BUYING A 4WD

Submitted: Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:48
ThreadID: 7103 Views:2151 Replies:13 FollowUps:14
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We are going to travel next year - 2 adults 2 children, mainly up the east coast for 1 year. We currently have a 2001 Triton 4wd which we fear (and looking into the towing capacity of 1500kg) will not pull our 1200kg unpacked caravan, plus us and the rest of the gear. We would like some (unbiased!) opinions as to which 4wd to buy. We will not be doing the rough 4wd, just the odd encounter! We are very inexperienced - virgins you might say. We plan to stay in caravan parks and other places but generally, my husband wants to feel safe, secure on the road, have plenty of power to tow and minimal mechanical problems as we are not mechanicaly minded!
We have briefly looked at the Patrol and Landcruiser - maybey they are too big. The V8 was a lovley vehichle to me, very comfy,
But having bought some 4wd mags and other such material, we are getting lost in all the info.
I have also heard that the V8 landcruiseris not ok to put on LPG. If we chose this vehicle, we probab;y wouldn't put it on gas now, but rather when we came back, for all my small running around. I understand a vehicle does not perform as well on gas as it does on petrol.?
Thanks, Just asking!
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Reply By: Member - Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:59

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 14:59
hi Robyn...I can't help with technical stuff...I'm sure the other forumites will be able to help there..

we have an 80 series 40th anniv Landcruiser..and I love it...would not drive anything else now...we got it for 2 main reasons...1- my husband who is 6ft 6' could fit comfortably in it and drive [he couldn't in a Patrol!] and 2. because we tow alot [esp a vintage vehicle on a trailer, we also have a van]. It is on dual fuel..but my hubby said, probably with gas being the price it is..he wouldn't bother about it now...I've not had any probs with it...it's easy to drive around, relatively easy to park...and a great vehicle....Al says it's great to tow with..and if we update it will be to another landcruiser....

as far a 4wding goes, we've not had the chance to do much, but are hoping to change that...probably won't be anything too 'hairy' for now..but we'll see...we are heading up to Kakadu next year towing a 17ft poptop van, and are looking forward to it....

can't give you anything more technical than that...just my opinion...probably the best thing is to take a Patrol, or cruiser or any other make you're interested in for a test drive and see what you think....

cheers

Lyn [Mrs. Al]Laugh alot..life's too short not to....


brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

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Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:45

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:45
Thanks for your opinion, Lyn, Yes my Husband is a big bloke too.
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Reply By: Mulga Bill - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:01

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:01
Could you set an upper limit on your outlay for the exercise... also is fuel efficiency an issue (can be very...for some). Your comment so far suggests Prado, Pajero size might be best- auto trans / diesel would be a winner. Re the V8 Tojo - with that sort of outlay, I would leave the fuel well alone... if you don't want the guzzles - don't buy that one.Get me outa these suburbs !
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:48

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 15:48
Thanks Bill, As far as outlay goes, it may well depend on what we get for the house and the Triton! At present, just trying to seek out the options - the good the bad and the ugly!
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 16:10

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 16:10
Dont believe what you read in 4wd mags, they are $ driven... When was the last time you read one saying a car was a real dog? They have to use 'creative writing' to dodge the bad points.

The triton wont do it? People are always telling how good they are?

PAtrol cruiser, paj, prado etc all will do it, Jackaroo etc.. Depends on what you want personally, and as someone else said budget.

And 12 mths to do the east coast?? Wow must be going slow!

Enjoy the trip.
AnswerID: 30452

Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:37

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:37
Truckster, thanks for the tip - the only one the mag bagged was a ford explorer!
And yes Slowly does it!
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Reply By: Willie - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 16:59

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 16:59
Hi Robyn,
By the time you have packed your van it is going to weigh 2000kg or more. A Triton of any description will be a light weight in towing. I would suggest you upgrade to a heavier vehicle such as Nissan Patrol or Toyota Landcruiser. Or you can look at a Ford F100(not my choice however). Even if you go back a couple of years in a model to get the right vehicle it may suffice. A V8 powered vehicle sounds nice but every time you stop at the bowser you will get tears in your eyes. You get a loss of around 15% in power running a vehicle on LPG. But gas is about half the price of petrol(but for how long?).

Towing with a smaller vehicle is achievable. I towed a 2.4ton caravan with a Ford Courier 2litre after my F100 let me down. On a dirt road the little engine struggled with traction and stopping was a problem. I went from Broome to Perth. But it is not a happy feeling doing risky things like that.
Cheers,
WillieNever a dull moment
AnswerID: 30462

Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:40

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:40
My husband having been an F100 owner prior to children would love one, but I think the twin cabs may be out of the question, although I haven't finished looking.
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Reply By: Member - Al Symers (SA) - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:12

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:12
Hi Robyn,
You will find this site great for lots of information in preparing for your adventure along with what you can see or do.
The feedback is generally spot on although some do get a bit biased like me with Toyota's, but like most others it's our personal preference for what we want to do. Take the opinions expressed as opinions only and weigh up the alternatives, test them if possible and try to make a balanced judgement.
The vehicle you choose needs to be comfortable because of the time you will spend in it. It needs to be capable of safely towing your van where you need to go and not get into any difficulty. It needs to be reliable as nothing will ruin a day more than waiting on the roadside for repairs etc.
Don't discount a diesel because you don't understand them as they are generally stronger and more reliable than a petrol motor.
The Cruiser/Patrol option are in my opinion the prefered vehicle as they will satisfy the above needs.
You don't say how long your van is however at 1200kg's it sounds smallish. For an extended stay you may later decide on a longer roomier van in which case the above vehicles will still cater for your needs. A smaller vehicle may not do that and you may have to upgrade both units. with 2 littlies onboard and with inclemmant weather, days inside the van could be cramped.
Enjoy your travels and stay safeAl Symers
AnswerID: 30466

Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:44

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:44
Thanks Al, Yes we are looking at the Diesel option and have to test drive a few, I think we may be fairing towards the patrol/cruiser.
The Van is a Windsor Rapid 14 ' with beds that fold out, it extends to 21ft
There were bigger option, but you have to draw the line somewhere, I am sure we will make the most of it. - By the way, I have two boys and inclement weather is not usually a hinderance to there enthusiasm
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Reply By: the shed guy - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:36

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:36
I recently had a good look at the 4wd market, needing a 4wd the wife could use on the odd weekday and park, and would do our longer trips, as economical as possible to allow us to stay away longer.

We ended up with the 3.0 TD Prado, and since owning it, would never go back to a live axle 4wd for what 99% of 4wders do, we get between 10 and 15lt per 100km betwen snow 4wding and hwy, 160 lt standard tanks in the car, the smaller lighter prado also runs 100 series gearbox, and brakes with a great low range ratio.

But if money and economy arent big issues, the V8 100 5 sp auto is a very nice truck to drive and 13-15 lt per 100km seem to be what they are returning for the owners I know, which is not bad at all.
AnswerID: 30470

Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:48

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:48
Thanks Buddy, Yes fuel is a concern, but have to weigh up all the pro's and cons. Just started looking at the Prados today - is the constant 4wd a problem?
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Follow Up By: the shed guy - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:21

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:21
the constant 4wd I would not call "a Problem" and the average user would find they would struggle to tell the difference.

The load of towing spread transferring the drive over the 4 wheels on gravel will make your tyres last better than a 2wd/4wd in most cases also.
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Reply By: ross - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:42

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 17:42
Robyn I would suggest a turbo diesel particuarly a landcruiser.A Nissun Patrol or Pajero would be my 2nd and 3rd choice.They re fuel efficient ,can be serviced just by changing oil and filters yourself,and are great for towing.The engine are more orless waterproof and long lasting.The V8 L/C uses about 12 mpg as I understand.You could expect to use half of that with a diesel.A lot of people who are not mechanically minded steer clear of diesels because of a lack of understanding .However once they are set up correctly and maintained they will give you years of economical and reliable service.Thats why farmers ,tradesman,and truckdrivers always use them.When it comes time to sell a diesel will always command a higher price than a petrol motor when it has done 300000 klm.Good luck on your trip and tell us what your final decision is
AnswerID: 30471

Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:51

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 18:51
Thanks Ross, Do you have any thoughts on the constant 4wd of the Landcruiser, and can you tell me if the older models 2000 - 2002 are also constant 4wd, I also am confused, having looked in the Trading post as to what the difference is between 100 & 80 series cruisers
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Reply By: ross - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:20

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:20
Couldnt be sure on that but I think the main difference between the 80 and 100 series is the difflock ect and engine specs and of course the years they were made.Be aware that australia has a 105 version sometimes known as the UN LANDCRUISER( because they use them too) which has the older cheaper but more rugged type of tranmission .Personally I wouldnt be concerned as both systems will give good service .The "IH8MUD" forum has a section for FAQ for 80/100 series.
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Reply By: Rhubarb - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:42

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 19:42
Robyn if you not looking at doing any serious off roading I would take a close look at the new Pajero turbo disel - auto. Its the most powerful in its class and will tow your van with sports car like performance! It's got fully independent suspension which make it much more car like to drive - isn't good for off roading, but if your not going to be doing much then it doesn't matter. They are also very nicely appointed on the inside.

If you do want some decent off road ability look at the Prado.

Remember that turbo disel's are the way to go for towing, as they provide more torque for pulling and are more economic than petrol's.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 20:35

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 20:35
Rhubarb, Thanks for your comments on the Pajero, will look into it.
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Reply By: Martin - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 22:29

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 22:29
Robyn ther are only advantages to be had from constant 4wd and that's particularly if traction is a little difficult. It's almost impossible to make them slip on wet roads whether in a straight line or on corners and they give great stability on unmade roads.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 08:25

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 08:25
thanks Martin, We were concerned that the constant 4wd might add to the wear on the vehicle more so than one in 2wd/4wd
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Reply By: duncs - Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 22:35

Monday, Sep 08, 2003 at 22:35
Robyn,

You say the Triton won't do it? A friend of mine towed a 19ft galss boat with an inboard from Sydney to Cairns with a 3l V6 Triton about a 99 model, no problems.

As for a big bloke not fitting in the Patrol I have a 6'5" mate who loves his GU. He also was quite happy driving my old GQ.

There are heaps of vehicles out there they are all pretty reliable. Go to the dealers and look, kick the tyres, drive the cars and ask in the caravan parks. Remember we all want to tell you that what we drive is the best. It's an ego thing.

Enjoy the shopping and the driving.

Duncs
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Reply By: jonny knowalittlebit - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 07:21

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 07:21
This might take a while but why dont you try all the ones you think of discos patrols cruisers the lot. if i wasnt limited by dollars and time thats what i would of done.
By the way i have a triton gls 99 and love it but if you dont think itll do why dont you get the van and give it a tow you never know you might save some cash.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 08:24

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 08:24
Johnny, Thanks, we have tried the Triton, and it didn't handle terrific in the bad weather, it struggles. We dont want to struggle our way up north!
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Follow Up By: jonny knowalittlebit - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 15:35

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 15:35
Just wondering as i dont tow dont have any reason or inclination to tow either but you might have some helps knowledge for me one day.
befroe i ask though im not interested (if you do have one) in shooting you down at all if your opinoin is poor of the triton i love mine but you are you and am just after some info.
what was poor about the tritons performance, was it just with the towing or or were there other things as well.
like i said im not a very over opionated person so you can let me have it.
thanks.
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Follow Up By: Robyn - Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:32

Wednesday, Sep 10, 2003 at 17:32
Jonny, We are not smallish people and found the Triton might be a bit cramped on the long journey.
Its towing ability is what prompted us to look elsewhere. It only has 1500 kg towing.
Other wise, it has been OK
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Follow Up By: jonny knowalittlebit - Thursday, Sep 11, 2003 at 19:29

Thursday, Sep 11, 2003 at 19:29
fair enough and thanks
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Reply By: Member - Wombat (Vic) - Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 13:21

Tuesday, Sep 09, 2003 at 13:21
Robyn,

It sounds like your Triton is only the 2.4 litre petrol which would explain the small maximum trailer mass. Interestingly the maximum towball download on the 2400cc is 50kg. I hope no-one stands on the towball - It might break.

If you are happy with the reliability of the Mr Bitchy (their best asset) why not try the 2.8 litre turbo diesel Triton dual cab or the Pajero diesel. The ute on the Triton is a godsend for storage when camping (or any long trips) and IMHO the Pajero feels more like a car than any other 4WD. Only problem with the Pajero is that it is monocoque and therefore a little limited in comparion to full chassis 4WDs.

Enjoy your shopping."Live today as if there may be no tomorrow"

Wombat
AnswerID: 30570

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