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Post Info TOPIC: Truck or ute.


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Truck or ute.


We hopefully will be buying our first caravan soon and have a mazda bt50 ute and also a truck.Wondering what peoples thoughts would be on using a truck to tow our caravan around on a full time basis or should we just use the ute.Appreciate all comments.



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Ian Hodges


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You have both. Outfit them both with the necessary towing gear and decide yourself. For me, it's about where I can go with or without the van (whether beach, mountain track or shops), then comfort, then space and finally running costs.

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hodgie55 wrote:

We hopefully will be buying our first caravan soon and have a mazda bt50 ute and also a truck.Wondering what peoples thoughts would be on using a truck to tow our caravan around on a full time basis or should we just use the ute.Appreciate all comments.


 Provided you buy a van with an ATM of no more than about 3100kg,the ute is a better bet,I believe.Despite an alleged towing capacity of 3500kg, those smaller utes should not be used to tow more than about 3100kg. The BT50 has a GVM of 3200kg,so if you load to capacity,you obviously can tow a van with GTM (weight on wheels) of 2800kg.Assuming the generally accepted 10% towball weight (300kg+/-) you would have a van with GTM of 2800kg behind a car with weight on wheels of 3200kg.....perfect,with the car being around 14% heavier than the van.A lot will depend on what you plan to do,where you want to go,and how much equipment you need to carry,but the ute would be my suggestion.Cheers.



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What sort of "truck"?
www.google.com.au/search%253A%252C4sM_xyc-IgbZPM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kSW1NC2oZG4Bt8gg8QcAq6Tv7jeMQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj9ncnHl5bmAhXE6nMBHedGClEQ9QEwAHoECAkQBg#imgrc=OlTxVI9RiXTMJM:
Cheers,
Peter

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Peter_n_Margaret wrote:

What sort of "truck"?


 Truck-003.jpg



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Our truck is an Isuzu frr600 with gvm of 11000 kg but thought of sizing that down to a smaller Isuzu about 4500 kg gvm.Do many people use trucks to tow a caravan around Australia.Looking at having a caravan a bit over 3000 kg so looking for any ideas between a ute and using a truck from anyone who has done this please.



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Ian Hodges


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Iveco Daily or similar are very popular now.

If I was buying again I would go the Iveco. Maybe even a good look at a Ford F250.

I always wanted a Ram when I grow up but have heard to much negative stuff.

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If your final choice is using a truck and not use your BT50 then apart from all the pros and cons with size, manoeverability, comfort, etc, then you may want to consider the problem that a heavily sprung truck suspension can cause extensive damage to a caravan while towing on most road surfaces that you may experience on Aus roads.

Here is a link to one suggested solution but if you google air glide towbars you may find a few more options to use.

www.airglidetowbars.com.au/

Good luck with your choice.



-- Edited by Iva Biggen on Monday 2nd of December 2019 10:06:35 PM

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Ivan



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I drive a truck, but avoid towing because it is much too restrictive in terms of where we can go.
Get a 4WD truck and turn t into a motorhome and you will have the choice to visit more country that any caravan can and spend time in those places that towers can only dream about.
Cheers,
Peter

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This forum isnt an exclusive 4WD forum. Owning a 2WD truck tells me you might not do any off road driving. That leaves you with more choices but if you do want that the bt50 is proven and Yobarr has covered that well. Horses for courses but Im a rarity here in that 4 wheel driving... does not appeal. Surely you can find a Caravan less than 2500kg atm that the bt50 will pull without stress. I dont know why people go for top weighed vans as a goal. Tony

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keep in mind that once you go over 4.5 t gvm the capacity of a 50mm ball starts reducing , so a change of hitch to say a do35 would be advisable .
if i was setting up a vehicle for around the block it would be an iveco daily dual cab 3450 wheelbase with airbag rear suspension. the new ones have rear diff lock standard .

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The BT50 will be quite happy with a van of 3000kg ATM. I tow one around that weight with a Ranger without issue and all legal and the BT50 is just a Ranger with a different face.

With regards the question why people go for larger vans, its all a matter of what ones needs are. Some can do with a small van and do not live in them for any extended period of time.
Some are travelling permanently and need more space.
In our case, my wife is a paraplegic and we need a van that caters for the wheelchair which adds room and weight.
What suits one may not suit others, and thank God we are all different or the world would be a boring place.

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Greg O'Brien



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Agree with last post from Greg, we have the BT50 and tow a van, fully loaded 3000kg, all legal and it tows well in all conditions. We can get as low as 16lt/100km or as high as 19lt/100km so fuel is good and consistent.
I think a small truck is a bit of overkill really, unless ofcourse your van is heavier, or maybe a fifth wheeler
have fun
Ian

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We also have a BT50 towing a large van. I think you really have to have a realistic think about how and what you are to use the van for. It would not be fun touring about a large town/city in a truck, or parking at a super market. Conversely, its not much fun worrying about being over weight, and having to restrict yourselves of "Boy toys, etc.", accumulated weight can add up. Are you thinking about short holidays, or full time on the road, all of these things make a difference to the decision.

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Hi Ian smile

My two cents worth ! We had a motor home on an Isuzu 250. It was good in the back but we just got sick of the ride in the front sitting over the wheels. It was modified by the usual 'expert' suspension place but really it was hell on dirt roads, in our opinion. furious Also us being a bit older it was difficult to get in and out of the front. Carried steps etc but after a while it had to go !! 

So we bought a Mercedes Sprinter and made a MH out of that. The ride was sooooooooooooooo much better, not sitting over the wheels, and getting in and out was easy also. That is our story. Perhaps we are just softies but it is important to us. But we have taken the 'new' MH on a lot of marginal roads that we would not have survived in the truck.hmm

The down side is we need to be more carefull with how much we take and a lot less comfort when just camping. no

Jaahn     



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There is no question that some ride better than others. Ours is one of the best built and uses very long conventional leaves.
Using parabolic springs makes a very big difference to many.
Cheers,
Peter

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Thanks Iva,this is the sort of information I was after and the company is in Toowoomba so just up the road from us.Greatly appreciate.



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Ian Hodges
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I need to point out that the above comment re a Ranger and a BT50 being the same. They are not the same. Read the literature. They have a number drive line and suspension differences.

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Done a lot of crawling around in my last bt50 s and I can tell you there aren't to many bits that aren't stamped FOMOCO including transmission diff drive shaft and suspension components .

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bgt


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All I know is what I read in reviews. I've read a number of times how the latest Bt50 varies from the Ranger.

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hodgie55 wrote:

Thanks Iva,this is the sort of information I was after and the company is in Toowoomba so just up the road from us.Greatly appreciate.


Cheers hodgie55,

A friend of mine bought a new van and towed it with his work truck, travelling and working doing building tasks.

He was constantly repairing and refitting parts of the interior including the fridge microwave and internal cupboard doors etc.

Then he fitted a tow bar above and had very little trouble after that. 



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Ivan



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I second Jaahn's comment about having the seats over the wheels, you do feel every bump in that configuration,
Also you're usually very close to the windscreen and dash panels as well,
Far less room to move your legs and feet around the pedals too

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Thanks everybody for the comments as I greatly appreciate.

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Ian Hodges


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And one final point - channelling my inner hipster reveals that you will look desperately uncool towing a van with a truck. :)



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Gazza



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Could be worse, a tractor towing a caravan!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=b78AmeYdI2M



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50L fuel custom roof rack holder, custom 6x20watt solar panel, Victron 100/20 mppt, 4x26ah battery, 28L super insulated fridge, TPMS, 3 compressors custom heatsink fan cooled 4L air tank, 2x1kg ABE.



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All the major components barring front and rear body panels are the same between the BT50 and the Ranger. Ford have done some tweaking over time to the engine management to improve response and change things like spring and shock rates to improve ride and handling which Mazda didn't follow suit for whatever reason, but pretty much most major mechanical parts are interchangeable.

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Greg O'Brien



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Hi Hodgie You say about a truck or a Ute ,I was driving back to WA from over east and there was a couple pulling there caravan with a tractor they were having a ball so go with what makes you happy Snipz

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Truck . I find fuel with load and weight is actually better . But theres so many variables . With Pete on suspension . I changed rear leaf springs which had 4 leafs the same length . Took one out and halved the other . Ride was much better . Utes, light trucks tend to be too soft . In my case its a GM ,Workhorse chassis . Generally truck you soften suspension. The lighter utes ? They need improving, upgrading . A lot depends on licence .

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