Ford Ranger as possible replacement Tourer for a young family

Submitted: Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 15:57
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Hi guys,

I’m looking for some advice from those of you that currently drive or know somebody who has a current (2011 – onwards) Ranger and use it as a tourer... being solo, camper trailer or caravan set-ups.

I’m stepping out of a 2005 3L GU4 Auto Patrol and trying to decide on the next chariot. The big GU has been nothing short of bloody fantastic as a tourer, just lacked a little power and a tad heavy on the fuel consumption when towing something with a bit of weight IMO. I’m deciding between the new series 9 Y61 or trying something a little different and going Dual Cab… being the Ford Ranger.

To give you an idea, we are mum & dad, 2 young kids under 4, the dog and love to do anything from the Vic Ranges to long remote tours of the Simpson, Canning, the top end and everything in between but also spend a bit of time on the black top as our families live at almost opposite ends of Australia.

Do you guys feel that a Dual Cab can be as well set up for a young family as a big wagon like the Nissan? What about dust and water ingress when it comes to a canopy? Reliability of a Ranger compared to a new GU… expecting some flack re: the 3L engine here! Hahaha

Your thoughts greatly appreciated.

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Reply By: Rockape - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 17:11

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 17:11
I have one and so far it has been excellent. It is early days in the vehicles life so time will tell on reliability. Have just done a mixed 16000K trip with a van, this also included some fairly demanding 4wd tracks. This vehicle will go anywhere my old well equipped Troopy would. Average fuel consumption for trip was 13.25l/h.

Where I worked they are not having problems with them and I am talking about the harshest environment , that being underground mining. These vehicles work 24 hours a day and are subject to a tad of abuse. Having said that, two engines have been totaled due to educated miners, not caring one bit how hard they hit or how deep the water is. The other problem is dust getting through the filter. This may or may not be a problem on a normal vehicle, as these vehicles work all day in very heavy fine dust.

Have a look at the chassis for towing. It is very substantial.

Couple of things that annoy, but they can be fixed. The smart charging system can be turned off by a ford dealer to stop flat batteries and allow the use of a ctek dcdc charger for a second battery. The parkers stay on if you leave the door open, 2 flicks of the light stork turn them off. You can’t leave the keys in the ignition or you get around a 3amp discharge. The factory tow bar is way to close to the ground. Towing a van you will need a suspension upgrade as the rear springs don’t like load.

It has a great engine and automatic combo, well matched. If you are towing go the auto.

Can’t help with the room of a dual cab for kids as we have a supercab.

Also have a look at the Ford Ranger forum. You will see all there. Only look at the ones that are pages long, as they will be the common faults to the vehicle.

Link to new Ranger forum

Hope this helps.
AnswerID: 518500

Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:06

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:06
I too own a Supercab, I have towed a 9m 5'er about 3 tonne for the past few months and covered about 25-30,000 ks. it has not missed a beat even on the Birdsvill, Oodanatta and Strzelecki tracks including hitting a roo at Cradock SA and travelling to Newcastle NSW vis these tracks to get repairs [where it is at the moment].
If it had been a write off I would have replaced it with another Ranger.

FollowupID: 798368

Follow Up By: Milz - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:26

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:26
Rockape & PeterH,

Thanks for your feed back guys, it's greatly appreciated.
They are a bloody good looking unit.

FollowupID: 798371

Follow Up By: Shaker - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:10

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:10
Funny you mentioned have a look at the chassis, the last Ford Ranger chassis that I looked at was broken!
Saw it at Hells Gates last month, it was only towing a 16' van too.

FollowupID: 798394

Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 05:30

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 05:30
Which Ranger? was it a PX 2011 on or was it the older PK model.

They are totally different vehicles.
FollowupID: 798398

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:27

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:27
Don't know the year model, but it was current body shape.

FollowupID: 798406

Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:44

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 10:44
the gentleman that owned the broken chassis Ranger, would be able to get an underground miners job easily LOL.
FollowupID: 798414

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 18:00

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 18:00
Please explain!

FollowupID: 798431

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 06:58

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 06:58
Well, u/g miners have a reputation for breaking mechanical things.
If it doesn't move just get a bigger hammer until it does move.

Little unfair on my colleges, but hell I have seen things damaged that you wouldn't believe could be.

So the guy with the dual cab would fit right in. He no doubt was about 99% to blame for the chassis failure. The other 1% would have been his wife insisting the kitchen sink be taken along as well.
FollowupID: 798446

Follow Up By: Shaker - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:05

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:05
The vehicle certainly wasn't heavily laden in the rear & the caravan was only a 16' single axle.
If you Google Ranger BT50 broken or bent chassis you will find that his isn't an isolated case.

FollowupID: 798465

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 11:34

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 11:34
I have just taken photos of the chassis.

It ranges from 150mm deep down to 90mm deep, 80mm wide where it it double plated to 5mm thick, then progressive getting wider to 130mm where it is 3mm thick.

That isn't a weak chassis by any means. The old rangers/bt50's had very small thin chassis's compared to the new ones. Had a look and can't find one reference to a bent chassis on a PX ranger

The chassis is 1mm thicker than a cruiser in the rear.

like I said, if that was a new Ranger/bt50 then the owner abused it to the max.

FollowupID: 798474

Follow Up By: Milz - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 13:18

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 13:18
Thanks Rockape, great work!
FollowupID: 798478

Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:12

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:12
G'day Milz

I have a Mazda BT 50, which is essentially the same as the Ford. Alternator & towbar are different, as is cockpit layout - and, of course, the panel work. I have come out of two x Patrols, so perhaps a similar circumstance to you.
Anyhow, I have a comprehensive report on it so far (56,000 km) if you'd like to see it.

Here's a snippet from my latest summary:


Chassis strength.
Electronic Diff Lock.
2wd/4wd on the fly via electronic switch.
Auto transmission - does not appear to overheat or lose performance.
Seat comfort after 8 to 10 hours travel, especially driver's seat & position.
OE sound system + blue tooth, etc.
Tyre performance & longevity - Bridgestone LT 697's.
Fuel economy - depends so much on load, speed etc an average is not really meaningful. Best = 10 L/100 km whilst at ~ 60 to 80 kph on smooth dirt roads. Worst = 20 L/100 km (towing) at any speed over 80 kph
Max Trax.
Custom plate to prevent spinifex collection on underside.
* $25,000 cheaper than a Landcruiser Dual Cab *

Small fuel tank capacity. Ridiculous cost of ~$ 1500 to double that capacity with an aftermarket under-body supplementary tank, so jerry cans it is at the moment.
Stone chips even with side steps on.
Paint work stains badly & chips very easily.
Clunk of transmission on low speed, low rev gear changes.
Error of 10 to 15 % or more in fuel economy gauge. Surely not so hard to get accurate - so much other electronic stuff is accurate, why not this??
No availability of cab chassis in auto - my number one objection!
Engine whine through snorkel.
Pathetic rear mudflaps - they can get ripped off/sucked under in a bog far too easily. I have now chained them to avoid that chance. Front mudflaps let way too many stones & gravel on to rear leading edges.


AnswerID: 518504

Follow Up By: Milz - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:40

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 18:40
Hi Rick,

Awesome feedback thanks mate. Have you mentioned the clunk in the gear box at low speed to the dealer? The Tranny is one thing that worries me about these trucks... I have heard stories of the boxes bleep ing themselves then having long waits to get them repaired, something I don't need in the middle of no where.


FollowupID: 798372

Follow Up By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:56

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:56
I installed a poly extra fuel tank [45L] in the tub, and this works well.
I cut into the tank breather tube put in a "T" piece ran it to the extra tank and a valve, tank is in a special aluminium frame I made up.
Cannot refuel on the run as the fuel tank is pressurised so when the fuel light comes on and I need fuel I just stop open the ute tank filler cap to depressure then open the spare tank, have a drink for 5-10 minutes then shut it all back and away I go. Only needed it in the outback to try to avoid $2.10 L at places like Innamincka etc.

FollowupID: 798389

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:12

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:12

have a look at the forum on 4wd Action website

It has way more info, feedback etc than the new ranger forum. There is a bit of crap in there too, but ya gotta take it as it comes.

Have fun & go with your heart. The gearbox/trans is fine. I've driven to the edge with a 1.5 t trailer, and without, on the roughest tracks the interior can offer. I do not perceive it as a potential issue. Every vehicle has its weak spots and perhaps the Mazda / Ford is less risky than a 3 Litre Pootrol????

FollowupID: 798395

Reply By: AlbyNSW - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:00

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 19:00
Milz, IMO the best configuration for a family tourer if you do not want to tow is a dual cab ute with a tray back and gullwing canopy. You cannot beat it for carrying capacity and versatility. I have done the style of touring that you do with a family of 4 and sometimes 5 and it works well.
I have recently upgraded to a Dual cab Landcruiser ute with the same configuration as it is a bigger,tougher setup for the more remote trips we have planned in the future
I have not had a Ranger as such so are just commenting in general on the medium size utes available.
They will do the job that you ask of them but they do have to work a bit harder than the tougher Patrols and Landcruisers
AnswerID: 518509

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:01

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:01
Hi Alby,

Agree with your comments about best tourer being a dual cab with a gull wing canopy.

I have just spent a remote touring season with my Mazda working along side a new dual cab Landcruiser. One is not working 'harder' than the other - they both are good. In some situations (steep rocky tracks) the Mazda did it more easily than the Dual cab Toyota ute.

One isn't necessarily bigger or tougher than the other- in fact, the Mazda has the greater payload than the Yota dual cab ute and is physically bigger than a 200 series. It has more nM of torque than the 'Yota dual cab. I don't mind the Toyotas and yes they are tough, as are the Patrols (just had 15 years driving Patrols).

Early days yet, but it looks like the new Ford/Mazda will go the distance just as well as the other two brands. Its a new world out there with these utes. Time to drop the old perceptions.

Interestingly, the passengers say the Mazda has the better ride and is more comfortable.

FollowupID: 798393

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 06:19

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 06:19
Yes they will do everything you ask of them but they are still a medium duty build compared to the bigger trucks. They have the big payload and they are getting the HP but are pushing the boundaries harder to get it. My reference is to longer term they will not go the distance over time, if you compare the chassis and other suspension components they are not as 'solid' My previous rig was a DC Hilux and it was capable and carried the load but you get the feeling it was working harder to do it
The flip side is they are more domesticated , better on fuel and comfortable
FollowupID: 798401

Reply By: splits - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:12

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:12

I think the car in the photo below was a Ranger from memory. It had a big camper trailer behind it with the axle well back past centre and appeared to have a lot of weight in the back of the car. The result was what looks like a V starting to open up between the body and the tub as the chassis starts to bend. There are many more photos on the net showing much worse damage than this example.

This is a problem that affects all cab chassis utes regardless of make. Dual cabs seem to suffer the most damage because it is so easy to be well under maximum weight but have too little in the front and far too much in the back. There is nothing wrong with the design of the car, it is incorrect weight distribution. The rear slams down behind the axle on rough roads generating forces well above the static weight. The car pivots on the axle and tries to lift the front resulting in excessive stress on the chassis. Higher rate springs or air bags won't stop it, they make it worse. They just give the car a firmer pivot point to roll around.

It sounds like you have a light weight family so you can easily fall into this trap. It you buy a ute and find the rear end is saging then you have done something wrong, not the manufacturer.

Before buying the car I suggest you look right in to weight distribution, tow ball weights etc and if necessary ring Ford's customer information number and discuss it with them. Also check the towing information in the owners hand book. The book in my ute lists a maximum ball weight and a lower weight above which a weight distribution hitch must be used. The manufacturer is acknowledging the fact that the rear will sag above a certain weight and a WDH if the way to lift it, not aftermarket springs. Springs just hold it up a little higher and that is all. A WDH is a lever, not a spring, and it will transfer weight off the rear axle and place it onto the front axle.

The problem is though a WDH is usually a menace in off road conditions so few camper trailers have them. On the other hand many camper trailers are built with an unnecessary amount of weight on the tow ball so, if they had been correctly designed in the first place, they would not overload the rear end of any ute.

Read through this article in Exploroz and look up the other excellent reports on the net by the same author on caravan dynamics, vehicle dynamics and the one titlled "why wheels fall off". The latter looks at why so many vans and trailers suffer from wheel problems but the cars towing them don't.

AnswerID: 518512

Follow Up By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:41

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:41
I know that drawbar and what is behind it - one of two options from the same manufacturer. Depending on what has been installed on the drawbar there could be around 250kg on the hitch. If badly loaded, even more. I have heard of 280kg on that kind of rig.

What is the ball weight limit for this vehicle?


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FollowupID: 798381

Follow Up By: Milz - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:42

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:42
Big thumbs up splits.... Great reading!

Thank you
FollowupID: 798382

Follow Up By: Milz - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:47

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:47
Frank P, I read online the max ball weight is 335kg??
Does that sound right to you?
FollowupID: 798383

Follow Up By: Milz - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:50

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:50
Apparently it varies between variants.
FollowupID: 798384

Follow Up By: Road Warrior - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:40

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 21:40
Incidentally, the vehicle in that picture is a PJ or PK Ranger, not the PX.
FollowupID: 798388

Follow Up By: Thinkin - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 22:00

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 22:00
As Road Warrior said, the vehicle in the picture is not the px model which Milz is asking about.

The bent vehicle is totally different, nevertheless care needs to be taken in loading of any vehicle.
FollowupID: 798390

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:23

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 23:23
Valid points, Splits

It very easy to overload vehicles, especially wagons, which commonly have payloads of 5 to 800 kg. Trays on utes in particular, although with greater nominated payloads, are even easier to overload. That is why I constantly refer to manufacturer's GVM, putting the vehicle over a weighbridge, correct positioning of load and so on.

Incidentally, what's with the smaller set of chains to the rear of the hitch on the blue ford pictured??
FollowupID: 798396

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:37

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:37
"Incidentally, what's with the smaller set of chains to the rear of the hitch on the blue ford pictured?"

I have no idea Rick. I did not pay any attention to it. I saw the car in the street earlier this year and thought not another one. I could fill a book with photos of all the bent chassis that I have seen.
FollowupID: 798417

Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 20:18

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 20:18
The camper has a draw bar extension fitted, to be compliant the chains have to be fixed to the main chassis & are held up only by shackles at the front. So there are actually only 2 chains, I am guessing that camper may be a hire Tvan.

FollowupID: 798438

Reply By: KevinE - Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:17

Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 20:17
Mate, I love dual cab ute's, but (BIG BUT) there's usually only the 2 of us in ours when we go away in it. Our back seat is just another storage area to us, not a seating area - pretty much like what your rear area in the Patrol is now I guess.

I bought my 1st dual cab Ute in 1982 when my kids were small & I got rid of it pretty quickly, it just didn't work for us as a family with kids - I returned to a wagon for transporting the mob around - for me, it worked much better. I returned to a dual cab Ute once they all left home - still have one & love it!

Just my 2 cents! ;=)

AnswerID: 518513

Reply By: Rockape - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:14

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 08:14
just another thing to look out for. The genuine ford tow bar states not to use a wdh.

I towed the full trip with no wdh and the van very, very stable. I used a wdh on my other vehicle with the same van and it pitched a lot on bad bitumen roads.
Here is the photo of the placard.

Just on the spring side of things. I upgraded to 300kg springs with a 50mm lift. The Ranger weighs 2680kg with rear draws, full 130l fuel tank, rear mounted second battery and the drop down fridge slide. So even running empty there is a fair load in the back.

The springs have a good progressive secondary spring rate and the load goes right where it should go, and that is on the spring hangers.

The original springs are a little soft, as they give occupants a good ride. They just don't cut it when loaded.

Although wdh's are touted as levelling devises, they are in for spreading some of the weight onto the front axle, to make the vehicle more stable.

Re. The broken chassis problems, this new vehicle does have a much improved chassis. If underground miners haven't broken one yet on a dual cab, they must be good.It is nothing to have 4 rockapes in a dual cab with a pallet of cement on the back. The decline roads are good but once into the orebodies things deteriorate to bone jarring.

AnswerID: 518524

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:29

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 12:29
A lot more people would have a lot less trouble if they paid attention to placards like that and took advantage of the manufacturer's customer information service. The moment you start getting up near the maximum for anything, things start getting critical and you have to know exactly what you are doing.. That is where road surfaces and trailer/van design and size come into it and restrictions apply. A manufacturer will specify a maximum carrying and towing capacity but they don't claim the vehicle will carry that weight anywhere or tow anything that happens to weigh that much in any conditions. The Ranger may be able to tow 3350 kg but lets see it do it over the Simpson. That is just one restriction and there are plenty more as there is with all other makes.

Be careful with excess weights and heavier springs. The car still has the stock chassis, axle housing, wheel studs and wheel bearings. Have a look at the photos in the vehicle breakdown section in the photo gallery on the Mt Dare hotel web site. There is a cracked diff housing, a broken in half diff housing, a broken torsion bar arm and a rear coil spring mount ripped off the chgassis. No doubt the heavier aftermarket springs came through wthout a scratch.
FollowupID: 798416

Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 16:14

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 16:14
The Ranger manual gives you a guideline for towing. It warns about towing above 3000m and max weights on 12% grades. It also states not to tow over 100kph if the tow weight is above 3000kg.

Sorry, but I didn’t get any info from the Mt Dare site. I did note all the vehicles were 4wd heavy weights.

The Patrols were known to have spring tower failures even with standard coils. That said, I notice he had airbags fitted. They are on thing I will never use.

The failure of the 100 series torsion bar may or may not be have been with a standard torsion bar.

The cracking of the front Patrol diff housing could again be with standard springs. It is unusual to change the front springs to a heavier rating.

The 100 series rear diff again who knows if the springs were heavier or not.

75 series bearings just may have failed due to lack of maintenance.

Maybe some of those failures were from people being overloaded or driving the vehicles like lunatics. An example of this was a brand new troopcarrier. It was unloaded late one afternoon and by crib time it had a bent front axle. Guess they can’t stand being jumped off large humped cattle grids.

You will notice I know exactly what my vehicle weighs at all times and it is never overloaded.

I also notice the axle studs were on trailers.

Why on earth would you try and tow 3350 kg over the desert with anything smaller that a unimog.

FollowupID: 798427

Follow Up By: splits - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 21:41

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 21:41
I referred to those photos as general information for anyone reading this thread. They did not contain any broken Ranger parts but the fact remains a hell of a lot of cars do break in the Outback and most of the problems are caused by people taking their cars outside their design limits. All of those workshops like the one at Mt Dare are not there to fix broken locally owned cars. It is the tourists who keep them going and many of them think everything they have done to their cars is ok because they saw it in magazines.

I noticed one of the magazines ran a story not all that long ago about a Hilux breaking its rear axle housing in half in the Simpson. I dismantled a mid 90s Lux axle recently and decided to place the bare housing on my bathroom scales. It weighed 20 kgs. That is not a lot of material to be supporting the weight that some people put on them. It works if the car is loaded within the factory limits but one major problem is what are those limits on different road surfaces? I asked Toyota a question about the towing limits on my car and was told not to tow at all on soft dry sand! There was nothing about that in the book, just a maximum limit and advice about a WDH above a certain weight on the ball. Had I asked them about its carrying capacity, I am sure there would have been some restrictions on some road surfaces.

I mentioned towing 3350 kg over the Simpson with a Ranger because that is an obvious restriction. The book does not say don't do it though so the question remains: how far down do you have to reduce the weight before the car can handle it?

I noticed your book says don't tow 3000kg above 100 kph. That is another restriction however the information still falls short of the mark. It does not state what the 3000kg object can be.

Not far north of my home is the F3 freeway leading out of Sydney. One section contains long steep down hill runs that come out of rock cuttings onto a long 75 metre high bridge that is often subjected to high cross winds. It is a notorious location for caravan accidents. A Ranger could go hurtling down from either end towing a 3000kg work trailer full of bricks and not have any problems no matter how high the winds are. If it were to try it at anything above about 90 kph with something as bulky as a 3000 kg caravan, there would be a very real chance of it becoming another statistic. It can tow 3000 kg but it is not big and heavy enough to control a van of that weight if the van is ever knocked off course at high speed by wind or a sudden change in direction of the car. The swinging van simply grabs onto the long lever [the distance from the axle back to the tow ball] that is so common on the back of many utes and really gives the car a good "wag". Towing a van of the Ranger's maximum capacity is big American pickup territory. Vehicles of that type have the necessary long wheel base and weight to hold the front of the van steady when things go pear shaped.

That is why little sub two ton dual cabs don't have a good safety record when it comes to towing long heavy vans.

The books never tell you this though so many keep bringing it up on forums like this in the hope that it might save someone one day.

FollowupID: 798440

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:52

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:52
Wounder how many other vehicles are not meant to have load leveling devices fitted.

Or it may have something to do with the anti trailer sway.
FollowupID: 798457

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:25

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:25
not to sure, but I would suspect the sway control would have something to do with it.
FollowupID: 798469

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:36

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 10:36
Little extra,
from late july 2013.

Thank you for contacting Isuzu UTE Australia.
In answer to your question; under no circumstances do we recommend or endorse the use of a Weight Distribution hitch for the Isuzu D-MAX.
Improper equipment or installation can cause damage to the vehicle, the genuine towbar supplied by Isuzu has not been tested or approved to be used in conjunction with other equipment or towbar tongues - the Genuine towbar is certified to AS4177-1 2004 and ADR62/02.
The towbar is tested both statically and dynamically, changing the design of the towbar negates the tests conducted.
If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Kind Regards,
Cody Harland
Customer Relations Coordinator
Isuzu UTE Australia Pty Ltd
PO Box 1128, Eagle Farm, QLD, 4009
FollowupID: 798470

Follow Up By: Member - Boo Boo (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 16:29

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 16:29

Thanks for the heads up re the dmax and the WD bars.

I have a Dmax cab chassis single cab 2011 and up til now I have used the shepard hooks, which I presume falls under the WD bars category.

I'm presuming I will now have to really play around with the load to prevent, if any, sag?

FollowupID: 798487

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 18:31

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 18:31
Boo Boo,
Be careful here as the bars are to transfer load forward, they are not for levelling your vehicle. Having said that, all vehicles lower in the rear when load is added. What the makers of the distribution devices are saying is, bring your vehicle back to level so the device works correctly and transfers load to the front axle.

It is important to work out what ball load you have and then adjust that to a reasonable level, when you do this you can then use your wdh to do what it has been designed to do.

To tell you the truth. If your van is loaded correctly and your rear progressive spring rates are right, you should never need a wdh if your suspension is right and your ball weight is ok. Yes the back will drop a bit, but all will be good. With my springs the vehicle drops back to level when it is loaded and the van is attached.

Just for interest. A primemover and triaxle trailer can react very differently to road conditions. I am talking legal loads, but the spread on the trailer tri can cause huge problems and so can where the load is on the trailer.

FollowupID: 798504

Reply By: rocco2010 - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:42

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 13:42

I own an older model Ranger extra cab and would buy a new one in a heartbeat. It has done its share of remote travel and had no trouble going where much bigger wagons went. Nothing has broken or fallen off.
Mine is used as a daily driver and while is not as comfortable or quiet as a sedan it is bearable, and I expect the newer models will be better. Remember that the Patrol is a pretty old basic design and each new model of any car usually brings quantum leaps in dealing with the NVH...noise vibration harshness. not to mention lots of do dads and gadgets as standard.
There should be plenty of room for a couple of kids in the back of a dual cab.
I have travelled with people who have canopies on their utes and they suggest that beating the dust is a challenge. Personally i dont think I would go with the conventional canopy, with my luck the things I want would always be a the front and out of reach.
Sure there are horror stories about bent and broken chassis as others have pointed out. I think if you push the envelope with anything in life you strike trouble. Maximum doesn't mean all the time!

Good luck with the search

AnswerID: 518534

Follow Up By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 09:06

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 09:06
If you want to stop dust coming in, open the window at the front of the canopy (behind back cab window), we have done this with three previous canopies on different vehicle and never had a problem with dust....... even in the Simpson and hay River area.

Close the window and dust gets sucked in from the back.
FollowupID: 798458

Reply By: Milz - Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 15:31

Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 15:31
Thanks for all your replies, feedback and experiences so far guys, really good reading!

AnswerID: 518536

Follow Up By: Winner W - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:24

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:24
Milz, I have a 2012 Ranger Wildtrack twin cab and love it. My first Ford and I will keep until it until I get too old to drive..........
I have a 1991 Pajero that is still better in some off roading situations where all duel cab utes have a small break over angle. On all other fields this Ranger is just awesome. The big diesel motor makes city driving a pleasure with all that low down torque and on the highway it just is so quiet. Not heavy on fuel , the cabin front and rear is spacious and the seats comfortable. Its my daily drive and my preferred off roader now. On the beach and desert sand its a pleasure to drive. It tows my 2.5t boat with ease but you notice the 15l/100km fuel consumption then. I think most new generation twin cab utes built in 2013 for the Australian market will surprise you with their feel . They drive more like cars now and with the safety features as well. I drove all of them and picked the New Ranger to replace my 2010 Triton . If theycan fulfill your needs is only your call as we all think differently. A twin cab ute is also so nice as you don't smell the dogs or fish bait in the tub like in the wagon.
I had a few niggles in the beginning which Ford sorted out stat under warranty but my Triton had many more issues.Test drive all them. For me it was the 3.2 motor, 5 star safety, drivers seat, looks and quiet cabin that did it.
FollowupID: 798454

Follow Up By: Milz - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:45

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:45
Thanks for the post Winner,

Yeah I must admit the more I drive it the less I want to get out of it. The misses said the same thing about the way it drives... so bloody good. The thing that has me won over as far as the dual cab ute go is its size, looks and the engine gearbox combo.

As mentioned several times in this thread the Ute has come such a long way!
FollowupID: 798455

Reply By: landed eagle - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:52

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 08:52
I just want to throw another viewpoint into the mix as the weights/towbar/springs/bent chassis issues have been covered exhaustively.

I was looking for my first dualcab in 2009 and looked at all the contenders . The ranger was at the top of the list until I had both my kids sit in the rear seats of all the makes I was looking at. The triton at that time flogged the rest for rear seat comfort and if you're touring with kids the last thing you want is grumpy uncomfortable kids in the back seat.

I'm not saying 'go out and buy a Triton', but this issue should be looked at as well as the others if it's a family tourer as well as a towcar. The rear seats on some of the makes seemed to be an after thought a few years ago. Almost like sitting bolt upright on a park bench. I haven't looked at the new models but I hope the rear passengers are better looked after today considering the small fortunes the manufacturers spend to design the new vehicles.
My son is now 16 and 6' tall and has never complained about the rear seats. Just as well 'cause he'd be walking if he did.
Sit in the back seat yourself and think "could I handle this seat for a whole day with short breaks?" Your kids wont be the size they are at the moment forever.

cheers, Paul.
AnswerID: 518566

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 09:03

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 09:03
The current Ranger is a great vehicle, we have a 2012 Ranger XLT with the six speed auto for our everyday drive car and it does everything well, it's comfortable and it eats up long distances with ease.

We have an ARB bar and Carryboy canopy with a false floor fitted and my wife who drives it mostly as it is really her car is over the moon about it.

Hasn't quite got the refinements or build quality of the Hilux or Amarok BUT everything else outweighs the bad points...... if you rated a Hilux or Amarok a 10, the Ranger would be 9.75....... but where it does shine the other two would be rated a 7 against the Rangers 10.

The down side is the trans can be a bit harsh when cold and the audio system could do with a big improvement...... the other thing that would be nice is an adjustable reach steering wheel.

Passenger comfort is good with ample legroom for rear passengers, remember it's bigger than the previous model, we have tailor made lambswool seat covers fitted front and rear that has increased comfort but also lowered the interior and road noise down a noticeable amount.
AnswerID: 518567

Follow Up By: Rockape - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 18:35

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 18:35
stop playing 70's and 80's music on it and the sound system will have no problems. Ha. Ha.
FollowupID: 798506

Reply By: Milz - Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 07:07

Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 07:07
Thanks to all for your posts, greatly appreciated.....

Ranger XLT it is!!!
AnswerID: 518673

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