Car Advice

Reader question: can my Prado tow my trailer?

Another reader is caught out by bigger van than his tow car can handle…

Hi Robert
I have a Prado Kakadu 150 series, with a tow ball weight of 250kg.  I recently purchased a jayco caravan registered with a tare weight of 2227kg and GVM of 2700kg.  I have packed our gear in the van and weighed it at a public weigh bridge and they have it coming in at 2680kg unhooked from the vehicle.  The weighbridge ticket says 2.68 unhooked for van 2.42 unhooked for prado total 5.10  with it hooked up it was van 2.40 and prado 2.70 total 5.10 (hope this makes sense) which in turn gave it a tow ball weight of 280kg
We then were told we would need a bigger car, so are looking at the pajero sport exceed which has a tow ball weight of 310kg.  We are not sure whether this vehicle would be able to tow this van legally both for NSW legislation and also for insurance purposes.  Are you able to shed any light on whether this would work for us please. 
Another alternative suggested to us is to change the suspension on the prado but it has air suspension and not sure if this is possible to make changes to allow for a better ball weight
Would appreciate any comments you may have with your knowledge and expertise
Thank you
Here’s the key stats, easily found in our reviews or
  • Prado kerb weight: 2445kg.
  • Prado GVM: 2990kg
  • Prado max braked tow weight: 2500kg
  • Prado max towball mass: 250kg
  • Prado GCM: 5475kg.
Your trailer weighs 2680kg which is more than the Prado’s 2500kg, so you can’t tow it with the Prado. 
Upgrading the suspension on the 150 won’t change its placarded towing ability, so it’ll still be 250kg maximum towball mass.  All the upgrade will do is improve the ability of the Prado to handle the load.  The effort required to re-rate the Prado is not worth it and you are better off swapping towcars.
For a 2700kg trailer I’d be looking at a vehicle that can tow 3500kg; LC200, Discovery 4 and the like, because 2700kg is a heavy trailer and you need a heavy-duty towcar. That said, you mention the Pajero Sport which can tow 3100kg and has a 310kg towball mass, so would be within limits for the trailer. I’d look at a suspension replacement for it though, and an aftermarket fuel tank. Another option is the Isuzu MU-X (3000kg), or the Toyota Fortuner (3000kg).
You do seem to have avoided one problem though. Your Prado Kakadu 150 weighs 2420kg which is exactly its tare weight, so I assume the Prado is entirely unmodified.  A common problem is modifying the towcar to the point where it has no payload left over to accept a towball mass.

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7 years ago

No mention if the caravan had full water and gas tanks (up to 182 kg ) when weighed which also should be taken into account. Doesn’t take much to exceed the 475kg carrying load Jayco allocate for a tandem axle van. Friend has just upgraded to a Pajero from a Prado for this exact reason, currently on his maiden trip with that combination so can’t comment yet on how it went.

Robert Pepper
7 years ago
Reply to  mjh

Fair point mjh – had to assume the trailer was ready to go and packed as the reader said.

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper