Al­ways tow the line

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Ask Smithy -

I am­con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a Toy­ota Prado GXL or a Mit­subishi Pa­jero. The Prado has a 2500kg tow­ing ca­pac­ity while Pa­jero has 3000kg. The car­a­van I am­con­sid­er­ing has a 2100kg tare and is 2500kg when loaded. The car­a­van dealer said the car­a­van has a 160kg tow ball weight. Can the ac­tual tow ball weight be cal­cu­lated from tow­ing ca­pac­ity?

Greg Allen, email No. Man­u­fac­tur­ers de­ter­mine the ve­hi­cle’s tow­ing ca­pac­ity, tak­ing into con­sid­er­a­tion things such as the ve­hi­cle’s de­sign, rear axle load, tyres and the ef­fect the trailer will have on the ve­hi­cle’s at­ti­tude and sta­bil­ity. You can mea­sure the tow ball weight us­ing bath­room scales, or putting the laden trailer across a weigh­bridge and get­ting the weight borne by the axle or axles. The tow ball weight will be the to­tal weight mi­nus the axle load. It’s gen­er­ally about 10 per cent of the to­tal weight of the loaded trailer. COURT­ING TROU­BLE We have just had the turbo diesel engine in our 80-se­ries Toy­ota LandCruiser fully re­con­di­tioned from the ra­di­a­tor to the clutch at the cost of $14,500. When we got it back we found the speedo and air­con­di­tioner weren’t work­ing and the rear main seal was leak­ing. Ev­ery­thing was sup­posed to com­pleted the work you have paid for him to do, so that’s where you should start. If that doesn’t re­sult in a res­o­lu­tion, you have to re­sort to le­gal ac­tion. I sug­gest you take him to the small claims court in your state.

Car­a­van car­rier: Toy­ota Prado has a 2500kg tow­ing

ca­pac­ity

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