Towing a Jayco Swan Camper?? Suzuki XL7

Submitted: Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 22:59
ThreadID: 20627 Views:9099 Replies:8 FollowUps:16
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Hi there,

I am considering leasing a 4x4 and have narrowed down to 2 vehicles. Hyundai Terracan Diesel or the Suzuki Grand Vitara XL7. I know the Suzuki is a bit smaller and was wondering whether it would have the guts to tow a Jayco Swan Camper. The camper weighs around 1.3t when loaded. I know the Suzuki specs say it can tow up to 1850kgs but not sure how it would go towing off road. Is there anyone out there who has experience in towing with the Suzuki's?

We may want to tow the camper on the beach. This is where my concern lies. Any help is appreciated.

Cheers
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Reply By: Member - JohnR (Vic) - Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 23:29

Sunday, Feb 20, 2005 at 23:29
Chappo,

I have seen an ant with several times it's own weight but would hardly say it controlled the weight. That appears what you are expecting, though the scale may be a little out. If the camper weighs that much you would need some power on the beach as well as on hills.

I have never thought of a Suze as a tow vehicle sorry.......... What does it weigh? They are good in their own right but I am grimacing at the though of towing a camper on anything but a concrete driveway. Terracan may be more able, Jimbo can answer that perhaps.
Cheers,
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AnswerID: 99257

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:32

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:32
I have seen an ant with several times it's own weight but would hardly say it controlled the weight.

LMAO ... well put.. still have a tear in the eye!
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FollowupID: 357813

Reply By: Member - Mungo Explorer (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 00:30

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 00:30
I have an XL-7 although I don't tow anything with it. The truck itself is quite powerful for its own weight of 1600kg (kerb weight) but I must admit I wouldn't want to drag 1.3t behind it on rough roads. A diesel might be a better option, even if it is a Terrorcan :-)
AnswerID: 99264

Reply By: flappa - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 09:44

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 09:44
The Terracan would be a far better towing option, especially offroad.

The Suzuki's are excellent vehicles , and they tow quite well , but I wouldn't want to tow anything quite that heavy , offroad , and certainly NOT on the beach with one.
AnswerID: 99285

Reply By: LT - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 11:27

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 11:27
I would look closely at the max allowable ball weight on the Suzuki. I would doubt that it is high enough to legaly to the Jayco. I ran into this problem when looking to tow with a Bravo.
By memory, the Jayco ball weight is about 110-120Kg?
AnswerID: 99298

Follow Up By: pjchris - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 12:40

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 12:40
Hayman Reese towbar model R1868 for the XL7 lists towing capacity at 1850kg and ball weight maximum at 140kg so the ball weight on the Swan should be OK.

Note though that with a maximum ball weight of 140kg you are efectively limited to towin about 1400kg as you should have about 10% of the towing weight on the ball to limit sway etc.

Peter
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FollowupID: 357621

Follow Up By: LT - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:18

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:18
The hayman reece capacity and the registered legal capacity are not necessarily the same. The hayman reece hitch on the Bravo was labelled 110Kg, the registered ball weight was 60Kg. If you go over the registered ball weight, you void your insurance etc.
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FollowupID: 357653

Follow Up By: pjchris - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 16:33

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 16:33
My recent experience (And I've only checked a few) is that the ball weight shown on the Hayman Reese web site is the same as shown in the manual.

Mitsubishi had a problem with NH-NJ Pajero's where the manual stated 2500kg tow with 150kg ball weight, but when oushed changed the ball weight figure to 250kg. they also supplied stickers for the manuals but they only were put in when quizzed.

So the manual is not necessarily correct either...

We have an XL-7 so I will read the manual tonight and post what it says.

Peter
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FollowupID: 357661

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:04

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:04
PJChris, you are saying that the Hayman Reece is the same as the rating in the book, but what if the rating on the brochure is different. What if you were to purcahse the car with the information off the brochure and never looked in the book?
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FollowupID: 357831

Follow Up By: pjchris - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 23:01

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 23:01
The XL-7 seems different. The two Pajeros I have owned (and a couple of others I've looked at) the Hayman Reese ball weight and the Owners manual ball weight were the same.

With the XL-7 the Manual states 75kg ball weight while Hayman Reese state 130 or 140 kg depending on the model (There are two or three listed for the XL-7).

I believe (And I am willing to be corrected) that ,in Victoria at least, the maximum permissible towing weight and ball weight are defined to be the weights listed in the Owners manual or , if not defined, the towing weight is a maximum of 1.5 times the vehicles unladen mass.

This is why Mitsubishi, apparently, changed the ball weight specification in NH Pajero Owners manuals from 150kg to 250kg with a sticker.

Given the XL-7 manual states that the maximum ball weight is 75kg and the recommendation is always that 10-15% of the trailer weight should be on the ball, then the XL-7 can safely tow about 750kg. And if you were to tow 1850 kg with 75kg on the ball then that is only 4% of the trailer weight and I suspect the whole rig would be very unstable.

If you never read the book, legally it would make no difference. The law makes no allowance for not knowing what the law is. You might get a lighter penalty.

I am trying to get a response from Suzuki about the XL-7 (In writing) as we own one and I want to know one way or the other.

Peter
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FollowupID: 357895

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:59

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:59
750kg's??? That's a standard box trailer loaded with mulch. If I bought a V6 4wd that couldn't tow as much as my mother in laws cammery I'd be prettybleepoff!

75kg ball weight vs 150kg ball weight is a WILDY different rating, how the hell could someone screw up so bad. Who would be responsable if something went wrong, would you sew suzuki? Or go after Reece? Or the people who published the brochure. I guess if you were to be found guilty of over loading your vehicle because it can only take a box trailer and your towing a camper then you'd have to go after the DH's that screwed up misleading you into beliving that it could/was aloud do to it. Sound's like a lot of IF's. Sounds like I'd be steering clear of suzki's if you even plan to do some gardening around the house until they sort the sht out....
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FollowupID: 357992

Reply By: ChappoBrighton - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 19:28

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 19:28
Thanks for your replies guys. I thought that it would be too small and you helped confirm my thoughts. I took the common rail diesel Terracan for a drive today and was quite impressed.

Anyway thanks again.

Chappo
AnswerID: 99361

Reply By: pjchris - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:10

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 22:10
OK, I read our XL-7 manual.
And now I'm REALLY confused...

Suzuki brochures and dealers say 1850kg.
Manual supplied with our Nov 2003 XL-7 says 1350kg recommended wher other legal limts are not defined!
Recommends 10% of trailer weight on the ball but states the ball limit is 75kg!

Also states that weight of vehicle + accessories + passengers + ball weight canoot exceed gross vehicle weight of 2350kg.

I think I'll ring Suzuki tomorrow and try and clarify for my own peace of mind.

Peter
AnswerID: 99392

Follow Up By: LT - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 14:56

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 14:56
Same problem I had on the Bravo. Ball weight was only 60Kg. Even a small box trailer can exceed that when loaded!
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FollowupID: 357810

Follow Up By: pjchris - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:53

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:53
Ok, I rang bothe the dealer where we purchased our XL-7 and Suzuki Australia today.
Dealer:
Brochure says 1850kg. Manual is different? Don't know/Don't care.
Asked about ball weight? Don't know. They said they get asked this about three times a week. Also said they don't recommend towing anything with any weight with any Suzuki. Told me to call Suzuki Australia.

Suzuki Australia:
They asked "Have you called a dealer?"
Asked about discrepency between manual and brochure. They said: Don't know. No record of ANYONE ever asking before. No news of changes to the Owners manual. Towing limit is 1850kg. They didn't know the ball weight, said they would have to request information from head Office!
Said they would get back to me in 48 hours.

Solution:

Go buy something else if you want to tow a van.
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FollowupID: 357827

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:32

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:32
Ahh, I'm so glad I'm blissfully unaware with my grey import, you see I didn't get a manual with it and no one really gives 2 shts about it. I have a reece hitch on the back that was designed for the 4 runner and has 150kg ball weight so I'm happy with that and won't explore it any further. ;-)

That's the trouble with car manufactures, tow ball bar fitters, states, federal, rules, limits and regs. One hand doesn't know what the other bloody hand is doing.... How are you supposed to obey the law when nobody even knows what it is!?

If it feels and looks safe and you've got half a brain, tow what you like. If insurance was ever a problem because of "legalities" I think just about any court would understand how someone might get confused.
AnswerID: 99495

Follow Up By: pjchris - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:46

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 16:46
Actually Courts generally make no allowance for confusion.

It is our responsibility to know and understand the law and ignorence is no excuse.

I have not personally been involved but hearsay is that there have been cases of insurance claims rejected due to ball weight, towing weight or Gross combined mass being exceeded.

Peter
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FollowupID: 357825

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:02

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:02
Ok PjChris, which one do the insurance companies work on then? Is it the one in the book? The one on the manfacturers brochure? The one on the tow ball sticker? Maybe there is an ADR as well, perhaps a state regulation??? How can they insist you follow the rules when they are different each place you look? Which one is the one that you have to obey, what if you obey one and are not aware there is another? I think it would be a pretty thin case.
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FollowupID: 357830

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:08

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:08
I would also like to ad that reading the book in your car to get the maximum tow weight or reading the sticker on the back of your tow ball could be classed as understanding the law. Confusion is generally why things are taken to court. When there is no clear cut answer. Otherwise there would not be much point if your were guilty before you walked in the door.
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FollowupID: 357833

Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 23:18

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 23:18
PJ is right actually, ignorance is no excuse as a mate found out about 12 yrs ago now.

Its up to you to findout.

Which ones do Insurance companies go on, well the sarcastic part of me says "which one suits them", but in reality its the one the law states...
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FollowupID: 357899

Follow Up By: pjchris - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 09:32

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 09:32
The prblem of course lies in cutting through all of the confusion to thhe 'truth'. When the sales brochure and the dealer and the manufacturer say one thing and the owners manual says another.
I have just got off the telephone with Vicroads and their engineers opinion is that the limits are what is recommended by the manufacturer of the vehicle, generally as expressed in the Owners manual. If the book says, then that's it.
If the book is wrong then you must get the correct limits from the manufacturer IN WRITING and carry that with you at all time when towing. Also they recommended that any change from the Owners manual must be acknowledged by your insurance company!

Jeff, with respect, people whom are clearly guilty go to court all the time. Generally seeking an acquittal through lack of evidence, or they discredit the evidence, or simply to plead for a reduced sentence/penalty. This is one of the cornerstones of our Justice System (No matter how st**fed it may be), that even a clearly guilty party has the right to tell his side of the story. After all that's what a plea of self defense is in an assault/murder case.

just my 5c (2c rounded up) worth.

Peter
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FollowupID: 357962

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:55

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 12:55
Truckster,
" but in reality its the one the law states... "

Which one is that?? How are we supposed to know?
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FollowupID: 357991

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:02

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 13:02
pjchris, I wonder how forthcomming suzuki would be in giving somone a refund on their vehicle when they find out that it won't legally tow the van they bought it to tow. After reading the brochure and purchasing the vehicle only to find out that it is no capable of doing the task that was described in the brochure/advertising. Perhaps someone would like to bring THIS up with their local suzuki dealer?
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FollowupID: 357993

Reply By: Brad44bne - Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 00:36

Wednesday, Feb 23, 2005 at 00:36
I own a Suzuki xl-7 2004 model and have just bought a Jayco Flamingo Camper(exactly same as Swan just diff layout). I intend towing it to Double Island at easter. Im confident it can handle it, all I am concerned about is the ground clearance of the zuksta...it aint reall good...but if Im ludky wifey will let me get a lift kit before easter. I would also love to put bigger tyres on but not sure what it will take, currently has 235/60/16...anyone got any idea how big I can go without rubbing etc.

Regards
Brad
AnswerID: 99614

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