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nissan
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Discussion Starter #1
Gday wise ones.
we are soon buying a bus come motorhome and thinking about 35-40ft as we have 3 kids and want to do a very long lap of oz. I just cant bring myself to sell the pride and joy so will be taking it along using a 6000lb towing frame. Will it be ok to to shift the transfer case in neutral on the Patrol thus disconnecting drive from the drive shafts so we can tow behind the bus/motorhome? I am trying to get away from physically having to unbolt the drive shaft! Your advice is appreciated.
 

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G'day Masey.

These decisions are personel and you need to do what you think is right. I am sure you have taken your time making your mind up about how you wish to deport yourself around oz.
I drive a 2003 patrol and I am currently in Melbourne on our own trip around oz.
I went through the whole bus / trailer / camper / RV thing a few years ago and decided upon a caravan (2004 Jayco Heritage) because I already owned the Patrol. My point is, you have the Patrol, amongst the best towing vehicles in the country. Why not go a caravan ? Perfect for dumping at a park and using as a base to see the different areas. Bus towing a Patrol. thats a pretty heavy vehicle to be towing, Not exactly a Suzuki Siera. My wife and I have done various long trips over the past two years and now been living and traveling in it for 3 months full time. Happy with our decision. Just my view and I hope whatever you decide you will have a fantastic trip and stay safe. :)
 

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nissan
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bus is a great idea, specially with the 3 kids.
they won't be cramped up in the back of the troll and be free to move about in the bus.

if your going for a 35' to 40' bus,
yes you could flat tow..
but me personally, id get myself a decent tandom axel trailer.
a, u won't notice it behind a behemoth bus..
b, save alot of wear and tear on the patrol.


just my opinion..
and that's what id do.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm very interesting sentiments. Shilo the bus size of things is mainly for the kids, quite frankly if it were just me and the missus I would go the caravan route everytime. I am almost swaying to a big arsed enclosed trailer but thought the thing would be a pain when it came time to split em at the caravan parks. We would need some space eh? Or maybe leave the trailer somewhere else in the park?
 

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I been at this Caravan thing for about two years now and sure there are guys in the forum that have much more experience than me Maysy and they may have a better idea but in my experience and observation Buses usualy pull into an area put aside for them and have the trailers right there on site. I did read somewhere just reccently that not all parks accomidate busses (it's a length thing) but many do.
I did think old.school.hero made a good point with "bus is a great idea, specially with the 3 kids. they won't be cramped up in the back of the troll and be free to move about in the bus." We love our caravan but are currently considering upgrading ($$ significantly) as we have a combined shower and toilet. I had heard before we decided to buy that a lot of full time travelers end up upgrading for this reason but shrugged it off and for holidays it was fine but now we are full time the wet floor gets a bit tiresome. My point is, in my evolving experience, that you research, shop around, look, way everything up and make the best decision you possibly can but perhaps need to be prepaired to learn as you go and be ready to re assess your decisions down the track as we now are, until after a few years you know exactly what it is you need for your own personel needs. You can only do your best to make best possible decision you can. If you think thats a bus, go hard. Relax, nothing in life is writen in stone and Buses have a lot of positives. Good luck with it buddy, I'm sure anything you decide will be the right decision because in the end its about family. You would be happy with a tent and an old Kingswood.

P.S - I am an atrocious speller and usualy spell check but for some unknown reason my spell checker has decided it doesn't want to load. Appolagies.

Quick edit to add this link Maysy.
http://www.exploroz.com/
As Patrol4x4.com is to patrols exploroz is to Touring Oz.
May be some answers for you here.
 

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Gday wise ones.
we are soon buying a bus come motorhome and thinking about 35-40ft as we have 3 kids and want to do a very long lap of oz. I just cant bring myself to sell the pride and joy so will be taking it along using a 6000lb towing frame. Will it be ok to to shift the transfer case in neutral on the Patrol thus disconnecting drive from the drive shafts so we can tow behind the bus/motorhome? I am trying to get away from physically having to unbolt the drive shaft! Your advice is appreciated.

Another possibility is to get the 'Trol chopped/converted to tow a big big 5th wheeler with pop out sides and extender ends etc etc.

My 2 bobs worth
 

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Hiya Maysy...

The question was will it be OK to flat tow the "Trol" for about 15,000 K around Oz with the transfer in neutral and the answer is... Absolutely.

Now, the subject of Motorhome/Bus versus 5th Wheeler versus Van raised by others. Well, the Pro's and Cons lists for all options will fill about 10 pages.

You have nailed your choice down with your comment of "we have 3 kids and want to do a very long lap of oz". That pretty much rules out any idea of a Van.

As to Motorhome/Bus or 5th Wheeler choice, well, you won't be able to chop your Patrol to tow a large 5th wheeler because you won't get the hitch far enough forward. You will probably need to do a 6 wheeler extended tray conversion along with the chop... or... as you need 5 seats you will have to buy a dual cab Light Truck.

So IMHO you have made the correct choice in going the Bus/Motorhome route. You can easily deck these (or a 5th Wheeler) out to do extended Free Camping with up to 1,000 litres of water, Solar, onboard Genny and probable the best argument with three kids, a full range of domestic appliances Frig, Washer, Dryer and seperate shower and toilet etc etc.

Many Van Parks are modifying their sites as quickly as possible to accept buses/motor homes/5th wheelers beacause that is the largest growth in Touring Aussies by a loooong margin but a good setup means you don't even need to stay in them.

Live the dream, Man... :driving:
 

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nissan
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Mate, We did the trip a few years ago with a 40ft bus and put the trol on a tandem trailer, boat on the roof of the trailer, tv, genny so the kids could watch tv going along etc Some states don't allow tow frames and check on your maximum length in all states, all loaded up we were 16 tonnes. The trailer will need breakaway brakes etc. It's a great trip, my kids were 2,3 and 5 years old, it was cool, a caravan park didn't want us in QLD, so I offered ta buy the joint and sack the chick in the office. All up we did 37.000 ks.Go for it.:D
 

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I was a transmission specialist for 4 years (way back) my boss use to stress NEVER tow an auto on its back wheels in neutral, as a lot of auto's have a rear pump (or which act as a rear pump) & loads up reverse whilst being towed which produces heat & potentialy destroy's transmission....a manual would be fine. In saying this I dont know if the Patrol auto runs a rear pump.
 

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I was a transmission specialist for 4 years (way back) my boss use to stress NEVER tow an auto on its back wheels in neutral, as a lot of auto's have a rear pump (or which act as a rear pump) & loads up reverse whilst being towed which produces heat & potentialy destroy's transmission....a manual would be fine. In saying this I dont know if the Patrol auto runs a rear pump.

Not a problem with the transfer case in Neutral though. There should be zero load or no motion of the auto as there will be no input from the transfer case to the output shaft of the auto.

However, I have seen guys drop the rear shaft out, just for piece of mind.
 

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Oh, and if you do consider buying a 5th wheeler cvan, then buy a F250 or Chev equivalent to tow it with. Heaps of room for 5 people doing the long hauls with great economy and power.
 

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i would go the tandem option, garanteed to leave ur precious troll unharmer and will assist with braking. With the transfer case in nuteral will the odometer keep ticking over when flat towing?
 

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One thing no one has mentioned is how are you going to set the braking up on the Patrol if you are flat towing?
I met a bloke down here a while ago who was towing a Landcruiser behind a bus and he mentioned that he had to get a full air brake set up for it to be legal
It was certainly a nice setup though

 

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Discussion Starter #15
Gday
as usual plenty of great opinions and food for thought, its fantastic. Ok so far my thought has been around buses and flat towing. I understand the inheriant need for brakes whilst under tow not to mention the cost of a specific and specialst type frame.She who is sometimes obeyed wants storage room and room to move and liked the bus for that reason. I however just cant see myself wrestling with trailers and the like once we stop but then again you do what you have to do. I have seen plenty of well set up rigs but still have not taken to em. So as a compromise this is what we wil lmost likely do. Put the Nissan in storage with all the house contents, buy a 5th wheeler with a dual cab f250 tug, diesel of course and enjoy the benefits of room to move with the ease of having a vehicle to run around with etc. I am still going to work when I can so I need mobility. I am hoping to get an f250 4by, not 2wd. The F250 is wide so plenty of room whilst travelling and with a big diesel engine they should be made for crusing at 100kph all day.
 
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