Towing Time

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:12
ThreadID: 92838 Views:1646 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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I currently tow a 19 foot caravan with my Ford Wagon. It struggles and requires quite a bit of driver energy which reduces the number of hours I can drive. It will soon be replaced by a Nissan patrol whose towing limit is over 1000kg more than the weight of the van and being turbo diesel will not struggle. For those who have four wheel drive and van over 1.8 tonne could you advise me of the number of hours driving per day you are comfortable with.
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Reply By: GT Campers - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:20

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:20
Disregard the numbers on paper, have you considered that you are going from a nice comfy Ford wagon (what year is it?) to a Patrol with far poorer handling, higher interior noise levels etc and less power?
AnswerID: 481607

Follow Up By: quadfan - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:48

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:48
Sorry I meant Pathfinder. Age is not an issue as all my vehicles are leased and replaced every 2- 3 years. The Ford is the last wagon they made. By itself the Ford is great and i have always been satisfied (it is my fourth one ). The choice of vehicles for lease on our salary sacrifice list was limited (cannot even get Ford now. As the Pathfinder has 3 tonne pulling power it will not have the problems the Ford had has pulling the van. The Ford's lowness to the ground was also a serious issue.
The Pathfinder is a given so I am really interested in how many hours per day people are confident with. I have been told that is is sunstantually less than driving the vehcile by itself.
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Follow Up By: GT Campers - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:59

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 12:59
well, if it is a given... Is there anything else on your available list?
I know falcon wagon is dead, but with more power and better auto calibration etc, Falcon (and Territory) is a far more relaxed and capable tow rig than Pathy, IMO. Others will - no doubt - disagree.

I sometime tow 10 hours a day (Falcons, Commodores, Hiluxes, Discos etc) but jeez I feel buggered at the end of that!


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Follow Up By: Ozhumvee - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:21

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:21
Might be more about how long a the Pathfinder can tow 3 tonne. Makes me smile when I read some of the towing capacities given to late model vehicles with relatively small engines, weight and lightweight (or no) chassis as to how long people expect to be able to tow these huge weights on what are relatively lightweight vehicles.
What happened to the premise that the towing vehicle should exceed the weight of what is being towed.
What happens when it all goes pear shaped for one reason or another and the the heavier vehicle (usually the thing being towed) takes over and does the "steering".
Having towed a light (less than 700kgs) hardfloor camper all over Oz during the last 30+ years I would hate to tow anything much heavier on some outback roads.
Peter
1996 Oka Motorhome

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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:22

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 13:22
Quadfan,
Every one is different re driving stamina,,,, there are so many variants that can come into play, weather, road conditions & your general health & fitness.
Sure having a more powerful tug is going to make the job of getting from A to B easier.... but asking about 'the number of hours driving per day you are comfortable with'. I think you are the only one who can answer that.... drive to survive & rest or knock off for the day at the first sign of fatigue!
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Follow Up By: PJR (NSW) - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:11

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 14:11
Totally agree. There are so many things to consider ranging from your health, the car and heaps more right through to the weather and environment.

PJ
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Reply By: quadfan - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 15:02

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 15:02
My wife heard somewhere to limit it to 3 hours a day. Seems a bit low. On my last trip (without caravan) I easily managed 7 hours driving time per day ( breaking every 2 hours).
AnswerID: 481621

Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 15:56

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 15:56
Perhaps it would be better to research and recognise the onset of driver fatigue rather than trying to assess what would be a reasonable driving time as it will be different from day to day, person to person.

AnswerID: 481629

Reply By: Member -Dodger - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 17:12

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 17:12
I have a Patrol and tow a 2 ton van.
I find that we drive 2 hrs have morning tea then another 2 hrs luncheon then 2 more hrs and find a camp spot when we are destination bound.
We have on one occasion travelled only 3 klms seen a great spot and camped again.
My driving time is subject to traffic conditions as well.
If the traffic is heavy driving times are reduced accordingly.
When we have no planned destination then it's stop time when a place takes our fancy.

.
I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Cheers Dodg.

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Reply By: Ross M - Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 22:35

Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012 at 22:35
If you believe a 3 ton rated pathfinder is actually comfortable towing 3 ton I think you will be disapointed. It may move it along a highway ok but for general use just reduce the thinking to 2 ton.

Pathfinders are a monocoque construction nowdays and they haven't the chasiss/frame the older had. Nissans have a bit of a history of losing their towbars and towed vehicle. I have seen a trailer complete with towbar attached further down the road from a Tinny Nissan which shortly before had been the tow vehicle.
Some of the earlier Navara's broke rear chassis and towbar fell off these too.

Just be aware.
AnswerID: 481686

Reply By: Member - Josh- Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 07:16

Thursday, Mar 29, 2012 at 07:16
There are too many varibles for anyone on here to answer correctly. As said, you are the only one who can really answer that. If I need to I can drive 12 hrs and I feel pretty good after it, but I'm used to driving long distances. Ideally I drive no more than 6 hrs a day. When holidaying and looking around sometimes only drive 3 or 4 hrs. If there is a lot to look at you will drive slower. If road is in poor condition it take more concentration and reduce the drive time. Heavy traffic will do the same. A rough dirt road takes more concentration than a hwy. The main rule is, pull over BEFORE you get tired/fatigued.

Josh
AnswerID: 481703

Reply By: Rosco5 - Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:17

Friday, Mar 30, 2012 at 10:17
Lot of good responses here.

My view, hey its not a race. Take your time.

You'll know yourself, if you want to stop, do it and stop, if you want to keep going, do so. Only you can tell.

AnswerID: 481841

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