Towing difference between 16ft Expanda and Full 21ft Van

Jul 26, 2015
30
58
18
Adelaide
#1
We are currently thinking about upgrading from our 2015 Expanda (16.49-1) to a full van as the kids are getting too big to want to share a bed and it would make all our lives better if they were in bunks :)

We are looking at 21ft van with an ATM of 2900kg and a ball weight of 160kg.

We currently tow with a Prado and are thinking of getting the towing upgrade done to increase its capacity form 2,500kg to 3,100kg.

I'm interested in any thoughts on what the towing experience will be like, as the biggest thing I have towed to date is the Expanda!

Experiences, thoughts, views, etc all appreciated.

Cheers

Mark
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
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QLD
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#2
The ball weight might be that when empty but certainly wont when loaded.................. You will notice a bit more drag and you will feel the winds more but as for the Prado's capability even with the upgrade I can't pass comment but check what happens to your ball weight limit with increased payload before you put down any money it may stymie your ambition........if that van was loaded I would guess your ball weight to be 250/280kg maybe and quite possibly more.
 
Jul 26, 2015
30
58
18
Adelaide
#3
Thanks @Drover

I'm heading out to have a look at the potential new van this morning so will ask about ball weight when loaded.

Sadly it feels like the GVM upgrade won't quite get the Prado to what's needed or would still be on the margin.

Looks like I need to spend some time reading peoples views on different tow vehicles luckily there is forum dedicated to that :)

Cheers Mark
 
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Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
1,233
1,075
113
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#4
The ball weight might be that when empty but certainly wont when loaded.................. You will notice a bit more drag and you will feel the winds more but as for the Prado's capability even with the upgrade I can't pass comment but check what happens to your ball weight limit with increased payload before you put down any money it may stymie your ambition........if that van was loaded I would guess your ball weight to be 250/280kg maybe and quite possibly more.
@Gogeelong , IMHO a Prado is not capable/suitable for towing a 21 foot van with that sort of ATM. Two choices...purchase the 21 foot van AND a stronger tug OR find a lighter van of suitable size?? and keep your Prado. How's your wallet??
 
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Jul 26, 2015
30
58
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Adelaide
#5
@Boots in Action Keep Prado and current van looking more likely . . . original thought of lowish cost upgrade slipping away as we find nicer vans and accept that a stronger tug is required. Wallet not that big given current economic uncertainty. Tattslotto ticket might be next strategy;)
 
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Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
1,233
1,075
113
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#6
@Boots in Action Keep Prado and current van looking more likely . . . original thought of lowish cost upgrade slipping away as we find nicer vans and accept that a stronger tug is required. Wallet not that big given current economic uncertainty. Tattslotto ticket might be next strategy;)
A sane and safe decision @Gogeelong.. for the time being anyway. Guess the kids will have to put up with it for a while anyway. Sorry, can't help you with a Tattslotto fund. Stay safe in SA and you never know what the future holds!!
 

Drover

Well-Known Member
Nov 7, 2013
9,765
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113
QLD
www.expandasdownunder.com
#7
The best rule of thumb is max tow capacity minus 500kg gives you the ATM of the van that will suit your tug, keep it near legal and not flog the crap out of your vehicle................. with most vehicles once you start loading your tug the amount you can drag behind drops and on some the amount sitting on the ball drops as well..................read up about GVM, GCM, ATM, GTM and ball weight, a subject that has been done a hundred times on here....
 

dosmos

New Member
Nov 15, 2012
29
6
3
SE Melb, Victoria
#8
Keep the existing van, but put the kids in an Oztent RV4 or RV5. We had the same van and bought the tent to give the older kids room etc... Much cheaper option and the tent we still use. Tent fits in the van when all is packed up etc... Tent can be fixed to the awning if your site is wide enough. If you wait until Macpac/BCF have a 20% off sale - should cost you less than $1K.
 
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Aug 16, 2016
68
77
18
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Secret Harbour WA
#9
My kids ended up in tents as well, they were happy and it prvided them an opportunity to play their own music and watch crap on their mobiles without disturbing us.
 
Jul 26, 2015
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58
18
Adelaide
#10
Given the ongoing uncertainty COVID is creating we have decided to just stick with our current set up for now. Thanks for all the views.

For those who went the tent option for their kids, what age did you feel comfortable with them being outside the safety of the van? Particularly when in a caravan park.
 
Aug 16, 2016
68
77
18
63
Secret Harbour WA
#11
My girls were tenting from around 12-years old, however I would also say they had mobiles to call us if needed in the night and it would depend on which park you are at - some have more 'visitors at night' than othe rparks. To me, I would suggest it is a case by case or park by park basis.