3000Kg Towing BEST Ute

Submitted: Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 14:59
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Hi Everyone, I'm in the market for a ute that can pull 3000kg. I tow a 1500kg float + horses + camping gear. I travel to mountainous regions and need something safe for me and my precious cargo. What to avoid and why would be great information if anyone has an info for me it would be much appreciated. I currently drive an 80 series Landcruiser but I really do need a ute for many reasons. The landcruiser is fantastic though for towing.

Hope to hear from you all soon.

Regards Sarah
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Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:13

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:13
Landcruiser VDJ78r

Note there is a dual cab version about to be released which may be the most suitable. See

http://www.toyota.com.au/landcruiser-70-series?WT.ac=Toyota_GlobalNav_UtesandVans_LC70#double-cab-chasis
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Follow Up By: Life Member - Doug T (NT) - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 05:36

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 05:36
Fully agree with that one .

.
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Reply By: Notso - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:19

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:19
Then again if you want something a bit less expensive than the Yota you could have a look at the new Ford Ranger/Mazda BT 50 twin cabs. They seem to be flavour of the month with the reviewers.
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:37

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:37
Howdy

I've got a new Ford Ranger and absolutely love it - and for 30 to 40 thousand dollars less than a Landcruiser you couldn't go wrong !!

I reckon you could tow Ayres Rock to Darwin with it and still get 700 k's out of tank of diesel !!

Cheers


Gazz
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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:33

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:33
Been looking at rangers, a few XL PK 2010 models in my price range with low km on them
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Follow Up By: Mr Pointyhead - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:35

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:35
SWMBO used to use the older rangers as work vehicles. They where universally regarded as rubbish for towing. They now use 'cruiser utes and they are happy again.
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Reply By: Member - Anthony W Adelaide - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:43

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:43
Can't go past the V8 landcruisers for towing IMHO.

Comes in single cab or dual cab.

Those 4 cylinder utes have to work too hard to tow heavy loads and usually show signs of wear and tear early in their life.
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Follow Up By: Off-track - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:13

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:13
That's ok, the Ranger/BT50 are available with 5cyl TD.
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Follow Up By: olcoolone - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 12:32

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 12:32
And a fine 5cyl TD it is.... much better than our 200 series TD.
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Reply By: TerraFirma - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:43

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:43
3 Tonnes is plenty for a ute, someone suggested the Ford Ranger, whilst it can tow that weight legally I would rather the Landcruiser ute by far if I were towing 3 tonnes all the time. Yes the Ford Ranger and the Mazda BT50 are in part the flavour of the month but the jury is out on their long term reliability, they are not proven yet despite what a pretty colour magazine writes about them. If you can afford it buy the Landcruiser ute, the V8 Turbo diesel will pull the float and the gear effortlessly. If you keep your eyes out you will see quite few of these rigs getting around doing just that.
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Follow Up By: Member - Old Girl - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:39

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:39
x2
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Follow Up By: Barry 2 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 17:16

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 17:16
X3
Longevity is the key.
It might be able to do it !! BUT Will it keep doing it ??

Barry -Southern Cross Dreaming.
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Reply By: Rockape - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:49

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 15:49
Sarah,

I had a test drive of both the BT50 and Ranger a couple of days ago. They certainly have some sting and are rated to pull 3300 KG.

Funny the Mazda was quieter and and rode better that the Ford. It was also less sensitive that the ford in the throttle. They both come out of the same factory.

The Mazda seems to be better value for money than the Ford.

A couple of mates tow rodeo horses around with Navaras. One has had trouble with clutches while the other hasn't. Maybe different drivers I don't know. The friend with the clutch problems has gone back to using his old F truck.

Hope you get the right ute,
RA.
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Reply By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 16:21

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 16:21
The new Dmax / Colorado have 3.5 ton towing.

I can't fault last years model either, they have 3 ton towing.
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Reply By: Ross M - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 16:58

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 16:58
All the current crop of fashionable utes aren't really designed to tow 3ton or 3.3ton or anything near it. Just because it will move it along the ground doesn't mean it is suitable for all conditions. Given hills and rough ground are common here more than 2 ton and you are asking a lot of the vehicles.
When there is no reserve of braking, handling and avoidance ability they will become a handful in an emergency.

Reviewers and makers claims are pretty sus.
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 17:17

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 17:17
That's an interesting view you have Ross, could you substantiate your claim with some proven facts please? as I own a Colorado and it performs pretty well with a decent load behind it.

No offence Ross but I think I will take the word from a car maker that makes a claim to a cars potential, and spends millions of $$$$ designing these things, as opposed to some bloke on a forum like this.

Phil
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:07

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:07
G'day Phil
If the tow vehicle weighs less than the towed trailer/caravan/horse float and something goes a bit wrong then the heavier towed weight controls the tow vehicle. Have you ever seen how a heavy trailer throws a 2 ton vehicle around in side winds, loss of traction or tyre failure. Usually not a good ending. Just because it can pull it along a road isn't the issue.
I have seen a Ford Falcon get effortlessly thrown around by a large legal sized caravan, bad ending.

I don't want you to believe me, I want you to think about the physics of it all.
Everything is quite ok until it isn't. The heavier you tow the more you erode the safety, stability factors.
The opinion of an A grade Automotive engineer/ Automotive Trade Instructor.
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Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:44

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:44
Ross -I can confirm your view - I own an 07 Rodeo Common Rail 120KW which I chipped to get 138KW

I tow a large boat that would be in the low 2 ton range.

In my opinion it is working at its maximum capacity with this load, especially in the summer months & hill country.

I have posted on this before. They have overheating issues when towing a large load in hilly country. My 3 ton limit may be doable for a short time, but there is no way I would attempt to tow the full limit for extended periods.

I have not towed the boat for any distance scince putting in the chip, that will be interesting to see what happens. But it will be a couple of years before I start towing it any distance :-)

Cheers Tony
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Reply By: Oscar H - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 18:04

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 18:04
None of them, if you tow more than the total weight of the ute.
Regards
John H
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Follow Up By: Thinkin - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:52

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:52
Sounds like you might be suggesting Ford F250, Chev Silverado or Dodge Ram.
Regards Alpero
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Follow Up By: teza - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:53

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:53
Ditto

Couldn't agree more.

Cheers Teza
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:59

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 19:59
Well done John H, If someone is towing more than the vehicles own weight they are running into the unknown area.
I have towed a loaded Tvan with a Turbo 61 Landcruiser and it towed it well, but the weight of two or three or more Tvans behind the tow vehicle to be really dangerous.
Makers will claim as much as they dare, within reason.
Aussie traveller is the person the makers/dealers hope to have come into their sales yard, as they believe the makers claims without question.
The sales of these vehicles largely relies on people who blindly trust without having a sound background in mechanical engineering and vehicle repair or understanding the physics of vehicle dynamics.
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 20:23

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 20:23
Keep this up and we will all be using Mack Titans.
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:01

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:01
As asked Ross please post your expertise on my question above.

Trust me I have been around the block once or twice, you have no idea of who I am or what I know so I will ask you to put up or shut up.
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:35

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:35
Aussi Traveller
To ask someone to trust them makes that person not trust them immediately. You are right, I don't know who you are nor do I require to know.
Having grown up with working on heavy vehicles and driving heavy vehicles for some time and having a Automotive technical background I do have an opinion.

Just look around at the shorter life and failures some have experienced.
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:13

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:13
I have been classed as a professional driver for 33 years, I doubt there is anything you could teach me in that regard.

I drove my first road train in 1982, so to assume I know nothing about vehicle dynamics or the way physics on a vehicle works is a insult, next time you wish to insinuate someone blindly trust something without having a sound back ground in what ever, you may want to at the very least know what the person knows first.

Phil
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 18:11

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 18:11
Aussie Traveller, Get a grip would you. These are forums and Ross speaks sense, he is talking about physics. You are entitled to believe what you want but using the words put up or shutup are not appropriate
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Follow Up By: ModSquad - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 18:21

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 18:21
Settle down gentlemen...thanks.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 21:02

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 21:02
I get it, It is either your way or the highway.

Well you guys can have the highway, I will take the road less travelled, I won't post here again, you guys don't need common sence here, you all know it all, good luck with that.

Im going bush now.

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Follow Up By: Aussi Traveller - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:28

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:28
Just one last question Ross, you being an expert and all.

If a 2 ton vehicle is " not designed to tow a 3 ton trailer" because of dynamics, or physics, how come a 7.5/ 8 ton prime mover can tow 3 x 43 ton trailers without a problem.

I will log off now so you can choose to answer this or not I realy don't care.
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:59

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:59
Hilarious this. Nobody is disputing the 2 tonne vehicle can legally tow 3 tomnes, the question is more to do with the safety of it. The original question is what vehicle would you buy, having towed 2.2 tonnes with a Hilux I wouldnt want to tow 3.2 tonnes with a Ford Ranger or BT50. Why is a Navara rated to tow considerably more than a Hilux? The rated towing capacities are being increased and Ross talks physics, fair enough. Personally I would take the Landcruiser anyday over the Ranger and Mazda
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Follow Up By: Tonyfish#58 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:52

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:52
To settle the argument raised by one poster

I own a Rodeo 07 Common Rail which was rated at 3ton

It is not capable of towing that load in australian summer conditions for an extended period.

I have posted on this before. As stated above, yes it can tow that load, but the longevetivity of the vehicle would be compromised.

P/S It is a great ute & very capable off road (with mods) but if you are not an experienced driver you would most likely come to greif if you attempted to tow the full capcity with one of these vehicles. IMHO & Experience

Regards Tony
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Follow Up By: TerraFirma - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 08:02

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 08:02
Spot on Tony, you hit the nail on the head.
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Follow Up By: Oscar H - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:31

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:31
Lets go off scale,
Scania tip truck 11.2 tons empty
Loaded with road base 22.7 tons
Tipping dog trailer loaded 18.4 tons

There is no way I would tow the dog loaded if the truck was empty.
The truck will tow 22.4 tons and be legal but not with an empty truck.

This is an upscaled version of what you expect your TOY (not Toyota) utes to do.
I cannot stress how dangerous this practice is.
Manufactures want sales and some don't care how they get them.

Another GOOD LUCK from me as one day your caravan will push you down the road to a not so pleasant end.

Regards John H
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Reply By: mountainman - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 20:12

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 20:12
sarah whats in the 80 series.
petrol/diesel or td, auto manual.

can you drive a manual, some girls cant, no offence but most friends are the same.
idealy something that has weight on the vehicle will make it safer towing, especially in the wet!!

its sounds like td you drive but thats a complete guess, that i can admit.

cruiser dualcab if you can handle handing over the coin, but you will need to test drive to see if you can live with it, little less comfort..
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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:20

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:20
It's a petrol manual
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Reply By: Member - Outback Gazz - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:06

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 21:06
Hi Sarah

Do you intend to tow your float, horses and camping gear every day - every 2nd day - twice a week or once a month ?

Will your journeys be 50 k's - 100 k's or 2000 k or 5000 k round trips ?

This could help with the replies as there are some people on this great site that think if you tow a 4 foot by 2 foot trailer with 180 kilo's of waste in once a month to the rubbish tip you need a 4.5 litre twin turbo diesel seventy thousand dollar Landrcruiser !

Also - your budget ? would help with replies to what could be a suitable vehicle.

Cheers


Gazz


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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:23

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 00:23
Hi Gazz I tow float maybe once a month I travel about 300km sometimes to my holiday destinations down diet roads and very hilly country. My budget is $30000.
Sarah
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Follow Up By: Rockape - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 07:55

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 07:55
Sarah,
now I can see what you use it for, the amount you use it and the budget.

It is a pity you need a ute as a 4.8 petrol patrol would be an excellent vehicle. Tough vehicle and you can pick them up in that budget range.

100 series V8 petrol would also fit the bill well.

A V6 petrol Rodeo ute would also fit the price range.

There are other 4 cylinder vehicles out their but due to the price range and the steep terrain I would go for something with low down grunt. Many of the turbo diesels don't have that.

I get in navaras and hi luxes at work and they just don't have that grunt low down.
It kills clutches in that sort of country.

Workmates brother has a 2010 Scania towing his jumping horses around the country. That would certainly fit the bill. Just a tad dear.

RA.
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Follow Up By: Member - Outback Gazz - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 09:59

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 09:59
Sarah

Rockape mentioned the V6 Rodeo - one of my vehicles was an 04 model V6 Rodeo which I couldn't praise up enough. In the 8 years I had it 4 things went wrong - the sunvisor fell out - the tailpipe fell off in the Snowy Mountains - needed a new key ( $90 ) and the tailgate handle broke ! At 220,000 k's I had to put a new clutch in it and it still has the original disc pads on the front. I had a suspension kit put on which you would need to do and apart from being a tad on the thirsty side with fuel it was a great car to drive and very very reliable. It towed my large tandem trailer effortlessly but when I had it loaded and there was nothing in the back of the ute you had to drive a little more cautiously than you would in say a Landcruiser or Patrol.

I believe most of the clutch problems you here about on other utes such as navara and hilux is due to the fact they have a dual mass flywheel - don't know if the later model Rodeo's changed but my Rodeo had the single flywheel. My 2 Patrols got 220k and 250 k's out of there clutches so I was happy with the Rodeo's clutch life.

For $25,000 you could get a late model Rodeo with low kilometres and spend a few dollars on suspension / accessories ( and have some money left for the petrol )

As Old Girl suggested it would pay for you to drive a few different vehicles with your float on and you will soon work out quite easily which one suits your needs.

The above is only my opinion - I own and run a small construction company and also have a part time outback 4wd tour business ( towed a fully loaded Landcruiser across the Simpson one year with my fully loaded Patrol - Oh what a feeling ! - and have driven over 5 million kilometres in and around this big brown land

Good luck with your searching and I hope whatever you buy gives you trouble free motoring.


Cheers

Gazz


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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:46

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 22:46
Thanks Gazz for all your comments I shall take everyone's comments on board and continue my search a wiser person. I didn't realise it was going to be so difficult
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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:30

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:30
Why are petrols good? My cruiser is so thirsty on the fuel. I wanted something a bit more economical
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Reply By: Rockape - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:03

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 22:03
Sarah,
Sorry to see this has turned into another mine is bigger than yours argument.

With all the chest banging I think you will just give up.

Don't be worried about the weight issue as the so called light weight utes have nearly the same kerb weight as the 70 series.

Workmate Troopcarrier is 2330Kg with a gross of 3300Kg.
Mazda or new Ranger are 2159KG and a gross of 3200Kg.
Here is a range of utes to consider. I don't know if you wish to buy new or second hand.
All these utes will do the job without spending top dollar.
Isuzu. Great motors.
Narvara. I don't recommend not because of the vehicle but because Nissan wouldn't admit to the problems with the 3l Patrol motor.
Patrol. same as above.
BT50/Ranger.Old models seem ok but the new ones are just that an no one knows yet.
Colorado. Old one same as BT50 and my sons BT50 has had no problems.
New Colorado has a new engine from Europe so again untried although these days they all seem to have a good package.
New Cruiser ute. Very expensive but has great transmission and running gear.
Older Cruiser ute. Unless it is the turbo motor they struggle.

I know that the some have had problems with the dual mass flywheels and clutches but this may have been caused by operator error.

I like the idea of autos fitted with oil coolers as most of the prime movers are going that way . This has a lot to do will drivers breaking clutches and gearboxes + the huge amount of torque the modern engines are developing.

RA.

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Reply By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 23:14

Friday, Aug 17, 2012 at 23:14
by reading all above it can only be an old 75 series or the Mack titan .........
No questions ...
:-)
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Reply By: Member - Old Girl - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 01:03

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 01:03
Sarah Wouldn't it be good if you could test drive what ever with the float on. Go up a hill and see how many different breeds you can flick off the list. We went from the 80 T/D to our current 76 series. There is so much difference when taking off. I feel safer towing our load with the more powerful motor.
Cheers
Sharon
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Reply By: mountainman - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 11:15

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 11:15
with the limited towing you do, the cruiser is a little overkill.
it wouldnt be if you were towing every weekend.
budget always rules.

some people just love to crap on each other, sick of it.
grumpy old men. at the detriment of exploroz.

now you have any make, model at your disposal.
even a petrol should be considered in that budget.
id agree with test drive, with the float on!
tritons are going 38g new?
even the 2.5ltr navara old shape is around the 32g new. or less now?
definatly drive them all.
stretch the budget, and could get new, at least the navara is pretty close to the budget.
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Follow Up By: Mad Habits - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 17:18

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 17:18
I'm with you mountainman, I ended up getting a Navara STX550 to pull a 5th wheeler (3490kg) loaded If I hadn't got the 3lt V6 550 nm model (way over the budget here) I would have got the 2.5lt 450nm model as there are many people using them to tug 3500kg 5th wheelers around Australia without a problem (we have been on the road since October and average 6km to a lt towing)
(before everyone starts sledging me because a Navara only has a 3000kg towing capacity - I know! And 5th wheelers don't work by the ATM so it's fine).
As for all the comments about trailers being heavier than the tow vehicle it makes me wonder how heavy the truck is pulling the road train! Isn't that why we have electric or air brakes fitted. Also drive to the conditions it's not a race.
I know the Navara will do the job and a good second hand one will come in budget. GET the diesel 450nm model with the auto box.
Cheers Nigel
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 15:23

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 15:23
Sarah,

In amongst the good suggestions, and the "peeing on a post" posts, I don't think anyone has mentioned the 79 series Toyotas, in 6 cyl factory Turbo diesel.

They would meet your budget, and are an excellent tow vehicle. Also available in a GX or GXL model(can't remember which it is?) which are a tidy 2 seater, and of course, a ute. Might be a bit scarce though, as I think they appreciated quite a bit, once the v8's didn't suit everyone.

Put a 3" exhaust, and maybe a chip on it, and it'll have more grunt than a packet of bacon.

Bob.

Seen it all, Done it all.
Can't remember most of it.

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AnswerID: 493123

Reply By: equinefriendly2109 - Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:47

Saturday, Aug 18, 2012 at 23:47
Thank you everyone for all your comments. They have been very helpful and I hope to find my ute soon. I'll keep you posted ??
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Reply By: Tonyfish#58 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:59

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 07:59
Sarah From what you have posted about the use of your vehicle for towing - The Rodeo Common Rail will do the Job - You will get a good Rodeo or Colarado for that money.

In the hilly country during summer the temperature will rise and on the steep slopes you will have to use 3rd gear as to hold the temperature down. The owners handbook notes that this is what may happen.

Best of luck with your choice

Regards Tony
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Reply By: Mr Pointyhead - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:38

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 17:38
I live in a rural area so I do see a lot of different vehicles towing horse floats, especially on weekends. However, I just saw a good one... Dual loaded float being towed by a Magna ... 8-) ! It could barely travel straight traveling up the road ...an accident on its way to happen.

Where are the cops when you need them ...



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Follow Up By: equinefriendly2109 - Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 18:50

Sunday, Aug 19, 2012 at 18:50
I too see that sort of thing often I don't know how they do it, they obviously have no idea of the danger they are putting themselves in.
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Reply By: expandajason - Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 15:16

Tuesday, Sep 18, 2012 at 15:16
Hi guys

Good points being made here, i have to say i agree with those that are saying 3 and 3.3 tonne is to much for these small utes, i was going to buy one of these bt-50 utes last year to tow my 2.5 tonne caravan around australia and up to cape york and the kimberley's, when i went in to see a mazda and nissan dealer about it i said to them can they really tow these sort of weights and for long periods, as i was going to do some rough stuff and long travels, the nissan dealer did say to me that they state it can tow 3 tonne but it is ment for people that want to take their boat to the boat ramp not really for long periods fully loaded, i asked both of them if i could bring my caravan down and hook it up and take it for a test drive, both nissan and mazda declined, i said but your saying they can pull 3 and 3.3 tonne so what would be the harm in towing 2.5 tonne, both said they couldn't do it in case of and accident, i said the van is fully insured but still they wouldn't let me do it, so to me they know themselves that these things can't do it, i decided to buy a new toyota landcruiser 76 series wagon v8 and that pulls it no problems, i would happily put 3 tonne behind my lc 76 up against any of the small utes with the same weight behind and run them up and down the toowoomba range for the day and see how long the utes last then.
Don't get a pony to do a horses job! Be safe and get set up right.
AnswerID: 495165

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