Quashqai

Apr 26, 2022
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Hi were just back from Cornwall, camping. We’ve past a few Qashqai’s towing,
Ours is a 1.5 dci 115 DCT N Connecta auto
Max braked towing 1450kg
If we decided on a van then it would be a sub 1100kg one
Anyone had any experience in towing with one, or just stick to camping 😂
 

Sam Vimes

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Sep 7, 2020
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Yes.....

I have the 1.5dCi manual and tow an Elddis Xplore 304.

It pulls very well. Hardly ever get into 6th gear and through Highland roads get between 40 to 44mpg. It pants a bit going up some steepish hills but gets there ok.
 
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Sam Vimes

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Just another cautionary note and this may or may not apply to your version of Qashqai....

Mine is a 2018 model and has a Smart Alternator. This function can kill (completely discharge) your leisure battery when towing. It won't keep the fridge permanently powered either although this is less of a problem.

I write from personal experience.

My earlier Qashqai didn't have a Smart Alternator and didn't have this problem.

This is not just a Qashqai problem as other makes may have the same issues to varying degrees. There are add ons that will overcome this problem but I just disconnect the battery when towing. The fridge stays cold if turned on the night before.

Could be a problem if you go off grid and are hoping to rely on the car to recharge the leisure battery.
 
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Apr 26, 2022
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Yes.....

I have the 1.5dCi manual and tow an Elddis Xplore 304.

It pulls very well. Hardly ever get into 6th gear and through Highland roads get between 40 to 44mpg. It pants a bit going up some steepish hills but gets there ok.
Not sure I’d fancy it going through Cornwall and the hills there but we’d definitely choose a lightweight model to tow and regular gearbox servicing
 

Sam Vimes

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Long time since I've been to Cornwall but from memory it's probably not as bad as the Highlands.

To get off Skye I gave to negotiate some steep long climbs. Ditto through Glen Shiel and Glen Coe and it's no problem.
 
Nov 6, 2005
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Just another cautionary note and this may or may not apply to your version of Qashqai....

Mine is a 2018 model and has a Smart Alternator. This function can kill (completely discharge) your leisure battery when towing. It won't keep the fridge permanently powered either although this is less of a problem.

I write from personal experience.

My earlier Qashqai didn't have a Smart Alternator and didn't have this problem.

This is not just a Qashqai problem as other makes may have the same issues to varying degrees. There are add ons that will overcome this problem but I just disconnect the battery when towing. The fridge stays cold if turned on the night before.

Could be a problem if you go off grid and are hoping to rely on the car to recharge the leisure battery.
Issues with fridge and battery charging on cars fitted with smart alternators is down to ill-thought out wiring logic for the car's sockets. A good auto electrician can sort it out properly, much better than the cheaper towbar "specialists". Smart alternators have been around for about 25 years - the towbar fitters need to get their act together.
 
Nov 30, 2022
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Just another cautionary note and this may or may not apply to your version of Qashqai....

Mine is a 2018 model and has a Smart Alternator. This function can kill (completely discharge) your leisure battery when towing. It won't keep the fridge permanently powered either although this is less of a problem.

If a car fitted with a smart alternator is draining the caravans leisure battery when towing then something very wrong somewhere!

I have towed thousands of miles across Europe with smart alternator equipped cars and never ever had the caravans leisure battery discharged.
 
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Sam Vimes

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The function of Smart Alternators and Regenerative Breaking may have been known for years. But so has the problem of incompatibility between car and caravan. The internet is riddled with similar sagas as mine. Different cars, different caravans, different wiring harnesses and different installers.

Not all car/caravans have this problem.

Some folks have developed work arounds to keep the Smart Alternator function from dropping the voltage when it's not required to. Keeping the Air Con on or lights on to name two ways. These don't work for my car. Nothing does.

There are at least four elements in the process.

1. The car and it's associated control functions.
2. The wiring harness.
3. The installer.
4. The caravan.

None of whom want to own the problem.

1. My car, Nissan, will drop the volts at the switched 12v on the connector to below 12v when the ECU decides the alternator can be put into low output mode. Even though it knows there is a trailer attached. It doesn't know what type of trailer though.

2. The wiring harness is dedicated to my Nissan. It has a Canbus connection which indicates to the ECU that something is attached to the towing socket but not what

3. The tow bar installer is a dedicated specialist of many years in fitting tow bars and electrics. They tested the harness with me present and saw the switched 12v drop in or out. But it's not their problem. They just connect up the bits.

4. The caravan supposedly will function - fridge on and leisure battery charging- when towing. But it needs more than 12v at the switched pin to do so.

So despite all this, Nissan are not interested in what I'm towing and don't care that the voltage at the towing connector is below 12v. There is no firmware update to do this.

The wiring harness tells the ECU that I'm towing but the car won't disable the Smart Alternator because that's Nissan's problem. It just delivers what the car generates.

The installer says, ' we just connect the two together'.

The caravan will not function when towing when the volts drop below 12v at the towing connector. Fridge drops in and out but worst problem is that the leisure battery now has a higher voltage than the car and current flows in the reverse direction. Hence discharges.

The habitation relay isn't affected because it will function at a voltage lower than 12v and there's hardly any current flow in that circuit.

So nobody wants to own the problem but I could fix it by installing a DC to DC converter which will keep the caravan internal volts higher than 12.

Much easier and cheaper for me to disconnect the battery when towing.
 
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Nov 6, 2005
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The function of Smart Alternators and Regenerative Breaking may have been known for years. But so has the problem of incompatibility between car and caravan. The internet is riddled with similar sagas as mine. Different cars, different caravans, different wiring harnesses and different installers.

Not all car/caravans have this problem.

Some folks have developed work arounds to keep the Smart Alternator function from dropping the voltage when it's not required to. Keeping the Air Con on or lights on to name two ways. These don't work for my car. Nothing does.

There are at least four elements in the process.

1. The car and it's associated control functions.
2. The wiring harness.
3. The installer.
4. The caravan.

None of whom want to own the problem.

1. My car, Nissan, will drop the volts at the switched 12v on the connector to below 12v when the ECU decides the alternator can be put into low output mode. Even though it knows there is a trailer attached. It doesn't know what type of trailer though.

2. The wiring harness is dedicated to my Nissan. It has a Canbus connection which indicates to the ECU that something is attached to the towing socket but not what

3. The tow bar installer is a dedicated specialist of many years in fitting tow bars and electrics. They tested the harness with me present and saw the switched 12v drop in or out. But it's not their problem. They just connect up the bits.

4. The caravan supposedly will function - fridge on and leisure battery charging- when towing. But it needs more than 12v at the switched pin to do so.

So despite all this, Nissan are not interested in what I'm towing and don't care that the voltage at the towing connector is below 12v. There is no firmware update to do this.

The wiring harness tells the ECU that I'm towing but the car won't disable the Smart Alternator because that's Nissan's problem. It just delivers what the car generates.

The installer says, ' we just connect the two together'.

The caravan will not function when towing when the volts drop below 12v at the towing connector. Fridge drops in and out but worst problem is that the leisure battery now has a higher voltage than the car and current flows in the reverse direction. Hence discharges.

The habitation relay isn't affected because it will function at a voltage lower than 12v and there's hardly any current flow in that circuit.

So nobody wants to own the problem but I could fix it by installing a DC to DC converter which will keep the caravan internal volts higher than 12.

Much easier and cheaper for me to disconnect the battery when towing.
The "problem" of incompatability is down to towbar fitters not moving with the times and still wiring cars in the same way as older cars with "dumb" alternators. There's nothing difficult about wiring a car to suit a smart alternator but it is more expensive in terms of both labour and parts.

The voltage at the car socket won't drop below car battery voltage in a properly wired system, so at least 12.0v - HOWEVER - the distance from car battery to caravan fridge is substantial and may cause voltage drop but the use of inadequate cable size - but this is a separate problem.

You're right that no-one wants to own the problem - but it belongs to towbar fitters, not some incompatability between cars and caravans.
 

Mel

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Mar 17, 2007
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Can’t comment on the car but on the “stick to camping” vs “buy a caravan” question, then the caravan wins hands down. You can go out all year. No more damp beds on the ground or treks across a field to go for a wee; or dodgy shower blocks. Been there, done all of that and still loved camping; but Caravanning is a whole new level.
Don’t know what the kerb weight of the Quashqai is; but you may be able to nudge the weight of the van up a bit. We have a Swift Alpine 2 which has an MPTLM of 1233kg and we tow it with a car with a max towing weight of 1500kg.
Mel
 
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Apr 26, 2022
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Can’t comment on the car but on the “stick to camping” vs “buy a caravan” question, then the caravan wins hands down. You can go out all year. No more damp beds on the ground or treks across a field to go for a wee; or dodgy shower blocks. Been there, done all of that and still loved camping; but Caravanning is a whole new level.
Don’t know what the kerb weight of the Quashqai is; but you may be able to nudge the weight of the van up a bit. We have a Swift Alpine 2 which has an MPTLM of 1233kg and we tow it with a car with a max towing weight of 1500kg.
Mel
Mass in service is 1475
Max permissible mass 1975
 
Aug 12, 2023
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Hi were just back from Cornwall, camping. We’ve past a few Qashqai’s towing,
Ours is a 1.5 dci 115 DCT N Connecta auto
Max braked towing 1450kg
If we decided on a van then it would be a sub 1100kg one
Anyone had any experience in towing with one, or just stick to camping 😂
If you want 2 berth plenty of options <1100kg. When it comes to 4 berths most in 1200-1500kg. These will have french bed.
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Depends where you want to go, a few sites we used were accessed via narrow lanes much more suitable for camping or motorhomes, IMO.
 

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