Towing with Cruise Control

Can I tow my caravan and use cruise control ??? 

Yes There are certain times you can use it and times you definitely should NOT!

Always refer to your vehicle owners handbook !!!!

 

 

     

 

    

           What is cruise control, and how does it work.

          According to Dictionary                                                              

         Cruise Con-trol  NOUN                                                                       

          A device in a motor vehicle which can be switched on to maintain a

          selected constant speed without the use of the accelerator pedal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does it do ???

So in a nutshell you set your cruise control at Required speed ( 100km/h) , and it will try to keep  that speed.  

When going Up a hill , your speed decreases . And when it drops below a certain speed you will notice your

car accelerating , and a fair chance it will shift into a  lower gear, while trying to keep the required speed

that  was set. (higher fuel consumption) When going Down a hill your vehicle tends to gain speed (momentum).

It wont hold your speed from going over  Some cruise control unites will try  to slow your vehicle  down  to the

required  speed set by downshifting  or by braking.  Cruise control  turned OFF by touching the brakes to slow the

vehicle, and/or – pressing the “Cancel/Off” function on the system itself . Some vehicles are fitted with an overdrive

button this can be selected which will downshift and revs will increase using the engine as a brake.

You will need to press the resume button by the driver, once you are at the required speed.

Can I use Cruise Control while Towing?

Well there are factors to consider :

–          The conditions of the road  (sealed, dirt, flat, windy, hilly etc),

–          The conditions of the traffic  (light, heavy, traffic lights, city, country etc),

–          The tow vehicle has enough power, and how well it handles corners, hills etc

–          The conditions of the weather  (rain, wind, night etc)

–          The weight/stability of the trailer/van being towed,

 

 

         

 

Cruise control is NOT designed for all road conditions, especially when towing caution needs to be taken !

It would probably be best to the use of cruise control to the flat open highway in good weather, and drive normally ( cruise control off ) as you would anywhere else – i.e. city driving , winding roads,  heavy traffic,  slippery roads, bad weather, dirt roads, etc.

Try it out with your vehicle/caravan camper  combo and see if you like using it. U may not like it or the feel of not having control (so to speak ) , You do not have to use it if you do not want too.

When Can  Cruise Control be used ?

Cruise control is great for driving  at a set  speed (100 km/h)  not stopping all the time . Best suited to use  on a motorway or highway, rather than on a street in a city with traffic lights, where there is lots of traffic, in windy, hilly terrain, or where road/weather conditions are hazardous. Since its main purpose is to maintain a set speed when it is set at, or slightly under, the posted speed limit, you should be able to avoid any potential speeding tickets.

On the open highway when the road is reasonably flat, using cruise control to enable a set speed can also provide a small improvement in fuel economy, acceleration and braking uses more fuel than maintaining a set speed that not only helps the environment and reduces emissions, but also saves you $$$.  It can also help with driver fatigue on long trips since you don’t have to worry about your speed on the open road ( speed signs still need to be adhered too.). and can also make for a more relaxed and comfortable trip.

But in saying that using cruise control can take your mind off the job at hand and if something was to go wrong, you may not be able to react as quickly to the emergency situation. If cruise control is on and the road conditions suddenly change or worsen, the potential for losing control of your vehicle becomes greater.

An example – when cornering, your vehicle will enter a corner at the set speed of the cruise control. If this is too fast for the corner, any hard braking to reduce speed could interfere with the stability of the vehicle, and possible loss of control.

Wet weather, bad visibility and terrible driving conditions requires the full attention of the driver, so cruise control should be turned off in these conditions.

Changes to the road surface from sealed to dirt or gravel could result in loss of control with the driver unable to turn off the cruise control fast enough to react to the situation.

While the cruise control system has its advantages it has its disadvantages as well and the fact you are just sitting there can make you tired. Some accidents have been reported where drivers weren’t paying attention and drove off a sweeping corner or drifting into oncoming traffic because of the constant speed.

Cruise control should never be used by a driver who is feeling tired. Your reaction times could be too slow to take any corrective action needed.

Remember that when going uphill, as your speed decreases, cruise control will either increase throttle pressure and/or change down a gear, in an attempt to maintain the set speed.

If you want to look after your engine and gearbox, it might be better to not let it change back and rev the motor, consuming even more fuel than you would like. Practice “cancelling” cruise control as the speed drops, and take over manual control of the accelerator until you reach the top of the hill.

When coming downhill by the time your cruise control realizes it no longer needs to be applying power to the motor to get over the hill, you’re probably already over the speed limit as you start down the other side. If your cruise control doesn’t apply the brake or change gear automatically, it would be cancel it and resume manual control with foot accelerator.

 

So when thinking of towing with cruise control remember all the above is a lot harder when you have any extra weight behind you .

 

 

 

                                          

                Vehicle (approx 2500kg)                                                  Vehicle (approx 2500kg) + Caravan (approx 2500kg) = 5000kg

 

sourced from multiple websites and forums , caravaners forum , grey nomad forum , RACQ , artni.com.au and a few others