Are there any family dirt road caravans with ball weight <150kg?

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 10, 2008 at 22:41
ThreadID: 53323 Views:3641 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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Hi Folks,

Hoping you can help....

I'm looking to buy a second hand caravan, budget 30-35k. I'm looking for a dirt road van with tandem load sharing suspension (axles and leaf springs would do), air con, HWS and decent sized fixed bunks. The smallest vans with these credentials appear to be around 17-18 footers. My 4x4 can legally tow 3500kg's.

I've seen a few supreme getaways and kedrons in this price range and I'd also consider some of the stongly built vans from manufactures such as Evernew, Golf, Halmark etc

However my vehicles max ball weight is just 150kg and I suspect these types of vans, even the tandems, are gunna have more than that? I am beginning to realise that perhaps I'm dreaming ?

Any advice greatly appreciated,
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Reply By: Dazmit - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 07:32

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 07:32
Hi Steve
As you say you are probably dreaming with the main reason being any strong dirt road van will be heavy. I would expect a tandem with those features fully loaded would weigh 2.5 - 3. tonne and as a general rule the ball weight should be 10% of the total weight - hence you would be looking at around 250 - 300kg ballweight.

If it makes you feel any better you won't be the first that has had to upgrade vehicles after a van purchase.


16'6" Kedron XC
AnswerID: 280910

Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 10:07

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 10:07
Steve ,
My 16 ft Bushtracker dual axle has a ball weight of 180 KG unloaded .
Cheers ,
Willie .

PS . Noticed a 16 ft Off Road Kedron in the EO Trader section .
AnswerID: 280937

Reply By: Ircon - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 10:59

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 10:59
If you can legally tow 3500 kg I am surprised your max ball weight is only 150 kg.

A similar problem existed with earlier model Pajeros. Eventually fixed by getting Mitsubishi to simply change the spec.

Normally ball weight should be around 10% of the van weight.

What is your tow vehicle.

I just sold a 4 year old Coromal Seka 505 Pioneer XC for $31,000 but it's ball weight was in the order of 200 kg plus.

Perhaps a Coromal 535 Pioneer xc would be worth a look.

The Coromals are not in the same class for off-road work as BT or Kedrons but I pulled mine through some pretty ordinary dirt roads.Birdsville to Innaminka via Walkers Crossing Kingfisher camp to Bowthorne Station, Lawn Hill NP to just name a few. Never a problem.


AnswerID: 280945

Follow Up By: disco1942 - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 11:58

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 11:58

I'm not surprised. He probably has an early Disco. I will also take a bet that every D1 with a large van has an overloaded ball down weight. The D2 has the same tow weight with a 250kg ball weight.

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FollowupID: 545286

Follow Up By: jeepthing - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 19:31

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 19:31
My next door neighbour has a D1 and while the towing capacity is something like 4tonne the towball weight is only around 120kg to 150kg I think he said. Recently bought a secondhand van and found out it's towball weight is 180kg. The problem is in the towbar it is lightweight and a complete mismatch for the D1's towing capacity.

He's been to hayman reece and is going to fit a heavier towbar.
FollowupID: 545375

Reply By: Ircon - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 12:14

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 12:14

Slightly off the topic but all the literaure I've read and discussions I have had with the "experts" suggest too much deviation for the 10% rule WILL result in an unstable rig.
Not necessarily from the beginning but given the wrong set of circumstances it can be dangerous if your ball weight is too much lower than 10% of the vans weight.



PS the Corrimal Seka 505 is really a two person rig. I have seen a standard 535 with bunks and a double bed at Aussie Recreational Vehicles in Eden. $29,000 second hand from memory.
AnswerID: 280958

Reply By: CumulusClimber - Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 20:16

Friday, Jan 11, 2008 at 20:16
Many thanks for your helpful reply's folks

And very perceptive too! My tow vehicle is a choice of disco (Tdi D1) or '89 Rangie with the 3.5 v8. Both are limited to 150kg towball weight, due I understand to chassis cracking just behind the spring mounts.

Shame - because I really dont want any other tow vehicals, but I may just have to reconsider.

Thanks again.
AnswerID: 281065

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