3.5 t Caravan Towing

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:03
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A friend is about to purchase a 3.5t caravan - has been told the only towing vehicles are Discovery and 200 Series Toyota - Does anyone have the correct answer
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Reply By: Sir Kev & Darkie - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:04

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:04
What about the F250??

Cheers Kev
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:07

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:07
Trekkie, is that 3.5t before he loads up? Water, personal stuff etc?

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Reply By: Member - Axle - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:23

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 17:23
I don't like the idea of the tug weighing less than the trailer !, or even the same, Prefer to have a few kgs up my sleeve as far as the towing vehicle is concerned. Just feels a safer option IMHO.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 342595

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:10

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:10
Definitely agree with that advice Axle.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:10

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:10
Axle and Motherhen,
Have never in my travels seen a 120Tonne Truck
(Prime mover) pulling three fully loaded trailers. Caravans do have brakes you know.
Regards Duke.
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Follow Up By: Member - Teege (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:29

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:29
Duke
I've never seen a prime mover connected to three trailers by a tow ball either - the geometry is compeletely different and your comparison is ridiculous!!!

teege
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Follow Up By: Member - Duke (TAS) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 23:21

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 23:21
teege,
The point i was making is that for example the tow vehicle weighed 2.5Tonne and was rated to tow 3.5 tonne with a 3.5 tonne towball fitted i can not see a problem towing a van that weighed 3.5 tonne with brakes fitted and working correctly.
Was only suggesting that the tow vehicle didn,t have to be heavier than the van it was towing.
Does not seem ridiculous to me!!!
Regards Duke
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FollowupID: 610335

Follow Up By: Off-track - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:38

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:38
Plenty of Road Trains (well, not so much now) that were a body truck with 2 or more trailers behind. Connected all the way through via ringfeders so I dont think the towball is the issue here.

IMHO the difference is that truck trailers have wheels at both ends, whereas caravans have them in the centre. That will affect dynamics.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:23

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:23
In a road train at least one trailer is putting around 50% of its weight on the tug - not 10% like a caravan. Completely different dynamics.

PeterD
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:45

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:45
Not always true PeterD. As per my reply above the combination of a rigid body truck instead of the now much more common articulated prime mover and trailer setup negates this altogether. Or more common today is the ever popular rigid tipper and dog.


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Follow Up By: Off-track - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:54

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 00:54
or this old legend




cant find any better pics but you get the idea.
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 01:05

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 01:05
ahh this is the one I was after...

http://www.territorystories.nt.gov.au/bitstream/handle/10070/2948/044-0039.JPG.preview.jpg?sequence=5

Apologies for taking over the thread with these pics...
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Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:05

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:05
He shouldn't buy the van until he personally KNOWS all the details re weights (not a simple story - GVM, GV this, GV that) - what he has been "told" is worthless - he might get trapped like another van purchaser described here quite some time back - bought a new car - bought a van - had to change the car !
AnswerID: 342598

Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:09

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:09
Assuming it is 3.5 tare - it will weigh heaps more when laden. Since the F250s have become harder to get, other choices are the Silverado and Suburban. Mainly big US type vehicles. A v8 Cruiser would do it, but a heavier vehicle would be a wise choice. Lots of big vans out there with a variety of tugs.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:44

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 18:44
Yes I was one of those who didnt do my homework and it cost me $23,000.

DONT BELIEVE ANY SALESMAN.
Itis not ok to leave watertanks empty to keep weight down to vehicles limit.

Look up the ADR rules or go to a Transport depot and ask someone who knows.

You need to know what the plate on the van says as to what the ATM is
Thats what matters . Nothing else cos if that figure exceeds the tow vehicles, or its towbars limit you cant tow it EVER Empty full whatever thats the rules at least here in QLD it is anyway.

I seriously doubt that a 200 series will be able to as well as the GCVM will kick in and the 200 GXL VX and Sahara have a worse limit than a 100 series due to their heavier tare weight. They even leave out the sub tank to try to save weight.

Doubtless I will be corrected or chastised but
DONT BUY TILL YOU ARE SURE.
AnswerID: 342603

Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:54

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:54
Graham that water tank business came from me. We got stuck with the weight problem some time ago. We stuck with the smaller van and pitch a tent for the kids and glad we did. Recent experiences showed us having the 17" plus draw bar a tight fit in a couple of parks. After going through the weight merry go round we learnt a bit and were amazed at the amount of large vans being towed by smaller 4cyl vehicles. You just cant trust second hand information.
Sharon
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 23:18

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 23:18
Graham, my understanding is that the 200 Series has a GCM of 6,800 KG and a braked towing capacity of 3,500 KG.

I'm not certain of the kerb weight and couldn't be bothered checking it out. Easy to Google for anyone who wants the facts. But it seems t me that providing you manage the load in the vehicle, it is fine for this purpose.

My 79 Series has a Kerb Weight of 2020, GVM of 3,300 (standard, but mine has been increased to 3,700), braked tow capacity of 3,500. Toyota specs do not specify a separate GCM for this vehicle. My query to Toyota dealer indicated that the GCM is for this vehicle is the total of GVM and ATM, that being 6,830 (standard).

So my 79 Series can legally handle a full GVM and a full ATM. Though I am not certain, I suspect the same applies to the 200 Series.

Norm C
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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:17

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:17
Trekkie


This from a caravan site

Maximum Trailer Mass
Throughout Australia, the allowable maximum mass for the trailer is either the capacity of the tow vehicle's towing attachment or the towing limit specified by the vehicle manufacturer for the towing vehicle, whichever is the least.



OR



If the vehicle's manufacturer has not made a recommendation as to the towing mass, then the following rules apply. A vehicle may tow a laden trailer of up to one and a half times the unladen mass of the tow vehicle, provided that the towbar is rated accordingly and the trailer is fitted with brakes that comply with the requirements stipulated in the Australian Design Rule ADR38.



If the trailer is not fitted with brakes, then the maximum mass must not exceed the unladen mass of the motor vehicle. The unladen mass of the vehicle can be found in the vehicles handbook, or check with your dealer. All trailers with a GTM exceeding 750kgs must have brakes.

***************************************
These are the modern rules. But ten years ago we came to the end of our 'on the wallaby' journey with an old FJ55 and a 27ft Viscount. At one time, with a m/bike straddled across the drawbar we went 4100kgs. But I reduced the weight over the years down to around 2800kgs. The van had manual brakes and the cables used to rub on the tyres so I disconnected the brakes. Drove like that for many years.....just had to be careful. Was never stopped once and we did 260,000km thereabouts in 5
years.

Image Could Not Be Found

Cheers
AnswerID: 342632

Follow Up By: Volvo driver - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 07:05

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 07:05
you couldn't be bothered with re-routing the brake cables ( how long would that have taken or cost, SBA ) so you disconnected them and towed it around the country in a vehicle with drum brakes with barely a thought for the safety of other road users, or your own passengers, is that what you're saying?
safety for your own and others comes first and foremost,
what other pesky legal requirements are there that you don't think have to apply to you?
it's just really amazing you didn't kill anyone isn't it..
why am l not surprised with the last part of your post..
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 08:13

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 08:13
Personally, I don't care what you think
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Follow Up By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 08:16

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 08:16
VD...hahaha,

Your baiting the King of Grumpy Ol' Bastards mate.

Just watch you dont get your head bitten off........lol.


Cheers.....Lionel.
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Follow Up By: Volvo driver - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:05

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:05
Lionel A
thanks for the 'warning' but another grumpy old codger is hardly going to bother me.. LOL LOL
cheers

Willem, exactly the l response l'd expect from someone who drove around the country towing something that had to have weighed up to the 6 ton mark at times, ( please don't try and make out that a mid 70's 27 ft Viscount only weighs 700-800 kgs ) with no brakes on the van and basic drum brakes on the cruiser, which had a vehicle mass of around two ton, so the van weighed over 4 ton at times, 6 tons in total,

total disregard for any one else's safety, let alone the law,

would've hated being in front of you, as would anyone else, while you were coming down a hill at road speeds,
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 23:10

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 23:10
Volvo - World's safest car for the world's unsafest drivers.
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Follow Up By: Volvo driver - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 05:44

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 05:44
Off- Track made a ( childish ) joke.. HAHA

"unsafe drivers"?

that name surely has to go to the dill who disconnected the brakes on a heavy caravan and drove around for FIVE YEARS without any brakes on it..with a 25-30 yr old tow jalopy with drum brakes as well..must've been some "tense" moments when trying to stop that juggernaut,

yep, sounds real safe to me.. and everybody else
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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:30

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 21:30
The 70 Series Toyota vehicles will also handle a 3.5 Tonne ATM caravan if that is what you mean.

My van has an ATM of 3.5 Tonne and my 2008 79 Series handles it very well.

On a recent trip we met a guy with a 3.5 Tonne Bushtracker. He had tried 100 Series Toyota, Disco and F250 as towing vehicles. For various reasons he was not happy with any of them. He had recently bought a new 200 Series TD and reckoned it was easily the best tow vehicle he has owned. His only concern was if any of the smart electronics failed in a remote area.

Norm C
AnswerID: 342633

Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 23:03

Sunday, Jan 04, 2009 at 23:03
Norm, that's what I want to hear !!

I've just ordered a BT and will be using my LC200 to tow it home.

cheers

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Trevor R (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:54

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:54
GB, What happened to the Trackmaster?

Cheers for a good 2009.
Trevor.

PS: not suggesting a 4.2 Turbo GU as it will be a complete slug compared to the other vehicles being mentioned and 3.5 Tonne would make the 4.2 work too hard and probably end up running too hot all the time. However, it would be legal.
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:41

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:41
Just going for something bigger, Trevor.

The Trakkie will be on the market in a couple of weeks.

I'm spending some time giving it a good tub, but the weather's a bit hot at the moment to do much of anything.

cheers

I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: Member - T N (Qld) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 21:54

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 21:54
Norm,
was his name Ross, from Ballina?
cheers
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Follow Up By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:37

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 22:37
You have to be careful what you say about people don't you Tom. Yes, Ross and Elaine from Ballina.

They camped next to us for a while at King Ash Bay (NT) last year.

Norm C
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Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:51

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 09:51
I might be a little slow but.......if a van weighs 3.5T and a 4x4 can tow 3.5T (assuming the manufacturer didn't tell porkies and the van actually weighs 3.5T ).....then once you put a person in the 4x4....isn't it then deemed illegal ???


Once the van has water tanks full, clothes and food etc added, bbq's etc etc.....and the back of the 4x4 loaded with recovery gear, fridge, plus human's......wouldn't you need a 4x4 capable of towing 4T plus ???
AnswerID: 342678

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:30

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:30
AS i posted below we dont know cos he didnt say which weight it was.
A vehicles towing capacity is usually allowing for a certain load in it as well. However its the Gross Combined Vehicle Mass that then has to be taken into account.

How many rigs do you see with the ar*e dragging on the ground with a big van on the back the tow car full to the brim with several kids and luggage up to the roof and a tiinny on top. Legal ?????
I seriously doubt it.

Its in the handbook what the weight is and you exceed it at your peril.
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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:22

Monday, Jan 05, 2009 at 10:22
With all the answers on this subject being theoretical, until the original poster quantifies whether the 3.5tonne is tare or ATM it is useless giving them any advice.
When posting more information is better or you can get completely incorrect answers.

It would be a bloody big van to have a tare of 3.5t anyway

The van next to me in the park is a 27ft Spaceland with all the fruit W/m Drier full 2 door fridge dual 120ah bats and it is only 3 tonne ATM so whats he buying.

Didnt know the QEII was for sale LOL
AnswerID: 342681

Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:29

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 16:29
I offer no advice re weights etc, but after safety, the thing of greatest concern is Insurance. If your tug, or your van, exceed the prescribed limits your insurer can wipe you like the proverbial.
Insurers have realised that many 4wd, towing & not, are overloaded, & will firstly weigh your prang before offering any
liability to pay. Get it right........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 342879

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:42

Tuesday, Jan 06, 2009 at 17:42
My sentiments exactly. I would sooner it cost me more and be legal than just run with it and hope that nothing happens.

Not the philosophy of some it appears.




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Reply By: Member No 1- Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:01

Thursday, Jan 08, 2009 at 13:01
Hey Trekkie...have you seen these
Klingons on the Starboard Bow
AnswerID: 343212

Follow Up By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 00:22

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 00:22
No 1 - you really must have too much time on your hands
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Reply By: Trekkie (Member - WA) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 00:25

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 00:25
Thanks to everyone for their comments - I never did follow up for the correct information - but my mate went and purchased a Discovery - hope he got his own research correct - some interesting comments - some based on fact - some on "the feel" for it
AnswerID: 343508

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:03

Saturday, Jan 10, 2009 at 11:03
some based on fact - some on "the feel" for it


If you had to ask the question how do you know that the answers arent all correct.

Had you provided definite facts and figures you would have got definite answers
.
Too many posts are vague as to facts but expect crystal ball answers.


Cheers
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