Practicality of a part time 8x8 vehicle

Submitted: Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:31
ThreadID: 19348 Views:2753 Replies:15 FollowUps:26
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I am toying with the idea of converting my Landcruiser into a part time trailer to tow behind the Nissan on long bush trips.

I would:
1. Tow the LC with an A frame
2. Install an electric brake mechanism utilising all four wheels
3. Connect trailer wiring to fit on to rear brake, park and indicator lights

For:
1. The availability of being able to use 2 vehicles in tandem in 4x4 in rough offroad conditions=8x8
2. The availabilty of extra 95lt fuel tank.
3. Ample space to cart camping gear
4. Not having to spend more money on Camper Trailer

Against:
1. Weight factor as towed vehicle could weigh up to 3 ton
2. Fuel consumption being excessive
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:32

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:32
Why?
AnswerID: 92912

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:34

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:34
Sell the cruiser and buy that camper trailer? Or a good quality offroad box trailer like I got me..

Maybe a zook would be better for this? lighter to tow for one.. your fuel and clutch costs would be back way past Rosie!!
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:43

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 00:43
1. I have the LC.
2. It is paid for.
3. It is also diesel.
4. I want to do some cross country off road driving. Passenger will drive Cruiser when needed.

I towed a 27ft 3.5 ton van around Aus for 5 years without burning the clutch.

My fuel usage would probably come down to 25/100 worse case scenario. Off road there may even be a saving.
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Follow Up By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 20:53

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 20:53
Where'd you get your trailer from T-Man? and what'd it cost, if you dont mind telling? I have a friend down here who's looking for something similar.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 16:33

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 16:33
get me on yahoo/msn/icq tonight if you like, or gimme a call on Mobile..
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Reply By: Crackles - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:11

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:11
Having tried A framing both 2 & 3 vehicles together over various terrain I can imform you there is no advantage to be had joining cars together like that offroad. May go some way to explaining why you don't see many others doing it ;-)
Strange idea. Cheers Craig.................
AnswerID: 92919

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:21

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:21
You have to think outside the square.

Tell me why there is no advantage in laymans terms. Making a statement that there is none is of no practical use to me.

Back in the early seventies the NT Landrover Club went in to Arnhemland late in the dry season and got caught up in an early wet season flood. They used tree branches to lash 11 Landies together and drove through deep mud and water for three kilometres to reach the safety of higher ground. Talk about 44WD!!
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 16:40

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 16:40
Willem. Our club in the 80's had a policy that all vehicles be fitted with brackets to the bull bars so an A frame could be used for recovering broken down members from the bush. Through alot of experimenting we found that they were very handy for flat towing cars on the road but as soon as we tried off road we only got into more trouble.
When putting 2 cars together (8x8) the 2nd vehicle cuts the corner just like a trailer & on 2 occations we side swiped trees as the second car has little say in where he goes. Dragged over rocks & ruts it's near impossible to position the diffs & tyres of both vehicles similtainiously so instead of the second car assisting the first, more often than not it was only holding it back or pushing it where he didn't want to go.
As the A frame is relatively short we also found it didn't articulate very well which when the inevitable happened & the cars stopped,(occationally jack knifed) it was hard to even seperate the two.
Syncronizing the speed of both cars is nigh impossible too so all 8 tyres scramble for traction at different revs & don't even think of changing gears. We even tried it in the snow & managed to get a further 2 metres with both cars bogged :">
In all our attempts offroad we found the A frame was no advantage used as an 8x8 & it's use only caused us more delay. (Needless to say we don't bother any more)
As for the prospect of towing a 3 tonne landcruiser around Oz to gain more space & fuel storage................I think thats the wierdest suggestion listed on Ex Oz this year & I can't help but think how different the responses would have been from members if someone like Lucky Vic had posted it word for word instead of a respected traveller like your self;-)
Cheers Craig................
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 19:55

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 19:55
Thanks Craig

That is the feedback I wanted to read

I am pleased to learn that my question is the weirdest you have seen so far. I am always endeavouring to keep my brain working and to further this hobby of mine I have come up with lots of practical and many more impractical ideas. If we stagnate in the perceived notion that we must adhere to the norm of where we find ourselves, then God help us!

My other idea is to cut the front off the Landcruiser and convert it to a trailer with 4 doors. And I will still have the fuel capacity.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:50

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:50
Ironically I just saw such a trailer as you described yesterday heading down the Freeway. They used the back half of a shorty Cruiser of course being towed by a full one in matching bright yellow. Looked great.
Rather than chop your opperational 60 series up, possibly could sell it & buy a wrecked Patrol thats had a head on to match what you have. That way all your wheels & spares would be the same. By the time you'd cut off all the excess weight it would probably be half decent to tow.
Cheers Craig...........
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 22:00

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 22:00
Hmmmmmm Craig

Somehow I think that all of these ideas might just stay here in this thread LOL
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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:28

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 01:28
Hi Willem,

Your experience is legendary here, so too are some of your ideas now;)

Sorry, but i cannot think of one good reason to do this. Even if there was a good reason, electric brakes are simply not possible to fit on the existing hubs (maybe possible to tap into existing hydraullic brakes - but I guess would be FAR more expensive than a decent trailer).

If nothing else, it's an "interesting" idea.

Cheers mate

Captain
Its not what you drive, but how you drive it!
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AnswerID: 92923

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:38

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:38
Capt

One has to keep the mind occupied. I am constantly looking for other ways to do things. But that is why I have worded the heading Practical. One always needs more ideas to formulate further thoughts.
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Reply By: cokeaddict - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:17

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:17
Hey Dad,
Im with you all the way. Go for it forget the knockers :-) I see now that your alot like me.....when i get an idea in my head, I follow it through to the end. Win or loose, at least I tried it. I for one believe in you, your expierence alone is enought to convince me that its worth trying. Good luck
Ange
AnswerID: 92931

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:52

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:52
G'day Son

Thanks for your encouragement. I will see where this idea takes me.
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FollowupID: 351930

Reply By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:53

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:53
Willem, go for it!!!
Back in the 70's when 4wd's in private use were a rarity we all had FJ40's with the odd 55 wagon. No lockers, tyre choices vehicle options etc, we tried lots of alternatives, dual wheels, tractor tyres on special rims that were trailered to wherever you were going and A frames.
Most vehicles in the group were fitted with a standard attachment to take a standard design A frame. Not everyone carried an A frame but they could be swapped from vehicle to vehicle. As here on the eastern seaboard we have hills that can be very muddy in forest areas we would hook 3 or 4 vehicles together with A frames and away we'd go, was pretty scary being in the middle as you had bugger all control except the accelerator but those 'crocodiles' would climb just about anything.
With 12 driving wheels there were always a few that had traction.
I've seen a system set up on a vehicle towed behind a motorhome on an A frame that used a vacuum brake unit on a made up frame that temporarily bolted in to the floor of a towed vehicle in front of the drivers seat and pushed on the brake pedal to utilise the vehicles brakes. The fella had an 12v vacuum pump to provide the assistance on the towed vehicle, the pump from memory was from a 740/760 series Volvo car (it was used on turbo models and models with cruise control) I've got a 740 turbo and it has one. Also some of the Thomas brand compressors suck pretty well and are used for vaccuum.
One concern which you would have to take into account would be the increased wear on the GQ's drivetrain due to the constant load. Stone damage on unsealed surfaces would also be pretty horrific, I've towed a vehicle along the Gibb River road for a few 100 k's(with a snatch strap) and the damage was substantial.
What is the legality of towing with an A frame? I know people do it but what is the actual legal situation? Seems like one of those grey areas ;-))
Peter
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AnswerID: 92937

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:49

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:49
Thanks for the feedback, Peter.

I met two young fellas up on the GRR in 1987 who had driven to Mitchell Falls in two VW Variants. When they got to an obstacle that would stop a 2wd they hooked the cars up in tandem and continued on their journey.
Also met a bloke with a 2wd Daihatsu Diesel van with oversized tyres on the rear and a diff lock, in the Kimberley. He seemed to be getting into out of the way places.

We also have to remember that earlies motorised explorers drove through some horrific country in 2wd cars.

I have seen dual wheels on Landrovers and 8 wheels on a HK Holden Wagon/Landcruiser chassis. The latter being an awesome mud basher.

Yes I meant vacuum with the brake set up so as to activate all four brakes at the same time.

Maybe I should look for a truck with more space for me to take all my camping gear and also being able to sleep in it.

I have towed vehicles around Aus on an A frame and have never been challenged.

Always thinking about a new project
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Reply By: bundyman - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:55

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 07:55
Willem,

Mate you've obviously been stuck in the house too long with this hot weather LOL. The only reason you want to tow the cruiser behind is so that you can put the missus in there when she complains about never getting the chance to sit behind the wheel :P If ya do it make sure ya put some photos out of the rig.

Cheers,
Hughesy
AnswerID: 92938

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:35

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:35
Yes you right are right and no the missus has her own 4bt softroader. Wouldnt be seen dead behind the wheel of my truck lol
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FollowupID: 351921

Reply By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:48

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 09:48
C'mon Willem,

State the real reason for you wanting to do this, come out of the closet.

You really want the Tojo there to push the Pootrol home when it breaks down ........lol.

Perhaps you should get Roachie to buy a cruiser to do the same or better still you could hook him up to your Patrol and the Cruiser could push you both home.
AnswerID: 92961

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:03

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:03
Hmmmmm You'll keep, Davoe. I will remember this indiscretion!!!
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FollowupID: 351937

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:58

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:58
hey dont blame me I was actually gona say sell the nissan - the tojo will do the job just fine on its own
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:09

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:09
Ahhh Member Davoe....No wasn't aimed at you. I know this character OutnAboutDavid with the Pladoe personally, and he is having a dig at me.

If you find a buyer for my Nissan I'll buy your 75 series !
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FollowupID: 351970

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:14

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:14
Hmmmm tempting I have got it in this Saturdays Kalgoorlie Miner price neg if it doesnt sell I will have to try in Perth next month which will mean quite a bit of time money and travel
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FollowupID: 351976

Follow Up By: Nudenut - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 15:06

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 15:06
geez, david and davoe took my words...................
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Reply By: Rob! - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:45

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:45
Willem,

Wow, a crazy idea. However you won't know for sure what is good or bad about it unless you do it. And if you don't, you'll forever be kicking yourself that you didn't.

Who knows, maybe one day such a thing will be standard on all off road vehicles to help them get out of trouble.

So, go for it. Develop the idea and sell it to the army.

R.
AnswerID: 92988

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:03

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:03
Rob

Landrover came up with the 101 Forward Control cab over 4x4 to which they attached a PTO driven trailer. When things got rough you could shift a lever and you had 6x6. They were incredibly strong vehicles and very capapble offroad but because of their utilitarian make up only a few made it from the army into private hands. A mate of mine had one for years and recently sold to a Pommy bloke who came all the way from England to collected it here in Aus. Apparently the roads in England are built with a lot of salt content in them and vehicles rust like crazy. This particular 101 had no rust in it.
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FollowupID: 351962

Follow Up By: Outnabout David (SA) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 12:58

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 12:58
Willem,

A company called Forrest was doing a driven from PTO tariler to landcruisers in the 70's. We thought it would be a good idea and made some under licence to them but only sold a few. Had all L/cruiser bits to match the vehicles. They were good in there day with 6 X6 on tap but probably wouldn't go as far as a modern 4by with all the bits and a normal trailer.
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FollowupID: 352022

Reply By: Top Cat - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:57

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 10:57
Mate, I reckon ur a legend.

Go for it I say..........wish there were more people like urself in the world.........and had no idea there were others like me.

I always get knocked for my cooky ideas..........and yet u would be amazed how often they actually work really well.

There is nothing to lose by having a go and by hell you just might start something..

Go for it son.
AnswerID: 92994

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:12

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:12
Top Cat

I have lots of ideas mulling around in my head.....SWMBO just shakes her head sometimes and looks the other way. lol
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FollowupID: 351971

Reply By: V8Diesel - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:03

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:03
Willem, didn't the Army have a 'driven' trailer at some stage that worked off the PTO on a Landy? You know the hole in the rear bumper.

Saw a great show on 'Mythbusters' the other night about fitting "R.A.T.O's" to a vehicle. Rocket Asssited Take Off. As the name would suggest, it's a rocket the US military bolt on to heavily laden transport planes to help get them airbourne.

Now there's an idea. Doesn't matter what the ground conditions are. Handy for overtaking road trains, lighting wet wood, drying your washing and boiling the billy too.
AnswerID: 92997

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:15

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:15
V8Diesel

Wouldnt a nitro cell(the ones they use on drag cars) work like the RATO?

See my reply to Rob about the PTO trailer
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FollowupID: 351977

Follow Up By: Member - Sparkie (QLD) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:18

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:18
I think you would not find a trace of your billy if you tried to heat it behind the rocket LOL......No wait, it will be behind the dried clothes. ;-)

Sparkie(IE not Y) ;-)
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FollowupID: 351979

Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:39

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 11:39
Willem, the FWD Control 101....that's the bugger! There was one for sale near Geraldton a year or so ago, pretty cheap too if I remember correctly.

Sparkie, could come in handy for soldering printed circuit boards too;-)
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FollowupID: 351993

Reply By: Des Lexic - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 12:13

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 12:13
G'day Donut Muncher,

An earlier reference to our early pioneers reminded me that they went out to these remote areas with their model T's etc on no roads or even tracks to follow.
I think one of the reasons they got through was due to the types of tyres and rims that were on the vehicles. Some of those old trucks were way overloaded past the gunnels and still made it through. Maybe you should consider 24" rims with 3" wide tyres to get out into the country that you desire to traverse.

Best wishes for your project.

cheers
The Donut King
AnswerID: 93011

Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:05

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 21:05
Hey Uncle Des

Hows the 50?
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FollowupID: 352118

Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 22:06

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 22:06
DM the 50 is doing allright thanks
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FollowupID: 352125

Reply By: Member - Peter (on the move) - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 13:33

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 13:33
Not 8 x 8 But i am sure the OKA came from an idea like this!!

Good luck you nut case :) Pete
AnswerID: 93036

Reply By: paj - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 17:29

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 17:29
I remember from my time in the military that Bofors made a 155mm howitzer with hydraulic drive to the road wheels to assist in getting in and out of tough areas. I remember that it would also do about 8 kmh unhitched as well!

If you could fit the drive to a trailer it would make it easy to get in to some of those difficult sites : )

Cheers

Paj
AnswerID: 93084

Reply By: Lone Wolf - Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 18:48

Friday, Jan 14, 2005 at 18:48
I reckon the coolest thing would be if you had the Landcruiser being towed BACKWARDS!

That way, reversing would be a cinch!

Now, does the Toyota automatically gain status as a trailer for rego & insurance purposes?

Now.............. here's the thing............. Wolfie's got WAY TOO MUCH TIME..........

Toyota & Nissan.............. jumble them up, and leave off one "T", and you get.........

NASTY POISON!!

CHEERS

WOLFIE
AnswerID: 93111

Reply By: Member - John - Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 21:01

Saturday, Jan 15, 2005 at 21:01
Willem
I saw a Toyota Sahara in Adelaide in the late 80's / early 90's rigged out as an outback tour operators consist that had a 2 wheel trailer driven by a PTO shaft from the Tojo gearbox .
I assume there was a clutch for engaging / disengaging so it had 6 wheel drive on demand.
It was a very professional looking set up. They appeared to be catering to upmarket tourists wanting to see the outback that the normal tour companies would not have been able to get in to.
Glad to hear there some other "old buggers" prepared to think outside the square & think through their dreams.

Regards

John Adamson
AnswerID: 93291

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