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Strange smell when reversing with a caravan in tow ?


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Maybe exhaust gasses. But from thing's I know that can cause bad egg smells


leaky exhaust, catalytic converters can give off an eggy scent. Could be your washer bottle, infected with smelly bacteria (or any other pool of standing water. Check your door drains, windscreen run-off drain, etc, are clear from obstruction) Could be a faulty alternator, putting too much power into your Battery, cooking it (releases a distinctive sulphur smell). Pretty sure it shouldn't be anything I have mentioned being so new but worth checking I guess. 

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have you check't inside the caravan fridge for eggy smells :laugh: but on a serious note,when the caravan is coupled up is the rear off car weighted down,wheels rubbing,is the smell only when you reverse caravan or when you reverse with out caravan,if only when caravan is coupled up i would say its not car its coming from caravan.

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It may be your brakes on caravan aren't adjusted correctly, the 'spreadlever' brakes on the van may be binding. this would be noticeable after reversing and you move forwards again you'll hear/feel the caravan bind then suddenly release as you pull.

I had a similar problem when reversing at a slight angle and slightly uphill.

Thing is the car's quite powerful so it's easy not to feel that much resistance, it's just when you go forwards again you can hear/feel it grab then let go.

The extra load on the clutch will cause some heat build up and in the car you may smell it, and it smells like a fish just died lol.

If you think your symptoms relate, the solution is to adjust the caravan brakes, or if they haven't been changed for a while the shoe may be binding in the drum when reversing.

What kind of van do you tow and what year is it ?


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  • 2 months later...

Oddily I also seem to get a smell of burning rubber when reversing, and only when reversing. I get a smell from the engine when ive been hammering it but I can understand that and its a different sort of smell.

I have had a look underneath and cant see anything rubbing, leaking or out of place. I need to see if I can get the pollen filter out (if it has one) and see if that maybe causing it.


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