Tow vehicle for doing a lap.

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 08:17
ThreadID: 97789 Views:3282 Replies:11 FollowUps:3
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Hi Guys

We are currently in the very early stages of planning a year long lap around this great country. The aim is to sell up and purchase a 4wd and 20-25ft offroad van and hit the road. Currently we are weighing up options for towing vehicles, and estimate that we will be towing around 2500-2750kgs. The budget for the vehicle will be about 50k, including all aftermarket accessories, and we would like to modify it comprehensively, so that at times we can leave the van and hit some of the harder 4wd tracks and camp. It has to be an auto so the wife can drive it.

The shorltist at the moment is -

NT Diesel Pajero - Good value for money, very good onroad manners, diesel economy. Have a soft spot for Mitsubishi product, having had good experiences in the past. On the downside not as capable offroad as Cruiser/Patrol, higher diesel servicing costs.

100 Series V8 Cruiser - More capable than Paj offroad. Toyota reliability and build quality. Larger towing capacity. Likely to have higher kms and be older than equivalent Pajero purchase price. Fuel consumption.

GU 4.8 Petrol Patrol - Most capable offroad, go anywhere ability. Renowned tough drivetrain. Larger towing capacity. Most truck like to drive, least comfortable interior. Likely to have higher kms and be older than equivalent Pajero purchase price. Fuel consumption.

This is just a quick summary of our current thoughts. The fuel consumption of the petrol vs diesel will be offset to some degree via differences in servicing costs, and will probably only amount to 1-2k over a 50,000km period.

Would like to hear from people that have any experience with the above vehicles, positive or negative, or is there another vehicle we should be considering?
Thanks in advance.

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Reply By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 08:47

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 08:47
You have a cart and horse situation. You need to either buy the van that you like first and then make sure the tow vehicle is suitable or buy the vehicle you like and then make sure the van is appropriate.

Personally I would choose the van first but try and keep the size down to the smallest you feel comfortable with. This will help with fuel costs, towing stress, access and manoeverability.

All of the vehicles you mention if in good condition and setup well will tow a substantial van. Now that the 200 series LC has been accepted in the market there are many good LC100 on the market. I have a 2004 auto TD LC100 and it is without doubt the best tow and touring vehicle I have ever had. I have had most of the brands but my bias would be towards the heavier LC TD because of its stability and good towing capability.

The LC100V8 is tempting because of its lower price and great performance but beware the fuel consumption. I know a tadesman who tows his heavy work trailer, loves the way it goes, but rarely gets less than 20 - 25 L/100k. True if you look at the total cost it averages out, but for touring you will be forever watching the guage and seeking a fuel stop.

Landrover Discovery also have a good tow capability and are very comfortable but still seemed plagued with a reputation for problems. I do not know if it is valid - may be worth a look.

I had a Pajero some time ago and it was a great vehicle for us but we were then not towing heavy things. We swapped to the LC TD for the extra grunt and GVM. The Pajero diesel has got a good reputation for reliability and performance. We have friends with a recent model who use it to tow their first ever caravan and have been very happy in all regards.

sorry to ramble - just my thoguhts.

Have a great trip and take you time choosing.

AnswerID: 494100

Follow Up By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:00

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:00
Totally agree with your comment Alastair, the 100 series TD is a ripper which is what my mate has. He bought the last of the 100 series 07 model GXL..........
FollowupID: 769756

Reply By: Kimba10 - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 08:57

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 08:57
Mate Im a Toyota fan through and through and if I had the $$$ required to tow the van your talking about it would be a 200 series without fail BUT not having that sort of money my next vehicle would be a 3.2L turbo diesel pajero. Great to drive, comfortable, heaps of grunt for touring/towing and how serious will the off roading be ???

I have seen the current model pajero's in action and while the pajero isnt going to flex like a cruiser or patrol the traction control certainly makes up for it. The only issue that i can see with the pajero is the IRS, you will possibly need some airbags in the rear and taller springs to take the down load to stop the rear tyres scrubbing out due to the IRS (independent rear suspension).

Ask Robin on here and he will say nothing but a petrol 4.8 patrol LOL but Im the same in regards to the pajero and this is coming from some one who swears by the prado's (had 2 older ones and still have an 05 mod) > Petrol diesel ?? Mate towing that load for a lap around you will recoup the fuel savings very quickly in my opinion.

I dont think there would be a petrol motor thats going to give you less then 20L per 100 when towing that weight ?? may be wrong and Im sure Robin patrol possibly does he would be able to tell you I would imagine. My uncle had two petrol vehicles for doing touring he had a disco and a 80 series 4.5 cruiser and never saw anything less then 22 in either, the cruiser was always around mid 20's and his van is roughly 23 foot not sure on weight but has all the usual modcons of home.

Even my prado which is the 4L petrol and goes extremley well are known for using around 20L per 100 approx, then you come across head winds, mountains etc this is where the diesel in my opinion will blitz the petrol (just m opinion).

My neighbour has the 3.2 and is an absolute ripper for towing, it his second pajero and loves them. Might pay for you and your wife to go and visit a few dealers and take a few different vehicles for a drive and see what is comfortable and whats not and how they go generally the best way. Good luck with it...............
AnswerID: 494101

Reply By: olcoolone - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:12

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 09:12
Seeing you have done some research on what is available; my only advice would be take each for a good drive and see what one you like.... no use taking someone's advice and then not liking it for something like "my left knee hit the console or seats are to soft".

There is plus or minuses for all the ones you have mentioned.

You will know what one is the right one.
AnswerID: 494103

Reply By: Member -Carl R (QLD) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:22

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 10:22
We leave on the 16 September
AnswerID: 494109

Follow Up By: baz&pud (Tassie) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 13:26

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 13:26
Bugger, thats the day we arrive home.
Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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FollowupID: 769761

Reply By: Member - Peter H1 (NSW) - Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:56

Sunday, Sep 02, 2012 at 17:56
Alistair D
Is correct: Get the van 1st then see what will tow it.
If you get the vehicle 1st it could not be able to tow the van you then select.

AnswerID: 494136

Reply By: Mazdave - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 13:41

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 13:41
I would be careful of the Petrols, Have a mate who did a WA trip a couple of years ago with a Petrol V6 Pajero towing a 22 foot Jayco and his consumption was between 30 - 35 litres per 100kms and up to 40 l per 100km with head winds. Good strong diesels are ideal for large vans as they have the torque to cope with the dragging wieight.
Might seem to be much cheaper to buy the Petrol up front but your holiday wont be as enjoyable, watching the fuel guage and stressing out about the cost of fuel all the time.

Just something to think about

AnswerID: 494170

Reply By: bluefella - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 15:59

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 15:59
g'day Millsy
toyota 100s 1HDFTE, in good nick, i reckon that's the go.

AnswerID: 494178

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 16:05

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 16:05
I would cross the Pajero off the list. Pre 12/2008 they are rated 2,500 kg max. The later ones, although they are rated to tow 3,000 kg their ball weight is only 250 kg for vans up to 2,500 kg loaded weight and 180 kg for heavier vans. A van of your intended size will have a ball weight of well over 250 kg (or a low critical speed.)

Given your very low budget for your tug, I think the most suitable tug for you would be a twin cab ute. Load the van lightly and put all the extra load in the ute. That will assist in keeping the van to tug weight ratio down. Utes have a much larger disposable loading than the wagons. Some of the wagons have such a poor load allowance that if you are towing a fairly large van and have a tinny up top you have to decide whether you take the outboard or the cook (the Toyota 200 is in that class.)

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AnswerID: 494179

Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 16:43

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 16:43
"...........whether you take the outboard or the Cook".

Would depend on how good a paddler the Cook was, Peter.


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Reply By: Member - Jason B (NSW) - Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 19:28

Monday, Sep 03, 2012 at 19:28
Agree with commets above a well set up LC 100 with the 1hd-fte would be in your budget and perfect for the scenario you have described.

I have access to one at the moment, a 2003 TD 1hd-fte auto, bar, winch, front and rear lockers, draws, lights, airbags, 230km for $35k, imaculate. So they are out there.


AnswerID: 494189

Reply By: Member - G.T. - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 12:48

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 12:48
Have a close look at a L/R D3 diesel. 140Kw 440m. $35000.00 or so will by one under 135000KM. Won`t get a Toyota for for this price and low km. Reliability is good as other makes. Regards G.T.
AnswerID: 494231

Reply By: Millsy999 - Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 15:33

Tuesday, Sep 04, 2012 at 15:33
Thanks for your input guys.

From what has been mentioned I guess we will have a closer look into our van decision, and firm that up before we concentrate on the vehicle. Then from there we can go and test drive a few things, and I can do a bit more research on various forums.

Thanks again.
AnswerID: 494236

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