Adventurer Hans Tholstrup has proved that with a lightweight caravan Recreational Vehicle combination it is possible to travel about 871km from Sydney to Melbourne on less than 75 litres of diesel fuel.
Just days before Christmas Tholstrup left Sydney in an automatic Hyundai Santa Fe CRDi SLX (2.2 diesel) and drove to Melbourne, towing a lightweight (950kg dry weight) Jayco pop-top Feather. The Santa Fe has five doors and seating for seven.
Before he left Sydney the NRMA sealed the Santa Fe’s small 75-litre diesel main fuel tank. While the tank is small by 4WD standards the Santa Fe's modern diesel engine is showing in test reports that it is an efficient unit.
Hyundai says the Santa Fe weighs in at: gross vehicle weight rating (kg): 2,550, gross vehicle weight rating (lbs): 5,622, curb weight (kg): 1,863, curb weight (lbs): 4,107.
The Jayco Feather lives up to its name and at 950kg dry weight it is a snack for the Santa Fe in towing terms. Hyundais towing weights for the Santa Fe are gross trailer weight braked (kg): 2,000, gross trailer weight braked (lbs): 4,409, gross trailer weight unbraked (kg): 750 and gross trailer weight unbraked (lbs): 1,653
Here is Feather pop-top from Jayco which got a lot of interest at Melbournes Leisurefest
Aided by a tailwind all the way to Goulburn, Tholstrup drove his easy towing rig at 90km an hour. After Goulburn he faced a head wind but slowed down only marginally as he nursed the rig to ensure he got maximum fuel efficiency.
After a brief overnight stop, sleeping in the two-berth van, which also includes a four burner stove and grill front-end kitchen, fridge and microwave, Tholstrup arrived the next morning in Elizabeth Street, Melbourne.
RACV patrolman Bryan Richardson popped by and inspected that the diesel fuel tank seal had remained intact throughout the entire trip.
“I was confident that I could do it on one tank, and I reckon there’s enough fuel left to take me to Geelong (80km away),” Tholstrup said after the trip.
“What I have proved is with the right combination of tow vehicle and caravan and sensible driving you can get good fuel consumption from modern cars, especially diesels,” he said.
Several weeks earlier Tholstrup managed to travel 1717 km in a Hyundai Santa Fe 1.9 tonne medium-sized wagon on one full fuel tank. He left from Adelaide and got as far as Port Macquarie, averaging 4.67 litres of fuel per 100km.
The RACV's Bryan Richardson checks the diesel tank seal is unbroken
The Santa Fe comes with a full car warranty: duration (months): 60 or distance (miles): 80,800, distance (km): 130,000.
Performance details from Hyudai for the Santa Fe include- 2,188 cc 2.2 litres in-line 4 cyclinder engine with 87 mm bore, 92 mm stroke, 17.3 compression ratio, overhead cam and four valves per cylinder.
Full and part-time 4x4-wheel drive with assisted four wheel drive selection manual & automatic
Performance: Power: 114 kW , 155 HP EEC @ 4,000 rpm; , 343 Nm @ 1,800 rpm. Fuel economy ADR 81/00: 8.2. Fuel consumption: ADR 81/01, combined (l/100km): 8.2 and combined (mpg): 29 Centre differential lock. Diesel common rail fuel system.
The Santa Fe has strut front suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs , multi-link rear suspension independent with stabilizer bar and coil springs.
Over the Christmas-New Year period there will be as many as 500,000 towing movements across Australia as well over one million Australians enjoy holidays in thousands of campgrounds and caravan parks.
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