Prado Information required

Submitted: Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 15:32
ThreadID: 80073 Views:3277 Replies:6 FollowUps:1
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Hi, Being rather new to this business I would welcome some advice from other Prado owners.
I intend doing a trip up the middle from Melbourne to the Gulf in my 07 petrol Prado. Some of the roads could be rather rough. (Birdsville Track etc)

Any suggestions as to what vehicle spares etc if any I should take ? Is there any particular component that from past experience could break or develop a fault ?

The weight carried in and on the vehicle will be about 400KG This includes passengers, roof top tent, frig, water etc. With this in mind should I consider upgrading the shockers and if so any suggestions ? (I don't want to get too carried away with costly upgrades)

Any suggestions would be most welcome.


PS Tyres are new ATs and I also have two complete spares
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Reply By: Muntoo - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 15:54

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 15:54
Make sure the tyres are Light Truck construction and alter the pressures to suit terrain and speed.
AnswerID: 424027

Reply By: bgreeni - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 16:30

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 16:30
Have a look at the Pradopoint website. Heaps of Prado info therePradopoint
AnswerID: 424031

Reply By: George_M - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 18:07

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 18:07
Hi there Chas , and welcome to ExplorOz.

Like many questions of this type, the initial answer is usually “that depends”. Will you be bush camping, rather than camping at caravan parks, etc? Will you be sticking to the bitumen, or hitting the dirt or a beach somewhere? Will you be driving “on track” or “off track? We’ve made the trek to the Centre and the Gulf on a number of occasions over the years. We typically bush camp for three to five days then head for a motel for a night. Sometimes we bush camp for longer periods; sometimes shorter. We use dirt tracks and beaches where we can, but only rarely drive “off track”.

Two complete spares with AT (better if they are LT) tyres is great.

This is what we’ve done for the four Prados we’ve owned. They’ve all been autos, so the first thing we acquired is a good set of jumper leads. Secondly, because of weight restrictions, we’ve tended to carry less spares than in previous years but have added top RACV road service cover and a Satphone to cover this risk. We’ve had to use the former once, but not the latter. The breakdown we had involved a transmission failure, so none of the spares we used to carry would have saved us.

Weight is a big issue with coil springs. The more spares you carry the more weight, and therefore (IMHO) the higher the probability of a mechanical failure. It's all about reasonable risk and balance, and that is a personal issue.

With a load of 400kg (how many adults and kids?) you’ll find the Prado suffers from tail droop – not a good position to be in on corrugated roads, or crawling up a hill where you need a bit of suspension travel. Get yourself a set of Polyair springs. If you plan to drive where you need to vary tyre pressures (beaches or dirt roads/tracks) I recommend a tyre gauge and a GOOD electric pump. If you’re bush camping you may need a shovel and an axe, or at least a bush saw with spare blades. Don’t forget a clothes line and a few pegs.

For general safety gear I include a jack base plate, an engine belt (you only need one - about $50), two snatch straps and a pair of shackles. Other stuff we carry includes spare tools (fencing pliers, spanners, hammer), two spark plugs saved after the 40K service, a UHF radio (nice to have), tyre plug kit, small tarp (to lie on), a handful of fuses, two spare wheel studs/nuts, radiator stop leak, some of that magic putty that fixes/plugs everything, and a small coil of wire. We also run two fluro lights off our second battery, as well as the fridge.

We no longer carry hoses, oil and fluids.

So, if you don’t want to travel “off track”, you can get a fair way with a modest collection of spares and safety gear. And at the end of the day it all depends on your appetite for risk, and who is travelling with you. Most of the people you’ll meet on the track will probably have NONE of this stuff, and the only time you’ll use your snatch strap is to pull someone else out of a bog (lol).

Let the Forum know if you'd like more information.

Have a great trip!


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AnswerID: 424040

Reply By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 20:06

Wednesday, Jul 14, 2010 at 20:06
Hi Chas. I don't think you'll be at any real risk with your current setup. Don't over inflate your tyres and keep your speed down on dirt and you should be able to expect a trouble free run with a well maintained vehicle. As for pressures I personally don't go beyond 30 psi on those sorts of roads unless I have a lot of weight over the rear axle. As for spares just stick to the obvoius bits and pieces, there will be others out there in any event. Have a great trip. Cheers Leigh
AnswerID: 424054

Follow Up By: CABROLET - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 08:55

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 08:55
Hi All

Many thanks for your replies; it was just what I needed.

The suggestion re the Polyair spring editions is a definite must as I have the rooftop tent, Longranger water tank, fridge, HW system etc. aft of the rear axle.

I have made a couple of editions to my "must take" list as a result of your suggestions. However I already have a lot of the gear - i.e. dual batteries, UHF, RACQ upgrade, etc.

Still waiting on the stock of BFG tyres to arrive but hopefully they will be here along with the free you-beaut air pump before I plan to leave.

Many thanks for taking the time to post your replies.


P.S. Pradopoint is a most informative site. Thanks.
FollowupID: 694501

Reply By: loxsmith - Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 14:03

Thursday, Jul 15, 2010 at 14:03
Email me your postal address and I will send you a fuel filter and a sepentine belt FOC. They were unused spares from my '06 petrol Prado on a similar trip
replace the AT and it will work

Best advice, don't fit TJM struts or Outback steel bullbar, they both failed and the so called Nationwide Warranty was useless!
AnswerID: 424119

Reply By: Shawsie - Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 15:42

Friday, Jul 16, 2010 at 15:42
As a guide, we've just come back from the Cape and I ran 26psi on my Prado & Camper Trailer, others ran with 30psi and none of us had any issues.

On the dirt/corrugations we found that lower pressure and reasonable speed (up to 80km/hr) was the better choice. Obviously drive to the conditions.
AnswerID: 424211

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