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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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!