Patrol 3.0 TD auto 2005 towing capacity

Submitted: Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 11:43
ThreadID: 80314 Views:3445 Replies:5 FollowUps:9
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Hi all - we be newbies to all this and approaching the stage of wanting to tour.

We have Patrol as above and as you may know it is rated at 2500Kg for the auto.

I note a lot of varying discussion on towing large vans (say 25' Jayco Heritage / Sterling) with such a vehicle.

If the large vans are just too big for the 3.0 TD then what do you guys suggest is the largest van we should be considering if we do not want to change the Patrol.

Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 11:59

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 11:59
Size doesnt matter its the weight and should be adhered to for safety and longevity of the vehicle.

Not sure if longevity and a 3.0TD should be in the same sentence LOL

I had a van with an ATM of 2600 and sold the Patrol and bought a TD Cruiser and couldnt be happier

Quieter more comfortable and doesnt use much more fuel Most people say you shouldnt exceed the ATM of 2500kg but a recent question the the RTA produced this answer to the question.

"If a vehicle has a towing capacity of 2500kg can it tow a van with a higher ATM, say 2800kg"

the surprising answer was


Yes,you can tow the caravan under the following conditions.

1 / You do not exceed the vehicle manufacturers tow capacity of 2500 kg for the vehicle, ( this means that the caravan cannot exceed its GTM, of 2500 kg,even though it has an greater ATM ).

2 / Your vehicle must have a compliant tow bar fitted and it must be correctly rated,the RTA do not have any requirements on "ball weight".


So go figure.

I wouldnt tow that weight with that vehicle.

AnswerID: 425258

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:18

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:18
Hi Graham

Thanks for the reply - by "size" I meant to imply "weight" as yes obviously size don't count, it is the weight you are towing.

FollowupID: 695856

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:28

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:28
Size only matters in certain rooms where too much weight is not so good LOL

FollowupID: 695863

Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 16:05

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 16:05
Hi Ken

Our 2003 model could tow our caravan well, BUT - with a tare of 2.22 t on the rego (without considering additions and amendments made by various owners), we couldn't even fill to water tanks and be legal. When we loaded up the van for long trip last year it was 3 tonne when ON the vehicle. So what ever you get, allow for your maximum load.

Maybe consider a caravan with around 1.8 tonne tare?

The only limitations of the Patrol were twice when on a standing start on a very steep hill, the gear box let us down and we moved rather slowly - had we known what lay ahead we would have selected low range and done it easily.


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AnswerID: 425277

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:23

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:23
Thank you for the information.

Nothing better than hearing it from someone who has "been there".

FollowupID: 695860

Reply By: Member - Tricky Dicky (NSW) - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 17:23

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 17:23
hi Ken

i have an 05 3.0 td Patrol and we tow a 21ft Jayco Sterling with it, I have had the van on the weigh bridge fully loaded for us! it weighed 2300kg so there is not much left to play with. The patrol just handles it, a little slow on some hills about 90klm on the flat. Keep an eye on the motor and read up on the forum about nissan before you tow anything to heavy.

AnswerID: 425290

Follow Up By: KenInPerth - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:22

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:22
Thanks for the reply.

There is nothing better than first hand experience as compared to what the sales people tell you.

FollowupID: 695858

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:35

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 20:35
Yeah the sales people told me "Just dont fill the water tanks Sheel be right"

Try going to Coral bay with no water I dont think so.

We found our Patrol was underpowered with the 2600kg van on and was constantly hunting up and down the auto.

I have since learned not to tow in O/D but Croozer has a 5 speed box so may not rev as hard as the XD 30 in next lower gear.

Whilst there has been almost endless comments about the motors in these there are a lot who have had no trouble but even later ones have blown up.

Personally I wouldnt go around the country wondering if I was going to be next.
Go to the Patrol forum for reassurance or otherwise

FollowupID: 695867

Follow Up By: Member - Tricky Dicky (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 06:57

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 06:57
with the jayco only weighing 2025kg we could travel with the water tanks full 180 lts plus our personal gear which bought the weight up to 2300 i don't think i would want much more in there. Plus the patrol was full which bought the total weight, up can't find the weigh bridge docket but think it was around 5400kg. There was no margin left for extra passengers if you have children.
When we retire next year i will be looking at a Toyota maybe a v8 diesel for the extra power and peace of mind when miles from home.
FollowupID: 695888

Reply By: dave the brickie - Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 22:35

Monday, Jul 26, 2010 at 22:35
hi Ken,it's not the motor that restricts you to the 2500kg it is the auto transmission,the manuals will tow up to 3500kg's.try looking up Wholesale Automatic Transmissions. They do a throttle body upgrade that does the job better ,not sure of your budget though,but will take the power of the chev v8 motor replacement.
AnswerID: 425337

Follow Up By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 07:59

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 07:59
Incorrect the 3.0 can only tow 3200kg in the 3 series manual.

And with reducing load depending on ball weight.

FollowupID: 695894

Follow Up By: StormyKnight - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 10:09

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 10:09
The maximum towing weight is reduced on the autos on some vehicles because of the lack of engine braking with the auto. On a long decent the autos will use the brakes a lot more, so the weight is limited to a safer level with this as a consideration.

I don't believe there is generally an issue with the auto's over the manuals in terms of driveline strength.

FollowupID: 695903

Reply By: KenInPerth - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 09:10

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 09:10
Thanks to all for your information and experience - I am seeing a pretty clear general message here. It will tow the max load but with no margins and working the Patrol to it's limit - and most of our trips we would expect to be long haul out of Perth to actually "get away" to places we have not been.

So, looking in the other direction and not changing the Patrol, what load would you all consider a feasible load to pull with the 3.0 TD - more like 2000Kg all up or lower?? (I note Motherhen suggested maybe a TARE of 1800).


AnswerID: 425363

Follow Up By: splits - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:55

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:55
A couple of months ago I found a 2007 copy of 4x4 Australia in a doctor's surgery. In the Q & A section someone was asking if towing the maximum rated load of 3000kg for a couple of the popular utes was asking too much of them. The reply was yes and I think from memory they said a good rule of thumb was to use two thirds of the GVM of the vehicle plus 10%. This made it a lot easier on the vehicle and left a fair safety margin.

Where you intend towing should also come into it. Some road surfaces add a lot to the rolling resistance and increase stress on the vehicle. I contacted Toyota a few years ago when I bought my Hilux. They said the maximum load of 1800kg as per the book was ok for all surfaces except soft sand. They did not recommend towing at all on that!

I know the Army uses reduced towing and carrying capacities on all of their vehicles in off road conditions. Car manufacturers may recommed the same so it would not hurt to ring Nissan and discuss it before you make any decisions.
FollowupID: 695918

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