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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys, My wife and i are considering buying a caravan. We have been looking around at a few, and one that my wife really wants is a Jayco 17ft expanda complete with shower and toilet, bunks for the kids, large 150L fridge/freezer and roof mounted reverse cycle air con. Now my concerns are that the Tare weight is around 2000kg before filling the twin 82L water tanks and anything else we bring along on trips with us. Its getting pretty close to the towing compacity of the 3.0L crd auto, which is 2.5T!
Are any of you guys out there towing heavy vans close to 2.5t with your 3.0l crd auto? I kind of wish i had of gone the manual now, as its 3.2T capacity. What is it with the auto that restricts it from towing the same as the manual? Is there an upgrade you can do to the auto to increase its towing ability? Like heavy duty valve body???
I'd also hate to find that I'm back to 60km/h going up hills with this thing on the back. Or do you think the 3.0l will handle it ok? Would love to hear from someone with a similar van before i shell out the coin.
Thanks in advance.
 

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Mate I can't help with the auto but my manual toes our 2tonne van with ease. Is there any way you can do a test tow and see how she goes?



Shane
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Mate I can't help with the auto but my manual toes our 2tonne van with ease. Is there any way you can do a test tow and see how she goes?



Shane
Probably could, I think there are places around that hire them out. I haven't checked my local area yet? Can i ask what type of van you have? :)
 

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The reason I've been told the auto has a lower towing rating is because of the reduced engine breaking provided by the auto on steep descents and the risk this presents to overheating brakes. A manual lockup switch for the torque converter will overcome the problem but doesn't legally allow an increase in towing capacity unless you are able to get the car mod plated. The manual lockup for the torque converter is also of great assistance in steep descents even without a trailer and is a common mod by offroaders. This engineer I was speaking with claims that engine breaking is also the reason a 4.2 has a greater towing capacity than a 3 litre.

This same engineer I know has said he would not sign a mod certificate to increase the towing rating for such an alteration. His reason is that a dill at the wheel is still able to ignore the switch and overheat the brakes.

The short answer is that it is easy to fix the shortcomings but not easy to do it legally, unless you have a co-operative engineer.

Cheers,
 

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Probably could, I think there are places around that hire them out. I haven't checked my local area yet? Can i ask what type of van you have? :)

Depending on who your buying the van from you should be able to tow the van before you purchase it.

Mines an old windup (similar to a jayco hawk) but I've heavily modified it for off road/outback travel with heavy chassis, independent air bag suspension and the lot, hence the weight.

I also have a tandem trailer that can regularly be 3t plus and still have no issue towing it at the speed limit with egts within safe range.



Shane
 

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G'day River Rat

I have a 2011 CRD Auto and tow 2.5 tonne Coromal - that's the AGM but I would say that its closer to 2.8 t fully loaded. My car has struggled to tow this weight up hills. In saying that I have had some issues with a busted turbo & fuel rail that both needed to be replaced (thank you Nissan - free of charge).
On flat roads it would sit on 100 km/h no worries but get near an incline and it was not good. My knowledge of what was happening is not great so apologies for the explanation I'm about to give. When I would get near a hill I would start to accelerate the car would drop back a gear and then away she would go. It would fly for about 30-40 seconds and then it would go into limp mode. That was regardless of whether I had my foot flat to the floor or trying to ease it up.
I had a 3" Roo Systems exhaust and Roo Systems chip, both gave plenty of extra power but I was unable to utilise it when towing because of the limp mode issue.
Tuesday week ago I had the chip removed and the ECU remapped (by Roo Systems) plus I added an ARE intercooler and this seems to have fixed the issue. Very early days but on my 1st trip with the van on the car performed extremely good. Like I said its early days, I would like to do a few more runs with the van on before being convinced but I'm happy with whats been happening since the update.
Cheers Lee
 

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I have an 18' Expanda and had great time pulling it round Oz a few years back. Yes hills will slow you down, we were down to about 30kmh a couple of times, but 70/80 is more common. 100 on the flat is no problem. A manual lock up switch will not solve the auto problem in extreme conditions. Coming down from Dorrigo the road was so steep the weight would just run away with us without heavy braking. We crawled down locked in first and stopped halfway down where the brake pads proceeded to catch fire! Half an hour later after they had cooled down we continued without issue. So go ahead and buy the Expanda, you'll be fine unless you need to race every other road user.
 
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@ Lee - your issue could be the car overboosting and going into limp mode - I would have taken it back to Roo systems and had it retuned (either the VNT stop screw adjusted, or a needle/dawse valve installed and set.)

@ River rat - if the van you intend to tow is within the allowable weight limits (sounds like it is), then there should be no issue towing with the CRD and auto box. Saying that it wont be fast - but you learn to compensate and drive to the conditions - id suggest you will definitely be dropping back to 60kph on larger/longer hills. Up to you to decide if this is acceptable or not.
It would be a worthwhile investment to get a oil temp gauge for the Auto box - and some people swear by eliminating the radiator from the gearbox oil cooling circuit and installing a larger auto cooler (although I think some of the ZD30 models already have a larger gearbox oil cooler.). Have a search on this topic.

Suggest a testdrive towing a van is the next step.
 

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We tow a camping trailer and have heaps of weight in the car and Ive found the car does it reasonably well. I can imagine with 2.5 - 3 it may struggle a bit with hills but then Im realistic and dont expect, in any car, to fly up hills with 3t on the back. I got a big reality check recently when I went camping with a couple of mates. We took my mates trailer and towed it with his new ford ranger (the 3.2lt with 500nm) and I did the driving. It struggled up hills and there were many occasions I had to give it a boot full to keep it going. It was quite eye opening, I think constant negativity about the "gutless" 3.0 and the constant hype around these new powerful diesels had given me some very unrealistic expectations. Drive sensibly, dont expect it to go like a race car and you'll have no dramas at all.
 

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@ jezza944- I'm not sure that you can say that a car can tow 2.5 t if it only reaches 30 km/hr up hill? I'm not interested in breaking land speed records other wise I would not have purchased a Patrol, but I would have thought that if they are can tow 2.5 t then 80 km/hr up your average hill is not too much to expect. Maybe my expectations are not realistic. I have seen the DMax and Ranger on the road towing big vans and for that matter talked to a number of owners and they don't seem to have issues towing full stop, with much bigger vans. However at the end of the day they are not a PATROL so more fool them.

@Jim621 - yeh I do know that it is an over boosting issue but that's about the extent of my knowledge - my plan with the roo chip was to return it get a refund and go to Caboolture Exhaust and get 1 of their chips, but Roo Systems said that they would remap for free and if it still did not work then I could get my $$$$ back. Not sure I want to get a dawes valve installed yet, not sure why I feel that way I just do.
 

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I have a 1.5t van and towing it with the CRD auto is pure agony, even though it will do it. I have towed a car trailer with racing car on it to Winton and back from Melb, that wasn't much fun either, probably 2.5t all up.

When towing I run 32" ATs, which are a little bit bigger than the standards, and don't help.

Don't look at your EGT gauge when crawling up hills either :)
 

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@ jezza944- I'm not sure that you can say that a car can tow 2.5 t if it only reaches 30 km/hr up hill? I'm not interested in breaking land speed records other wise I would not have purchased a Patrol, but I would have thought that if they are can tow 2.5 t then 80 km/hr up your average hill is not too much to expect. Maybe my expectations are not realistic. I have seen the DMax and Ranger on the road towing big vans and for that matter talked to a number of owners and they don't seem to have issues towing full stop, with much bigger vans. However at the end of the day they are not a PATROL so more fool them.

@Jim621 - yeh I do know that it is an over boosting issue but that's about the extent of my knowledge - my plan with the roo chip was to return it get a refund and go to Caboolture Exhaust and get 1 of their chips, but Roo Systems said that they would remap for free and if it still did not work then I could get my $$$$ back. Not sure I want to get a dawes valve installed yet, not sure why I feel that way I just do.
I agree. If it can only get to 30k/h up a hill then there's a problem. I know when we go to moreton island for a month over christmas each year we are understandably packed to the hilt and up hills tbe car can struggle a bit, but it still does a decent speed up hills without too much drama.
 

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Actually just a question regarding towing, we have two ways we can pack, we can either load the car right up and keep the trailer lighter or vice versa. Which will perform better, keep extra weight in the car, or keep the car lighter and tow more?
 

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In terms of pulling power it wont matter if the car is light and van extra heavy or visa versa.
But id load both evenly so both car and van sit horizontal with appox 100kg weight on the towball - you and a mate should be able to just lift the front of the van.
 

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I agree. If it can only get to 30k/h up a hill then there's a problem. I know when we go to moreton island for a month over christmas each year we are understandably packed to the hilt and up hills tbe car can struggle a bit, but it still does a decent speed up hills without too much drama.
I did say a couple of times in a 20,000km round oz trip. Maybe it cost me an extra 20 minutes in a 3 month trip. I didn't see it as a big deal. Patrol and van weighed 5.5 tonnes all up so even a V8TD cruiser wouldn't have been doing 100kmh. The two spots were climbing up to Dorrigo in the Blue Mountains and climbing out of Cairns from memory, both very steep roads as anyone who has driven them will tell you. On the flat 100kmh was no problem, with 120kmh possible for overtaking the 90kmh grey nomads.
 

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I did a heap of towing with a 2 tonne boat with my di auto. It does it easy.
If the brakes are setup correctly. You should not feel the trailer under braking.
 

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I did a heap of towing with a 2 tonne boat with my di auto. It does it easy.
If the brakes are setup correctly. You should not feel the trailer under braking.
That's been my experience aswell, good set of electric brakes on the van and a Redarc adjustable brake controller set up and the van slows you down. The car brakes aren't used too heavily at all.
 

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That's been my experience aswell, good set of electric brakes on the van and a Redarc adjustable brake controller set up and the van slows you down. The car brakes aren't used too heavily at all.
I agree. My electric brakes werent connected up properly from when I originally had them installed. I drove the trailer around to Nissan who connected it all up properly and driving home Id forgotton just how much difference good electric brakes make. As you say, my car's brakes werent used too heavily at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for your imput guys. I have ordered 17ft Expanda Outback, but won't have it till next April.
 
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