Doing the big lap in a 2000 Pajero?

Submitted: Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 12:49
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Hi, I'm new here and interested to see if anyone has done the big lap in a pajero before? I've seen lot's in patrols and Land cruisers, Everyone I know has a pajero but hasn't travelled that far. We have done quite a bit of travelling but this will be our biggest and first with a caravan. We are new to 4WD's, when we bought it the pajero was all we could afford so we went with that but as we have never towed a caravan before we aren't sure what we will need to set the pajero up with to do this or how we find out about weight etc...

Any advice or experience would be much appreciated :)
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Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 13:11

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 13:11
Mate...jump on the Pajero forum of Victoria. Everything you want to know is on there. The people you liase with actually own Pajeros so you are not getting info from people who have no experience with the set up. Your vehicle is more than capable of going where the tojos and patrols go. Probably cheaper too. Also the Pajero can be left in 4wd when towing and you wont notice it a bit whilst driving and mileage is not affected. I know, because I have a Pajero. Nearly everyone who tows with a Pajero tows with the car in 4 th gear in the manual mode. It brings the transmission temp down and assists in fuel saving as well. This is if it is an automatic. They can tow a van with no issues. If you can..I would be looking at getting some sort of training regarding towing a van. Plenty of hopeless drivers towing vans that really need to know what they are doing. Its not just a matter of loading up and heading off. Good luck and enjoy the trip

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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:02

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:02
Thank you so much, I will check out the Pajero forum :) didn't know there was one! have to start somewhere I guess :)

We are definitely getting a 4wd course and caravan before we go as so far we have zero experience. we did tow a loaded trailer in the Pajero from Melbourne to Dubbo so we know it can tow at least ;) My main concern is I have no idea what size/weight van to get but a bit more researching and hopefully I can find the info I need. Thankyou for your help :)
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:30

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:30

The Pajero is an excellent touring and towing vehicle, but be aware it has a towing limitation quirk.

It can tow up to 3000kg, but if the ball weight (weight on the hitch) is above 180kg the towing weight is limited to 2500kg.

There is no sliding scale, it is a step.

The rule of thumb for ball weight is about 10% of trailer/van weight, so for a 3000kg van that's about 300kg. So you can't tow that 3000kg van unless you re-distribute the weight in the van so that the towball weight is 180kg or less.

BUT, and it's a big "but" - that may make the van unstable. Changing the balance usually means taking considerable weight from well up the front and putting it well down the back. That is a recipe for instability. There are plenty of Youtube clips showing unstable vans coming to grief from simple things like a wind gust or the pressure wave from a passing truck. I saw one clip where the van was upset by coming OUT of the a truck's pressure zone after overtaking it!

You don't want to be there - continue your quest for knowledge, you've made a good start.

You may find this article useful. Also, a well respected engineer in caravanning and motorhome circles, Collyn Rivers, has written some excellent material on the subject.


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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:35

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:35

My comments about the ball weight were based on later models, 2009 and after. My knowledge on that comes from my best mate's experience - he had all sorts of problems with a big Kedron and a 2009 or 10 Pajero. The 2000 model may be different. It would pay to check.


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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:28

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:28
Thank you for all of that info Frank, This is something that I want to plan very very well before we leave (in terms of the caravan setup, safety, maintenance etc.) everything else can go with the flow but I want to be prepared and actually know what we are doing is safe for us, our kids and everyone on the road around us :)
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 13:13

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 13:13
No personal experience, but there is no reason whatsoever for the Pajero to be any less of a competent vehicle, if the vehicle/van combination is within towing specs.

Not everyone has Patrols and Land Cruisers.
The Pajero's, Jackaroo's, Isuzu's, Colorado's, Ranger's and Mazda BT-50's (plus many more I haven't mentioned) are competent vehicles and will take you anywhere you are likely to go.

Just ensure your Van is not overloading your Tug (not likely unless the Van is a big one) and the tow ball weight is within the specs as specified in the Pajero User Manual.
Then get out there and enjoy your adventure.


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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:03

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 15:03
Awesome :) Thank you
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 16:32

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 16:32
Pajeros up to 2008 are all max 2500 towing and 250 kg ball weight. If you look at vans under 6 metres you should be able to get one with an ATM of less than 2500 kg. (ATM = aggregate trailer mass or in other words the maximum permissible weight for your van.)

Regarding the suitability of your tug, the limiting factor will be as much governed by the van. Unless it is one of the heavy off road types even a Holden or Falcon is a suitable towing vehicle to go around the block. Many travellers go long distances with them.
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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:32

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:32
We are wanting a fairly small van, nothing super long. The ones I've seen seem to be around 900-1100 Tare, I'm not sure if Tare is 'loaded' but if not it shouldn't go over (well hopefully, how much would clothes/cutlery etc.. weigh) We are looking to buy before the end of the year so have a lot of researching to do.
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Follow Up By: disco driver - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 23:37

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 23:37
Without knowing what you will be buying, here's a couple of terms you should know about.
ATM = The Total weight(Mass) of the caravan with everything that's going with you in the van,( Food clothes, booze etc)
GTM = The Total weight(Mass) carried by the wheels of the caravan
Towbar Load = The Total weight(mass)imposed on the towball of the vehicle. This weight is set by the Vehicle manufacturer and/or the Towbar manufacturer. If these weights are different, the lower of the two applies. The Towball load is always included as part of the legal load in the vehicle and should not exceed the rear axle rated loading in any case or the Gross Combination Mass for the vehicle as specified in the handbook.
These figures SHOULD be on the caravan identity plate, usually found in the front boot or drawbar of the 'van.

Just to confuse you even more Caravans manufactured prior to 1989 do not require all this information, some may have it and others may not.
In cases with older (pre 1989) caravans you usually find the following, sometimes painted on the RHS of the van but nearly always in the rego papers
Aggregate (A) = the Total weight/mass of the loaded van and Tare (T) = The weight/mass of the unloaded/empty van.

If you keep looking here are plenty of older units out there in good serviceable condition, both in dealer yards and also privately.

Hope this helps

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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 00:12

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 00:12
Quote "I'm not sure if Tare is 'loaded'"

Ash, the tare weight of a vehicle is defined in legislation:

"TARE MASS - mass of a vehicle other than a L-group vehicle ready for service, unoccupied and unladen, with all fluid reservoirs filled to nominal capacity except for fuel, which shall be 10 litres only, and with all standard equipment and any options fitted."

As there are no "fluid reservoirs" or fuel tank in a van it means that there should be no gas or water in the tanks when the manufacturer ascertains the tare weight. The weight of anything that is added to the van by the agent or the owner must be subtracted from the load capacity.

The load capacity of a van is the tare weight subtracted from the ATM. For single axle vans the loading capacity of a van is generally set at 300 kg. This includes any water and gas you carry and any solar/battery system and other accessories that are added after delivery from the factory.
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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 08:50

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 08:50
Thanks for that info :)
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Reply By: cruiser 3 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 16:39

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 16:39
Hi Ash
When I first started towing caravans the rule was that the loaded weight of your van must not exceed the unloaded weight of your car. I still roughly follow that rule and if you do then you will be safe.
My previous vehicle was a Landcruiser and with it I towed a 2.5 tonne van. Now though I am towing a 2 tonne van with a Mitsubishi Triton 2.5 l turbo diesel. I guess your Pajero would be similar to the Triton. The Triton however has leaf springs at the rear and subsequently I don't need a load leveller device. Usually these attachments become necessary if the rear sags under load which is usually the case with coil springs. Anyway your Pajero will be ok. You will need electric brake controller and then just take it easy while you get used to it.
Enjoy your travels
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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:35

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:35
Great, thanks for the tip :)

I have no idea about any of these car/trailer terms so will have to speak with my mechanic to make sure it's all good and safe :) My husband will be doing the driving ;) I can't drive the Pajero as it's manual and I have a buggered up left ankle no good for changing gears.
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Reply By: 671 - Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:58

Saturday, Jul 04, 2015 at 20:58

You should find the information in these two articles below helpful. If you click on”The Author’” at the top of the first one, you will see the qualifications of the man who wrote it.

As for your Pajero being suitable: in the National Museum in Canberra is a 2 seater boat tail Citroen. It was the first car to be driven right around Austraila. I think from memory the year was 1923. Your car won’t have any problems. I have seen Pajeros described on a lot more than one occasion in magazines and DVDs as the most underrated 4wd in the country.

The main thing to keep in mind when towing is the car must be able to tow the van as well as be big and heavy enough to control it. You see plenty of cars with hugh vans flying along the highways with ease but there would be a big question mark hanging over the ability of many of them to keep the van under control if something like a sudden strong wind or sudden change in direction of the car tried to knock it off its straight ahead course.

Do not stretch your car to the limit with both carrying and towing capacity. The advertised maximums are for good highway conditions only and should be reduced considerably as road conditions deteriorate.
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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:04

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:04
Than you for the info 671. Towing with a vehicle that is at least as heavy as the van makes a lot of sense. We don't need anything super big so I'm hoping we can keep the weight down as much as possible for ease. Before we are planning on leaving we also plan on doing a test run to see how we go, and also getting some lessons on 4wd and caravan driving to help us out :)

I found the article a very interesting read about caravans manufactured here being much heavier because of the rough road conditions and there not being very many cars suitable if you follow the rule of the vehicle being as heavy (or heavier). We will definitely be making sure to buy a lighter one. I have done some research on how much a Pajero weighs (as I have no access to be able to weigh ours out here) and most are around 2500. I'm pretty happy with that as most of the vans we have looked at were around 1000 or less.
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Follow Up By: 671 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 18:52

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 18:52

You are not going to have too many problems with a van under 1000kgs. My wife and I started many years ago with a tow car that was close to triple the weight of our little van. Needless to say the car had no trouble at all towing it and making sure it behaved itself.

There is a bit more here on caravan quality. It would appear some leave a lot to be desired.

This one might help you to keep the wheels on.

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Reply By: Ash H1 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:05

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:05
I'm also interested in knowing how everyone goes about doing rego from another state, or do you have to go back to your state to do it?
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:23

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 09:23
In NSW the rego authority will send a postal and a couple of SMS reminders as the date draws near. If no safety inspection is required you just pay on-line.

If a safety inspection is required, the NSW authority will accept a report from another state providing the author of the report is approved for the purpose in that state. The paperwork then has to be sent to the NSW authority, together with or followed by payment.

The requirements differ from state to state. NSW may be the only state that requires annual safety inspection of caravans, but I'm open to correction on that.


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Follow Up By: Ash H1 - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 10:12

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 10:12
Okay great, thank you :)
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