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Towing in ECO Mode

All car manufacturers are now providing ECO buttons in their cars to satisfy emissions regulations.

Towing in ECO mode - But how could this affect you when towing a caravan?

Towing in ECO modeThe ECO or ECON button in your car is designed to put the car into the most economically running mode as possible. You'd think this would be a good thing, especially when towing a caravan long distances, with the inevitable increased fuel consumption due to the weight and extra drag of the caravan.

The ECO mode works by shutting down or limiting the functions of any systems that place a load on the engine. For example, it reduces the power of your air conditioning because this increases the load on the engine.

Where towing a caravan can be affected is that the ECO mode also limits the output of the vehicle alternator to only provide sufficient current back into the battery and the vehicle electrical system to prevent unnecessary overcharge of the battery.

The problem is that no car manufacturer to date has thought to take in to account the extra load required by your caravan to charge the battery while you are towing. So when the alternator is operating in ECO model it does not provide enough power to charge the battery in the caravan.

Turning ECO Mode off completely while towing is the most obvious option, but it isn't ideal if you're trying to save fuel while towing because you would completely disable all of the fuel saving systems. However, all you need to do is increase the charge voltage that needs to be supplied to the caravan.

The simple solution?

When towing a caravan, always drive with your headlights on! Apart from the increased safety benefit of other motorist seeing you sooner, the extra load caused by the car's headlights force the ECO system to increase its charging voltage to the car, and also your caravan.

Towing in ECO mode


Visit our Advise Centre for more tips and help when towing and how we can help you.

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