4x4 and caravan towing

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 06, 2003 at 21:54
ThreadID: 5847 Views:3645 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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Hi all,
I have upgraded my caravan to a 17.5 footer weighing about 2 tonne . I am looking to change the Commodore for a 4WD and am considering a Prado, Pajero or Discovery, all in auto transmission. Can anyone offer some advice or experiences which will help me decide.
I am also undecided on the petrol/LPG or diesel issue. I have read through some of the forum topics, and I am still going against the trend and thinking petrol. My main driving will be on roads, with a small amount of scrub bashing.
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Reply By: marcus - Sunday, Jul 06, 2003 at 22:40

Sunday, Jul 06, 2003 at 22:40
Hi Ken, If you are towing around two tonne i would not hesitate but to recommend the diesel.They are made for hard work and have loads of torque which is what you want for towing.Even when towing the diesel will return respectible economy figures which is ideal when on longer trips in areas when fuel is over $1 per litre.I don't think a lot of people realise how good the turbo diesel enginesare and how much they have improved in the last few years.I may never go back to petrol again.Marcus
AnswerID: 24367

Follow Up By: Patrol22 - Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 12:09

Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 12:09
I agree totally with Marcus. You don't have to 'drive' the modern diesel like those of even 10 years ago. Ample power, bucket loads of torque and they are only noisy on the outside. Add a patrol to your potential shopping list - they are unbreakable and still have a beam axle up front.
FollowupID: 16399

Reply By: Old Jack - Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 17:23

Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 17:23
ken, in that size vehcial, look at the Holden jackaroo turbo Diesel & V6 both are very capable under rated vehcials, th 3lt turbo diesel automatic makes a excellant tow vehcial, has good ecconomy 10-12lt per 100klm real world fuel consumption. Drive both the 3.5 lt V6 goes very very well!
If you are on the other hand going to spend 90% of your time driving around town & only towing &4WDing the petrol cars (if you like buying lots of fuel)you have listed in automatic all go resonably well.
I went through this exersize myself and ended up buying a 3lt turbo diesel jackaroo(manual) that came up as an ex fleet vehcial & have been very happy with it. getting worst fuel consumption has been 13.5lt/100klm(off road!) average around town 11lt/100klm. a friend with an automatic the same model towing a 20 foot van is getting around 13-14 lt/100 klm towing the van, he is a bit of a lead foot and I have never known him to take things easy if the sign is 100klm/h he will be doing it!
Hope you have fun looking
AnswerID: 24407

Reply By: Donald - Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 20:26

Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 20:26
I agree with Marcus also,
We tow a 21 1/2 ft full height van , dual axle etc with ease with a 2.8Turbo Diesel,
We have a manual Nissan GU & I will take to the grave with me...love it..
Holden declared that the Jackaroo 3.0 Ltr T/Diesel was the most powerfull in the class. A Turbo Diesel will deliver more Torque for the buck spent on fuel.
Depends on what you want in the end...but don't get trapped with cosmetics... also check on ball weights & load capacity. We found we needed a Nissan Patrol or a Toyota Cruiser type vehicle to handle the weight of our van & keep legal.
Good luck & regards
AnswerID: 24419

Reply By: Member - Roger - Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 21:14

Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 21:14
Hi Ken,
Your friend must have a very imaginative fuel calculator if he returns those figures towing two ton at a ton.
As has been said check ball weights and towing limits befor bying a tow unit.
Remember that even if using equaliser bars the ball weight still remains the same.
A Turbo Diesel is the only way to go when towing heavy vehicles.
I advise that you should load your van and get someone to tow it to a weighbridge to check the actual weight as most van makers treat the tare weight carelessly. In fact when you get your tow vehicle I recomend that you put the lot over a w/bridge, and I bet you get a surprise.
AnswerID: 24427

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 22:31

Monday, Jul 07, 2003 at 22:31
Hi Ken
I own a slightly smaller van and tow with a petrol auto 80 series. Consumption gets bad (30% worse), but i can tow at any speed i wish (within reason) up or down hill. Because the cruiser weighs more than the van, the van never impacts on where the 4b is pointed. I would be looking for a diesel if you can stand it getting on your shoes and hands at fillup time,lpg is destined to attract sales tax, so it will be going up again, further imparing payback.
All of the mentioned 4bs are going to tow the van well...better than the dunnydore. Im bias, so when i say Prado, take it with a grain of salt. Mitsubishi has that dual gate auto, and the disco... well lacks the jap refinement (still leaks oil)
If you look at Nissan, keep to the auto, and dont buy the series 1 GU 3.0, go series 2 or 3.
Jackeroo is another good diesel. Ever thought of a Jeep diseasal? me neither
If you want a ReallY good secondhand tow vehicle, start looking for a 97 t/d 80 series auto
Happy hunting
Andrewwheredayathinkwer mike?
AnswerID: 24432

Reply By: Mick - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 00:11

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 00:11
Ken my recommendation is Prado diesel. They now carry 180 litres which gives good range even if towing and they can tow up to 2500kg. I have a petrol V6 and a current TD and often tow 2500kg on a tandem trailer. The 3400 V6 produces almost as much torque and much more power than the TD. The current 4 litre V6 is way ahead of the TD in both power and torque - but max torque is at much higher revs. The big plus for TD is economy - not performance. Just back from a 450km country run in the new TD today and it returned 11.1l/100km. It was noticeably slower than the petrol when using passing lanes but held 110kph up hill and down dale! The 3.4 petrol has been 13.5 on the same trip. The difference also increases if towing.
AnswerID: 24441

Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:11

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 12:11

On the petrol/diesel debate, I'd opt for the oil burner.

Some years back, we towed a speed boat with tojo HJ60 wagon,from near Penrith over the blue Mountains to Winton Qld. Thought we might need a police escort over the mountains, but was surprised to be able to keep up with the slower traffic, and even pass trucks. Once out near Bourke, it was no problem to keep on the speed limit.

Have owned 2 80 series turbos, and use a 79 series turbo ute for work, and as far as I'm concerned, I'd even buy a diesel chainsaw, if they were available. But still want a Subaru WRX!!!

The Prado TD with auto, and cruise would be a magic vehicle, dunno about the other two. As Andrew said, you can't beat 97 80 series TD as a tow vehicle. Hooroo...

AnswerID: 24464

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