MPG avg. was around 23.5 (B50 all the way up and 3/4 home, last 1/4 on D2),  so no doubt it was working to get us back here, but I'm certain that it was all well within SOP of this sweetly tuned TDI powerplant.  And, in the end we got 1.5-2x better fuel economy than the full-size Ford trucks we own, and of course it's always more fun driving a VW!

93 Eurovan w/4-cyl TDI towing an 82 diesel Westy.

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