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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2018 stelvio with sports pkg. Wanted to give feedback on towing since, after all, it is an SUV. First, it took me 2 yrs to obtain a hitch and tow pkg as alfa customer svc and the dealers were unable to do it. Even though Stelvios in europe were towing. Anyway, after contacting u-haul who also couldnt do it, i found Stealth hitches. This is a Great choice. Between the hitch and installation about $1000. The towing capacity of the hitch is a little unclear- supposedly 3000# with Stelvio but rated much higher by stealth. Anyway i started towing a travel trailer which weighs between 3500 and 3800 depending. I couldnt be happier with stelvio performance. I have towed it over numerous grades and 8000 ft mountain passes and it does just fine in dynamic mode most of the time. Sometimes I use the paddle shifters on steeper grades. There is always power to spare although i dont use to preserve the engine. Will run 5/8 temp for most grades, once 3/4 on long grade and I downshifted and slowed to 40-45. Gas mpg is about 13, but I bought aeroplus wind deflector and get 15-16 mpg and better handling. The aeroplus is another story. Usual tow speed 65 mph flat, between 55-65 mph hills
 

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Your approach to towing sounds good, especially with regards to reasonable speeds and engine stress. Keeping speeds down and temps under control is smart, any higher intake and exhaust temps will just cause the computer to pull back power. The engine produces a lot of torque but still, 2.0L is not a lot of cubes to work with.

Would be great to know tranny fluid temps as well. For use as a tow vehicle can you increase the size of the oil and tranny coolers? I think I saw as well at Eurocompulsion some work they are doing on improving the performance of the fluid/air intercooler. If you tow a lot would a high flow cat also help?
 

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That's a good sized trailer. Electric brakes?
The euro tow rating is much higher than U.S. - even with the same factory hitch - so you should be good.
Not sure why you had trouble locating a hitch, factory ones have been available pretty much since introduction, the stealth and a couple of others as well ( search the forum, plenty of reports, I think a pontoon boat closest to your weight).
Perhaps because you were specifying the weight of your trailer, above U.S. rating of 3000 lbs., it raised flags.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes the trailer has electric brakes. Although factory hitches were possible on early US production, dealers didnt order them for stock and NONE of the southern Cali dealers would put one on. The towing weight didnt come into play at that point since I bought the travel trailer later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your approach to towing sounds good, especially with regards to reasonable speeds and engine stress. Keeping speeds down and temps under control is smart, any higher intake and exhaust temps will just cause the computer to pull back power. The engine produces a lot of torque but still, 2.0L is not a lot of cubes to work with.

Would be great to know tranny fluid temps as well. For use as a tow vehicle can you increase the size of the oil and tranny coolers? I think I saw as well at Eurocompulsion some work they are doing on improving the performance of the fluid/air intercooler. If you tow a lot would a high flow cat also help?
Hey Peter thanks for all of the input. What would a high flow cat accomplish- and do you have a recommended one? Google search just confused me. My initial attempts at getting an oil cooler when I first purchased the trailer were met by "we won't do it on an alfa". One guy thought the stock one would be fine
 

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In theory a high flow cat would increase horsepower some, making towing less stressful on the engine by reducing back pressure and increasing power.

In practice there are alot of variables that make those power gains less than expected. It's possible reducing back pressure could cause issues with the turbo and reduce power.

Personally I wouldn't bother with it unless you have power issues. Increasing cooling capacity would be more of a priority, I'de be going to a high end off-road shop....those guys will figure out how to do anything.

If they hesitate because "Alfa", tell them the engine is the basis for the Jeep 2.0 4cyl, and the chassis is the basis for the new Grand Cherokee L. Working on your car is not that different from working on a new Jeep...which they will probably be doing eventually. Keep us updated would love to hear how everything develops!
 

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I was spitballing a bit. Not so concerned about making more power although I like Alfissimo鈥檚 Squadra tune approach, or a JB4. I was thinking that the exhaust temps might run a little lower with the high flow cat. It鈥檚 all about heat- oil, tranny, coolant, diffs, intake and exhaust temps, for longevity and keeping the engine from reducing output under high stress. Even additional engine compartment venting can help鈥 can envision a vented hood that you can seal up when not towing. Kinda old school approach can be very useful in passively venting a lot of heat. Your towing strategy of keeping speeds down and at all costs not lugging a small engine, shortened oil change intervals, probably good to go. I ltend to a little overkill but used to tow a lot. All my V8 tow vehicles always had a factory heavy duty kit and often added a bigger oil or tranny cooler. Alfissimo has high flow cats but they are pricey. EC as well. Those brands are high quality pieces. If you have not gone to a heavy duty upgraded battery, a good idea but you probably did that already.

I had though about this because I was gonna install a class three hitch and tow a small airstream鈥bout 3500 lbs loaded. Put that on hold but it still is an itch. Then I was thinking about a 21ft boat but at that point a 1/2 ton Chevy with a v8 makes more sense.

I once towed a U-haul trailer of decent size cross country with a 1976 Saab 99 (not turbo). Crawling up the Continental divide in 2nd gear and flat out across Wyoming high country, 4th gear, forever. Best tow vehicle ever was a 3/4 ton Chevy suburban with a 454 and equalizing hitch. Towing 10,000 lbs was like nothing behind me! 6mpg though, 50 gallon tanks didn鈥檛 last long.
 
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I was spitballing a bit. Not so concerned about making more power although I like Alfissimo鈥檚 Squadra tune approach, or a JB4. I was thinking that the exhaust temps might run a little lower with the high flow cat. It鈥檚 all about heat- oil, tranny, coolant, diffs, intake and exhaust temps, for longevity and keeping the engine from reducing output under high stress. Even additional engine compartment venting can help鈥 can envision a vented hood that you can seal up when not towing. Kinda old school approach can be very useful in passively venting a lot of heat. Your towing strategy of keeping speeds down and at all costs not lugging a small engine, shortened oil change intervals, probably good to go. I ltend to a little overkill but used to tow a lot. All my V8 tow vehicles always had a factory heavy duty kit and often added a bigger oil or tranny cooler. Alfissimo has high flow cats but they are pricey. EC as well. Those brands are high quality pieces. If you have not gone to a heavy duty upgraded battery, a good idea but you probably did that already.

I had though about this because I was gonna install a class three hitch and tow a small airstream鈥bout 3500 lbs loaded. Put that on hold but it still is an itch. Then I was thinking about a 21ft boat but at that point a 1/2 ton Chevy with a v8 makes more sense.

I once towed a U-haul trailer of decent size cross country with a 1976 Saab 99 (not turbo). Crawling up the Continental divide in 2nd gear and flat out across Wyoming high country, 4th gear, forever. Best tow vehicle ever was a 3/4 ton Chevy suburban with a 454 and equalizing hitch. Towing 10,000 lbs was like nothing behind me! 6mpg though, 50 gallon tanks didn鈥檛 last long.
The nice thing about jb4 is it pulls high speed data direct from can bus and so you can use its gauges to monitor trans temp, water temp, etc.

As you said the same truck in Europe is rated for 5k lbs towing.

The one recommendation id make is using manual mode when towing. Keeps the transmission from lugging with that much load on it (not good) but also from constantly downshifting and the upshifting every time you touch the throttle because its not expecting that load. Will save the trans seals from blowing out. Been there.
 
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