Tow Vehicle Advice

Submitted: Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 16:50
ThreadID: 132068 Views:2854 Replies:14 FollowUps:28
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Looking to upgrade from a Nissan Patrol 3 L Diesel to either a Jeep Grand Cherokee 3 L V6 Diesel or a Prado 2.8 L Diesel, for towing a 21' 6'' 2500 Kg (Max Wt) van. Can anyone give me any suggestions please?
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Reply By: Graeme M3 - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 16:56

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 16:56
Borrowed mates Prado, not a lot of grunt, also tow rate not as good as Jeep (3.5t) Purchased Jeep and could not be happier. 14 ltr per 100k with similar van
AnswerID: 598370

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:04

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:04
Talking to a bloke on Wed night, that's works for same company as I do, and would be what I'd call "fussy" about his vehicles. He has one, and is rapt in it!

Reckons it pulls well and very economical. Didn't give a fuel figure, but did mention fuel range which sounded pretty good to me from a standard tank.

Bob

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:23

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:23
Thank you Graham and Bob.
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Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 20:37

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 20:37
You'll have to buy a bigger boat....

bill
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:07

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:07
Just on paper, it appears you are looking at two different vehicle segments - the Jeep has more power, weight and towing capacity*....that would be my pick if limited to these two, because your van isn't small and a sure footed, weighty tug does offer extra safety if 'things get wobbly' on the road.
*Much better to have a good load margin to play with, than to be cruising on your load limits. As is often pointed out here and elsewhere, spend enough time on all the fine details relating to loadings for the car and the van.....it's very easy to end up outside of safe limits.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:28

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:28
Thank you Darian. Load limit is my main concern but am wondering about the long term reliability of the Grand Cherokee. Greg..
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Reply By: Capt. Wrongway - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:55

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 17:55
It depends on who you speak to. My son did his apprenticeship with Jeep and is now a head mechanic at one of their major dealerships. He talked me out of buying a Jeep when I was recently looking to by a new 4wd. He believes that they are the most unreliable 4wd out there. He bases this on the number of warranty repairs he does on new vehicles. Some are minor, but some are major .... blown motors & transmissions, and continuous electrical problems. His major issue with them is the number of major failures that happen within the first weeks & months of owning them.
I've been in their workshop many times and was amazed at the number of problems on very new vehicles.
Just an opinion ..... but a risk I chose not to take.
Capt.
AnswerID: 598377

Follow Up By: Graeme M3 - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 19:06

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 19:06
Mine is 2012 model
has now done 118750 klm, with about 45000 klm towing van
no problems at all, serviced when required, only minor recalls, would recommend to all
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 21:13

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 21:13
Look up the Jeep Cherokee on the gov recall website. Comic. Topped the charts in 2014. And that's only for problems with safety implications.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:33

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:33
Thank you Capt Wrongway, Graeme and Sigmund
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 17:44

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 17:44
Toyota have had their fair share of world wide safety recalls over the past couple of years.
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 13:59

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 13:59
You cannot compare a JEEP to a Toyota in terms of reliability. That's not to say you may have a JEEP and no problems so far? I have heard of so many horror stories with JEEP owners, but also know people that have had a good run. The JEEP marketing has been brilliant but many people buying the product are not car people.If you buy one and it's out of warranty "GOOD LUCK" will be required IMO
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Reply By: Ron N - Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 23:46

Friday, Apr 08, 2016 at 23:46
Greg - Toyota is renowned for build quality, reliability, ease of parts availability, and resale value.

Jeep are renowned for cheap construction (Jeep themselves brag about being the lowest-cost-base manufacturer in the U.S.), patchy build quality, a regular sizeable number of unhappy owners, poor customer service, a lack of basic spare parts, and very expensive parts, when you can get them.

If you get a good Jeep, you can be lucky - Jeep owners seem to fall into two camps - those who swear they are the best vehicle they've ever owned, and those who wouldn't have one again, if you gave it to them.

Personally, I'm of the opinion, the Jeep owners who claim that they have done enormous amounts of kms in their Jeeps and have never laid a spanner on them, conveniently forget the number of problems they have had with them.

The Product Review website gives fairly honest owner feedback on a multitude of items, including Jeeps. There are many horror stories from Jeep owners on Product Review, and I've never seen any feedback from Jeep themselves, in answer to the horror stories.

To give you an idea, I bought a Smeg dishwasher, which was a pile of crap - and I posted my unbiased (low) opinion on the Smeg on Product Review.

Within a few hours, the manager of Smeg Australia had responded to my review and requested I contact him. I did so, and he agreed the performance of the dishwasher was below par and offered to replace it with a new one at no cost to me - which he did, true to his word.

Any company worth their salt will respond rapidly to unhappy customers with genuine complaints.
Jeep are noted for fobbing off owner complaints, making the warranty complaint process as obtuse and difficult as possible (you cannot contact Jeep Australia, you must deal with your local Jeep dealer/agent only) - and for straight-out rejecting customer complaints as just whining about minor issues.

I'd suggest you make extensive inquiries to as many Jeep owners as you can find, and to independent repairers who have worked on Jeeps, to try and gather as much unbiased opinion as possible, before you lash out on a new Jeep.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 598388

Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:37

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:37
Thank you Ron. All of the replies that I've received have helped us whilst considering our choices. This Forum is an excellent research tool.
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Reply By: Paul E6 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 00:03

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 00:03
Run, don't walk, away from fiat/chrysler / dodge products.
Yes, I can say this- I own a s@£!#box VW.
AnswerID: 598389

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:01

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:01
What has VW got to do with Fiat, Chrysler and Dodge?
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Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:22

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:22
VW has nothing to do with any of those makes.

What model VW do you have. I have a Passat TDI and a Polo TSI and apart from the recalls for minor things have not had any problems.

Every make has lemons. Just Chrysler has more than most.

In saying that I had a 300C for a rental in the USA and apart from the fact it was harder to park than my Cruiser it was a marvelous car for touring

The Op would do well to look at the new Pajero which has a higher towing capacity than the Prado which at 2500kg is right at its limit.
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Follow Up By: Paul E6 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:29

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:29
I suppose my point being that I'm beyond being polite about lemons in general. These car makers do not deserve our civility.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:38

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:38
Thank you Paul, Michael and Tom.
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Reply By: Member - mark D18 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:09

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:09
Greg

Are you getting the picture !!!!!
My best mate is a Mechanic to .
The Prado will give you many years of trouble free motoring

Cheers
AnswerID: 598393

Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:39

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:39
Yes Mark. Thank you.
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Reply By: skulldug - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:52

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 08:52
Greg,

Aussies get a bit tribal about cars, just like footy teams.

I have owned both multiple Jeeps and Toyotas. The Jeep is a modern, technically advanced vehicle that will give you the performance you are looking for.

Toyotas are yesterday's technology at tomorrow's prices. Try talking reliability to anyone who has had failed injectors or blown motors. It makes no difference if parts are readily available and cheap. A new motor will cost you upwards of $20k. If you haver had anything to do with Toyota customer service, you wouldn't be keen to test out how good their warranties are. They will say there is nothing wrong, it was your fault, etc. have a look on the Toyota forums for engine failures before parting with your hard earned.

Skull
AnswerID: 598396

Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:40

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:40
Thank you Skulldug.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 09:14

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 09:14
One of the biggest issues when buying a Jeep is finding a mechanic that wants to work on them. My Grand Cherokee is 12 years old with 220k on the clock. The 2 main issues I have had are a 50cent copper injector seal failed at around 170k that cost a little over $1000 labour to replace, and a 50cent rubber oring failed on the oil cooler a few months back that cost $900 to replace. The oring failed just out of Tamworth and nobody wanted to work on it. I patched it up a bit myself and drove the car back to Sydney (slowly) where a mechanic I knew fixed it. If it was a Prado then there would have been mechanics falling over themselves trying to fix it and spare parts everywhere.
My advice as a 2 Jeep family for 8 years...the cars are great if there are no issues, and ours are 200k+ kms with very few issues. You will get little electrical gremlins, there are too many electric gizmos, something's got to give. If you do get an issue, then the negativity and lack of support from the auto industry in general, including Chrysler, really wears you down to the point you wouldn't recommend that a friend buy a Jeep, no matter how good it drives. If you buy a d4d Prado and need new injectors at 100k, as they do, then you'll feel good about it because the mechanic wants the job, the parts are handy and everyone will tell you what a great car it is. I think it's a $3k job though?
AnswerID: 598397

Follow Up By: Capt. Wrongway - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 22:13

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 22:13
" One of the biggest issues when buying a Jeep is finding a mechanic that wants to work on them" .... so true Michael H9.
As I previously posted, my son is the head mechanic at a Jeep Dealership. You are correct with you statement above. My son says that most of their mechanics only last about 3 months before chucking it in, and usually end up working in the local Toyota dealership. The better ones leave in total frustration with the poor build quality and the continual repairs to the same re-occurring problems along with dealing with frustrated customers. The only reason my son stays there is that it is local to home ( 5 minutes travel ) and they pay him well to keep him, although he is looking.
As I said earlier, buying one was too great a risk for me.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:42

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:42
Thank you Michael
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Reply By: Bigfish - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 09:18

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 09:18
Buy a Pajero. 3.2 litre disel. tows 3000 kg . Check them out. Wouldnt touch the Prado or Jeep.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:42

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:42
Thank you Bigfish.
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Reply By: Sigmund - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 21:18

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 21:18
Get an F250 if blacktop towing is the main application.
AnswerID: 598424

Follow Up By: TomH - Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 22:26

Saturday, Apr 09, 2016 at 22:26
Why would you buy one of them to tow a 2500kg van Like cracking a nut with a 15lb hammer As said a Pajero will do the job beautifully .
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 04:49

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 04:49
Going for 4WD when you don't need it is sledge hammer on a nut.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:43

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:43
Thank you Sigmund and Tom.
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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 00:25

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 00:25
Here's an interesting "rah-rah" video (below), where an American ABC News team goes into the Jeep Toledo plant to see the processes involved in the building of several new Cherokees the news organisation ordered.

Despite the staggering array of labour-reducing, and precision-improving robots building the new Jeeps - the news team carefully avoids the problem areas - the assembly of electrical components, and other manual-labour intensive areas of assembly - which is where many Jeep problems stem from.

"Trapped wiring" is a classic assembly fault that Jeeps regularly suffer from.
That is, excessive amounts of wiring, caused by innumerable add-on options, often gets pinched when assembly is carried out, or screws screwed through it, causing short circuits, error codes, and other faults.

It's a classic lack of attention to detail, caused by the "gung-ho" attitude of Americans, when something has to be done.
Our WW1 Diggers first noted the Americans "gung-ho" attitude when American "Doughboys" were first placed in front-line operations with the Aussie Diggers at Hamel in 1918.
The Americans weren't prepared to listen to the war-hardened Aussies advice regarding front-line tactics, and they were foolhardy in the extreme, purely because of their "gung-ho" approach.
They are enthusiastic, but the detail in their operations suffers.

The Japs are masters of attention to detail - that is where they excell in vehicle building. The Japs will carefully ensure all wiring is fully protected - even manufacturing special little protection devices such as specialised grommets and seals for wiring connectors.
I was installing towbar wiring on a Hilux last week and I was stunned at how tough the insulation on the Toyota wiring is. You'd never find insulation toughness like that in a Jeep.
It's the little things that attention is paid to, that produces the reliability and dependability in a vehicle.

Building a new Jeep

Even more interesting is the array of other YouTube videos on the right hand side of the YouTube site - where Jeep owners carefully outline the problems they've encountered with their Jeeps - and the lack of resolution of any of their problems, by Jeep.
As one bloke says, the Jeep "customer care dept" is all about Jeep - not about the customer.

Jeeps are still regularly listed near the bottom of the J.D. Power Automotive Dependability list - even in America. That has to tell you something.

Fifth recall for Jeep Cherokee

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 598432

Follow Up By: Member - mark D18 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 09:16

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 09:16
Moral to the story is

Stick with the Jap 4x4,s

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:46

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 12:46
Thank you to all who have offered advice.
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Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 20:09

Sunday, Apr 10, 2016 at 20:09
Hi Greg. I tow a 2000kg ( fully loaded) Kimberley Karavan with a 3.0l D4D Prado.
I have no complaints with the Prado having towed the van for around 35,000kms in the last 15 months. However in my view the Prado is a little underpowered for the job. You need to patient to accelerate to a 90-100km/ HR cruising speed and have a lot of clear road in front of you when passing. The KK packs down into a very aerodynamic package( for a van) and to be frank I couldnt imagine towing a normal 21' van with the Prado as the wind resistance would be strong. My Prado is the 5 speed auto so I can't comment on how the new unit will cope. I find that 2000rpm is the sweet spot for the 3.0l motor. That means 105km/hr in 5th or 80 in 4th. The transmission is locked up at those revs in those gears at this speeds. If you are happy to tonk along at 80 the Prado will probably do the job. However at 2500kg you are on the limit of its towing capacity. Trust this helps. John
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Monday, Apr 11, 2016 at 10:29

Monday, Apr 11, 2016 at 10:29
Thank you John.
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Reply By: Blown4by - Monday, Apr 11, 2016 at 20:39

Monday, Apr 11, 2016 at 20:39
Anyone with extensive all round automotive experience will tell you there really is no comparison between the American and Jap product as attested to by the resale value of the Prado and the general theme in the majority of the posts in response to your question. My Son has lived in the Kimberley for the last 4 years where very few Jeeps are seen because, as the saying goes up there, very few make it that far.
AnswerID: 598516

Follow Up By: Michael H9 - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 00:16

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 00:16
What brand of car you think is best is mainly determined by what country you live in. Japanese cars are dominant in Australia but not so much elsewhere. Toyota accounts for less than 4% of new car sales in the UK yet account for 18% here. Toyota and Chrysler in the US are much the same coming in 3rd and 4th at a little over 10% each. I was surprised the first time I drove around Europe at how few Jap cars were on the road, they were rare enough that we played spotto on them to pass the time on the motorway. Good luck trying to find a Prado, I don't recall seeing one. A lot of Discoverys and Range Rovers though. There are plenty of VW mechanics in Germany and plenty of Jeep mechanics in the US. If you have the parts and the labour infrastructure for the brand then the issues disappear. We are a little pond in the scheme of things and it is dominated by the Japanese.
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 09:29

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 09:29
Thank you Blown4by
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Reply By: Sacred Cow - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 07:28

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 07:28
We have a 21'6" caravan which weighs in at 2.4t and we towed it for 7 years with a Prado with the 3 litre D4D diesel engine. The towing experience was fairly marginal and at time bordering on being scary. As well as having the Hayman Reese weight distribution hitch, we also had the HR dual-cam sway control device fitted to make it feel less twitchy particularly when B-doubles were passing and when there were strong side-winds. Although we never actually encountered snaking as such, I never felt that comfortable towing with this rig.

On a trip through the centre, the Prado struggled up the Drummond Range and also through Horrocks Pass near Pt Augusta. I don't know how it would have tackled the Moonie Ranges.

Last year my wife wanted to see the Kimberleys and the coast of WA so we upgraded to a Landcruiser 200 series diesel. I am sorry we did not do that a lot earlier. We no longer have to suffer B doubles pushing us off the road as had happened on the Newell Hwy. The rig is stable and a joy to drive.

For your largish caravan you would be advised to buy a heavy, powerful vehicle such as a Landcruiser. The Prado and Jeep are too light and footprint too small, in my opinion, and the Patrol, a very capable 4WD, is too underpowered.
Glenn
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Follow Up By: Greg_513 - Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 09:29

Tuesday, Apr 12, 2016 at 09:29
Thank you Glen
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