We’ve been on vacation, towing a caravan behind us. Thought I’d put down a few numbers, just to make sure I remember until next time.
Model: S3 500 DM
Max weight (“wet”): 2866 pounds / 1300 kg
Total length: 727 cm / 23,85 ft
Total width: 232 cm / 7,6 ft
Total height: 257 cm / 8,4 ft
Towing vehicle: Volvo S80 2.4 (140 hp, 220 Nm/162 ft lbf)
Build year: 1999 (model year 2000)
Gears used: Mostly fourth, uphill third and sometimes even second
RPM: 1800-2400 (average)
Outside temperature: From +17C/62F to +24C/75F
Weather: Rainy on the way up, no wind; sunny on the way home
Route travelled: Sölvesborg to Vimmerby, Sweden. Nicely paved roads, but long uphill stretches. Both ways.
Distance: 240 km / 149 miles, one way
Average speed: 65 kph / 40 mph (on average. Max allowed is 80 kph / 50 mph).
General opinion: If you ever considered towing something weighing approximately 1.3 ton, with a drag coefficient slightly better than a brick wall, and you know the road will be filled with long uphill stretches, I’d recommend against it. If you’ve got a 2.4T or similar, just go for it. You won’t even notice it’s there (tried it myself, on the same route).
So, finally, what was the milage? Well… 13.9L/100km or 16.9mpg isn’t very impressive. Especially compared with 7.8L/100 km or 30mpg that I get when not towing.
Next time, we’ll be using a turbocharged Brick. For my temper, and to avoid annoying more truck drivers along the route. 😉