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Generation 3 Pajero NM - NP Models 2000 - 2006

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Old 05-01-11
Rod-in-ACT Rod-in-ACT is offline
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Default Advice on towing a large caravan

Hi all,
I've been planning on buying a large caravan within the next couple of months, and I'd be grateful for some advice on what preparation for the car is needed before I hook up and set off.

The car is an NP 3.2DiD auto and has a 2,500kg tow hitch (looks to be a genuine Mitsubishi one), an anderson plug for charging caravan "house battery" and electric trailer braking system (previous owner had a camper-trailer), and a reversing camera for hooking up the van. The van will be a Jayco Heritage weighing approx 2,200kg if loaded to the max. The handbook states that load levelers are recommended and I'll get in touch with the local Jayco dealer for advice on these.

I've changed the transmission oil and noticed that there is a trans cooler in front of the radiator on the drivers side. Is this enough, or is a larger cooler needed for towing loads close to the cars maximum?

I've not had any overheating problems so I will keep my eye on the temp, but are the NP 3.2DiD known to have overheating issues on hot days when towing >2,000kg?

I was thinking of getting some airbags for the rear suspension, but with the need for load levelers, I'm now thinking about getting better shock absorbers instead. Does anyone else have any advice on this one?


Many thanks

Rod

PS There won't be much weight in the car when we have the caravan behind, 2 adults and one child, and I have experience with towing from a box trailer to driving 42,000kg semi-trailers for a living.
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Last edited by Rod-in-ACT; 05-01-11 at 07:55 AM. Reason: addi info
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Old 05-01-11
gaz1 gaz1 is offline
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Rod I suggest a 250kg Hayman Reese weight distribution hitch - that's what I use towing a 23-2400kg van with a ball weight of around 230kg.

Once you get it properly set up and adjusted you won't need airbags - the only reason for having them would be if you put a lot of weight in the back of the Pajero, then they could bring it back to normal level before hitching the van on.

I don't carry all that much weight in the back so I am still using stock standard suspension after 150,000km (about 40,000 towing). Will think about replacing the shocks sometime soon.

I've also put another external transmission oil cooler on mine, but that was done at a time when I was having engine overheat problems and trying out various possible solutions (eventually resolved by putting in a bigger capacity radiator). Before going the extra cooler route I'd suggest fitting a transmission temperature gauge - that way you'll be able to tell whether more cooling is needed.
Gaz
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Previously 02 NM auto V6 Exceed silver. Extra transmission cooler & transmission temp gauge, activated rear lights, Impco sequential LPG system, Redback (Wildcat) Headers, heavy duty radiator. Lovells shocks F & R, Polyair bags in rear.

My original Pajero experience - '90 NG Superwagon, 3.0 V6 manual bought new and kept until 1998. Great vehicle, no problems apart from the noisy valve lifters typical of that engine.
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  #3  
Old 05-01-11
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rosahan rosahan is offline
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Hi Rod,
As you will see below my signature we have a large van although our paj is a manual. With ball weight of 230 kg there has been no need for suspension mods although I made some temporary weight reduction mods by removing the back seats and the 3rd row seats. This made up for the carrying of a fridge and generator as well as excess food in the rear seat area. (I made some lightweight "floors" to create a level load space). We too have a HR WDH.
I found that by travelling at about 80 to 85 kph in 4th (approx 2400rpm) the economy was still good without making the engine labour or putting excess strain on the gearbox.
Another worthwhile tip from this forum was to replace the diff oils with synthetics.
I will be looking at upgrading the tow bar and suspension in order to have the car certified by an engineer to tow up to 3000kg. I have no doubt that the paj will handle the extra towed weight but it is just a matter of legalities, especially if we need to travel with water in the tanks which would add about 160kg
If I think of any other relevant points I will add them through another post. You will also do well to search for other earlier posts on the subject of towing.
good luck
Lindsay
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Home made rear shelf, provision for 2nd battery in dicky seat space, roof bars, nudge bar and Varta driving lights . Other Toys: 1971 MGB & Benson Clubman Kart, Boat out of use at the moment. 25 ft caravan bought Feb 2010. Lots of touring to come. More hobbies than time allows.
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Old 05-01-11
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rebelone607 rebelone607 is offline
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Hi Rod, exactly what gaz has said however don't discount the need for the poly airs. I done a thread somwhere in this forum back in May or June relating my problems on NT trip in May and wearing a set of rear tyres out in just 11,000 ks. Situation was I had NP with tinnie on top and fair bit of gear in back and towing small caravan with probably a bit to much weight on towball, I have heavy duty Tough Dog suspension 2" lift and had no poly airs and no weight distribution hitch. Vehicle was sitting a bit arse down by about 50mm which was only back to the pre lift height anyhow. Brother in law travelling with us has NM and bigger van with fair bit of junk on board and in back of car but no tinnie on top and he also has heavy duty suspension but had poly airs and w/d bars and he had no problems at all with tyres. There was also a thread on here somewhere about the same time from "Roblyn" who had experianced the same problem as me but if memory serves me correctly he did have w/d bars but no poly airs, so it would appear that having poly airs or more to the point the lack of may well be critical in this tyre wear problem on our irs Pajeros. I have just purchased a 19.6 van and have now fitted poly airs and have purchased w/d hitch and when I picked it up xmas eve, and we hitched it up at the dealers it did not sit the vehicle down one little bit and that was with 10 psi in the poly airs. Bottom line is you will probably need to wait until you get the van and see how it is all sitting. I had considered fitting the poly airs before our trip but decided that I would wait and see and then had to not only replace a set of tyres at about $275 each I then had to fit the poly airs at just over $400 - wish I had of fitted them in the first place. Good luck with the new van.
Merv
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Merv. 2011 Dmax LSU auto Auto. Canopy and tow pack, Al. bull bar and winch, cargo drawers, dual battery, canopy racks with support bars, tub liner, in dash nav system, t.p.m.s. Tough dog 45mm lift and upgrade, uhf, Long Ranger fuel tank, MAL Powerchip
Other toys:19' Jayco Starcraft o/b caravan, 4.75 mtr Quintrex Bay Hunter boat. 3.7 mtr tinny

I plan on living forever - so far so good
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Old 05-01-11
Farouk Farouk is offline
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Default Tyre wear?

Hi,
From the experience of towing large caravans for the last 20 years I find it hard to accept that polyairs would do anything towards stopping tyre wear, they really do nothing more that assist the carrying of loads in the back of vehicle and according to the experts should NEVER be used to level the caravan
I have just purchased a NM 3.2 Exceed from a friend who no longer is caravanning and it has done 119000kms, the first set of tyres (4 of them, spare has never been on road) lasted for 80000 kms and the Coopers he replaced them with have now done 39000 km and are showing that there is 5 mm tread left. He was towing a 20' Golf and esimated 50% of mileage was towing.
I also have another friend who has the same model Pajero who has similar conditions of tyre wear towing a 21'6 Jayco Heritage, which is what I will be towing (Jayco Heritage)
The real reason for excessive tyre wear with all respect to others is speed, coupled to incorrect tyre pressure and incorrectly balanced caravan and the van not setup properly with WDBars
Incidentally the height of the springs on both these vehicles is 11mm lower than when they were new.
Farouk
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Old 05-01-11
sprintman sprintman is offline
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Better get one of these too.

http://www.automatictransmission.com...p?NewsId=38412
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  #7  
Old 05-01-11
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rebelone607 rebelone607 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farouk View Post
Hi,
From the experience of towing large caravans for the last 20 years I find it hard to accept that polyairs would do anything towards stopping tyre wear, they really do nothing more that assist the carrying of loads in the back of vehicle and according to the experts should NEVER be used to level the caravan
I have just purchased a NM 3.2 Exceed from a friend who no longer is caravanning and it has done 119000kms, the first set of tyres (4 of them, spare has never been on road) lasted for 80000 kms and the Coopers he replaced them with have now done 39000 km and are showing that there is 5 mm tread left. He was towing a 20' Golf and esimated 50% of mileage was towing.
I also have another friend who has the same model Pajero who has similar conditions of tyre wear towing a 21'6 Jayco Heritage, which is what I will be towing (Jayco Heritage)
The real reason for excessive tyre wear with all respect to others is speed, coupled to incorrect tyre pressure and incorrectly balanced caravan and the van not setup properly with WDBars
Incidentally the height of the springs on both these vehicles is 11mm lower than when they were new.
Farouk
Hi Farouk, everything you say is no doubt correct but there are a number of us that are experiancing this problem. The tyre rep who I really got stuck into over the tyres( which were Eldorado ST sports which are made by Coopers and have exactly the same tread pattern but not the same depth as Coopers), reckons the problem was caused by the in and out movement of the tyres on the road, combined with very long runs on what were very hot road surfaces at that time. Our speeds were as best as possible maintained at around the 100km p/hr - and you need to do that when doing stretches like from Mount Isa to the Three ways, I don't ever intend to be one of those silly old farts that poke along in their vans at 70 or 80ks oblivious to how much they are slowing the traffic behind them , oh and I run my tyres at 40psi cold - always have. The tyres were worn evenly across the tread and not scrubbed like many others have experianced which leads me to believe what the tyre rep had said was correct, as you will have read in my previous post is that yes this time the bigger van I will be using the w/d bars to level the van but the line of thinking is that the poly airs will help control some of that in and out movement of the tyres.
You say the Coopers you have on have done 39,000ks and there is 5mm of tread left, if that is the case then those tyres IMO have worn fairly quickly given that the Coopers are supposed to have very deep tread ( my Eldorados start at about 12 or 13mm ) and I don't think you are going to get another 40,000ks out of that remaining 5mm, not towing anyway - maybe you are having the same problem I have described ummmm
Merv
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Merv. 2011 Dmax LSU auto Auto. Canopy and tow pack, Al. bull bar and winch, cargo drawers, dual battery, canopy racks with support bars, tub liner, in dash nav system, t.p.m.s. Tough dog 45mm lift and upgrade, uhf, Long Ranger fuel tank, MAL Powerchip
Other toys:19' Jayco Starcraft o/b caravan, 4.75 mtr Quintrex Bay Hunter boat. 3.7 mtr tinny

I plan on living forever - so far so good
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  #8  
Old 05-01-11
Farouk Farouk is offline
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Default Old Farts

Hi Rebolone

{[I]I don't ever intend to be one of those silly old farts that poke along in their vans at 70 or 80ks oblivious to how much they are slowing the traffic behind them }

Well!! it is not only the truckies that hate us old farts, it's also our own bretheren as well!! but then again I am not old, only in my 79th year and i drive at 85 to 90, I have always been of the opinion that there are too many old and not so old caravanners out there who would have no hope at all driving at 100-110 if an emergency bobbed up and some of the truckies should also have a little more tolerance of the oldies who accept their limitations and drive accordingly, one day they too will be caravanning and will then know that we do not drive at a steady speed to agravate them but to help and not become another statistic.
Just because we will not drive at 100kph is no reason to abuse as as they do and in case they are not aware of it there is no law in Australia that states we have to drive at the upper speed limit, a Police Sgt in the Traffic Division stated on radio 2 or 3 years ago here in SA that we are entitled to drive at a speed that we feel comfortable with, but with all due care.
Incidentally Merv I did not take umbridge at being classed as an old fart, I am too busy being grateful for the fact I am nearly 80 with very good health and most of my marbles!!and still able to go caravanning and tow and also back down a narrow driveway a large van.
Re the mileage of the tyres , you are quite right, I would expect 65000 would see them out but I will certainly not complain at that. The original tyres were Yokahama Geolander and it is very seldom that you will get the same mileage as the original tyres. Previous owner ran them at 36.
Regards
Colin

Last edited by Farouk; 05-01-11 at 01:03 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-01-11
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Gus Gus is offline
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Good onya Colin I hope I'm still as fit & able when I hit 80..

I've been towing for over 20 years now with a fair few trips up north.. yes the trukies get frustrated by caravaners in general it's due to the caravaners not showing curtsy by letting them pass, in all the time I've been towing I have never had a problem with holding up anyone for that matter yet I have been held up by others towing vans that are in convoy don't leave enough room in between themselves & wonder why the bloke behind gets frustrated..

By all means it's ok if you wish to tow at 85 ks but if you are holding up traffic pull over even have a coffee break if we all just show a little more curtsy & remember that we are on holidays while the bloke in the truck is in his office & working to a schedule.

I always make contact with a truck if it comes up behind me via UHF Channel 40 & let them know I'm aware they're there & will let them pass when able.

Make contact have a chat you'll be nicely surprised as they more than likely travel the same stretch of road weekly & know that round the next bend will be room to pass.

On towing aides my off Road van is just on 2 ton fully loaded so I've gone the upgraded shocks & H/Duty coils with poly air bags in the rear my last set of tyres, (5 rotated), cooper STs gave me 100,000klms so correctly set up rotating, checking pressures, (4 psi rule works well), & alignment is important for tyre wear. As I do tow off Road I went this way as WDS are not recommended for off Road towing.

In your case if you do intend to do a lot of towing I'd recommend you do upgrade to a medium duty progressive rated coils as well as the WDS with a van of that weight.

Gus.
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  #10  
Old 05-01-11
Farouk Farouk is offline
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Hi Gus,
You must have missed the point I made (quote) From the experience of towing large caravans for the last 20 years unquote
and before I retired I owned trucks, tippers and concrete trucks, and I am fully aware of being frustrated by stupid unthinking motorists but some of the interstate truckies are another story.
Let me give you an example;
I was travelling thru Central Qld travelling at 85 when a semi decided to pull out and go past, when his cab was level with mine he was suddenly confronted with the fact that there was a vehicle coming towards him and decided he wouldn't make it and as I could judge that he would make it if I backed off I took the foot off and braked to allow him to keep his pace up and come in front, well you should have heard the abuse over the UHF and as a former truckie and before that a shearer for many years I am quite at home with a bit of language but he was right over the top , obviously he reckoned I should have known that he was going to brake and come back in behind me, I took a course in mind reading after that!! what an inconsiderate w---ker,perhaps it was because he had no right to try and pass when he never had a clear view of the road in front of him.
My mate (he was also an ex truckie) had exactly the same experience as I at another time and he had the opportunity to front the guy down the track at a servo and this guy accepted he was out of order and apologised.
I have been told since then by a truckie when I called him up to tell him I would pull off when I could and his response was " she's right mate, you just keep going and I'll get around when it is safe"
Lets face it with the 500 odd hp trucks out there today they can slow down and pickup speed again faster than a caravanner can so what's their problem?
There main bitch which I have heard time and time again over the UHF when they do not know I am listening is "why don't the bas%$#@s drive at the speed limit!! why the hell should we if we do not feel inclined to, we are continually told by the authorities that "speed kills" correct me if I am wrong but to my way of thinking any caravanner who tows a van sometimes far in excess of the tare of the towing vehicle ie a Ford Falcon towing a 2300kg van legally, at speeds up to 110 kph is totally irresponsible and if something goes wrong he has little or no chance of correcting but that does not matter in the eyes of some semi drivers -- just keep out of our way!!!.
This little tirade by me is surely going to stir up a hornets nest and I accept that for every whinging cowboy truckie there is 100 responsible semi drivers who do not act in a irresponsible manner.
When they retire and buy a caravan all of a sudden they will find that driving at 100kph with a van on is (a ) dangerous (b) costly, fuel and tyre costs, the difference in fuel alone could be 25/30% more at 100 to 85kph.
Regards
Colin
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