MY WHEELS

You can’t go wrong when you buy a Ja­panese tow­ing ve­hi­cle, say read­ers Ben and Nick. This is their sec­ond Mit­subishi and Toy­ota, re­spec­tively.

Go! Camp & Drive - - CONTENTS -

The big­ger the bet­ter

TOY­OTA HILUX 2.8 GD6 DC 4X4 AT

After about two months us­ing its pre­de­ces­sor to tow his Jur­gens El­e­gance, Ben Ras from Rusten­burg de­cided to up­grade to a brand-new Toy­ota Hilux.

There was very lit­tle wrong with my pre­vi­ous 2010 Hilux 3.0 D-4D, ex­cept that the El­e­gance felt a lit­tle too heavy for it on the tow bar, and the Toy­ota felt like it needed a lit­tle more power to tow a car­a­van of that size with ease.

For me, there’s no al­ter­na­tive to Toy­ota so I re­placed the D-4D with a 2016 Hilux 2.8 GD6, brand new for R550 00 two years ago – though, had my pock­ets been deep enough then, I would def­i­nitely have opted for a Land Cruiser. Oth­er­wise, the prob­lem was solved im­me­di­ately with my newer Hilux. The 450 Nm of torque makes tow­ing a breeze and over­tak­ing is sim­ply done by flex­ing your right foot. The au­to­matic trans­mis­sion is also very smooth.

I tow be­tween 90 km/h and 110 km/h and, de­pend­ing on the con­di­tions and ter­rain, the Hilux uses be­tween 13 and 17 litres ev­ery 100 km. With­out the El­e­gance hitched, the Toy­ota av­er­ages around 10 litres/100 km. So far, I’ve en­joyed ev­ery as­pect of the own­er­ship ex­pe­ri­ence, so can’t re­ally com­plain about any­thing with re­gard to the Toy­ota. Maybe they could of­fer a wider range of man­u­fac­turer-ap­proved ac­ces­sories though.

I think it all comes down to per­sonal pref­er­ence when choos­ing a mod­ern tow­ing ve­hi­cle, as so many of them are so far above av­er­age. Noth­ing is bad any­more. For me, if a ve­hi­cle is pow­er­ful and sta­ble, then that’s the two most im­por­tant boxes ticked al­ready.

I am par­tic­u­larly fond of vis­it­ing the Gar­den Route and, when you make a proper road trip of it and drive the length of the East­ern and Western Cape prov­inces, then you get plenty of glimpses of the ocean and lots of moun­tain passes to climb.

Twice bit­ten

MIT­SUBISHI PA­JERO 3.2 DI-D SWB

He’s towed with his fam­ily sedan, a BMW 545i but, for Nick Lubbe from Harten­bos, a Mit­subishi Pa­jero is all he’ll ever need for 4x4 ad­ven­tures and tow­ing ex­cur­sions. He loves them so much, he’s even had two.

I’ve owned a Pa­jero be­fore and you re­ally have to nit-pick to find any is­sues with one. I’ve owned this one for three years now and the pre­vi­ous one for seven years. I bought this 3.2 Di-D SWB sec­ond­hand for R350 000. The Pa­jero ticks plenty of boxes be­cause, for me, a tow­ing ve­hi­cle must not only be trust­wor­thy and pow­er­ful, but also easy on the eye. I looked at the BMW X3 and X5, but the Pa­jero won my heart once again.

Although the Pa­jero is a short-wheel­base model, it weighs in at more than 2 000 kg and has a fan­tas­tic engine and chas­sis, so it tows my 2013 Jur­gens Fleet­line with­out any prob­lems. The 441 Nm torque peak makes light work of the Jur­gens and, with 140 kW on tap, you can eas­ily main­tain 120 km/h.

You pay for all that grunt at the pumps though, be­cause the Pa­jero av­er­ages around 14,7 ℓ/100 km with the Fleet­line hitched. But that num­ber comes down to 9 ℓ/100 km with­out a car­a­van on the tow bar.

The Pa­jero’s sus­pen­sion is slightly harsh when driv­ing on dirt roads, but it does feel in­de­struc­tible. I can see why it’s won the Dakar Rally so many times.

We’ve camped all over South Africa, but our favourites in­clude Ma­bal­ingwe Na­ture Re­serve, Storms River Mouth Rest Camp, Buf­falo Bay Car­a­van Park, Ebb-andFlow, Jon­gens­fontein Car­a­van Park and Sil­w­er­strand Car­a­van Park. They all have beau­ti­ful scenery, de­cent ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties and five-star camp­sites.

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