Towing with Cruiser TDV8 trayback

Submitted: Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 07:37
ThreadID: 125192 Views:4044 Replies:9 FollowUps:5
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I have recently placed an order for a 20ft BT. It is heavily based on a layout being picked up when we did the factory tour in October. The owners of this van recently advised that its all up weight was 3420kg.

I presently tow a smaller van that weighs about 2500kg. I tow with my TDV8 trayback and stick to 4th gear. It's OK but I am concerned about towing a van almost a tonne heavier.

There are several owners on this Forum who have Cruiser TDV8 traybacks or Troopies. Would some of them be kind enough to give me their impressions please?

My alternative (and some might think what's the issue?) is an LC200 TDV8. For what it's worth I like the trayback in the bush. The tray is really handy and it has a half size canopy on the back too. The LC200 is more a town car but I will use it to bring the BT home to WA then I will try the trayback.

Meanwhile, any impressions from traybacks with the TDV8 are welscome.

Stephen
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 08:00

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 08:00
Hey Stephen,

Have you enquired about putting a Turbo on the V8 and possibly adding a gas conversion. There are plenty of companies doing Turbo conversions and for the gas, go to www.dieselgas.com for all the info.

Cheers .........Rob
AnswerID: 576299

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 08:12

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 08:12
Rob,

TD (Turbo Diesel) V8. The trayback is already turboed. It has the same power and torque as the LC100 Cruiser. The LC200 has much more power and torque and would obviously be the better tow vehicle but I prefer the trayback in the bush.

cheers
Stephen
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Reply By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 09:42

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 09:42
Hi Gone Bush and congratulations on your choice. It does sound like a very heavy one. So long as it is legal for your Cruiser to tow that weight, and will do the job (surely it would be capable - you will find out on the way home), i would have a personal preference for a trayback too.

Motherhen
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Reply By: Brownie - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 18:30

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 18:30
I am towing a 19 foot with TD V8 tray & couldn't be happier.
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Reply By: Bow & Nan - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 18:30

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 18:30
Hi Stephen

We towed our 18ft BT with a non turbo Troopy and our 200 Series. The 200 Series is a better tow Vehicle on and off the road.

The advantage of the Troopy is that it is strong and much easier to repair in the bush. At Chilli Beach Qld we blew a rear diff and towed the Bushtracker back to Weiper on the front diff. You couldn't do that with a 200 series.

The disadvantage of the Troopy is you need to fit very heavy springs to the rear. The Troopy drove like a pig when empty. With the heavy springs more vibration is transmitted between the van and the car.

Greg & Gail
AnswerID: 576302

Follow Up By: Motherhen & Rooster - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 20:54

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 20:54
We have just fitted rear air bags to the rear of our F250 as these can be adjusted to suit towing and non towing,

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Reply By: Roundie - Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 19:34

Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008 at 19:34
Hi Stephen

I tow a 21' bushtracker with a 2006 Troopy turbo and don't have any problems. The vehicle has standard springs but I have Airbag Man airbags fitted. When towing the van I run 70psi in the bags and the vehicle sits dead level.

Regards
Russ
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Reply By: Tellem Bugrem - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 02:04

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 02:04
Sorry Stephen,

Must have been the red wine....of course the TD is turbo!!

So the option to add Gas will give you about 12% more power and torque, and better overall fuel consumption (including the gas.). Then there is the diesel turbo chip that will improve power even more.

I did see a table top & BT at Quilpie earlier this yeay, and he had fitted 1/2 leaf hangers under the springs, and reckoned it worked well..

Russ, 70psi in airbags seems a lot. My ARB airbags in the coils of a 100 series have a mximum recommended inflation of 30psi.

Cheers.............Rob
AnswerID: 576304

Reply By: Roundie - Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 06:34

Wednesday, Nov 12, 2008 at 06:34
Rob

Different air bags, these sit on leaf springs and can be inflated to 100psi. Made by Firestone.

Russ
AnswerID: 576305

Reply By: TroopyTracker - Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 23:19

Thursday, Nov 13, 2008 at 23:19
Stephen,

If I were buying a tow vehicle tommorrow I'd be torn between both your choice's. The trayback is much more practical with close to a tonne of payload available and the many options for outfits on the back. The 200 is luxury and power....

As far as towing goes, we towed with a troopy and I often wondered if the extra distance from tow point to pivot point (rear axle centre) made it less stable/sure footed. You should be able to answer this if you have towed your current van with both.

I doubt the extra weight will concern you once you hook it up and go. I went from a 750kg camper trailer to over 3 tonne of BT and it was no where near as big a difference as I had worried- (except on hills) Mine wasn't a TDV8 though.

If power was the only issue, I'd suggest, depending on how much $ you want to spend, lots more go could be extracted from the single turbo V8 without to much hassle.

A question for you....why the change to a bigger van and why BT???

Cheers

Matt
AnswerID: 576306

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 00:06

Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 00:06
Matt, thanks for the input. My current van is a 16'6'' model made by another off road van manufacturer based in Victoria. Reasons for moving to a bigger van are a bigger ensuite. The van we have ordered has an ensuite right across the back (it has a modified departure angle) with a separate toilet and big shower cubicle. The longer floor allows an island bed but still allows a lot of underbed storage via outside hatches. The east west bed in our current van is OK and hasn't been a problem but an island bed allows easier access for both people. My current van is let down by the use of Camec products, particularly the boot lid and some side hatches. They are just not dust proof and the bootlid allows water in (although I think I have solved that by using some rubber extrusion from Clark Rubber).

We went to the Sunshine Coast in October and booked a BT tour just out of curiosity. We had no intention of ordering but it is just constructed so well that we took the plunge. We were shown around by one of the senior people who took so much obvious pride in his work (as they all did) that it showed in the end result. I also must say that we found Steve to be a charming man. I was very aware of "perceptions" prior to our arrival and I was actually prepared to dislike him, but I cannot criticize a man's idiosincracies when I possess most of the same foibles myself. I would hate to think that people would dislike me because of their perceptions so that's how I approached the meeting.

But it was the van's construction that swayed us sufficiently strongly to sign up. Not a small decision either, when SIM get involved it will break the $120K barrier.

cheers
Stephen
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 21:17

Friday, Nov 14, 2008 at 21:17
Just a short follow up regarding prices, for any one reading this who is thinking of ordering. I mentioned that we saw a van being delivered during our factory tour that we liked. The owner said that the cost of his van had gone up $15K in the year since he placed his order. He was very glad that placing the order locked in his price on day one.

Talking to Tracey confirmed this and also that the current lousy value of the Aussie dollar and the economic woes we are all seeing virtually ensures higher costs in the next 12 months too.

That also helped our decision to order and lock away the price, scary as it was.

cheers

Stephen
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Reply By: Downunder - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 04:10

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 04:10
As a person contemplating an upgrade to a larger BT I am somewhat concerned to hear of BT prices possibly earmarked to go up yet again.

Not that long ago everything in OZ was going gangbusters and van prices had to go up we were told because of escalating raw material prices however I personally don't recall the then high $A affecting the price paid as it has been all one way and that was up.

What a difference a few months makes as we now have commodity prices in freefall which should lead to cheaper raw materials and hence a van cheaper to build, yeh?

If we are to believe what we are reading here there appears to be talk from Tracey of price rises because of the falling $A. How much of what goes into a BT is imported for this to be a factor? Am I missing something here?

Cheers,
Bill
AnswerID: 576307

Follow Up By: Gone Bush - Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 04:24

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2008 at 04:24
At the factory we were told that a significant percentage of the materials and fittings are imported. Most products ordered from overseas by Aussie companies have to be paid for in US dollars. It did not sound like a fabrication to allow increased prices.

Also, I think we have to remember that less than 12 months ago BHP and Rio Tinto were crowing that they got a 96% increase in the sale price of iron ore to the Chinese (96% !!). Now that iron ore is coming back to us as expensive steel.

I take some comfort in knowing that BT have 12 months worth of orders and there's sufficient margin in those orders to ensure they do not follow Boroma.

Stephen
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