What tow vehicle

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:20
ThreadID: 131679 Views:2140 Replies:5 FollowUps:7
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Looking to buy a camper trailer like the Cub Escape 650kg or upto the Drover 1100 kg or similar. I have no idea what tow vehicle. I'm not wanting a large 4 WD as I have little intention of heavy off road, and as great as they are I prefer something smaller, but maybe it's not possible.
Can owners give me feedback on their experience as to vehicles that could do this job comfortably.
I do some prospecting but am happy to drop the camper and just get off the main road, yes my commodore wagon just keeps getting bogged.

Thanks for your help
Newbie (phantom)
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Reply By: Notso - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:33

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 12:33
I reckon the Kia Sorento, or Hyundai Santa Fe would do what you want. They are basically clones but there are some styling and prices differences. The All Wheel Drive version is a good general purpose vehicle and quite capable on dirt roads etc.

A friend had the Sorento for years and loved it.
AnswerID: 596594

Reply By: Tony H15 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 17:24

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 17:24
Any of the SUVs will do the job: CX5, Sportage, Tucson, CRV, Rav4, etc. Just be careful with the Rav4, the petrol version is rated to tow 1500kgs; however, earlier model diesels are only rated to tow 500/100kgs and the the latest model diesel Rav4 only 1200kgs. As an example I tow an Avan Aliner (800kgs tare and1100kgs loaded) with an ASX diesel (rated to tow 1400kgs), it does the job easily and returns reasonably good mileage. Redbook/Carsguide/Carsales are your friends when selecting vehicles, they list output figures, fuel consumption figures along with tow weights. Another thing to look for is towball weight, Most 4WDs and SUVs have ball weights at 10% of the max tow weight; however, many sedans/wagons/hatches and possibly some SUVs have ball weights of only 5-6%, so be careful when selecting a vehicle. Ball weights can usually only be found in the vehicles manual - don't take a salesman's word for it. Towing a 1300kg camper with vehicle rated at 1500kgs sounds good on face value, but if the vehicle's towball weight is rated at only 5 or 6% of it's max tow weight it is no fun to load the camper and even less to tow it!
AnswerID: 596604

Follow Up By: Phantomwalker - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 19:54

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 19:54
Thank you
I had a look at the ASX in the weekend and had a test drive it was really nice. What mileage are you getting when towing?
FollowupID: 865507

Reply By: carl h2 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 17:48

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 17:48
hi newbie my cub brumby tare is 910kg empty and ball weight is 160kg I tow it with a hilux .had up grade the leaf springs to take the sag out of the rear end.
AnswerID: 596607

Follow Up By: Phantomwalker - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 07:29

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 07:29
Thanks Carl
I think I will initially be looking the the SUV class, but who knows when price and function are determined.
FollowupID: 865524

Reply By: Tony H15 - Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 22:52

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016 at 22:52
We get 6.5 LP100 around town and between 8.5 and 11.0 LP100 towing depending on conditions. Be warned though the ASX is small, if you intend on carting a large fridge/whatever around in the back you may need something bigger. The outlander shares the same mechanicals in the diesel but is quite a bit bigger. The Mazda is the class leader in this area but if you google the Sportage/Tucson on productreview.com there are only glowing reports.
AnswerID: 596625

Follow Up By: Phantomwalker - Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 07:27

Thursday, Feb 25, 2016 at 07:27
Thanks Tony
FollowupID: 865523

Reply By: Sigmund - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:26

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 10:26
First critical point is not to accept the maker's tare figures. They can be well under the actual ones.

Second is to make a generous payload allowance for CT and car. Think of water, luggage, fuel, humans, tools, toys etc.

Third, if you're going offroad you could as a rule of thumb overcater with the tow and ball weight of the tow vehicle by a quarter or more.

That gives you your rough towing specs.

Many SUVs are not designed for real towing. Drop say 150 kg on the ball and the rears sag. The only way out of this is a WDH and that can't be used offroad. (Stiffer springs at the rear just use the fulcrum effect of the rear axle to lighten up the front end).

So with the two CT models you're interested in, uncompromised performance points you in the direction of a 4WD, not a softroader. There's plenty of choice of mid-size vehicles now with decent towing capacity. Any kind of miles in prospect, go for a diesel.
AnswerID: 596684

Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 19:17

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 19:17
Given the Op has said he is not wanting a large 4WD and has little intention of heavvy off road use I would suggest a medium size softroader for the lighter of the two campers would be ideal. All up weight would be around 950kgs with a ball weight weight of around 95 kgs, well within any of the medium size softroader's capabilities. The heavier of the two at 1100kgs is a different matter, all up weight of around 1400kgs is getting near max and would probably require a larger tug, but certainly not a heavy duty 4WD. There are a couple of softroaders with tow weights in the 2000kg range that will easily handle the heavier camper, the softroader high range 4WD being able to cope with softish off road conditions. Why buy a heavy duty 4WD if it's not required? Aside from considerably higher purchase prices there is also higher running costs and servicing costs
FollowupID: 865619

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:01

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 20:01
Yes, as he doesn't want a large unit, I suggested a medium vehicle. The difference can be 700 kgs tare.

A 4WD is for more than 'heavy offroad use'. It's built to cope better with loads and rough roads.

Rear sag is the curse of vehicles not designed (note, I don't mean permitted) for loads. You see it all over the country: headlights pointing northwards and a dangerously light front end.

I've driven and towed in the bush, over long dirt roads, and outback, with both a Forester and a medium 4WD. Guess which came second.
FollowupID: 865620

Follow Up By: Tony H15 - Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:23

Friday, Feb 26, 2016 at 22:23
Overkill in my books, a 950kg camper wouldn't tax a Corolla!
FollowupID: 865632

Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 05:45

Saturday, Feb 27, 2016 at 05:45
Downhill on smooth bitumen!
FollowupID: 865639

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