Towing a caravan with 05 deisel hilux.

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 11:46
ThreadID: 69646 Views:5661 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Help! I have a 05 Toyota Hilux turbo deisel.I am wanting to buy a new caravan with toilet/shower with off or dirt road ability, but it seems that many caravans are already close to 2tonne without adding water and extra weight and the hilux only has towing capacity of 2250kg.Yet I have seen many hilux on the road towing large vans.Is this legal/advisable or how do we get around this problem.I really was hoping to keep the hilux instead of spending all over again purchasing a larger vehicle.[Many tell me buy a landcruiser or patrol]but i have had the hilux since new unaware of the low tow capacity,but own it now.I would have rather used the extra monies to up the abilities of the hilux,suspension,dual batteries etc.
what does everyone think??
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Reply By: Brian B (Brisbane) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:03

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:03
Hi Richard,

It is a bit of a drama with the capacity on Hiluxes. I think yours is rated at 2250 with 225 on the ball. We have the model before you and it is only 1800 and 130 on the ball.

Having said that there are some options that could work for you.

Vans like a Jayco expander or their equivalent from other makers like Windsor etc for example are not too heavy and some models feature ensuites so that may be worth a look. Most off road models are heavier than an on roader so that will play a part in your overall weight.

IMO despite what others are doing, you should only ever tow within your vehicle and towbar/hitch receiver guidelines.

Just do heaps of research and see what you come up with.

Hope it all goes well for you.
AnswerID: 369089

Reply By: Member - SR509 (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:04

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 12:04
With any dual cab ute, or single cab variant, regardless of what it says I would only tow 2 tonne with it.

So if you are going to get a van that weighs in at 2 tonne, by the time you load it up you will be close to 3 tonne. Everyone is surprised when they put it over the weigh bridge.

Depending on how much money you want to spend there are plenty of light alternatives for you that will also save you on fuel compared to larger combo's.

As discussed on previous threads, there is the Quantum by AORC, the Trakmaster Gibson or Kimberley (single axle), the Kimberley Karavan, The Topaz by Tracktrailer, the Ultimate the list goes on, all of these weigh in at less than 1.5 tonne with the Quantum being my pick of the bunch IMHO

AnswerID: 369090

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 17:34

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 17:34
Standard RV industry advice seems to suggest that 400kg is a reasonable load figure for tandem caravans, with 2 people, for extended trips. So your tare has to be that much further below your tow limit. You might get a shower van, built with genuine rough road capability, but the figures will probably be tight. Safety comes first of course - who wants to be eating hospital food for weeks on end :-o) ?
FWIW - I just bought a new 2300kg tare rough roader at 18' internal - the compliance figures limit me to a 460kg load .... have 230kg on the ball - I upgraded the vehicle 12 months back because I was execting these figures anyway.
AnswerID: 369152

Reply By: Member - Gordon W (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 19:13

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 19:13
Hello Richard O
I have 05 Hilux turbo Diesel Common Rail and tow a Western Homestead caravan,1890 tare, have done about 40000 km in past three years. I am very happy with the the rig. Check out this site for details of my van.
Regards Gordon W
AnswerID: 369180

Reply By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 22:06

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 22:06
Hi Rich

We went for a reliable tough off-roader, and the smallest we could get 2nd hand at the time was 18' with a tare of 2.22 t. Having the bathroom was not on our priorities, but was a bonus i'm glad we have it. Just filling the water tanks would have taken it over the 2.5 t limit for the auto gearbox on our 3 ltr Patrol. As soon as we could got an F250 so we could load it up with our needs for longer tours. We estimate it would be around 3 t laden.

Looks like your choices are get a light weight van (and a tent for off bitumen trips) or something in between like the Kimberley Karavan, or get a different tow vehicle.


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Follow Up By: Member - Matt H (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:21

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:21
Hi Motherhen & Richard,

We'd love a F250 for towing as we have 18' Goldstream that is towed behind a Prado. Just enough ommff, but frustrating at times.

Re:F250's. We looked at five different ones after our last trip in April, but one thing I didn't realise was that due to emmision standards, they haven't been imported to Oz since late 2005!
Hence why the 2005 models are fetching the same money they sold for NEW, right now! Anything between $60 - 80k secondhand!

While in Batemans Bay about 3 weeks ago, I had a chat with a bloke from QLD who was towing a 3.5 tonne Bushtracker (?) van, the fully off road model. He was towing with a Silverado 6.2 litre V8.

What a unit! It made the F250 look like a poverty pack. But for $140k on road, it' a bit beyond my budget!

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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:48

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009 at 23:48
Hi Matt

Since the cessation of the F250 imports, the main heavy towing options are US imports such as the Silverado. The Brazilian built for the Australian market F250s don't have the finish of the Cruisers or Patrols. Since they stopped importing the price has certainly gone up, and we had to pay more on the second hand market than the $80,000 they were new when we first looked at them. A lot i have seen advertised at over $100,000, which usually includes extras the owners have added - but not to that difference. Any advertised at less than $80,000 may well be the 4.2 litre model. Ours is the 7.3 litre td. It gives are very comfortable ride.


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Follow Up By: Member - Richard O (VIC) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 09:01

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 09:01
Wow.What a great community you guys have proven to be.Im only a new member to the exploroz club [this week in fact],and the amount of replies so far has been fantastic.thankyou all.Seems like I have a lot to review re:towing with the hilux. I was looking at purchasing a new Kedron or Bushtracker.I will seriously think whether to scale down and keep the hilux,or purchase a secondhand cruiser or patrol.We have all the camping gear oztent etc for those trips where we need to go real off roading,so perhaps not such a large van will suffice towable by the hilux such as been suggested,and will save me a pretty penny to enjoy travelling more.Once again to all who took the time to reply, thanks and hope to see you on and off the road soon.
FollowupID: 636717

Follow Up By: Motherhen - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:36

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:36
Hi Rich

I understand Kedron are even heavier than Bushtracker (from someone who has made the move from Kedron to Bushtracker). Certainly not Hilux material. Phoenix also get good reviews from the outback travellers, but are also as weighty. We delayed our travels until we could get something strong enough to be reliable on the rough stuff.

What ever you decide, enjoy the travels and drive safe


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Follow Up By: Member - Matt H (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:11

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 21:11
Hi Motherhen & Richard,

To clarify; we only looked at the 7.3 diesels, but the interior fit and and finish is certainly leaps and bounds behind the Toyotas. The prices I quoted were for secondhand units in Adelaide - which may in fact, be cheaper than the Eastern states.

I just wish they stuck the 4.5L V8 diesel in the Prado!

By the way, we towed a 750kg camper around Oz in 2002 using the (then) latest model 3 Litre Hilux. Non turbo - that was introduced about 18 months after I purchased. Packed to the hilt at that!

5th gear towing is no-no. We towed from Adelaide to Perth and by then, I could hear a slight whine coming from the gearbox in 5th (the Hilux was 3.5 y.o. at that stage, with 66,000km on the clock). For the remainder of the trip (20,000km), we towed in 4th @ 88 km/hr. Average fuel consumption was 13.1 L/100km - according to my log book.

Not much to you I guess, other than to say, perhaps a vehicle with a bigger engine might be a better solution.

Cheers, Matt
FollowupID: 636824

Reply By: Member - Alan John C (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:29

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:29
Hi Richard I have 05 hylux and tow a 6.3mtr tandem axle Windsor off road with full on suite and average 7.5 klm to litre. The following may help you. Manaual Hylux toyota recomend to stay out of 5th gear unless free wheeling, I had fitted a Detronic chip to assist, firestone airbags, ARB suspension with medium setting and electric breaks which in WA are Legal Requirement, I had the towball hitch replaced with trigg 3000kg hitch. The Toyota dealer can have your Hylux upgrade your towing capacity to 2500kgs at a cost of course and modification plate fitted. I found that the original clutch is not reliable enough once you start towing at or about your max capacity so I upgraded at a cost of about $1500 installed. Due to towing mainly in 4th gear I upgraded to 31x 10.5 tyres this reduces the reving in 4th gear to around 2300rpm but when due to be replaced I will go to 30x9.5 I think this is in my experience the best combo and when exhaust is due for replacement fit a 3inch systen as this reduces the heat build up around your footwell therefore resting your leg against the gearbox well it will no longer get hot. I changed to 15inch tyres and rims as there is a greater range available and in most occasions they are a lot cheaper I have just clocked 165000 klms and just another thing have your timing belt replaced at same time as valve set done it will save you a lot of labour cost and if you want you can fit a 130 amp alternator too, Hope this is of some help and if you want to know anymore or any questions please ask regards Alan WA.

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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:56

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:56
Who does the 130 amp alternators for the current Hilux's?

Regards Richard
FollowupID: 636735

Reply By: Member - Alan John C (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 11:53

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 11:53
You can get it from Toyota but they don't know it but problem there is cost I will slip down to shed and get back to you with details regards Alan.

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Reply By: Member - Alan John C (WA) - Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:05

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2009 at 12:05
Back Richard, Alternator supplied by Auto Electrics Australia , Part Number is 12v 130a Denso Hi Ace Alternator
ALT 9040G. This alternator is out of Hi Ace used for refrigeration units that run the 3lt diesel my sparky upgraded the power wire to batery due to power increase regards Alan.

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