Prado 150 GX and GXL owners can now tow a 3,000 kg off road caravan

kimberley off-road caravans blog header

Toyota land cruiser prado 150

Toyota Prado 150 owners have had the limitation of 2500 kgs towing capacity and 250 kgs ball weight. Now, one of Kimberley's Dealers near Newcastle who specialises in off road vehicles, has the engineering approvals to upgrade the towing capacity of the GX and GXL Models (ONLY) to 3000 kgs.

Kimberley Kruiser Off Road caravanThe drawbar weight is also increased from 250kgs to 300kgs.

The result is an Engineers Certificate and a re-labeled towbar with capacity limits on it.

The Kimberley Kruiser Black Caviar Model will match this requirement.(the image on the right is the T3 model with Satellite TV and tropical roof as standard)

This allows long term towing in comfort for selected Prado 150 owners who upgrade their vehicle.

  Prado 150 Straight from Dealer Prado 150* Gx and GXL Models ONLY Upgraded to
increased towing capacity
 Kerb Weight  2330 kgs   2330 kgs
 Add Fuel Allowance Weight  100 kgs   100 kgs
Add 2 Adults Weight  180 kgs   180 kgs
 Add Gear in Vehicle  100 kgs   100 kgs
 Add Ball Weight on Rear  200 kgs
(up to Max of 250 kgs)
 200 kgs
(up to Max of 300 kgs)
 Total  2910 kgs
(up to Max of 2990 kgs)
 2910 kgs
(up to Max of 2990 kgs)
Combined Vehicle and Caravan Gross Combined Weight  5370 Kgs  5870 Kgs (increase of 500Kgs)
Therefore Maximum Gross Trailer Mass of Caravan Allowed  2460 Kgs  2960 Kgs (increase of 500Kgs)
 Ideal Maximum for 1:1 Ratio of GVM Vehicle to Off road Caravan     2910 Kgs
 GTM of Kimberley Kruiser Black Caviar With Gear and Water on board.    2900 kgs

                                This is the Prado 150 Series GX and GXL Models ONLY since 2010.

best stability in towing a off road caravanHow can this be done now after many years production since the 150 Series release?

Some Forums have carried an unsubstantiated view that Toyota has wanted to "hold back" the specs on the Prado to force those towing bigger caravans to the 200 series. Whilst this is possible, it is more likely the 5 door Prado has a suspension "budget" in the build process. The current Prado suspension is designed for maximum comfort around town BUT it has a towing and ball weight limit. Changing the towing parameter also impacts the "around town" comfort design. Accomodating both of these changes would increase the cost of the standard suspension substantially as new. Whilst we don't know for sure, this would seem a logical reason for the current design limit.

Increasing the towing limit changes the detail of the suspension design required. It is far more complex than just increasing capacity. The changed design has to accomodate slip angles and the impact on steering. This involves Engineering Compliance to the ADR and issuing an Engineer's Certificate.

If you want to know more on this, have a read of this eBook on stability of towing, it has a chapter on slip angles, over and under steering and the impact of "after market" suspension changes. 

The outcome is that the increased towing capacity is possible for selected models but ONLY if done in accordance to approved engineering designs. Active 4x4 in Berresfield NSW have received approval to do this work in their premises. They are also a Kimberley Dealer and have sold several Kimberley Kruisers. With this change, owners of selected models of the 150 Series Prado's who want to keep their Prado (at least till the end of a big trip) have a one stop shop to upgrade their vehicle and hookup a Kimberley Kruiser Black Caviar.

Why can't this be done to the Kakadu and VX Models?

The Kakadu and VX variants are fitted with Toyota’s KDSS system. The engineering approved upgrades can not be done to this system.

suspension design for off road caravans What is the price of the upgrade?

The work is in the range of $2200 to $2800 incl GST. There is an additional cost of $450 for the Engineers Certificate. This includes re-labeling the tow bar as well. A firm quote can be done by contacting Active 4x4.

This work also increases the drawbar weight to 300 kgs from 250kgs.

If you have a love for suspension design, then have a read of our eBook on this subject:

You may note that in our calculations above we simply just did't look at the "weight" of the off road caravan and match this to the towing capacity? Why not?

It is the combined towing mass that is the critical value combined with our policy of keeping the vehicle and off road caravan matched in their weights. If the off road caravan is heavier than the vehicle, "the tail may wag the dog".

In calculating the combined mass and the ratios, the drawbar or ball weight is added to the vehicle's weight. The calculations are then done on this basis.

Remember that when the State's Road and Traffic authorities check weight, they weigh each of the axles (or the combined axle in a tandem off road caravan) to get the total weight on the road by axle group. This is the critical measurement for them. The sum of all these measurements is the combined vehicle mass and this is published by the manufacturer. 

If you increase the drawbar weight to the maximum, it will decrease the resultant off road caravan gross trailer weight that is allowable. You can use the table above to tweak the number as it would apply to you. Remember, the "as delivered kerb weight" has no fuel or water in the vehicle and has only 1 spare!

Matching Wheels and Tyres to the Prado is easy for the Kimberley Kruiser and allows you to carry 2 spares under the Kruiser that can be interchangeable with the vehicle. This then gives you a total of 3 spares plus the benefit of keeping the weight for that third spare in the caravan total!

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7 thoughts on “Prado 150 GX and GXL owners can now tow a 3,000 kg off road caravan

  1. Mark Ward

    Hi guys, I’m considering upgrading my Toyota Prado 150series to be able to tow a caravan up to 3000kgs. I’ve received multiple people telling me it was illegal . (1)Could you tell me who gives the engineering authority to do this?
    (2) does Toyota agree with this upgrade?
    (3) would it effect my insurance ?
    (4) does the RTA agree with this and do they need to notified?
    (5) have there ever been any legal issues arising from this procedure ?
    (6) what warranty do I get?
    I have difficulty understanding how the change would increase the Combined vehicle and Caravan gross combined weight by 500kgs ( I need to have this explained to me in layman terms) .
    Please don’t think I’m being negative about this procedure as this would help my situation dramatically, but I want to stay within the law and safety of my vehicle.
    Mark WARD

  2. Brian Baxter

    I have worked many years as a RTA examiner and blue slip inspector (trucks, cars and motor cycles), also spending a great deal of time with Toyota as a mechanic then operations manager.
    To answer your questions in order to the best of my knowledge.
    1: Specific engineers are aproved and policed by the RTA (in NSW at least)
    2: Toyota cant stop you from Modifying your vehicle in compliance with approved engineering permissions.
    3: As with ANY modifications you MUST seek approval and written agreement from your insurer.
    4: The process of gaining an an engineering certificate is done hand in glove with the RTA. It is an RTA function done by an outside contractor (like rego inspections) and the engineering modification must be endorsed on your rego papers. The certificate must be retained. If lost you will probably need a new inspection if you sell the vehicle. The RTA is notified as part of the process.
    5: Cant comment on whether or not there have been any legal issues.
    6: I cant comment on the warranty on the modifications other than to say that all mechanical work in NSW is covered by consumer law and has some protection. Regarding warranty on the vehicle, regardless of what you hear Toyota CANNOT cancel you warranty on the vehicle for this or similar work. Having said this they can refuse to attend to issues that they believe are directly related to the modification. e.g. If the chassis was to crack and they believe that this was caused by the stiffer suspension or greater stresses they can legally (and probably will) deny your claim. But if such crack could be shown to be the fault of the modification the installer of the modification would likely be responsible.

    Hope this helps,

  3. Greg

    Hi there, I would like to know if I can upgrade my Prado 150 GVM so I can tow to 3000kg rating? I live in WA, is it possible or other wise I need to sell he car so I can have a better towing capacity.
    Please help.
    Thanks Greg 0417946040

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