? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

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? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Kittycat » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:22 pm

Hi All!

We are heading off later this year, selling the house and using the funds to travel Australia. Mid life crisis I think ::) but who cares! Our 5 boys will love it (ages 12 down to 2) and we arent gettign any younger so better to go now while we still have the patience to do it with children!!

We were wantign recommendations please, for the best car to tow a decent sz caravan....we are thinking at least 18 foot if not more. We are trying to get the smallest we can squeeze 7 people in to, even if the boys share beds as we will be staying with family over east and a lot of chalets on the way, so the caravan is "backup" really and for those 1-4 night stays, longer stays in chalets/hotels/rentals etc.

We realise a Landcruiser 4WD diesel is the best, but are there any others that can tow that weight and not struggle or die half way? Im assuming a caravan is around 1800-2400??kg

Also it needs to be 7-8 seater as well, which is an issue!! We only have around $35000 to spend on a low km car so we need to get the right one :)

Thanks in advance!! Off to post an intro now in the intro section :mrgreen:
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Apr 21, 2010 12:46 pm

For that weight you are really looking at mostly a Landcruiser or Patrol although the new DMax and new Prados and Navaras will tow up to 3000kg PRESUMING the weight you quoted of 1800 - 2400 is the ATM and not Tare weight.

I just re read your post again and see that you are looking at a second hand vehicle which rules out the new vehicles I mentioned above.

Landcruiser or Patrol will be the best option and a Patrol will be the cheapest. I think the 80 series Cruiser has a tow weight of about 2800 and if this is so that does not leave much spare if you get a van with a ATM of 2400.

Can't comment too much on the GU Patrol....am a LC girl.
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Kittycat » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:28 pm

Thanks! Im just assuming a caravan weight I have no idea really :lol:

I figured as much with the landcruiser, I will research into patrols a bit more, I didnt realise they could take that weight as well. We would prefer diesel as well, cheaper and they tend to have more grunt to tow as well.

thanks!
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby snake_dr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:30 pm

My old man has a 23ft Jayco van and said I can tow it with my 03 Prado so a little more weight investigation might be required like gypsy mentioned. Then you could look at the mid sized cars like the Prado or maybe the pajero (ick).

I know of a few people who've bought the current shaped Navara for its towing rating, they dont last and its a hassle to get them to fix the clutch/gearbox under warranty.

These days you could probably pick up a turbo diesel in that price range and it has the seating you'll need.

In saying that though I saw that the current shaped patrols for around your budget on carsales a while back i think so you might be able to get into one of those, they look alright, no experience with them I'm from a Toyota family.

Good luck, sounds like a heap of fun, except the 5 kids part....
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Kittycat » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:24 pm

Thanks again :)

Ive just checked out Patrols and yes they are a lot cheaper arent they! One issue would be the middle row has a lap only belt but the baby and 5 yr old are still in harnessed seats so would be ok with a lap and a floor tethered strap for a good few years yet.

Caravans : jsut did some quick research and it appears the minimum weight would be 1500kg for a basic 16-18ft, up to around a 26ft Tare Weight-2195kgs, ATM-2595kgs (which ever is important) for the biggest caravan anywhere near our price range.

Im thinking we would be around 18-22 ft so maybe slightly below the 26ft weight...which is the important one for towing? tare?
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby snake_dr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:26 pm

I'll have to pass on the weight thingy, but if your looking at a patrol i would have thought they could handle the lot
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Redback » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:06 pm

If looking at the Patrol, see if you can get a 4.2TDiesel, only available in manual though, I'd steer clear of the 3.0l Patrol hand grenade.

With a Land cruiser, you'll need a TD in an 80 Series with that budget and finding a low Ks one will be hard unless you get a petrol model, you might find it hard to get a 100 series TD for $35,000 as well.

Look at a Pajero 3.0L DiD Turbo Diesel, these are a great car and will handle 2.5t easy and you'll get a great one for $35,000 and change.

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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:06 pm

The Tare is the unladen weight and the ATM is the all up laden weight of the van with batteries, water, food, clothes, cooking utensils, pots n pans, chairs, bedding etc, etc. And believe me it all adds up pretty quickly.

The ATM is the IMPORTANT weight as the vehicle will need to be LEGALLY allowed to tow that weight. There are plenty of vehicles that are capable of towing the weight but not allowed to legally.

If you have a Tare weight of 2195 and an ATM of 2595 that only leaves you 400kg for all the above. Keep in mind that for every litre of water you carry, it is 1kg....so in essence a 65 litre tank filled with water will weigh approx 73 kgs when you take into account the weight of the tank as well. 3 tanks of water will weigh in at 219kg which is already half of your carrying capacity.

If you are looking at towing a 26ft van around Aust for a whole year..... that is a lot of weight to tow just as back up and you are probably looking at somewhere in the vicinity of 18 - 22 litres per 100 klms.

You will also find there are a number of places you will not be able to get the van in and out of due to length. Driveways of service stations is one that comes immediately to mind. And are you considering leaving the black top at all??

18ft to 20ft would be a much better option.

I would seriously consider an expander type van with slide out beds at the ends or pop up if you are only using it as back up. This will give you more van to use but less van to tow. I would also seriously consider small tents for the older boys.

You have a lot to research Kittycat, there is way more to consider than you initially think.

BTW....I would not be considering anything other than a diesel vehicle as the tow vehicle and auto over manual and factory turbo as opposed after market turbo.

Good luck with the research.....
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby mytribe » Wed Apr 21, 2010 5:22 pm

We have a 17ft van that we tow easily with our 99 Pajero, and it's full of heaps of Dagnabbit's when we go away :***
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Kittycat » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:23 pm

Wow !!!

Thanks so much for all the info. I realise there is so much for us to learn thats why Im starting now, we cant leave till at the earliest Oct but may end up Jan next year depending on the house sale. So quite a while to get it all sorted I hope :)

I think we will probably try to find a caravan that suits at around 18ft, the bigger ones are nice but its over kill. We really jsut want a small kitchen, somewhere to put a porta potty, dont need a shower but it would be nice, and then jsut the doulbe bed for us and then either 2 bunks and a fold down dinner to make another bed, or just one more double bed at the other end. We figured the two younger ones can sleep either side of the central double bed so we can keep a close eye on them.

We cant sleep them in tents unfortunately and even the pop out end tents are a bit iffy. Nearly all my boys have special needs (autism/intellectual issues etc) and cant be trusted alone, so need to be in a lockable van with extra locks ;) lol

Mad? yes we are. However it will be an opportunity of a life time for them and they sure arent learning much through books, so maybe actual physical "being there" experiences will teach them a whole lot more.

Ill check out the pajeros but I thought they couldnt tow that muhc....hmmmm more research! lol I just want something that6 will last and wont need repairs while travelling hopefully!
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:00 pm

No, I don't think you are mad at all......it might just be the experience the boys need.

Mad.....no, but you are definitely brave....that is for sure.

My concern with the Paj is parts/repairs if you plan to travel to any remote places. If that is not on the agenda then certainly look at them as well. Just remember that once you have your tow vehicle....you will have to stick within the vehicle's tow limits.

Also keep in the mind the LEGAL aspect of tow weights and what the implications might be if that is ovelooked......can't stress that one enough.
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby snake_dr » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:04 pm

The pajero wont have anywhere near as much room as a patrol either, be nicer to have a bit more room if there are 5 of you and your going to travel for a while.

My petrol Prado probably does a best of 16L per 100k's without towing, so definitely go the diesel as gypsy's suggested, also cheaper with the patrol or pajero to get a diesel, i was up for 10k extra to get a diesel in the prado.

Hope you get there and the family enjoy it all as you hope they will
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby GypsyLady » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:32 pm

Again if you are looking at doing any remote travel, diesel will be on tap pretty much anywhere where as petrol will not.
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby Titch » Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:43 pm

You have had some very good advice here,
Before you buy your Tow tug, buy the van, load it then weigh it, then buy the vehicle that is able to tow it.
May save you a lot of grief in the long run.
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Re: ? Best car for towing caravan? Your recommendations

Postby hoadie72 » Wed Apr 21, 2010 10:21 pm

My dad's been very happy with his Disco 2 TD5. He's traveled with 3.0L Patrols and the Disco pulls much harder up hills and is more economical too. Only downside might be the rear seating, though that said, the 3rd row seats are probably at least as comfortable as in the Patrol or Landcruiser.
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