Advice on Toyota Landcruiser model

Submitted: Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 03:17
ThreadID: 78121 Views:4990 Replies:9 FollowUps:3
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Hi everyone. I'm from Canada, and looking to travel in Australia for about 6 months. I'm planning to buy a used caravan, but really am looking for advice on the tow vehicle. I'm leaning heavily towards a diesel landcruiser because of it's towing capacity. However, that is a vehicle that's extremely rare in NA, so I don't know anyone with any experience with the vehicle. Can anyone suggest some models/year that are good or should be avoided, things to look for and avoid, etc. Want something that will still have some resale value after 6 mos. In addition to towing the caravan, we'll almost certainly do some bush camping out of a tent as well. Thanks.
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Reply By: Member - Don M- Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 05:57

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 05:57

It all starts with a question...?? What size van do you intend to tow?? And, how much do you intend to spend on your tow vehicle??

I'll make some assumptions for starters and assume you will want a reasonably new vehicle.

Now, if you want to tow a van with an ATM, (max allowable loaded weight), up to 2500kg, then a Landcruiser Prado might be the way to go and they may be readily available in diesel as a second hand vehicle but if you go fo a heavier van, then you will be looking at a full size 100 series or the current 200 series which can tow 3500kg. Both will be expensive and almost impossible to find as a turbo diesel.

Both are reliable and capable to handle to Australian conditions and will have good resale, if you can find one in the first place.

You may be better off looking at a Nissan Pathfinder/Navara, or Holden Rodeo, Mitsubishi Triton, (both dual cab utes) diesel, all of which can tow up to 3000kg and are a lot cheaper than the Toyotas and are capable and reliable.
AnswerID: 414930

Follow Up By: DavidDice - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 07:14

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 07:14
Not sure how to answer the "how big" question. Something big enough to have a shower & toilet -- this will be our only "home" for 6 months.

It's tough for me to get a feel for the size of the vehicle/van combination as nothing that small exists in NA (virtually all new trailers are 30+ foot 5th wheels, and usually pulled with 3/4 ton diesels). Not that size matters, I've never owned one and we live in a tent most of the time on our travels including a planned two month trip into Canada's arctic this July/August. After that it will be off to Australia, so just doing some forward planning.

Actual price isn't that big an issue (though I'd like to get van and tow vehicle around $70 - 80K). More of an issue is resale value, as we'll be selling this when we leave. I expect to losee some, but I don't also want to lose my shirt on the resale.

FollowupID: 685129

Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 07:39

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 07:39
As has already been said the size of the van is the key factor, until you decide that then the vehicle advice is difficult. Having said that a 100 series LC (landcruiser) will tow just about any normal sized caravan.

Turbo diesel LC are around but hold their price well. Since the 200 series was released there are many more 100 series on the market.

Since it sounds to me like you will be towing a fair size van it is unlikely that you will be travelling on what we call remote roads. For that reason the touring range is less important. I would not exclude a petrol LC as they are considerably cheaper than a good diesel and in 6 months the fuel cost difference is not going to be huge.

Be aware that there are 2 major variants of the 100 series. The LC100 comes in both petrol and factory turbo diesel. The LC105 comes in petrol and diesel but as standard are normally non-turbo. Many of these have had aftermarket turbos added. For reliability I would go for the factory turbo diesel as you do not want to be fiddling around and wasting any of your 6 months. The biggest difference between the LC105 and LC100 is the front suspension. The 105 has a rigid axle and coil springs whereas the 100 has independent and torsion bars. Both are fine for what you want. The body shape is essentially the same.

There are plenty of on-line car sale sites which will give you a feel for the market.

Our roads are not as good a the Canadian system and I would advise that you go for the smallest van you think will do the job. It will cost less, be less of a hassle on the road and give you many more options as to where you can go.

AnswerID: 414934

Follow Up By: fisho64 - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 15:54

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 15:54
"Since the 200 series was released there are many more 100 series on the market. "

Im not so sure there is a big difference in the number myself? I have an 04 and have been looking for a later model of the same but the price is just amazing. Im sure that 4 years and 100K (200k on clock) after buying mine I could sell it for not much less than I bought it for.

Which kind of tells me that there is either an increased demand or lower number?

just an observation, not sure but you may be correct?
FollowupID: 685170

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 08:05

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 08:05
As an owner of a 2005 Landcruiser Turbo Diesel I would recommend one for towing.
As for prices well similar year to mine are up to $50,000 with low k's(100,000) could be considered low here

They do however hold their price as I have had mine for over 3 years and the prices are still fairly close to what I paid as they are in demand and a bit hard to find.

Vans You should get a 19-21 ft inside measurement van for $40,000 with an ensuite
There are numerous makes and models and varying qualities

A good place to look is This will give you a feel for prices of both the car and a van.

When you see something you may like come back here and ask an opinion on it.

There are also a couple of good caravan oriented forums which if you google Im sure you will find them ( not polite to refer you from here).

The towing rules here are that the car may not tow more than what it or its towbar is rated for whichever is the lesser is the limit.

A single axle van normally has a payload limit of 300kg
A tandem axle van usually has 400kg.

This includes water ,gas bottles and anything you put in the van

A Cruiser like mine can tow 3500kg
A Prado 2500kg and most larger vans here would exceed that.

Some lightweight ones wouldnt.

AnswerID: 414938

Reply By: Tenpounder (SA) - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 09:01

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 09:01
Hi there. A few random thoughts:
1 There's a general view in Oz that ex-mining vehicles are worth a lot less than non-mining vehicles. So you should expect to pay a lot less, and receive a lot less on resale, if that's what you buy. It's worth the effort to find out! And if you find a real bargain, it may not be!!
2 I have read that, in NA, caravan sizes are usually measured end to end, including drawbar. In Oz the size is either internal or external, body only, usually the latter.
3 According to the experts, many Land Cruiser models (especially the later ones) have a relatively small payload, especially if they have had bull bars, long range tanks and various other extras fitted. If you are worried about staying legal, or don't want to be uninsured due to being over weight, you may need to watch out for this.
So a really well equipped 200 series LC may be close to max weight before you even sit in it, let alone hang a van on the back which puts an extra 250kg on the drawbar!
4 Also, many 4WDs in Oz have had modifications done that are strictly illegal, such as suspension lifts above 50mm that have not been checked and certified. So, if a vehicle looks to have been modified beyond quite modest limits, insist on seeing the evidence of official inspection. Otherwise, the vehicle may be technically unroadworthy and uninsurable.
4 The most sought after LC is a turbo diesel, and so you'll be competing in a sellers market when you buy!! But it should also be easier when it comes time to sell - do you want the pain at the beginning?? or at the end??
Happy hunting.
AnswerID: 414942

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 09:10

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 09:10
Agreed with the above, re Landcruisers generally having a very modest decline in value - a pretty safe purchase here in Aus. There are a quite a few LC configurations of course - my 05 100 series TD GXL manual suits me fine - the Prado class was a bit light for our van plans, so I needed the higher specced 100 series - auto is probably better all round for towing, but my manual was in great condition, festooned with a lot of attractive 'fruit', had only 40,000k on the clock and was 2.5 years old - done. Re vans - our 18' internal has an ensuite toilet/shower combo in one corner and a double east/west bed - vans can be had down to 16'6'' internal and still have double / shower setup, though quite squeezy - most vans that I've seen sporting a full width shower/vanity/toilet setup are around the 20' mark. Heaps of vans are on offer all the time - that won't be a problem - as mentioned, RV Point is a very good indicator of the used sector. Re the car - you might get some good pointers from members at Landcruisers On Line... I've gained heaps of quality info there in my short time as an LC owner.
AnswerID: 414944

Reply By: Crackles - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 10:30

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 10:30
If there are just 2 of you in the car you may like to look at a 6 cylinder turbo diesel Landcruiser tray with a canopy. This will give you 180L fuel tanks, plenty of power, space & load capacity. Resale is always excellent & they make great tow vehicles.
An excellent example of a great touring vehicle would be Phil G's Cruiser See link.
Cheers Craig.............
AnswerID: 414952

Reply By: get outmore - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 10:46

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 10:46
very much depends on your budget.

TD landcurisers are alot more and your really looking at 35k and upwards (probabally more)

I wouldnt recomend towing a large caravan with a non turbo cruiser

If your budget is tighter a good petrol 80 series will use alot of fuel but come in under 20k with mods done for towing

AnswerID: 414953

Reply By: Member - DOZER- Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 18:03

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 18:03
The best option would be to buy a petrol cruiser 95-2004..they are cheap and there are heaps of will use lots of fuel and it wont have much resale value, but you wont be outlaying lots nor will you have to wait for one...there will be 20 to choose from..they tow great, they drive great. Simply put it in at the nearest auction house when yourfinished with it and away you a diesel from the auctions and hope for the best....unless you know the past of a diesel, you may be in for alot of trouble. Same can be said for a petrol, but prices and ease of repair is better
AnswerID: 415006

Follow Up By: DavidDice - Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 22:29

Saturday, May 01, 2010 at 22:29
So what kind of fuel economy do you get out of petrol towing, and also not towing? Does a petrol vehicle really have enough power to tow (not many people here in Canada would try and tow with "gas" (that's petrol to us). Most would want diesel. For example I wouldn't think about towing with my GMC Yukon (gas) even though it's a lot bigger than the landcruiser).
FollowupID: 685230

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Monday, May 03, 2010 at 18:16

Monday, May 03, 2010 at 18:16
Stumbled across this - may be of interest - I'm a Trakmaster Club member.
AnswerID: 415241

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