The blog describes our trips and experiences towing a Goldstream Crown camper around with our Mitsubishi Outlander Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

January 2018 Trip

We organized caravan parks for 7 stays over a 2 week and 1 day period from January 9th to January 24th. We travelled from our home 20km east of Melbourne up the east coast of Australia to Katoomba (the Blue Mountains) near Sydney - and back.

There were many hills...

The short story is the the PHEV performed well but I learnt even more interesting facits of towing with this vehicle.

Trip ODO readings are as follows:
Home 17550
Beechworth 17858
Tumut 18100
Jinderbyne 18325-18350
Narooma 18600-18639
Ulladulla 18810
Blackheath (near Katoomba in Blue Mountains) 19105-19335 (trip to/from Jenolan caves and various trips around Katoomba etc.)
Gerroa 19603
Bermagui 19852
Bairnsdale 20317 (trip into Paynesville and back included)
Home 20595

So just over 3000km.

My new learning experience that was to forever change my driving style with the PHEV when towing was just north of Albury on the Beechworth to Tumut leg - second day out.

On that section of the Hume highway it is a 110km/h freeway (same as many sections of the Hume) and has a gradual climb as well. We were on cruise control and around 108km/h and the battery range was nearing zero. I commented that I was curious to see when the PHEV did when we no longer had any battery power to assist maintaining a speed that needed more than the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) could do. (This isn't something I will do again.)

The answer came a few minutes later. Suddenly the cruise control either cut-out or wound it's way down to 80 km/h in a few seconds. Simultaneously a flashing orange turtle appeared on the dash. The PHEV had switched to series hybrid and about 20 to 30 seconds later the turtle disappeared. I'm not sure whether I cancelled the cruise control or the PHEV did.

Having learnt that little (big) lesson. throughout the rest of the trip we always maintained a speed that allowed the battery level to stay above zero range. Flat and level and towing 1500kg this is about 95km/h (PHEV speedo).

Hilly terrain is totally another matter...

Addition: 30th Nov-2018
In undulating highway areas the PHEV does suffer from a lack of energy - not power. By that I mean the battery depletes on the climb and you end up at about 70km/h so as to get it to stay in series mode in an endeavour to get a little energy back into the battery. I would love to see this configurable but it could be that the eMotor gear ratios would make the vehicle less efficient of it were.

The net result is that vehicles behind you think you are underpowered - when in fact you are under-energied. Weird huh!

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