Pro's & Con's

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 18:33
ThreadID: 91513 Views:2597 Replies:7 FollowUps:13
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Hi all, your opinions please on what to buy !! & Why !!

What to buy to tow my Lotus Track Van 2.6T loaded

Choice 1 Nissan Navara 2.5 CRD 6 speed Manual
Choice 2 Jeep Commander Lt CRD 5 speed Auto

Interested to hear your response on either

Many thanks
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Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 19:46

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 19:46
Firstly are you talking about on road or off.

Remember most of the maximum towing capacities are written bassed on, on road conditions and on many of the new light utes are in the opinion of many optomistic.

so ya Navara has a specified maximum towing capacity of 3 tonnes, and a curb weight of less than 2 unless you are stacking the narvara full of pretty heavy stuff the van is going to weigh more than the towing vehicle.
and ya gona be dragging arround about 5 tonnes minimum with a 2.5 liter 4 banger.......yeh it may do it legally, but far from comfortably.

Another thing abouts utes is that they have considerable overhang between the rear axle and the hitch point.
This presents a load leverage and ramp over and ditch drag issues off road.

there have also been rear chasis damage issues reported with many of the current crop of 4wd utes when towing off road and not necessarily near towing capacity....remember the previous generation of utes has twoing capacities of arround 1800Kg and curb wieights of arround 1800Kg, and the new utes are not twice as strong as the previous generation.

The comander is in a completly different catagory of vehicle, it is a similar vehicle to a patroll or landcruser.

There is a big difference between 3 tonnes and 3.5 tonnes towing capacity and that group of vehicles have towed arround that for quite some time

we have a 3.5 tonne towing capacity and arround a 2.4 tonne curb wieight.
once you fillt that with some fuel and a few bits of gear, ya looking at a tow vehicle weighing arround the same as the caravan......not so long ago that represented the maximum towing capacity of a vehicle.

AND you are talking about a a 6 liter V8 in the comander, and at least a 4 liter six or a V8 in all the competing vehicles.......except the 4 cylinder turbo diesel patroll ..which is known as the hand grenade for obvious reasons.

Towing a 3 tonne van with a 4 cylinder ute....sorry regardless of the spec's...dreaming.

AnswerID: 476232

Follow Up By: the redbacks - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 19:55

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 19:55
Thanks Bantam,
I guess I sort of know what the answers might be, Makes sense in which way to go, by the way, approx 60% black stuff, 40% gravel

As for finding a good & well priced Patrol or Cruiser, spent many hrs looking, guess what ?? zero, not that's any good anyway !!

FollowupID: 751240

Follow Up By: PeteS - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 20:53

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 20:53
Very well put Bantam.

Nothing else to say except I agree 100%.

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Follow Up By: Muntoo - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:37

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:37
I would never consider towing anything that weight with a Navara.

But what about the New Ranger/BT50, or Amarok? They will pull that with ease all day, over any terrain.

Amarok will be released with an 8 speed auto very soon, that may be the perfect tug.

Its odd that you are comparing a dual cab ute to a wagin though, is it the only 2 vehicles that are in your price range? Myself i tend to stay away from US built vehicles, very hard to work on and expensive parts.

The 3 litre patrols from 2005 onwards are all fine, but still they lack the grunt i reckon. The new Ranger/BT50 will pull everything but a 200 series/Discovery backwards.

FollowupID: 751251

Reply By: Whirlwinder - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:35

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:35
What about the 4.8 petrol Patrol? Robin Miller thinks they are a good choice and it makes sense to me.
AnswerID: 476238

Reply By: Kimba10 - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 22:05

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 22:05
What about new pathfinder or pajero both T/D Not sure of the tow weight on them thou ? ...............
AnswerID: 476240

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 00:25

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 00:25
Ye ye yeh, there is this whole generation of new utes..and they are all pretty close in spec.

They all have rediculously high tow rating for their tare mass and for the engine size.

The only reason they are able to offer these tow ratings is that the design rules have changed..and I do not mean for the better.

These new "optomistic" tow ratings may be fine and beaut for a short trip to the tip, the job site or the local boat ramp, but the expect these light vehicles to work to capacity for extended periods and at highway speeds is plainly rediculous.

Towing a trailer that is heavier than the tow vehicle is simply not safe......simple physics of mass will tell you that.

Then its a matter of heat....... engines are all about heat and air of the major causes of failure particularly in turbo diesels is combustion chamber temperature and indicated by exhaust gas temperature.

No matter what the horepower figures come out with, a 4 cylinder motor simply can not flow as much air and disipate as much heat as a 6 or a V8 of twice the capacity.

So on long, heavy hauling a 4 cylinder simply can not produce high power outputs for as long as a 6 or an 8, both in the short and long term.

Then ther are some traps for young players.

Like :) limited tow ball down force.
Because some of these rigs are fundamentally unstable, people tend to run quite high towball down force.....some of these newer vehicles have 10% of towing capacity and no more, some less.

Then there is the weakness the the rear section of chasis beyond the rear spring hangers......there has to be a crumple zone...mmm guess what

There have been some very interesting pictures of utes with damaged rear chasis on these new utes due to towing off road.

OH and if you think any vehicle can tow its maximum rated capacity comfortably off road you are dreaming and don't grasp basic physics.

We have a 4wd that drives by 4 wheels for a reason......then we hook up a trailer and go off road.....its like that vehicle is doing a permanent recovery.

So you have a vehicle with 4 tyres weighing 2.5 tonnes, that is towing a trailer weighing 3 tonnes and has 4 wheels......which has more traction and rolling put that in mud, sand or heavy terain.

I don't know about now, but when my brotherinlaw was in trasport in the army, all the vehicles had two load ratings, the more or less normal rating for on road and a considerably reduced "All Terain Capacity"

Far too commonly in both the 4wd and the aravan community, people push the boundries of GVM and towing capacity...not very clever.

Then you have people who do not have sufficient confidence in their vehicle to drive it at full highway speeds.....

to put it bluntly, if it is not safe at 100KPH on good open highway and capable of achieveing and maintaing at least 95KPH on most open should not be on the road.


AnswerID: 476246

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 06:20

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 06:20
I do like some of your arguement.
Nothing beats cubic inches.

Yes modern 4 cylinder diesels pulling big vans, but at what price to the longivity of the motor ?
Not sure about that any more, as the Nissan ZD30, 4 cylinder, Patrol motor is starting to get some creditation, despite many of them blowing up.

I have driven both a Toyota, 79 series ute, ( V8 ) and they are great, but not towed with one.. A lot of real pony's under the bonnet there

Best of all is the Chev V8 Diesel........The power of those motors are amazing, and that should be the standard for towing, as everything is effortless, and that in itself has to be good for the driver, and the tow vehicle.
A bloke just up the road gets 8 km/lt, towing or not towing. that's pretty dam good.

Personally, I do not have an issue if someone is towing at 80 km/hr, that is their perogative to tow at that speed, if they feel its safer. I know it's frustrating at times, but it is not our call to push someone beyond their percieved safe driving speed.
I do have a problem with knuckleheads that think everything must travel at 100 km/hr, in any condition, as that is just selfish, and disrespectful.

Cheers Bucky

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Follow Up By: gbc - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 09:32

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 09:32
Posted speed limits are for all vehicles. Fogies pulling vans are part of all vehicles. Sure slow down when road conditions require it (rain etc). but recommended cornering speeds are posted as well for one and all.
Crawling along perfectly formed sections of highway 20 under the speed limit is offensive to other road users. You choose to buy a van and tow it, you choose to drive on Australian roads, don't turn yourself into a mobile road block and hide behind the 'safety' banner. Either the rig isn't up to it, the driver isn't up to it, or more often they just don't give a stuff about other road users and are playing economy games with themselves.
FollowupID: 751275

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:21

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:21
Regardless of it being a machanical fact or simply a personal lack of confidence.....NO vehicle that is not safe at 100KPH belongs on the open highway......sorry it does not belong on any road..........regardless of the actual speed it is traveling at.

Now if you go for a driving test, in any class of vehicle and you " do not achieve reasonable progress" and travel at a "reasonable speed" will fail.

And we see this so many times......people decide that are going to drag this huge van all over the counrty, and so often have neither an adequate tow vehicle nor the personal ability to travel with that vehicle, without causing inconvienience, cost and danger to others.

AND any vehicle traveling at 80kph on the open highway where the rest of the traffic is traveling at 100-110Kph is a dangerous thing.

What is incredibly selfish are those that travel at low speeds to save fuel.....not giving a rats that trucks stuck behind will be burning fuel like there is no tomorrow on every hill, because they can not crest that hill at a crusing speed in top gear.

So if a truck has to follow a tourist traveling at 80Kph for two hours in a 100Kmh area.......he is now 1/2 an hour behind......remember heavy vehicle drivers have strict limits on how long they can drive in a stretch and in a day.

Believe me there are plenty of areas where trucks can get stuck like this for hours.....then he is presented with the choice of meekly sitting behind or taking a risk at a passing manover in a vehicle weighing in excess of 30 tonnes.

No wonder there is a stream of abuse on channel 40 when there are slow moving caravans on the highway.

Personally I think it is rediculous that a 9 tonne combination can be driven on a pasenger car licence.


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Follow Up By: GimmeeIsolation - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:34

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:34
Try Tassie where a third of the population travel at 45-50 kms/hr in the 100 zones, REALLY ANNOYING as the overtaking lanes are limited (and no I was not waving to you as I passed you by).
Or here in Oz (as I was told by an older Tassie resident they are not part of us here on the mainland) where the moldies travel at 70-75 in the 100-110 zones and dont bother checking their mirrors to see the conga line behind them (or their mirrors are not wide enough to see behind their vans) and pull over to let them pass as half of the other moldies behind them have no power in their underpowered car+van to overtake so those of us a long way back have to pass the lot because they also do not leave a gap, and they wonder where road rage comes from, we dont all want to travel at twenty to thirty below the limit.
Or how about the (it seems) the older blokes who sit 30 below the limit and then speed up when the overtaking lanes appear to try and stop you passing.
If you do travel at lower speeds, think of the other 10 vehicles behind you and pull over to let others doing the limit carry on with their life.
Glad to get my most annoying road habits off my chest.
Happy travels to all, well most of you anyway. :-)
FollowupID: 751326

Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 04:48

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 04:48
As I said, I travell at a safe speed, whatever I feel is safe at the time.

100km/hr, is the Speed Limit, but that is also the Max Safe speed, not just a you must dial up that speed, no matter what, where, or any other reason to give someone a hard time, who is doing 80, 83, 90, or even 70km/h.

Simple as this, if you do not feel safe at that speed then do not do it.

Another thoing to remember is that they are usually on Holidays, and not in a hurry.

The guy with the Brunswick V8 Diesel, he has a 3 ton van, and still cruises at 100 km/ matter what hill is in fron tof him, but he slows to 80, in wet greasy conditions.


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Follow Up By: gbc - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 06:43

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 06:43
Oh - they're on holidays so the rest of the world can go jump. So typical. When you get a grip on a reality that is larger than your own maybe we'll discuss this again. My breath has been clearly wasted.
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 14:45

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 14:45
Bucky mate , our whole road system and the vehicle standards are designed arround a highway speed of 100Kph...with a pretty good engineering tolerance ( safety margin) beyond that.

If on good road and in good weather, any vehicle is not safe at 100Kph it is fundamentally dangerous and should not be on the road, even at any speed.

If you are going to travel at 70 ot 80Kph on good open highway as a matter of choice.
Don't you ever winge about people making agressive and dangerous passing manovers and possibly showering you with stones.

Its your fault

If you are traveling at 70 or 80Kph on an open highway where the majority of traffic is traveling at 100-110Kph, you represent a constant danger to all other road users.

You will note that on all suburban freeways, mopeds, bycycles, animals, tractors and other agricultrual machinerey are specificly banned......because they can not keep up with traffic and pose a danger to them selves and others.

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 16:13

Monday, Jan 30, 2012 at 16:13

Whilst tending to agree with your sentiment, ultimately it is up to the driver of any vehicle to deal safely with any situation they encounter whilst driving on the road, whatever that might be, and including slower moving vehicles. Noting that whilst highway speeds might be posted at 100kph, or above in some cases, we still have drivers who are limited to 80 kph regardless of what the sign-posted speed is.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012 at 21:23

Tuesday, Jan 31, 2012 at 21:23

Wrong Mate !
Show me Any Copper that will book a motorist doing 80km/hr safely,
Ain't never gunna happen.

Show me a copper that will book you at 105 km/hr, they are everywhere, by the buss load.

Show Curteousy, and don't forget that I too was speedy, and never went anywhere under $1.60,,.. that was my cruisin speed, no matter what.
You see been there , done that, got wise, still alive.


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Reply By: Grumblebum and the Dragon - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 10:29

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 10:29
Keep searching for that good 2nd hand Landcruiser or Nissan. 6 pots of diesel and heaps of torque. Last for ever and a day. I would not like to tow a big van with any 4 cyclinder tug - they work too hard and as a result use the same fuel as a bigger Nissan or Tojo.

AnswerID: 476262

Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:03

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 16:03
Besides all the tech stuff it looks unsafe. We tow our galoppy with a 76 series. from the passengers perspective it was a relief when it was time to round up a huge van behind a dual cab. Back a gear and it took off like a rocket up hill too. When there is no traffic around 90km/hr is what we stick to. By the way our manouver was watched by truckies and was commented on the uhf comparing to the dual cab set up. Sure were poorer for it but long term use of our gear is more important.
Its great that you asked, way too many people out there not informed properly.
AnswerID: 476302

Reply By: the redbacks - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 19:01

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 19:01
Hi Guy's, thanks for your opinions, all taken note of, seems to have gone of the track a little with speed, oldies, safe / unsafe,Tassie, etc..,
My current Nissan Navara 2.5 tow's just great 100 -- 110 kph when needed not a problem, the problem is that on a very slight incline I have to ride the clutch for the first 100 meters or so, once I get going the turbo kicks in NO PROBLEM !!
BUT, even I know that the crappy clutch in that car, & the new Mazda BT50 & the Ranger, & many many more new 4X4's, the clutch are all the same Throw-a-way crap.
As far as the Jeep is concerned, Na giving that a miss, I have managed to find an Nissan Patrol 4.2 TD Manual, older than what i really wanted, BUT have you ever tried to find a GOOD Cruiser or patrol ??? Na I thought not !!
Anyway, its been an interesting read, & I do know what i should be buying, just really needed an opinion on Jeep !!
Many thanks for your time all

AnswerID: 476317

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:07

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 20:07
If ya having trouble getting off the line..ya probaly under powered..but enough of that...and find a big enough hill we will all be there one day......if its a 4wd, have you thaught of starting in low range with the front hubs should be able to shift to high range on the fly if ya carefull.

low 1st, low 2nd, clutch down, back to 1st, shift to high range clucth up and continue...most stock 4wds 1st high is very close to 3rd low.
Practice unoaded. You can do the up range and back one gear at almost any gear in the box and pick up the next ratio.

going back down is quite a bit harder.

I always manover trailers in low range if I have it available...makes everything much calmer and you can leave the clutch up.

As for the 4.2 turbo diesel partoll...don't be worries about the age....that would have to be one of the most solid and dependable vehicles on the road.....about as good as it will ever get in a nissan.

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