Today’s towing worries vs the ” old days”

Submitted: Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:11
ThreadID: 142338 Views:1962 Replies:12 FollowUps:36
Today we hear so much about one 4wd or another not being able to tow a certain caravan and gvm upgrades etc.
I wonder why 40 odd years ago the masses just brought a Holden and towed whatever they liked and we never heard of many, if any at all accidents.
Your thoughts welcome
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Reply By: Chris J16 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:20

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:20
Hi Cruiser,

Van Weight !! plus
Generators
Heaters
A/C
Toilets
Showers
Batteries
Solar Set-ups
Weber's
TV's
Stereo's
Microwaves

The list goes on, everyone has to have all the toy's nowadays
AnswerID: 637420

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:36

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:36
Thanks for your thoughts Chris
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Follow Up By: Aussie1 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:28

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:28
We have all those"toys" and loving it. Wouldn't want it any other way. :)
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Follow Up By: eaglefree - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 22:29

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 22:29
Out of those-
Generators
Heaters
A/C
Toilets
Showers
Batteries
Solar Set-ups
Weber's
TV's
Stereo's
Microwaves

We have all but a stereo and microwave so I pose the question- "if our caravan 16ft loaded ATM is 1000kg why are some needing to tow 3000-3500kg?. Yeh I know, each to their own.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:21

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:21
Eaglefree...extra weight is for the hair dryers, coffee machines and egos!
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Follow Up By: Aussie1 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 09:07

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 09:07
Hair dryers & coffee machines. Yep, those on board as well. Which makes my Egos bigger than yours :):)
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Reply By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:24

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:24
For the same reason you can't venture off road without several thousand dollars of electronic equipment. :)
Dave.
AnswerID: 637421

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:43

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:43
I remember the planning involved when my father took me on 3 day camping trips. Tea and sugar in brown paper bags in his left pocket .22 ammunition in his right pocket. No tent but a small tarpaulin in the 2wd car together with matches and an axe.very fond memories!
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Follow Up By: Member - David M (SA) - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:34

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:34
"Tea and sugar" Pure bloody luxury ! We drank water out of muddy puddle if thirsty and were thankful
for it.
Dave.
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FollowupID: 915526

Reply By: tonysmc - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:27

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 10:27
Probably because 40 years ago there wasn't the communication resources we have these days. no internet, no mobile phones (very few) no social media. If someone had an accident in the next suburb you probably wouldn't hear about it. These days if a cat farts in Russia its a viral video that's seen all over the world. Remember the days kids would ride their bikes all day and play in the local creek.
AnswerID: 637422

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:50

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:50
How the world has changed Tony
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Reply By: Batt's - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:18

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:18
As techknowledgy advances materals get lighter, stronger but it seems the van industry is missing out for eg in 2005 we bought a 1986 model 16.'6" jayco tare around 960kg from memory. Todays new one is 1525kg that's a massive increase and its the on road version.

People could only legally tow 1 1/2 times the vehicles gross thats increased to help keep up with the heavy vans that are around today but people are no smarter at chosing a sensible van to tow. Also I couldn't say how many times I've heard we didn't think our humongous van would increase the fuel econ so much or I bought a van I can't tow so now I need a gvm upgrade scratching their head while their misses is feeding them a banana haha.

Same weight issue with cars they're getting heavier not lighter probably because carbon fibre etc is to expensive.
AnswerID: 637423

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:54

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:54
Hi Batts
I have always felt that people who need a GVM Upgrade have purchased the wrong vehicle in the first place but I expect criticism from those who have by making that statement
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FollowupID: 915515

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:04

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:04
Most of the GVM upgrades are nothing more than better suspension!!. No brake upgrades, stronger axles, or strengthened diff houses. Too many trying to keep up with the Joneses with a bloody big van to fit their egos..GVM upgrade means you certainly have made a poor decision with your rig...
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:09

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:09
"Same weight issue with cars they're getting heavier not lighter probably because carbon fibre etc is to expensive."
Fibreglass sandwich panel for building caravans seems expensive, but it is not really. It comes off a CNC router cut to size EXACTLY and goes together with a few tubes of glue like an IKEA flat pack.
Superior strength, superior insulation, superior finish and superior durability "straight out of the box" and for a commercial builder, the (very expensive and hard to get) labour content is slashed.
http://vanglass.homestead.com/
I am a DIY off road motorhome builder who is about to build my second vehicle. The first has been proven for 16 years.
I would use no other material.

Caravan customers need education. The builders make what the customers buy.
Almost all motorhomes are made with sandwich panel. Almost no caravans. Strange that?
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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FollowupID: 915518

Follow Up By: axle - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 14:26

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 14:26
I Agree with Big Fish, And when something breaks, a bit of welding and plating here there and everywhere,

is thought to be a modification to fix everything, somethings you read are just a joke as far as i'm concerned. Just buy the right vehicle for your requirements and tow ..carry to the specifications for that vehicle.

Cheers Axle.
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Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:11

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:11
Batts
GVM upgrade is, as mentioned, simply a suspension which holds it up more and perhaps shock absorbers to attempt to cater for the additional mass carried. Nothing else is better and more stresses are imposed on all the parts which the manufacturer has already rated, BUT Aussie engineers who want money and rego people who are happy to receive cash or approve of a piece of paper, all ok the concept.

I wonder how many are then loaded to the NEW MAX and brake tested and swerve tested and endurance tested to gain the all important Plate.

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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:27

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 16:27
I have had a GVM increase on the OKA.
Physical changes to suspension, wheels and tyres, significant research by the engineer regarding axle load limits, and quite extensive practical brake testing on a private airfield (that had to be paid for). That testing included multiple crash stops from between 60 and 100kph, one after the other, measurement of pedal pressures and G of speed retarding rates, disc temperatures etc, all at the proposed new GVM.

There was also a GCM increase. That is a (relatively) simple calculation of torque, power and final gearing to establish the vehicles ability to drive away from a standing on a 12% slope and to continue to drive up a 20% slope at maximum GCM.
All this despite him having done previous OKAs. There was no "rubber stamping".

This sort of exercise for a "Heavy vehicle" (over 4.5T GVM) is quite different from doing the same thing with a "Light vehicle" (under 4.5T GVM).
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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FollowupID: 915525

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:28

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:28
The extensive work you had done is what I would expect to be done to have a genuine, quality increase in GVM....not just some aftermarket suspension. Vast majority of 4wd owners put the same suspension on as those that are supplied in a GVM kit. Only difference is that the GVM kit includes a $2000+ engineers plate...wtf?
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FollowupID: 915528

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:01

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:01
Peter.
Yes there are some engineers who are thorough but all the normal GVM upgrades seem to be Fit And Tick from normal outlets.
PS. We're you a mail carrier in SA with an Oka?
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:15

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:15
Not the Coober Pedy Mail run? Now those vehicles work hard.

We are purely recreational, but our OKA did 330,000km on Kangaroo Island as a tour bus before we bought it in 2003. Now approaching 600,000km.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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FollowupID: 915530

Follow Up By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:50

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:50
Peter.
Thanks for that. He was a Peter too. Met him in 2010 after a motorcycle crash and at a station later. Not sure how he did it all the time. . Just thought.
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Follow Up By: Peter_n_Margaret - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:55

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 18:55
I think he has decided to give it away.
Cheers,
Peter
OKA196 motorhome
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:16

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:16
Cruiser3, my GVM upgrade included reinforced rear diff, reinforced rear upper and lower spring mounts, new shocks and springs all round, braking and swerve test, was the first 4.8 Patrol to get a GVM upgrade and needed to be tested. Once tested, that test can be used for other 4.8's, why it seems like tick and flick paperwork. My maximum braked towing capacity was decreased by the 500kg increase in GVM as the GCM stayed the same at 6500kg. I have also fitted much better brakes. Cheers.
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Briste - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:30

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:30
Re "people who need a GVM Upgrade have purchased the wrong vehicle in the first place but I expect criticism from those who have by making that statement", ...

A GVM upgrade increases payload. Vehicles like Prados and Cruisers don't come with all that much, supposedly because the manufacturer wants to keep the suspension relatively soft. As a result it doesn't take all that much to be over-weight. I suspect that there are plenty of heavily-loaded, non-towing vehicles that are over GVM without an upgrade. Towing just makes it worse, and more dangerous, and more likely to get caught by the weight police.

Was it really any better in the "good ol' days" or were we just more ignorant?

Written as someone who is doing his level best to tow without an upgrade.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 20:09

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 20:09
I've had plenty up suspension lift kits over the yrs which have heavier rated springs to suit so I'm not talking about those who have enough sense to know they'll need an upgrade or plan for what they need with their set up as most have a concept of what extra weight does to the handling and load carrying ability of a vehicle. I was talking about those who have no idea and load their vehicle up to and beyond the max or have to much rear over hang beyond the axle or tow massive vans wondering why the rear is sagging then think fitting the biggest springs will fix everything. I know not everyone can figure every thing out but when things are obvious and stand out like the van is twice the physical size of the tow vehicle the light should go on but often doesn't.
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Reply By: Member - rocco2010 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:51

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 11:51
Passing through Cue the other day and saw one of those old tri-axle vans that were the go back in the 70s or wheneve. Parked and seemingly abandoned
What were they? 30ft long in the old money.
And weight?
And towed by a Kingswood?
AnswerID: 637425

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:00

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:00
Rocco I had a 22 ft viscount in the 70’s dual axle. But remember the bigger 26 and 30 footers. Towed mine with a FJ 40 landcruiser, the rule then was the laden weight of the van should not be greater than the unladen weight of the tow vehicle
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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 15:47

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 15:47
Cruiser 3,
I still quote that today..... That's going back some.. regards, Michael
Patrol 4.2TDi 2003

Retired 2016 and now Out and About!

Somewhere you want to explore ? There is no time like the present.

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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:26

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:26
Yes Michael it’s still not a bad rule and one that I still abide by.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 20:19

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 20:19
I remember having a look inside a 36 footer in Perth around 18yrs ago it was massive inside. I talked to the fellow who was buying it to tow up to the pilbra to live in he had something like a 5t truck parked outside ready to go.

Also talking about the old holdens there was a fellow in Newcastle in the 90's with a tri axle holden ute don't know what he carried on that.
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Reply By: swampy - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:28

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 12:28
hi
All the tugs towing absolutely so close to the maximum its scary. Handling whats that!!
Vans worth 100,000$ and vehicles worth 100,000$ . Common sense whats that .
AnswerID: 637426

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:04

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:04
They are not camping...they are glamping. Delude twits trying to find their lost youth and thinking that a $300,000, overweight rig is the answer..
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Reply By: RMD - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:29

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 17:29
Cruiser.
Today we have people who are full time paid to think of ways to REGULATE. This means RULES are made to control most things. Towing is no exception. Therefore, the totally uninformed or unaware can be on the road towing with everyone else 'cos the rules make it so.
AnswerID: 637427

Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 19:12

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 19:12
" Today’s towing worries vs the ” old days ”

Hey cruiser - Imagine the stories and arguments you could have on here if you put up the topic...

" Today’s life's worries vs the ” old days ” lol


Cheers
Gazz
AnswerID: 637429

Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:22

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:22
Maybe next week Gazz, only joking
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Reply By: Member - Gordon B5 - Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 20:36

Sunday, Aug 08, 2021 at 20:36
May I say that when we changed to metric, drivers went from 50MPH to 100-110 KPH. we also tow those big vans a lot faster these days than the oldies. I have just started restoring a 1967 van, won't be heavy cos it won't have all the accessories. We like to get away from it all, not take it with us.
He who hesitates is lost

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Follow Up By: Chris J16 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 07:17

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 07:17
Now your talking,

"We like to get away from it all, not take it with us"

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Follow Up By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:28

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:28
Further to Chris’ comment I have always considered a caravan as a the next step from sleeping on the ground beside a fire, then a tent and the next step up a caravan but now it seems a caravan is better than the old 2 bedroom houses that our parents reared a whole family in.
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Reply By: Kenell - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:49

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:49
Cruiser3 your post got me thinking - lockdown does that!

I suspect that accidents involving caravans is much lower now than it was 40 years ago when all the factors are considered. The road toll and therefore accidents were significantly higher - particularly when considering the population was 10m less. Car and caravan technology has developed exponentially. We never heard of caravan accidents in 1981 but then there were no forums like this one or go pro cameras etc.

It would be interesting to compare insurance premiums as a percentage of the value of the vans then and now. I am very happy to pay the premium on mine at around 1.5% which suggests the losses are not extensive.
AnswerID: 637438

Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:59

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:59
1.5% !!!??? Mine is more like 4%. Lucky you !!

Is that for all roads, tracks ?

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 09:55

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 09:55
"The road toll and therefore accidents were significantly higher - particularly when considering the population was 10m less. "

I don't know why it sticks in my mind, but I recall from my childhood a front page headline in one of the daily papers:

VIC'S ROAD TOLL: 1076

This would have been early sixties, I think.

I just looked up some stats:

Vic's 5 year average now is 256, NSW's 3 year average is 286.

A couple of interesting graphs from a 1998 document here.
FrankP

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Follow Up By: Kenell - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:23

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:23
Jim S1 - Yes it is anywhere in Oz provided I am allowed to be there. This includes private property. My insured value is approx $40k and my premium is around $600. This is significantly less than my car insurance but there is a very limited liability risk with a caravan ie the third party liability usually rests with the towing vehicle. They don't get broken windscreens either.

Premiums are influenced by geographics to a large extent ie if you park it in a flood, cyclone, bushfire, high theft type environment you will pay more. Still - I would have thought 4% sounds steep but I am not familiar with these things so much anymore.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jim S1 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:48

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:48
Wonder if mine is higher because it is an off-road camper ........ more chance of damage or being written off.
I'll have to look into it closely next time around.

Cheers
Jim
"Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits." A fisherman.

"No road is long with good company." Traditional

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Follow Up By: Kenell - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:56

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:56
Mine is also an off road hybrid type. I don't think that makes any difference. They didn't ask whether I take it off the black top or not.
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FollowupID: 915561

Reply By: Erad - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:51

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 08:51
A few years back, we were at Blackall in Qld, and went to the Wool scour. The tour guide there was an old man who had served his apprenticeship at the scour. His favorite saying was "In the good old days - Thank God they aren't here now". I think that applies as much today as it did then.
AnswerID: 637439

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:01

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 10:01
Depends on what you want to compare things to. Fishing and camping was ten times better 50 years ago. Rivers were clean, camp sites were not littered with human shite and camp sites were well spaced. Vehicles could be worked on quite easily and parts were readily available. Biggest waste of time now is social media. Anyone who describes themselves as an "influencer" is nothing more than nupnupin my opinion. I,d rather be back 50 years than where we are at present.
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Reply By: cruiser 3 - Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:01

Monday, Aug 09, 2021 at 12:01
Thanks to everyone for their very informative opinions.
My thoughts when writing the original post was “how come a Holden kingswood could tow a 22 ft caravan back then but now a 4WD Ute is not up to the task weight wise”
So from your input the answer seems to be that;
Caravans are heavier
More gear is carried
And speeds are faster.
However 4WD utes have better chassis and better braking systems.
Caravans also have better electric brakes and more safety systems such as breakaway
All this I would think negated the heavier van argument.
Maybe the answer is, as someone mentioned earlier simply stricter regulations.
Anyway thanks to everyone for your valued input.
AnswerID: 637441

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