Need Help...Please!!.....

Submitted: Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 23:04
ThreadID: 77225 Views:2871 Replies:7 FollowUps:10
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OK, we went to look for vans today and found that a Jayco Expanda 21ft (I think hubby's more in the know) would suit us fine with 2 boys for our big trip, only to find that we are limited to either a Cruiser or Holden Rodeo to pull it???.........we knew that you should by the van and then the vehicle, but we didn't realise we would be limited a such few cars......has anyone any suggestions..we are new to the whole thing and don't want to take one persons advice as gospel!

Thanks in advance

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Reply By: Wherehegon - Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 23:40

Friday, Mar 26, 2010 at 23:40
What sort of vehicle do you have now ?? Did the salesman tell you how much the van weighed empty ?? Not sure why your limited to a cruiser or rodeo, plenty of other 4wd's, there are others with higher towing capacity.. Bit more info !! Regards Steve
AnswerID: 410598

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:23

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:23
Hi Steve

We have a VW Golf at the moment so need to upgrade! The saleman said the van weighed 2400kg??? We were looking at buying a Ford Courier or Mitsubishi ute, but he said these were no good! A Cruiser or Rodeo (had to be over 2007 model for extra capacity) would be too expensive for us.

Thanks Karen
FollowupID: 680492

Reply By: Member - Brian R (WA) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 00:49

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 00:49
I am wondering what you drive at preent and can you look at updating ( if need be ) the Jayco at 21 ft is a fair size van. It is possible to have a smalle van and manage well with 4 of you. We had 4 and a dog live in a 15 ft for 5 months, it is a matter of adjusting to the vehicle and what you can aford
AnswerID: 410601

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:33

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:33
Hi Brian

I think 21ft is when the beds are out either end, I think the towing is I said hubby know's more, but he's in bed!! We looked at so many vans and found that this would be perfect considering we are going to be on the road for so long......but we are going out again today to look at more vans. We were looking at smaller vans with single bed's so the boys could have them and then we could make the diner into a bed when we were ready to turn in, which seems to be the way to go if we are limited to what vehicle we have to buy as it all comes down the great money debate!!!

Thanks Karen
FollowupID: 680495

Reply By: aka - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:35

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:35
You are going to have to buy something to tow 3000 k.g by the time you load the van with all the gear and food
AnswerID: 410614

Reply By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:40

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 08:40

You need to consider both the van and tug at the same time. Towing capacity is a big deal and remember that any weight (if accurate) will not include water and personal gear. If the van is stated as 2400 then it will be over 2500 loaded and so you need to look at the towing capacity very closely.

Also have to consider the GVM (weight of vehicle, van and contents of both) of the tow vehicle as piling all the gear into the back of a tow vehicle may not keep GVM legal and void insurance

The higher the weight of the van the more limiting the vehicle gets. Need to survey ball weight and towing capacity of possible tow vehicles.

You need to get a van that suits your requirements and a tow vehicle that suits the towing requirements for the van.

Don't buy one without considering the other.


AnswerID: 410616

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:48

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:48
Hi Alan

Who knew buying a caravan was so complex.......

Thanks very much for the advice

FollowupID: 680595

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:43

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:43
This is what you need to do

Look at the compliance plate on the van

It will have these weights

TARE the lightest weight The van empty

Jayco weigh them at the factory as ordered so check that that one hasnt had anything added afterwards as that comes out of payload

ATM the heaviest weight and this should NOT BE EXCEEDED

This includes everything you put in the van Water gas clothes food the lot

GTM is the weight on the wheels when the van is hooked up to the car.

Ball weight is usually the difference between ATM and GTM.

A single axle van usually has a weight capacity of 300kg including the water

A tandem van 400kg.

Also your tow vehicle has similar limitations.

So if you have say a Cruiser with 640kg of payload you firstly have 140kg of fuel, perhaps 200kg of ball weight. Dad and mum 150kg, 3 kids 100kg.

Thats 590 kg and you havent put any gear in the back yet.

Lots to think about Eh

Also a full van on a lighter 4wd may reduce the load capacity in it a bit depending on the model.

Find out accurate figures and add to the thread Not really helpful posting unknown figures.

AnswerID: 410628

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 12:31

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 12:31
By "full van" I meant loaded to capacity

Not as a van against a poptop

FollowupID: 680532

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:52

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:52
Hi Graham

Wow.....I need a glass of red to understand that....I need to pass the laptop over to hubby, completly over my head!

Thanks very much for the info.

FollowupID: 680596

Reply By: Member - Don M- Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:58

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 09:58

I just checked the Jayco website and the Expanda comes in two forms:

1. Poptop
2. Full height van

The tar weight of the heaviest of these is, not surprisingly, a full height 18' body length(before expanding) and it has a tare weight of a shade over 2000kg. And, as Graham says, it will be a tandem and will have a payload of about 400kg making it, in theory, of being able to be towed by a vehicle with a capacity of 2500kg, but that is a bit close for comfort.

However, there are many other variants of the Expanda, still 18' which are quite a bit around 1700kg Tare and that would make your loaded weight (ATM) around the 2000 to 2100kg mark and there are plenty of vehicles around you could tow that with easily and no..., a Golf isn't one of them.
AnswerID: 410629

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:37

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:37
Hi Don

It was a full van so I think we need to look at pop tops......I'll tell you a funny story, up until 6 months ago we had a 2006 Toyota VX Landcruiser, great car which we sold as it was costing too much in fuel and had no plans of life changes.......if only we all had a crystal ball!!

Thanks very much for your time and help.

FollowupID: 680592

Follow Up By: Member - Don M- Sunday, Mar 28, 2010 at 06:49

Sunday, Mar 28, 2010 at 06:49

They do have 18' full caravans that are around the 1800kg Tare mark, I just mentioned the heaviest of those. Not sure from the e brochure why it should be heavier but thats what they say.

Personally, I would go for the full van if you can, as there are convenience issues with pop-tops as well as keeping out the cold, leaks etc. And fuel economy isn't impacted as much as some would try to suggest.

We have the full Jayco Sterling, 24' but I do like the Expanda and have mentioned on many occasions to my wife that, if we had our time over with our kids, an Expanda would be the van we would go for. But, right now, the kids have flown the coop and we are on our way 'Around the Block' and will be on the road for the next 12 months or so...yippee!!!
FollowupID: 680635

Reply By: Gazal Champion - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 18:27

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 18:27
Hi Karen, there are plenty of good 100 series Land Cruisers available which will do the job you require, many are below $30,000 but earlier than 2007 yet are still very good vehicles with a lot of miles left in their lives, if serviced regularly.

You sound as though you are not keen on Land Cruisers Do you feel they are too big for you and your hubby or is there another reason which is colouring your thinking. They are really one of the toughest vehicles on the road today.

Nissan Patrols also fall into this category and are also more than up to the task you require of them.

A friend of mine had a Pajero towing a Jayco Sterling 21 footer but he found it was not up to the task and so he bought a 98 model 100 series Land Cruiser from a Toyota dealer in Nowra and is more than impressed with its performance.
This vehicle had 168,000 kilometres on it and after a detail it was in showroom condition. They are out there. By the way he paid around $22,000 for it.
Fuel consumption is a bit of an issue with them but there are alternatives available to remedy that problem.

Hope this helps.
Regards, Bruce.
At home and at ease on a track that I know not and
restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

Lifetime Member
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AnswerID: 410687

Follow Up By: harrisinoz - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:46

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 21:46
Hi Bruce

We love the cruiser, we had a 2006 VX up until 6 months ago when we decided to sell it as it was costing too much in fuel for me just to do the school run and we had no plans of going around Australia!!!!! As I said in the last post we all need a crystal ball. It just goes to show how things change....

I would be concerned of how much fuel it would take though, but that said when we did go on long journeys it did seem to be pretty good on fuel......not as good as the Golf though!!!

My oldest boy would love another would I for that matter, but hey they mighty wins hands down!

Thanks for your advice though much appreciated.


FollowupID: 680594

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 22:52

Saturday, Mar 27, 2010 at 22:52
A TD diesel 100 ser is the way to go but you could get away with a lighter capacity car

I get 5.7 kpl towing a 2850kg van and have done for the last 50,000k on our last trip Thats about 17l per 100km

Incidentally a full as in a caravan not a poptop can sometimes weigh less than the poptop the same model as the full van needs less strengthening to keep it rigid.

Also a full van is warmer when its cold as canvas doesnt keep out the cold.

It is also less suseptible to leaks (well usually)

FollowupID: 680611

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