Towing 19' BT with LC 100 Series Auto

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 00:54
ThreadID: 121888 Views:4581 Replies:4 FollowUps:2
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Hi good people,

The tow vehicle is a 100 Series LC Auto 4.5L Petrol/Gas with ARB suspension upgrade etc The plan is to tow on petrol and run on gas when not hooked up.

What is the collected wisdom on towing a heavyish 19' BT with this beast.

Tow only in "Drive" ?(Gearbox has 1, 2, Drive, Overdrive - plus a 'Power' Mode and a 'Second Start' mode - whatever that is?) or, is it acceptable to use the overdrive in flat country when cruising easy? I have had conflicting information.


John and Jean
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Reply By: Flipp'n Lorry - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 03:48

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 03:48
We tow using a Landcruiser 100 turbo diesel, so my comments may or may not apply equally to the petrol Landcruiser.

First question, I guess, is what speed you would expect to cruise at? When we were novice, we used to cruise at about 102-105kmh. Whilst the LC can handle that easily, there is a noticeable increae in fuel consumption compared to the 95kmh which we cruise at now - we have found the more leisurely pace makes for a less stressful trip, and greater enjoyment of the sights.

Now at 95kmh, the LC rolls along the flat easily in normal overdrive (ie normal auto mode). However, we downshift early using the o/drove off button whenever approaching moderate grades as the vehicle will generally lose momentum otherwise on the grade. I should have added that we do use the cruise control facility, and downshifting early is helpful as the cruise control is otherwise a bit slow to kick in its own downshift until it is too late and the speed has already dropped significantly. Also, at a cruising speed of 95kmh, there is a ton of torque immediately available (using the o/drive off) if you need to overtake (eg slow moving truck).

In the case of our vehicle, once you reduce the cruising speed below about 90-92kmh, the cruise control is changing gears so often, that I think you are starting to lose fuel economy depsite the reduction in average travel speed. But others are happy to potter along at 85kmh, so it is very much a matter of personal preference and confidence.

Now, a comment about the cruise control itself - this has been designed to switch off if the speed of the vehicle falls more than 15kmh below the preset. Example, if the cruise control is set at 90kmh, and you are pottering happily up a hill with cruise control on, it will totally cut out once the speed falls to 75kmh. Why Toyota have designed it this way I am not sure, but it is very unnerving the first time it happens to you! However, I have found that if you see the speedo dropping, use the accelerator pedal (even whilst the cruise control is still engaged) and the cruise control will remain engaeged at the preset level once speed is reached again.

Now the question about the 'Power' mode - basically, this makes the cruise control more sensitive to changing gears early (ie the cruise control will down shift earlier in power mode if the vehicle speed starts to drop). This is what you want to happen if you have forgotten to use the o/drive off button to force a dwonshift yourself. We always use the power mode when towing - overall momentum is maintained more consistently - but you will notice that the gearbox is shifting more often and presumably fuel consumption will be higher also.

Now the 'second' button - this is used when starting from rest in, say, severe mud or snow conditions, and forces the vehicle to start in second gear rather than first. The idea being that there is so much power going to the wheels in first gear, that you may initally wheel spin until the vehicle gains momentum whereas in second the engine is working hard, but there is less traction going toi the wheels.

Finally, having said all that, I can understand why some people may prefer to just set and forget the o/drive permanently off when towing - I suspect they pay a higher price in fuel consumption with the higher engine revs. I choose not to drive that way, because our car lumbers along happily in o/drive for most of the time. But again I think there is no right or wrong answer, it depends a lot on personal driving preferences.


AnswerID: 566120

Reply By: Itldoo - Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 07:53

Tuesday, Apr 05, 2005 at 07:53
Hi John and Jean,
Just a comment on towing with the L/Cruiser, the down weight on the towball is 350 kg with hitch receiver.Have you ckecked your weight loaded with Gas and Jerry cans full. Must be very close with gear stowed inside as well.Checked my 20ft and found I was slighty overweight and still wanted an outboard motor and fold up trailer as well so that makes over 400kg. Food for thought Had a Nissan Patrol and loved it but not willing to take chances so went with advice and purchased F250. Feel much more confident with extra weight and power. Lot less in the pocket thou but economy is improved as motor is not working as much and feel much safer
Phil and Helen
AnswerID: 566121

Follow Up By: 11-UPS - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 06:38

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 06:38
Hi Phil and Helen
Another new one on the block with LC/100 TD IFS 5/AUTO.Am searching for answer on LC v F250 .Ball WT LC / 350 v F250 / 227 (Book Specifications)
A 19FT on way in Sept and very thankful of information attained so far
from everyone .
Darrell and Jackie
FollowupID: 844460

Follow Up By: Noosa Fox - Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 06:47

Wednesday, Apr 06, 2005 at 06:47
The older F250 that I have is a 2002 model and when that came out it had specifications of 2270kg and 227kg ball weight WITHOUT a WDH.
With a WDH it was 3500kg and 350kg ball weight the same as the Landcruiser.

Last year Ford increased the F250 to 4500kg and 450kg ball weight so long as you retrofitted the vehicle with a heavier towbar that has the 4500/450 specifications.

Some of our members, have had their tow bars replaced to take advantage of these heavier towing limits. My van is under 3500kg so I haven't bothered.

Hope this helps.
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FollowupID: 844461

Reply By: Downunder - Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 05:01

Thursday, Apr 07, 2005 at 05:01
John and Jean,

I cannot offer any advice in relation to the 4.5 engine and your proposals to share the running on petrol and gas other than to say towing a 19 footer is likley to be expensive.

In relation to which gear to travel in my expereince has been as follows. Went around the block late last year with 02 L/C TD 5 speed auto towing 18 footer that was between 2.8 to 3 tonne. I found that no matter what the condition we could not get the vehicle to hold overdrive and the slightest undulation would make it drop back so I decided to keep it in 4th.

Consumption varied on what seemed similarly flat roads between 16.5L/100k and 19-20L/100k all in 4th gear. Used cruise control most of the time set at 90-95k.

From other postings here it seems some vehicles can hold overdrive so it may be a try it and see. I suspect the experts would frown upon towing in overdrive but then there are probaly exceptions as there usually is.

Hope this is of some assistance.

Regards, Bill
AnswerID: 566122

Reply By: Jaunty Jordans - Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:11

Saturday, Apr 09, 2005 at 12:11
Hi John and ean,
We tow 18' with diesel 100 series LC no problemo. Have had it stressed to us that if towing 'anything' should NOT be using fifth gear at all or ever. Too much stress. I don't think it matters much what you have when faced with large long upward climb but you are not trying to win any races so what does it matter?
As noted above the faster one goes the more money one needs to spend at the local gas stations along the way.
AnswerID: 566123

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