SMALLER TOW VEHICLES, PRADO-PAJERO- SORTS, UPDATE 5/2010

 
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:32 pm    Post subject: SMALLER TOW VEHICLES, PRADO-PAJERO- SORTS, UPDATE 5/2010 Reply with quote

A lot of people make the mistake with a city perspective of smaller tow vehicles like the Prado and Pajero and Jackaroo, even the Nissan 3 litre with the Automatic is greatly handicapped in the same category of smaller towing capacity.. Here are the assorted problems:

You are really pushing the upper limits of such travel with a smaller tow vehicle or you are really compromising your Lifestyle with a smaller van. You may want to consider the success rates in the other Articles on this Forum with regards to size of Bushtracker. Now you can do it, but I wonder if it does not pay to revisit some of the points. The suspension and size of running gear on the smaller sized vehicle does not put it up on the list of prime tow vehicles very far. It is just a little light in all respects, and that can be a bit hazardous... If you only want a small van, well OK... But keep in mind that most people want to load in at least 600 kg of water and gear on board, and may go to 800kg of cargo capacity. These smaller tow vehicles are limited to 2500kg maximum, so that means only a 16' or 17' Bushtracker van and you need to be appraised of the success in long term travel with that size of van.. Very poor...

UPDATE 26/5/2010 We have built the Bushtracker "Hybrid Lite" in 17' and better done yet in 18' just for vehicles like the Prado. We even bought a Prado to do the testing, it does work but I want you to understand the reservations I have. To date the most common size that people stick with long term is the 19' to 21' range. To date, now 80 have come back for a second van, and size is the predominant issue. I can build you a 19' Bushtracker, with a better layout, more kitchen bench space, more capacity in every way, and with a larger suspension and larger brakes for the same money. The Point? If you have ALREADY bought the Prado sized vehicle, we have developed the Hybrid Lite just for you. If you HAVE NOT BOUGHT IT YET, pause and re-consider as the full sized Landcruiser is not that much more expensive, is stronger, more power, can tow more, and it is only about 100mm bigger than the Prado...

You have a dilemma, that only you can resolve. I am going to give you good advice, for your own good, that you should take to heart. In all fairness you should come for the visit to Bushtracker to see the size you want to travel with BEFORE you settle on a tow vehicle.... No? Already bought a smaller one with city life in mind?? Well, we are still here for you, the Hybrid Lite series is made just for you..

If not..... Your dilemma is how much you want to handicap your travel plans for the tow vehicle. In the smaller tow vehicles it is our experience that you do not have the best vehicle for travelling in the Outback, with it being a smaller type of a four wheel drive. There are all kinds of real hazards and inconveniences in travel and the bigger the vehicle, the safer the towing, and that smaller tow vehicle would just not be my first choice with the perspective of the Outback... In a civilized town setting, fine, but way out bush back of Woop Woop... I wonder... You probably would not keep that vehicle after the first year of towing. I would suggest that a good second hand diesel Landcruiser for about $30k to $35k out of the 4x4 Trader Magazine, would be a better option for you than trying to make a Lifestyle out of a 16' or 17' van.. HOW CAN I MAKE SUCH AN OUTRAGEOUS JUDGEMENT WHEN I DON'T EVEN KNOW YOU???? Simple really.. In just the last four years since we started counting, we have had 80 people come back for a second Bushtracker and SIZE MATTERS... Full time travel success rates lasting two years in 16'? Maybe only 25%... EVEN PART TIME TRAVEL the success rate would be LESS than 75% lasting two years.

Look, even for value for money: A second hand diesel Landcruiser is far better at the job, and far safer, and allows you to get into the size of van that can really be a success in travel.... Yes you could do it with the Prado, Pajero, Jackaroo, Nissan 3 litre auto, but really only in a van like the 18' Hybrid Lite or smaller, and you will have to be vary careful how you pack the van and how much water you put on board. And you will have to be very careful at how you travel on the highway at high speed. If you are talking about full time travel, may people seem to collect a bit on board, and want more water tankage and such, and the Prado Pajero Jackaroo Rodeo size is really a small vehicle for the job at high speed traffic hazard avoidance on the highway WITH A VAN ON THE BACK... Part time travel, and lighter loading, maybe you would be OK. HOWEVER, the minimum size for successful long term travel seems to be 19' these days, and most opt for 19' over 18' when they see the advantages. So yes you can do it in a smaller van... I just am not sure I would not rather have a little larger running gear and suspension on the highway for safety reasons, if it were me.

Now look, I am just trying to look after you. We give an honest appraisal on everything. It would be much easier to just take your money, and have you find out for yourself... But instead we try and do the right thing and really fill our duty of care. I don't mind building you a second Bushtracker van out two years or so, but I would rather you consider this important perspective, as I would rather do it right in the first place... I just am not sure about the smaller tow vehicles, and success rate of smaller vans with the room if affords, if you are talking about a real Lifestyle... OK? We can talk about it more when you are here...

The good news is, that for most people we have built second vans for, all but a few have reported getting all of their money back or a profit... Most have reported a profit in selling their first vans, such is our quality and reputation..

Kind Regards, lone Ranger. Part time Horse man, and full time Bushtracker Man! Laughing
Trying to help you plan HAPPY TRAILS out there with the......
Bushtracker Lifestyle


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:37 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE NOW MAY 2010: One thing to be aware of, is the Prado for instance has had the tow rating upgraded now to 3000 kg in the three door short wheelbase... And it general, they still have some serious problems: Here is an update on the Prado for example

There must be some reason they are pushing the Prado in the city Dealerships so hard, when it is almost the same size as a Landcruiser 200 Series now... So size is not it.. The Prado is now almost the same cost.. It is only 10k or 15k less. Prado does get better fuel economy around town, but WORSE than a 200 Series Landcruiser when towing... So, let's see, it is not smaller than a 200 Series by much, it is only about 100 mm less, it is worse fuel economy when towing, and it costs about the same now. Because of this, I am not sure it should be pushed so hard on Toyota lots if the Salesman or youselves know that you want to use it for big time towing around Australia...

The motor is only about 2/3 the output when towing of a V-8 Turbo Diesel 200 Series. We made one of our DVDs with a Prado with that turbo diesel, and sold it. We would not own one again. I am here to tell you that you are better off with a second hand Landcruiser 100 Series, or far better off with a new 200 Series. My own 200 Series, cost about $82,000 for a GXL which is about as high as you need to go. The new VX Prado Kakadu is $95,000 ???? WHAT ? Shocked In all fairness, in our opinion, you are better off with a larger diesel, better towing capacity, and better fuel economy in a full sized Cruiser, OK? I may be only about half a Horseman, but I am a full time Bushtracker Man, and here is my 200 Series, for real R&D tests. Note I run Rigs and Bushtracker vans Professionally for a living and here is the 200 Series the little Missus drives:



And here is my older 100 Series that is still my main back up vehicle for Bushtracker, a overly well equipped 100 Series:





If you have not bought a Prado yet, I assert from hands on testing, that EITHER ONE of these are a superior tow vehicle in all aspects...

We do have a Hybrid Lite Series for those that have committed to a Prado sized vehicle. And it is a very nice package in the 18' Hybrid Lite, if you already own the Prado sized vehicle.. But in all fairness, if you have not committed yet, we are here to advise to go all the way to a full sized Landcruiser, or Nissan Patrol for example... Wink

On the road with the Ranger.. I do R&D on Rigs for Lifestyle. "In Your Best Interests"


Last edited by Bushtracker on Wed May 26, 2010 9:10 am; edited 5 times in total
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surfy53



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PostPosted: Wed May 26, 2010 7:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We are back in Rocky after picking up our BT on May 13th. It was a big long day, but thanks to Peter who guided us through the delivery day we made it through.....just, finishing at 4.45pm. Fay videoed the whole event, and thank God for that as I refer back to the video quite a bit.

The big question........The Prado. Yes, it does work but has a few limitations. Anyone considering buying a BT please read Steve's posts on vehicle selection before ordering your van. This is most important. It will ensure that your journey is pleasurable and not fraught with misgivings.

If you intend to only take a few short breaks (4 or 5 weeks ) each year then the Prado is capable of doing it. For longer more extended trips talk to Steve about the vehicle you are considering using. This guy knows his stuff, us newbies know nothing. The boys at BT have done all the R & D and know it all. Steve only has your safety, and the quality of your BT lifestyle in mind.

If you spend all that money on a van, you want to be able to enjoy it to it's fullest potential, so tell the guys exactly what you want to do and they will help you no end.

Chris.

Special thanks to Peter and Danial for their guidance on the day.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well here is a new small tow vehicle, a Mazda BT-50, that we have no track record with...

It left here in front of a 17' Hybrid Lite, 3 litre Manual, 3 ton towing capacity. I will have reports, as I have ask him to check in with his feeling on it as he travels. It is in the class of a Navara, but to me it appeared to have a slightly shorter wheelbase and of course it is much lighter than something like a Landcruiser. The Navara also is available in an automatic. In that little ute class I would certainly compare and consider the Navara, which is extremely popular right now on small towing jobs if you like a four door ute.

Regards, stg
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schommys



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:03 pm    Post subject: PX FORD RANGER Reply with quote

Have been towing our 18 foot bt for seven years EVERYWHERE behind our gu 3 L TD manual Nissan patrol. Van has 3.5 t suspension and weighs 3200 kgs all up .Patrol did the job but only just. Would cruise at 95kph on the flat but big the hills would affect it greatly.
Patrol has seen better days and it is now time to update our car
.If money wasn't a problem, 200 landcruiser would be first choice.
BUT it is, So am looking at a 100 series td auto around 7 years old, 200 000 ks travelled, OR for the same money. a new PX Ford Ranger(excuse the pun). 3500kg towing capacity (compliance plate Nov 12 onwards, seen Ford's letter). 3.2 L TD 5 cylinder Auto, 470 nm torque (up 40nm on the 100 cruiser) and combined total towing mass of 6000 kg.
I'm torn between a good old tough 100 series with wear and tear over ALL the car compared to driving a brand new Ranger with 3 year warranty.
Does anyone have any feedback on the above.

Regards AL
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Al,

Joshua in the Office here at Bushtracker has a 100 Series... Aftermarket Turbo, cargo barrier, custom Stratos seats, upgraded suspension, bullbar, warn winch, snorkel, Kodan, and more... It has 213,000 kms on it. He tows to Shows, Weighbridge, and makes several trips a week to the dump with a trailer. He is selling it and going to the Ford Ranger. His 100 Series will be For Sale, $22,000 sometime next year when he gets the Ranger. It has dings all over the body, but will still sell quickly at that price when it is Posted on this Forum early next year...

You asking me? I would go the Ranger over an older 100 Series, but for sure the old 100 Series is cheaper and you can rebuild it as required nearly forever...

Hope this a help.. Bushtracker
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schommys



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:00 pm    Post subject: ford ranger Reply with quote

Hi Steve,
Thankyou, Yes I was hoping for your opinion and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised that you didn't knock the very latest ranger over an old 100 series. I assume that Joshua is still planing on towing all the bushtrackers for work with his new ranger and that Josh and yourself feel that it will do it well. My heart tells me to go the ranger and it's specs says it can meet my requirements but the toyota has a proven record. Just hope that the auto box is up to the task in the ford.

Regards AL
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al,
The 100 Series are just starting to get a bit old. Further, the technology is improving in the new vehicles. The Ford Ranger is also considered a 1 Ton Commercial Vehicle, so for us there are tax advantages. The plan is for Josh to tow one to the Melbourne Show, and on to Perth, and back to Sydney in March and April. That will be in 40 degree plus weather on the Nullarbour. By the first week in April we should have a 15-20,000 km R&D test report for you. Wink

Mind you the 100 Series I feature in this Category in the Topic Rebirth of the Super Cruiser, where I have restored all the running gear, I will keep. When my Daughter is through with it, if She wants a smaller or sportier version, I will get that Super Cruiser back and will keep it as a spare vehicle out on the Horse Property. No electronics, and a $20,000 complete running gear restoration including a new engine, with $20,000 in equipment on it? I would never even get the improvements value out of selling it.. Heh he.. Wink

I am just a sucker for that old 100 Series we raised the Kids with.. It also has an Intercooler and new motor and new Injection Pump, so it goes a little better than an older one. Anyway, we are updating Joshua with a proper Commercial Vehicle in line with the times.. "Dey are a Changin"

Road Ranger R&D, yea dats me....
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schommys



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well after a lot of research, yesterday I signed up for a new PX Ford Ranger 4x4 XL 3.2L TD Auto to tow my 18 foot BT.
To ease the demand on the XLT model, Ford have been selling XL's through Oct and Nov for $43990 + $2000 for auto at a drive away price. That is over $6000 under list price so I'm quite satisfied with that.
Unfortunately they only offered me $5000 trade on my 2000 Patrol but it has seen better days and I may be able to sell it for a better price prior to the delivery day which I expect will be sometime in March.
Steve, I eagerly await your first road report on how Joshua's trip went in the new year, especially on how the auto performed in the heat. Do you know what size van he will be towing.

Regards AL
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The plan is for him to tow a 20', and a 21' behind my little Ute...



Laughing Laughing Laughing Loaded up with Show Site "Stuff" for Melbourne, that's why it is going... It is only 7.5 M long from back of big hitch to front of winch. Bob in here yesterday, has a 3500 HD 4x4 Crew Cab Silverado that is 6.7 M, and I know my ute looks HUUGE, but it is only 800mm longer!

All for fun, and fun for All..
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