towing weight advice VS vehicle

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 13:58
ThreadID: 142350 Views:1286 Replies:5 FollowUps:13
I am new to this page and would like to ask a question that has probably been asked many times before.
We are looking at a couple of 2nd hand ( 1 owner) vans - purchasing shortly
#1 is a 21'9" hardtop Tare 2474 - after adding 400kg mass. (towball 157kg)
#2 is a 18'6 pop top Tare 1995 - after adding 400kg mass. ( towball 138kg)

I currently have a Prado ( prev towed a 17" Pop top with no shower toilet ) --Prado has a GVM 2900 and a GCM of 5990 towing capacity of 3000- BUT i believe the Prado would now not be suitable to tow either the above.

your wise thoughts would be appreciated ...( i am leaning toward a Patrol or Hilux SR5)



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Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 14:14

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 14:14
"Tare" is unloaded weight.

When you say "tare after adding 400kg mass" do you mean the loaded weight is #1, 2474, and #2, 1995?

If that is the case I believe your Prado is a suitable vehicle to tow either van.

Both vans are below the Prado's max towing weight, so both good in that respect.

My old Prado (2007 120 Series) had a max towball weight of 250kg. If yours has the same figure, then all good for both vans.

If your Prado is loaded to GVM and you tow #1, the heavier of the two vans, the combination mass is 5374, which is lower than the Prado's GCM, so all ok. It follows that the lighter van will be ok as well.

If you intend to load your Prado to GVM, then what you have to do is allow the towball weight as part of the load. So for trailer #1, your loaded Prado must weigh no more than 2900-157 = 2743kg, and for #2, 2900 - 138 = 2762kg. If the towball weights vary, as they can when you load differently from trip to trip, then you must adjust accordingly. Or just take less stuff in the car so you have a big buffer for the towball weight.

As far as the numbers go, do that and you're all good, IMO.

Just curious - what made you think the Prado was unsuitable for either?
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Follow Up By: Mitzi K - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:13

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:13
Hi Frank - thanks so much for your response -- i didnt think my beloved Prado was suitable because of the heavier van --( and doing some sums ) --- so to recap below - i would like your opinion on my sums .

#1 van as per specs is Tare 2074 & I added 400kg as an approx for "stuff" towball 157 = 2474 kg
#2 van as per specs is Tare 1595 & i added the same towball 119

Prado towball 250 Prado GVM 2990 Prado GCM 5490

so - using #1 figs with a full load = 2474 + Prado GVM 2990 = 5464 GCM

SO if the above calcs are sort of correct I didnt think my Prado had enough left over for any extra add on s?

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Reply By: Rob A2 - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:26

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:26
Mitzi I strongly recommend you check at places such as this https://rvsafe.com.au and https://rac.com.au/car-motoring/info/caravan-towing-weight for example to ensure you have a thorough and detailed appreciation of how to calculate GCM.

All the best with your search and safe travels

Rob
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Follow Up By: Mitzi K - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:36

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 15:36
thank you - websites noted
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 16:23

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 16:23
Mitzi,

The numbers are shifting around a bit, changed from your opening post. In my reply used the numbers you gave in your opening post, Prado GVM 2900 and GCM 5990.

I have researched and found that a 150 Series Prado has a GVM of 2950 and a GCM of 5490. That changes what I wrote completely.

At GVM of 2950 and with a van weighing 2474, your combination mass is 5424, giving you a margin of just 66kg. That makes you legal, just.

Where do you want to put that 66kg? You can't put it in the Prado because it's already at GVM. Remember, any mods like bars and winches and second spares all count as load going toward the GVM, along with your partner, fuel, dog and "stuff".

Whatever you've done to your Prado already, you cannot load it to more than 2950 unless you get a GVM upgrade.

But a GVM upgrade does not necessarily give you a G*C*M upgrade. It may do, depending on what's allowed on your vehicle, but not always. So if you do get a GVM upgrade and load up to that new figure, you may have to choose the lighter van to stay under manufacturer's GCM.

You *could* put that 66 kg in the van, for what that's worth.

This pic might help in understanding the weights issue:



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Follow Up By: Mitzi K - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 16:29

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 16:29
thanks Frank .. 66KG not enough wiggle room for me - i like to be sure ....

looks like a Patrol ......
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:28

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:28
Frank P, all GVM increases now decrease the GCM by the GVM increase. Was a loophole a few years back, but has now been closed.
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Follow Up By: Rob A2 - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:36

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:36
Frank not sure which jurisdiction you reside in but that is not the case in SA and QLD as a minimum. What happened a bit over 18 months or so back was the national legislator made a change which most jurisdictions followed. In that a GCM increase was no automatically longer permissible at all regardless of the approved third party GVM upgrade, unless some significant upgrades were also made to specific items such as rear axles. These upgrades actually change the specification of the vehicle moving them into the commercial classification and require extensive engineering approvals.

That change did not bring about a reduction in GCM as a result of any GVM upgrade that I am aware of. But happy to be kept informed of such changes as they keep slipping past most of us

Rob
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:41

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 17:41
Thank you John, I hadn't heard about that. Do they decrease it, or just not increase it?

I know of the loophole that allowed an increase in GVM to supposedly permit an increase in GCM. My Lovells GVM upgrade on my BT50 from 3200 to 3500 allowed my GCM to increase from 6000 to 7000 according to Lovells. I never used it, stuck with 6000. I understand that loophole was closed.

I was not aware of GCM being decreased by the amount of the GVM increase coming into effect. I think something similar was proposed by the regulators but after an after-market industry outcry I heard they backed off pending review.

Has the review been done and a decision made?

Reading through this document suggests that GCM rules may vary from state to state.
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Follow Up By: Member - John - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 18:01

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 18:01
Frank P, this is what I got with the paper work for my GVM increase, need to reword my original reply, Maximum Braked Towing Capacity is decreased by GVM increase amount.
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Follow Up By: Member - silkwood - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 18:28

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 18:28
John your initial wording might be interpreted differently. A GVM increase does NOT decrease the GCM by the increase amount, it decreases the Maximum Braked Towing capacity. The GCM remains the same.

Cheers,

Mark
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Follow Up By: Member - Mark (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 19:05

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 19:05
Mitzi

Have a look at the below recent post on Pradopoint

https://www.pradopoint.com.au/forum/general/buying-a-prado-150-120-90-series/756053-solved-beware-150-prado-towing-gcm-limitation

I do not know whether your model is the same as the current model referred to in this discussion, but current model GCM appears 5990kg, the global Prado manual you can download states ca 500kg less.
What's legal and what's sensible can be two different things and also depends on whether you are sticking to bitumen or plan to include some rougher gravel roads

Finally the only weight I believe from a seller is a weighbridge ticket

Mark




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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 20:51

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 20:51
Go the pop top less weight, wind drag it will be much better on fuel compared to towing the other.
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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 22:52

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2021 at 22:52
I tend to agree with Batts. You could possibly keep your Prado as you'd be saving 479kg on combination weight, giving you a 545kg margin on GCM (if my back-of-coaster maths are correct).
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Reply By: Mikee5 - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 08:02

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 08:02
I would demand a weighbridge certificate for any van you are considering. Manufacturers are renown for using rubbery figures on compliance plates. Tare may not include any accessories, even if factory fitted. Examples can be batteries, air conditioning, solar, even gas cylinders.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 13:52

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 13:52
x 2 good point
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Reply By: Member - LeighW - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 09:07

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 09:07
Diesel Prado?

If so keep in mind for older models that the Prado has a small but power diesel motor, it is also quite a large vehicle heavy vehicle. Older models have had instances of engine failures caused by cracked pistons which Toyota research on the engine failures attributed to high engine loads for long periods of time. Might be worth keeping in mind if your going to a large heavy van and have an older model. Apparently Toyota have changed redesigned the pistons at least a couple of times over the years to overcome the failures.

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Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 09:46

Wednesday, Aug 11, 2021 at 09:46
Hi Mitzi K,

The Tare weight of the trailer/camper/caravan is not going to be the issue, the ATM, GTM & TBM is what the authorities will look at from a legal perspective. The towing vehicle rear axle weight can also catch you out, even after a suspension GVM upgrade.

If your trailer ATM exceeds the braked towing capacity of your towing vehicle, you will also fall foul of the authorities, even if you are not towing at the ATM.

The Hilux will have the same issues towing weight wise as the Prado.

Macca.
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