towing capacity

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 09:04
ThreadID: 83879 Views:3064 Replies:7 FollowUps:0
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G'day all Hope all are travelling smoothly!!!!
Can anyone indicate what designates the towing capacity of a vehicle,and if that can be modified?????
My son now has my 1990 nissan wagon that has done over 500 000 k's,and still going strong and I am looking to get me 1st caravan-an off roader-and I am curious to know why the old girl can't pull more than 2.5 t as appossed to other models and if we can do some mods so as to make her legal to pull more!!
Thanks again from one that is meraps too keen to go "drivabout"
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Reply By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 09:23

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 09:23
G'day Dave, I guess it can be done with an approved suspension upgrade, but
the cost may be a bit high for a car that will probably also need an engine rebuild
as well shortly. An "off road" caravan that weighs over 2.5 ton is unlikely to get
you seriously off road anyway. Will a lighter van suit you ?..........oldbaz.
AnswerID: 442967

Reply By: Member - Bill S (VIC) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:17

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 10:17
G'day Dave61,

I'm sure you would find that to change a vehicle, engineering wise, from the manufacturers specs is possible but most jobs would require going through your states vehicle registration authority after consulting an engineer re. any modifications.

Bill S.
AnswerID: 442973

Reply By: Rob! - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 13:36

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 13:36

I think you will find that the cost of changes to the suspension and brakes will be more than the vehicle is worth.

AnswerID: 442991

Reply By: geko55 - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 13:41

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 13:41
@Dave61, hi we have a 94' Toyota Landcruiser,we found out by chance that it's only rated to pull 2.5,we nearly bought a van that needed at least a 3tonn capasity tow! Apparently,LC's built between 94-96 are 2.5 and the rest are 3!! I don't know if it would be worth doing the upgrade on your old girl.

2.5 is plenty unless you have a BIG van or boat to pull.
AnswerID: 442992

Reply By: Dave(NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 14:16

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 14:16
Might be helpful to if we know what size motor & Auto or Manual .
Cheers Dave..

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AnswerID: 442996

Reply By: splits - Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 16:07

Tuesday, Jan 25, 2011 at 16:07
"Can anyone indicate what designates the towing capacity of a vehicle"


It all comes down to a combination of vehicle weight, cooling system capacity, engine size and level of technology, type of brakes, tyre design, strength of axles, transmissions, clutches etc. The technical list is endless then there is also the segment of the market that it was designed for.

Take a 1990 Commodore for example and compare it to a 1954 FJ Holden. Both were sold as mid size six cylinder family sedans yet there is a big difference in towing capacity. It only takes one look at both cars and the reason becomes obvious. In the case of a 1990 Nissan and later models, it is much harder to see why yet the reasons are there buried deep in the specification sheets.

Things can and have been done to increase towing capacity but the question could be asked is it really the best way to go particularly when you consider safety and reliability. There is a reason why the manufacturer sets a particular limit and if you want to go higher then there comes a time when you should be asking yourself if you have chosen the right car. No matter what you want to tow, there is always a vehicle available that will do the job easily with plenty in reserve. This is essential on long tows if you want to maintain driver comfort and keep stress, frustration and fatigue to a minimum
What type of "off road' surfaces do you intend driving on? Unsealed surfaces tend to increase drag and make the car work harder with soft dry sand being the worst. This is why many manufacturers recommend a reduced towing capacity in these conditions. The 2.5 tons for your car is most likely the maximum possible on sealed highway conditions only. It might be worth a phone call to Nissan's customer information number and see what they say. The number will be on their web site.

AnswerID: 443005

Reply By: Dave61 - Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011 at 02:13

Wednesday, Jan 26, 2011 at 02:13
G'day again,Firstly thanks to all for the input!!Sound advice and having been to a dealer and my local RTA a big no go,and I must say practically speaking a smaller van wll allow greater travel!!!!!So the nissan stays with my son !
Again many thanks
Be Safe
AnswerID: 443054

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