type of tow vehicle...

Submitted: Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 12:23
ThreadID: 97537 Views:3464 Replies:11 FollowUps:8
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hi All,
we are going to buy a caravan and use it to do a "trip around Australia"

We are currently looking at a 24' Jayco Heritage (2005?) with a weight showing 2030kg.
We are wondering if our vehicle is sufficient to tow?

We have a new diesel Territory (6cyl, turbo diesel, AWD). Towing rating is 2.7 tonne.
We assume this will be ok.
Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
We are not going real off road, but a thinking we MAY like the option of a 4 x 4.
Should we trade our car for a Triton or Ranger - ranger towing rating 3.0 tonne I think. (losing money of course, but may be a wiser move..)

We are newbies, and alll suggestions are welcome!

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Reply By: member - mazcan - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 12:43

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 12:43
hi karin a
i would put a weight distribution hitch on your territory and try it before trading up as the teritory has a reasonable margin going by the figures you have quoted
why lose money if your existing tug can do the job
you'll have a lot tell you to by a 200 series toyota etc etc or some other v8
because they love to advise others how to spend money or dont think any other brand of vehicle can do the big lap
when its not required
that extra money will buy a lot of fuel for the territory diesel
thats my call but its your money
i 've done the big lap and owned 3 caravans
but now have a camper trailer so i think i can say my advice is experienced based
only you know what you want and will have to read between the lines of advice you get
AnswerID: 493248

Reply By: Ross M - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 13:49

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 13:49
G'day Karin

The Territory is a good tow vehicle and would tow the unit quite well.
With a 2.7 t capacity it should be ok but if the 2030kg caravan when loaded weighs/will weigh quite a bit more than the starting 2030kg so less tow ability margin. Just watch the loading and ball weight figure so the ball weight doesn't end up trying to "nose up" the vehicle. Hitch will assist but should not be the item most relied on to level a rig.
The AWD feature will be of benefit on many loose gravel roads and tight maneouvering but not noticed in plain towing.
If you are not going to go OFF Road where low range and increased traction would be required the vehicle you have will be good.
They are as said, a good tow vehicle. About the maximum sized van for all round balance. and vehicle ability.

There has been a bit of wrangling on previous posts re vehicle ability and claimed tow weights. You have chosen to be with in the reality of towing abilities.

All the best.
AnswerID: 493252

Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 14:08

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 14:08
Well being an owner of a 200 series Landcruiser I can tell you they make a fantastic tow vehicle for long distance travelling.....and seeing it's not my money I'm spending I would say get one...LOL

It comes down to what you want and are comfortable with and budget....seeing you have a new Territory I would say your after something with similar comfort levels and drive ability so a Landcruiser Troopcarrier might not be what you want.

We have just bought a new Ford Ranger XLT 3.2lt 6 speed auto and find it very good, we haven't tried towing as yet but I'm sure it will do it with ease.

Next up from the Territory would be a Prado D4D and maybe a Landrover Discovery 4, even a Pajero..... all three make good touring vehicles.

The Prado comes standard with a 180lt fuel tank, all the others have about 80Lts.

You also have a Nissan Patrol but comfort levels aren't quite there and small low powered engine I would be cautious about... but many use them and like them.

Have a look at the Ranger and you might be impressed...I would not recommend the Triton, Amarok or Pathfinder.

One advantage of having a real 4wd is there are many more places you can site see and areas you can travel in.
AnswerID: 493257

Follow Up By: Karin A - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:53

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:53
right on many counts...my husband does want the Ranger...

will investigate..
FollowupID: 768831

Reply By: Member - Broodie H3 - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:56

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:56
Hi Karin, We have the Nissan Pathfinder, ti550 v6 diesel, We had to upgrade because of the towing ability of the Toyota Hilux was only 2.25 tonne, our van when fully loaded weighs 2.6 tonne, and then you have the tow ball down weight to consider, in saying that I can't see why your current vehicle won't tow the van unless you are going to be carrying to much excess baggage, in the van. The vehicle you have is a good cruising vehicle for gravel roads and black top and is limited to some of the more remote places that you may wish to visit. I would stick with the vehicle that you have and if you find in your travels that you have to upgrade like our friend's had to they traded there ford in on a pathfinder when they got to Melbourne. and then sent us an e-mail saying that we have to look after there place for another couple of months while they back tracked to see some of the places that they missed out on on the trip over from Perth. we don't mind and they are out enjoying themselves.
Good luck.
Broodie H3
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AnswerID: 493267

Follow Up By: Bush Wanderer - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:42

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:42
Sensible advice.
FollowupID: 768880

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:58

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 15:58
Hi Karin,

Mazcan is spot on with his advice.

I am a biased Landcruiser lover, especially the V8 petrol kind. LOL but why waste money when you have a capable unit.

Get the van you want and see if your vehicle will do the job to your satisfaction.
Don't be afraid to use the gears when needed and avoid towing in overdrive. You will use less fuel in a lower gear, speaking from personal experience.

As Mazxcan said, the difference in purchase price, to upgrading the vehicle, will buy a lot of fuel.

Cheers, Bruce.
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restless and lost on a track that I know. HL.

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AnswerID: 493268

Reply By: Member - Vern (North Haven SA) - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:37

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:37

My only comment would be the size of the van compared to the size of the vehicle.
We had a Nissan Pathfinder and a Nova van which when loaded was close to the 3 tonne mark, the pathy towed it with ease however for other reasons I purchased a Nissan Patrol and although I lost the towing power of the Pathy I did gain a large footprint on the road and this made towing MY van a lot easier as it was more stable on the road. This from a safety point was more important than the power.

Since your van is 24' I would think about the safety of towing with a small and lighter vehicle.

Just my thoughts

AnswerID: 493278

Reply By: Karin A - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:47

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 18:47
Thanks to all replies.
Greatly appreciated
AnswerID: 493279

Follow Up By: Member - lyndon NT - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 19:55

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 19:55
G'day Smithy, welcome to EO. :-)

The chap who mentioned "see how your car goes" just might be on the money. There will always be a dealer willing to flog you a new car "should" you need it.

Maybe suggest to the members here some of the places you want to visit and see if they think the rig is suitable?

Can anyone give Karin the Max ball weights allowable for the vehicles she has mentioned?
Does anyone know roughly what the ball weight of the Jayco would be?


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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 16:38

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 16:38
Karin and Lyndon,

The empty ball weight for our van which is a 23.75 foot Jayco Stirling is 180 KG.
Add some important junk in the boot and it could easily get to 230 KG.

On the compliance plate on our Jayco it states
GVM of the van is 2388 KG and the ATM is 2568 KG

Gross Vehicle Mass = GVM is the max allowable weight exerted onto the wheels of the van when fully loaded but not including the ball weight.

Agregate Trailer Mass = ATM is the total weight of the van including ball mass.

The ATM is the one you need to watch if selecting a van to go with your vehicle. The vehicle tow mass is your limiting factor.

I have a 2003 landcruiser as they have a fair weight to tow weight ballance.
The dog wags the tail not the other way around so to speak.

Cheers, Bruce.

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Reply By: Karin A - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 20:34

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 20:34
Thanks Coighty.
AnswerID: 493287

Reply By: Bush Wanderer - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:24

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:24
You could always spend more money and have greater depreciation, high oil usage, higher fuel consumption, greater exhaust emission,....or you could stick with what you have that will use less fuel, is a reliable motor, have much less deprecation and not need an oil top up every couple of thousand cars.
There are plenty of Territory's diesels out there towing.
AnswerID: 493292

Follow Up By: bazz - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:56

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 21:56
is the territory a 4 or 6 cyl diesel??
FollowupID: 768872

Follow Up By: Bush Wanderer - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:04

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:04
2.7 V6
FollowupID: 768876

Reply By: splits - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:13

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:13

I have to agree with Vern regarding safety. There are two key things to consider when you are looking at large vans and tow cars. One is can the car tow it and the other can the car hold it in an emergency such as strong cross winds or you having to take sudden evasive action at speed. This van is within your car's specifications so it should tow it ok but I don't like its chances of being able to deal with any crisis.

As an example: there is a man in my neighbourhood in Sydney with a D Max and a very heavily constructed four wheel box trailer that looks like it would measure about 1800 by somewhere around 4 metres. The Max would have a towing capacity of about 3 tons. He could load that trailer up to that weight with bricks, bags of cement etc. and the car would tow it easily and safely. The weight would be down low and close to the axles so there would be no long heavy ends to swing around. It would also not need a huge weight on the tow ball for stability.

If he was to hook up a 3 ton 7 plus metre van, the whole situation changes completely. It is no longer a case of how much weight is involved, the location of the weight in the van now becomes critical. The tow ball weight would have to be much higher and even the distance the tow ball is behind the car axle plays a major part. The car would still tow it but unless he fully understood the dynamics of the whole rig and drove accordingly, he could very easily become another statistic, particularly on the F3 freeway just north of my home. Vans and big boats come to grief with monotonous regularity on that road each year.

Read these two articles before you do anything. I have posted them before and they are very relevant, particularly for someone like you who is just starting with vans.

You can carry out a simple test yourself to demonstrate the information in these articles the next time you go to a supermarket. Pick up a carry basket at the entrance and place a 1 kilo packet of something like flour, sugar or rice at each end. Twist it around from side to side in your hand and note how it feels. You will see it takes a bit of force to get it going and what seems like a little more to stop it and swing it back the other way. This is how a long end heavy van will behave if it is subjected to a sudden change in direction while travelling at high speed.

Now put the two packets in the centre under your hand and feel the difference. It is much easier to swing but so much easier to stop. Your car must be capable of stopping a van that wants to swing and one stretched to the limit of its capacity, like yours will be with the van you have in mind, is not going to stand much of a chance.
AnswerID: 493298

Follow Up By: Geoff in SA - Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:29

Monday, Aug 20, 2012 at 22:29
So very very true Splits

We looked at a number of tow tugs prior to deciding on the effy for that very reason.
Too many tails wagging the dog on the road and the boys in blue or what ever color it may be per state do not seem to care. More interested in revenue raising for doing 2 to 3 k over the limits.
They should be more vigilant about vans abs tugs being the many many kgs overweight.

FollowupID: 768879

Reply By: disco driver - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 00:57

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 00:57
Hi Karin,
There's no doubt that your diesel Territory will be able to handle your proposed 24 ft van under ideal conditions, BUT do you need to have such a long van because of kids etc or is it just the available space inside to spread out in.

If it was me, OK it's not, but I would try to downsize to around 18-20 ft. It would be much easier and safer to tow and consequently be easier on fuel too.

There are plenty of well equiped 20ft vans out there, many with shower and toilet and a good few with bunks as well if you need them for the kids.

I'm just looking at your problem from the other way to offer a different way of solving your problem.

AnswerID: 493302

Follow Up By: Karin A - Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 14:19

Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012 at 14:19
yes, I came to the conclusion last night that we should just look for a smaller van!

heart set, all that!!

FollowupID: 768914

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