Towing with a Hilux

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 14, 2014 at 22:54
ThreadID: 109137 Views:2094 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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Hi .....anyone out there towing a mid sized off-road caravan (Track Trailer Topaz, Aussie Off-Road, North Coast Camper etc) with a Hilux, and if so, what is your experience?

After three years of very happy TVanning we are looking at saying goodbye to canvas and changing over to an off-road van next year. That is a fairly expensive exercise of course, and I'd prefer (need!) do it without also having to change over the vehicle.

We have a 3 litre D4D Hilux as the tug, with a fair bit invested in being set up for the rough stuff - barwork, custom canopy, ARB suspension, long range tank, all the usual electrical stuff - also have had the mods engineer certified to approve a 400kg upgrade in the vehicle GVM, to 3100kg.

We have met one Topaz owner who is happily towing with a Hilux, and I'm sure that it would not be a problem on the highway or formed gravel roads. But we do a fair bit of serious driving on rough tracks, sand etc to get to the good camping spots - so far this year about 7000km including crossing the country from south (Googs track) to north (Mitchell Plateau) and then across the Gulf, almost all the way without touching the bitumen

Of course I don't expect to be able to do Googs with a Topaz on the back, but I'm wondering if the extra weight would prove a bit too much for the faithful Lux even on bush tracks and in a bit of sand etc? - an extra $80k plus for a Cruiser is out of the question!!

Any feedback/options from the owners of Topaz vans, or with other recommendations in the same categdory, would be appreciated.

2018 Hilux pulling AOR Eclipse
Black Wolf 210 tent

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Reply By: Member - DW Lennox Head(NSW) - Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 05:28

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 05:28
Hi Wildmax

You should have no real issues provided you drive to conditions which I am sure you will. It reads as though you have set the Hilux up well. I would not try to meet the increased GVM though.

Make sure you do not use airbags otherwise expect a damaged chassis. I doubt there is a 4WD towing a reasonable load with airbags over tough terrain that has not incurred damage.

Never use 5th gear as it will fail. I am aware of Landcruisers and Patrols that have failed due to towing. That applies to all manual gearboxes.

Have fun otherwise.

AnswerID: 537672

Reply By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 08:00

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 08:00
We're very happy with our 2010 Hilux dual cab, towing an Echo Kavango (weighs about 1800kg fully loaded) We have a GVM upgrade to 3400kg, long range tank, bullbar, kaymar rear bar plenty of other extras. So far we have done Cape York including most of the old telegraph track and the frenchmans track all while towing the kavango. Also a month in tassie, two months in the NT (Kakadu, Litchfield, Borroloola etc) and also the Victorian high country. We prefer to stay away from the blacktop as much as possible. It's true there are times when some extra power would be handy, but we drive to the conditions, and the car is up to 120,000km. We have recently upgraded the clutch, it hadn't failed but had some play in it, more a precautionary measure due to a poor reputation of their reliability. We don't use 5th gear while towing. We busted a spring 150km east ofBorroloola last year, and did a CV joint in the vic high country, but no other major issues.

We did look at upgrading recently, but the cost to fit up another vehicle with all the extras changed our minds.
AnswerID: 537676

Follow Up By: Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW) - Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 08:01

Friday, Aug 15, 2014 at 08:01
Ps , we head to Fraser Island next week, so we will update you on the sand performance! Then to the Gympie muster and the Birdsville races..
FollowupID: 821927

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