Disappointed at towing weight latest patrol ute

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:38
ThreadID: 29631 Views:7484 Replies:13 FollowUps:33
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Just found out my brand new patrol 4.2 intercooled diesel ute is only rated at 2500kg. Is there any way of beefing this up to about 3000kg. Am keen about an off road van rated fully loaded at 3000kg. Any body have trhe same problem.
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Reply By: ACDC - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:44

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 21:44
Wellsy 2500kg is ok you could never take 3000kg's of caravan off road in a fit!
I have a 1500kg off road caravan and struggle taking it so called off road with a 4.2 gq turbo diesel patrol,i know you see a lot of these so called large off road caravans but they are a joke! honestly i would never tow anything more than 2000kg on the dirt it just does'nt happen.don't believe what they tell you!!
AnswerID: 148170

Follow Up By: cunnamulla - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 00:48

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 00:48
Large off road a joke?? Are you really familiar with a Bushtracker? Check one out properly and then you can make a comment. Also I have in the past taken an F250 with a 2500 kg. van off road and no problems and I don't taken unnessary risks. Do it slowly and you can go almost anywhere providing you have a real off road van.
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:14

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:14
Seen plenty of Bushtrackers even seen a few upside down on the side of the road(turtles) overpriced overweight.
What do you call off road please give us some examples i can't wait!
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Follow Up By: cunnamulla - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 01:17

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 01:17
Read the story from Tracker. saves me the trouble. In all my trips around Australia, including offroad, I have never ever seen a caravan overturned. I have never ever heard of a Bushtracker rolling. Have you really ever done offroad with the right equipment?
I have just gone through the Bushtracker factory and believe me I am glad that I have ordered one.
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Follow Up By: cunnamulla - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 01:25

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 01:25
Oh. By the way. Have you travelled over the roads that Tracker mentioned???? Including the GIBB RIVER ROAD>>>>
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:55

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:55
Off road is when you use the 4wd stick in your vehicle,i don't class rough roads as off road.
I would be interested in the weight of the van you have ordered and what you are going to tow it with.
We do a lot of work for caravan dealers and fit about 20 electric brake systems every month so get to talk to a lot of caravanners.
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Follow Up By: cunnamulla - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 17:29

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 17:29
About 3000Kg. Towing with an F250 7.3L Cab/Chassis. I use the 4wd stick as you call it when necessary.
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 22:41

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 22:41
You will need every bite of that 7.3l truck..
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Follow Up By: cunnamulla - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:44

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 11:44
If you have ever driven an F250 or towed a van with one you will appreciate that there is no problems with power. It would drive up a wall if you could stick to it.
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Reply By: Davo - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:09

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:09
I agree with ACDC.
The biggest advantage with higher tow rating is for boaties (I'm one of them)
Its not hard to have a 21' boat that cracks 2.5T these days.

A caravan that cracks 2.5T probably needs a flat-screen TV instead of the ol' CRT TV and VCR you have probably installed :)

[JOKE !!]

Cheers,
Dave
AnswerID: 148177

Follow Up By: Wellsy - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:33

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:33
I also agree. However the fact is Bushtraker, Kedron, Phoenix, etc are all 3.5 or over. Not a case of towing up the telegraph track as such , more of strong enough to stay togeather for longer if subjected to a lot of dirt road / corrugation type use. The main point here is I can't understand why Nissan rates this vehicle so low. I think it's something to do with the fact they sell the ute as a cab/ chas and don't have any control over final weight in terms of what tray/canopy is added aftermarket. I believe the rules sate that a rule of thumb for working out the allowed trailer weight with brakes is equal to 1.5 times the vehicles GVM, which in the Nissans case is 3100 approx which would give an allowed weight apprx 4.5T. This figure would, I assume, would have a tolerance factor included, so it beats the daylights out of me why Nissan rates the ute so low. Bare in mind the Toyoto equiv is rated at 3.5T and so is the Navara Duel Cab!
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:19

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:19
Wellsy i challenge anyone to take a 3.5 tonne caravan offroad it does'nt happen! you don't need a bushtracker(turtle) or Phoenix to go on dirt roads ther are plenty of good strong caravans on the market that will do the job! just need to do some homework..
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Follow Up By: Turbo Diesel - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 09:50

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 09:50
ACDC is correct a true 3.5 ton caravan is a joke off road, i assume we are all talking about the same off road conditions not just a typical graded road. Furthermore 3.5 towing capacity is for the boaties like my midlife crisis father in law, I think the 3.0l patrol only tows 2.5 ton as well. The Navara being able to tow more than a patrol is just plain stupid at the end of the day i could not see a disco towing 4 ton but from memorary Landrover claimed they could. Oh well if you must get a cruiser I'm sure that will make all the Nissan Royalty Happy.
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Follow Up By: Leroy - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:01

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:01
3.0l patrol - manual - 3.5T
Auto - 2.5T

Leroy
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Follow Up By: Utemad - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:42

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:42
Series 1 Discovery - 4T
Series 2 Discovery - 3.5T

I don't think I would do either in a 2T 4wd. At least not regularly.

Our F250s are rated at 3.5T but have been retrospectively upgraded to 4.5T however we still only have 3.5T towbars. They weigh 3.3T in XLT dual cab spec though. Although they will tow that all day without complaint the hard part is keeping the engine running properly :-)~
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Follow Up By: gaz4 - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 15:57

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 15:57
Wellsy
The 1.5 rule of thumb you mentioned is only allowed in ADRs when a vehicle doesn't have a manufacturer's specified towing weight. So it's something that is useful only with pretty old vehicles, probably at least 20 or so years old.

Gaz4
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Follow Up By: angler - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:19

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:19
The 1.5 rule is for older vehicles as you say and I think it mainly is used for trucks etc before 1984.
I agree with the statement "over weight and overpriced." There are certainly lot of them for sale with the fuel prices of today.
My 3 litre tows a 2 tonne van all day with no problems. I get around 16 to 16 L/100 with the tandem van in tow.

Pooley
www.bycompass.com
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Follow Up By: Wellsy - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:26

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:26
I understand the 1.5 times the GVM rule is for vehicles without manufactures towing spec, but as the GVM on the ute is 3.1 (x 1.5 = 4.5) either the authorities (who made the rule) or Nissan have got it all wrong!

Wellsy
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 18:08

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 18:08
>>> The main point here is I can't understand why Nissan rates this vehicle so low.

What ratio of people would want to tow that sort of weight with a ute? its not sold, marketed, or designed as a tow vehicle.
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Follow Up By: Wellsy - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:49

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:49
Truckster

The type of people (like me) that want to carry extra gear not extra people when they travel would want a ute. How many builders have you seen towing their trailers with wagons or sedans? Thought I read somewhere Ron and Viv Moon have changed their wagon into a duel cab ute, maybe u should ask them. Appreciate your thoughts though!

Wellsy
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:44

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 13:44
It was purely a marketing exercise...

It was a wagon, it still is a wagon, its an extended chassis wagon, with a tray.
So they have the extra towing ability.
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Follow Up By: Wellsy - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 19:22

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 19:22
Ability or legal specification? Just met a guy and his wife who had a compliance engineer certify their Patrol ute to 3500 and they have just completed round aus towing Bushtracker 3000kg van and are now ugrading to larger BT van. They had to add extra bolts to Nissan installed tow bar - thats all.... compliance plate is fitted to tow bar. He has ali check canopy fitted to back plus loaded with boat, motor and lots of gear. Has same drive train and all round disc breaks as wagon ... guess engineer didn't see the same problem as others!
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Reply By: eerfree - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:48

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:48
Wellsey
I have my flack jacket on for incoming.....why did you not check before buying??

eerfree
AnswerID: 148196

Follow Up By: Wellsy - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:48

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:48
eerfree, Thats a fair call old mate, but, bought the vehicle primarely as a work ute last June and have had a run of luck last 6 mths so decided to look into fullfilling my dreams of doing the old grey nomad adventure a little sooner then planned. Guess I thought I had a pretty strong vehicle until told differently.
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Reply By: Member - Trevor R (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:54

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 22:54
Wellsy,

I don't know for sure but maybe Nissan is sick of people who tow big loads whinging when their rigs run hot under load. I am one of those whingers who is sick of manufacturers making outlandish claims about what their vehicle's are capable of. Put 2.5t on the back and see how it goes, maybe [like mine] yours will not handle much more than this.

Regards Trevor.
AnswerID: 148198

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 08:45

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 08:45
Trevor is spot on Wellsy,
The over-warming issues with the 4.2 are well documented by some clown on this forum who has spent many $$$$$ trying to stop his temp gauge from going west (ME!!!). And I only tow a camper trailer rated @ 1300kg......of course my vehicle is around 3000kg too, but that is still less than what your proposed GCM would be if you get a 3000kg caravan behind your 2500kg ute......STREWTH, I'd hate to see what the result would be mate.
Not sure what the answer is, but there is no way I'd ever contemplate towing one of those Bushtrrackers with a Patrol (or even a Blandcruiser)......unless I had the big Chev 6.5 V8 etc. Ford's 7.3L Power Stroker F250; now there's a different kettle of fish!!! Yes please!!
Cheers
Roachie
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Reply By: Member - Royce- Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:21

Thursday, Jan 12, 2006 at 23:21
Weeeeelll............. then you have the situation where you tow your cattle to market. Your trailer is 1008kg unloaded.... then you put your eight head of 300k vealers on board..... = 2400kg You actually CAN tow these weights. If the wallapers pull you over and have some way of weighing your towing mass... i.e. 3408kg... then you are in trouble. IF however you use the gears well and don't travel too fast... and look like a boring middle-aged bloke going about his business... then no problem.
AnswerID: 148206

Reply By: GUPatrol - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 07:58

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 07:58
Check the Nissan web page, it is related to the towing laws in australia rather than the vehicle capacity, ie: the wagon (which is the same chassis and engine) has a 3500kgs towing limit.
The reason for the decreased towing limit on the cab chassis is because they have to assume that at some stage you could tow a van (say 3000kgs) on an empty tray or with no tray making the vehicle lighter than the van by a % not allowed by law.

Having said that, I saw plenty of them up north towing 3000kgs bushtrackers up Daintree and those areas...
AnswerID: 148227

Reply By: flappa - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 09:25

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 09:25
The Utes are simply too light in the rear to tow such a heavy load. You would swap ends easy as . . . pretty dangerous.

They certainly COULD do it , but I can see why the wont allow it.
AnswerID: 148245

Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:43

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:43
And yet you can stick 3T behind a Navara which is equally light in the rear end... I just don't get it.
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Follow Up By: flappa - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:51

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 10:51
And I wouldn't do that either , but point taken.
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Follow Up By: Member - Blue (VIC) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:11

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 11:11
I wouldn't either... BTW, it was a dig at Nissan not at your comment...
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Reply By: simple - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:55

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 12:55
navara's can come as a utility rather than a cab chas so this may make them weigh more.
they also have leaf springs in the rear.
does the leaf sprung patrol have a better tow rating???
AnswerID: 148279

Follow Up By: Wellsy - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:10

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:10
no

Wellsy
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Reply By: Tracker - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:22

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:22
Couldn't resit a reply to the comments about taking large caravans off road.

Given that the term "off road" was not defined I will assume that some of the well known tracks around the country constitute being off road.

This being the case I have personally towed a 3 tonne Bushtracker (18ft with extras) with an 02 model 100 series T/D Landcruiser auto along the following roads.

Birdsville Track;
Oodnadatta Track;
Earnest Giles Rd;
Mereenie Loop;
Gibb River Rd;
Kalumbaru Rd to Drysdale River Station.

Never had a problem with either the caravan or the truck and places on some of these tracks were less that kind.

I understand that this is no great achievement for a 4WD on its own or even with a good off road trailer but it demonstates to me that with the right van and tow vehicle and driving to the conditions you can go "off road" and in comfort too.

Have since changed to F250 (wanted ute facility, nothing wrong with Tojo) but yet to test this off road.

Just trying to provide another perspective.

Cheers, Bill
AnswerID: 148412

Follow Up By: ACDC - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:11

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:11
Your got to kidding me! they are just dirt roads i would class any of them as off road!
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Follow Up By: Wellsy - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:16

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:16
Thanks Bill, thats the sort of travelling I am refering to. Read a story in one of the mags about a fella who bought a van to travel "off the black top" and was told it would be ok. He reported broken u bolts holding the axels on the chassi, broken pins through the springs etc etc. I guess to build a van "to last" you must compromise the weight for heavier chassies, springs etc. My requirements are simply, when doing the around Aus thing, if I wanted to go off the road into the scrub somewhere to visit some out of the way place, Id like a van that could do it without falling to bits. I'm not talking about Telegraph tracks and Gunshots etc, but the type of roads u mentioned.

Wellsy
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 13:26

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 13:26
Wellsy have a look at the trailcraft website they make a 18ft that weights 1700kg extremely well built! they have dealers around Australia go and have a look.. www.trailcraft.com.au
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Follow Up By: Wellsy - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:55

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:55
Thanks ACDC,
Have had a look, my worry is that if it weighs less, how can it be as strong. The chassie must be smaller or thinner gauged. Less water tanks etc etc? You say you work with caravans a bit, do you know why? You say you tow a van, what sort do you have? How is it equipted if it only weighs 1500kg?

Appreciate you ideas.
Wellsy
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Follow Up By: ACDC - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 20:04

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 20:04
Wellsy if you get a chance go and have a look at one the chassis is very strong! They also do a heavy duty pack for outback travelling.

My caravan is 14ft built it myself 5 berth triple bunks with table making double bed at other end 3 kids so no choice! most manufacturers don't cater for families these days. solar powered everything 12 volt no 240v input at all, Waeco 110l fridge/stereo/tv/microwave/water pump/rangehood/external floodlights on each side/pantry lights/2 water tanks/3 s/panels/2 130 ah batt/ works really !! very happy with it would love to build another one just for the wife and myself but time is the problem..
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Reply By: desert - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:35

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 20:35
Back to the crux of the matr. Go to you roads authority and get a list of accredited engineers that will suggest some mods for you to do to up the towing ante. This will more than likely mean heavier springs, shockers, tyres and perhaps a stopping test. The engineer will then write up the specs accordingly. This will cost you, expect no change from $500. Next is the fight with the insurance company whom might expect a premium on the premium. All else fails, trade it in on the leaf-spring version.
AnswerID: 148417

Follow Up By: Wellsy - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:55

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 08:55
Upgraded the suspension to ARB OME shocks and springs also polyair bags when new. Don't think this improves the towing capacity. Nissan tells me the capacity is based on a combination of things like, motor, gearbox diffs chassie etc etc. Now the Patrol Wagon has a capacity of 3.5t. The only difference, I can see, between the ute and wagon is that the wagon is heavier. So does this mean when I add a canopy, fridge, generator etc etc and put my boat and outboard on the ute, it will improve my towing capabilities? I think not!

Wellsey
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Reply By: angler - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:23

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:23
Something not mentioned about the nissan utes, Why is the tow ball so far under the tray? Makes it dam hard to hook up a van. Causes a few knuckles to get damaged with just a boat trailer.
(personal experience)
AnswerID: 148453

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 15:46

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 15:46
Wellsy,
Pain in the backside for you unfortunantely. I'm unsure that an upgrade would be possible/worth the headaches. I upgraded my pre 96 Troopy(2500kg,125kg ball) to post 96 ratings(3500kg,3500kg ball), but even that was a hassle. Much easier because nothing changed in Oct 96 to the vehicle just the rating. Just had to prove it-not as easy as it sounds. (Toyota Australia NO help-pigs actually). I know of others who have tried same and given up. Nearly gave up and traded on RV Troopy but the joke of a trade in offered motivated me to keep at it. If Nissan changed the gu ute's rating tomorrow to 3500kg's you would have a case, don't think thats going to happen in a hurry. To rate the Navara 500kgs higher seems stupid.

I'd be selling privately and hunting down a nice RV cruiser TD ute. Shouldn't be a huge change over cost, they're nearly the same new. Sounds drastic but believe me, dealing with engineers/car companys is no fun and I'd pay not to have to do it again.

Good Luck
Matt
AnswerID: 148536

Follow Up By: Wellsy - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:41

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:41
Thanks Matt, I have come to a couple of conclusions. 1. I bought the wrong vehicle to do what I wanted. 2. I bought the wrong ute. (Those considering a ute for towing, stay clear of Nissan Patrols) Toyota is rated at 3.5T. 3. Going to keep the Patrol and downsize the van. Problem is it appears the "strong" caravan makers van's are all getting up there in weight. Chassie strength dictates a heavier van as does extra water tanks and solar batteries needed for self sufficiency. Wanted a shower and toilet facility as well so to achieve this the size increases again - therefore so does the weight. Some will say -0 you don't need all that, but did the "Cape" and "Central Australia" years ago when I was younger and camped all the way. Getting older and now looking for some creature comforts along the way. In saying that don't mind "leaving the van parked" and tenting for a few days to hard to reach spots, so I guess don't need 4x4 van just a good strong van with dirt road suspension and capabilities.

Regards
Wellsey
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FollowupID: 402032

Reply By: Redback - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:00

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 18:00
I think you'll find that you can only tow 1ton legaly off road anyway, as for most vehicle towing abilitys it's not the pulling of the weight it's the stopping thats the problem, this why it's so low.

We have a Patrol and a Navara at work towing a car trailer with sweepers on them, and the weight of them is 2.8ton, what they found was that the Navara couldn't cope with so much weight so can only tow the trailer without the sweeper on it and the Patrol has trouble stopping so it has a speed restriction on it.

My work were looking at other vehicles, last one they trialed was a D3 it was perfect for the job but to dear for council and the Troopie is to high.

Now looking at other options
AnswerID: 148967

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