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View Full Version : Best cost effective car or 4wd for pulling a float.



doorh_000
27-10-08, 11:50 AM
Hi

In your opinion, what is the most cost effective (petrol/servicing etc) car/4wd for pulling a float?

I will be looking to buy a USED vehicle in 2009 (finances permitting). Ideally, I would like a vehicle that can pull a basic float, 2 horses, and up to 4 people (in the vehicle, not the float, lol).

Don't want to pay over $16,000, but don't want anything as old as my 1999 Subaru Outback. I would be happy to buy a newer version of the Subaru outback, but I don't know if it would be able to pull that much weight??? (My hubby has tempoarily misplaced our manual). Currently I will only pull a basic float, 1 horse and three people. The car handles this fine in my local area.

With my price range, am I dreaming?

Cheers,
Doorh

cobboboonee
27-10-08, 02:10 PM
Land Rover Discovery are a cheaper 2nd hand 4WD. You usually see 2001 onward models for around that price. The 6cyl. are supposed to have good towing capacity but I don't know much about them re reliability, service and feaul economy. Pay to look at some reviews, speak with a few people.

gdh
27-10-08, 02:14 PM
BA Wagon on gas = fantastic!!

murramai
27-10-08, 02:35 PM
We can't legally tow two horses with our 6 cylinder Falcon and were keen on buying a Land Rover Discovery until our mechanic who specialises in 4 wheel drives advised against them and pointed out that dealers are few and far between. He recommended Landcruiser 80 series, more reliable and parts are easier to obtain. You also need to check your the maximum weight limit of your tow bar to make sure it is strong enough for two horses.

doorh_000
27-10-08, 02:51 PM
Sorry, gdh, having brain fart...what's "BA wagon"?

murramai
27-10-08, 04:05 PM
We can't legally tow two horses with our 6 cylinder Falcon and were keen on buying a Land Rover Discovery until our mechanic who specialises in 4 wheel drives advised against them and pointed out that dealers are few and far between. He recommended Landcruiser 80 series, more reliable and parts are easier to obtain. We haven't found one yet. Many run on diesel but we want to buy dual fuel as more economical to run. You also need to check the maximum weight limit of your tow bar to make sure it is strong enough for two horses.

another
27-10-08, 04:06 PM
I've got a 1994 Ford Maverick (which is a GQ Nissan Patrol with Ford badge) 4.2L 6 cylinder Diesel with an aftermarket turbo.
It's just gone over 300 000 km and will easily do another 100 000.
I get 900+km out of 100L diesel and rarely have anything done to the car other than oil changes etc.
A diesel will last much much longer than a petrol engine!
Tows superbly (and legally) too!

I know it's a whole lot older than you want, but could be worthwhile considering.
The diesels can be hard to find and even harder with a turbo (makes it a whole lot more pleasant / faster going up hills) but I have just had a friend who bought one which was imported from Japan, same age but with about 50 000 km on the odo for I think around the $10 000 mark.
Not sure where you'd look for the imported cars but shouldn't be too hard to track down!

I often have family and friends scoff at me driving such a big car every day and suggest it would be better for everyone to replace it with something smaller. However, when I start comparing fuel economy with them, I quite often get much better mileage!

cobboboonee
27-10-08, 04:18 PM
I agree Murramai about the parts. I actually have a Terracan (Hyundai) and can't fault it re economy and reliability. Apparently the Discoveries (later models) are supposed to be quite reliable with a similar towing capacity to the cruisers. I was thinking more about the price range as they are generally cheaper second hand than the cruisers and you seem to see a fair few towing at horse events.

Nicko
27-10-08, 04:55 PM
Ford BA Falcon wagon. I got mine with 55000km on it for $13000, then I had to add the heavy duty towbar and electric brakes which cost another $1000. I got a Hayman Reece heavy duty bar fitted. The wagon is rated to 2300kg, and it has leaf springs under the back so it is really good for towing.

Parts are very cheap, as for fuel economy, I do 500km a week in bumper to bumper traffic and it averages 11.3L/100k. On the highway it gets about 8.9L/100k. With the float on and 1 horse in it, it gets up to about 17L/100k

Oedin
27-10-08, 05:51 PM
I drive a 97 Patrol Diesel, not sure but could be a GQ.. I love to tow with it, it's big and it's solid :) I get around 1,100km of mostly city driving out of 130lt of diesel a bit less if I'm towing but it doesn't make a huge difference.

Yup mines big and solid too but I love it and they are affordable to run.

MMC
27-10-08, 05:52 PM
>Ford BA Falcon wagon. I got mine with 55000km on it for
>$13000, then I had to add the heavy duty towbar and electric
>brakes which cost another $1000. I got a Hayman Reece heavy
>duty bar fitted. The wagon is rated to 2300kg, and it has
>leaf springs under the back so it is really good for towing.
>
>Parts are very cheap, as for fuel economy, I do 500km a week
>in bumper to bumper traffic and it averages 11.3L/100k. On
>the highway it gets about 8.9L/100k. With the float on and 1
>horse in it, it gets up to about 17L/100k
>
>
I have a BA Falcon and tow a 3 horse Roswal with one big (17hh) horse. I am always aware that I am pushing it as far as maximum weights. And it chews through the fuel. A drive from Toowoomba to Brisbane used over 1/4 of a tank. Like the original poster I am trying to talk my husband into a better towing vehicle. Dam non-horsey husbands.

mick
27-10-08, 07:58 PM
I,m with the Falcon wagon , big, strong, reliable, tons of cheap parts all over Australia, easy to work on, tuff motor and drive train, goes great on gas. It,s a no brainer for me.

JJ01
27-10-08, 08:13 PM
I towed with a Ford sedan for years, and hated it. Not heavy enough, not stable enough for 2 horses or wet/tricky/windy conditions.

For the last 2 years I have had a Nissan Patrol Ti (leather + sunroof + dual air conditioning front and rear - luxury!!!) 1998 petrol/gas and I feel so much safer it is ridiculous. And it is great around the property, up steep dirt & gravelly hills with a big float on the back and I love my Marjory (her name).

In speaking with one of the RAA guys last week, I would consider a Jeep Grand Cherokee if I was buying again as they have a 3.5tonne towing capacity, whereas mine is 2.5 tonne, and the Jeep is more fuel efficient. Not sure about the repair bills though (ie no idea if Jeeps are more expensive to repair than Nissans if something goes wrong). My Patrol has done over 50,000km in the last 2 years and not ever had anything wrong with her (unlike the Falcon which went through 2 heavy duty radiators + a transmission cooler in 3 years towing 1 horse + float once per month - bloody Fords x( )

Fuel economy - 365km on 90 litres gas (about 25 litres per 100km) so at 68c per litre costs $15 per 100km. Is about 20 litres per 100km on petrol @ $1.45 per litre = $29 per 100km on petrol. The only time I use petrol is up steep hills with float + (mostly 1 horse), rest of time gas towing is fine. My hubby has a 6cyl Holden Statesman 2005 that uses 10.1 litres per 100km and at $1.45 per litre it costs him $14.65 per 100km in comparison so I am very happy with Marjory.

JJ

Elli
27-10-08, 09:23 PM
I have had 2 Ford sedans (XE & EB, both duel fuel) for towing & they were both great. I also used to borrow a Ford ute - I think it was an XR6. The ute was on gas & it was fantastic, really powerful & stable, even though I'd thought it wouldn't be, because of the weight distribution of utes. Both sedans were also nicely powerful & stable. The thing I like about the Fords for towing is that they have more torque from low revs, so they build up the power well. I normally only towed 1 horse but very occasionally would take 2 15.3hh TBs a short distance (like 10min drive). My friend once commented that the EB went up the hill with 2 horses in the float better than her Landcruiser did. But I wouldn't recommend towing 2 with a car regularly. As far as fuel economy went, I haven't done the maths but none of them seemed to chew fuel or gas too badly. The XE & EB towed better on petrol but did ok with gas.

I currently tow with a TJ Magna, 1 horse only. It does a good job but I really prefer the Fords. We are considering getting a 4WD & my partner has done some research, he is leaning towards a Landcruiser or a Patrol, one reason being that they are so popular & therefore not too hard to get parts.

CM
27-10-08, 09:30 PM
I have a Landrover Defender. It is 12 yeasr old, regularly serviced, and worth so little it is not worth selling. I am keeping it for my kids to drive in 2 + years time. It also tows 2 big horses in a fairly big extended float - easily, if not fast up steep hills. It is sooooo steady, because of its long wheelbase, strong chassis and weight, but it doesn't really use much fuel (diesel, of course). It is totally uncool, has poor A/C, lousy sound system and is noisy, (including the squeaking brakes) but it is VERY reliable and seats eight people. An odd benefit is that despite its size, it is really easy to park in small spaces, because it has a good turning circle, and you can see the corners. I have driven MUCH fancier cars towing, and I like the Defender the best.

Cybergirl
28-10-08, 08:06 AM
Some of you actually tow horses with cars powered by gas? I didn't think there'd be enough power, so there you go (and what would I know anyway lol).

gasbuster
28-10-08, 09:23 AM
I have a Falcon wagon and a 2 horse extended float. I can legally tow with 2 horses (up to 2000kg- load rating of float, 2300kg load rating of car), but I don't feel comfortable with this setup- with 1 horse and all gear is fine, even going over Blue Mountains.

My husband has a Ford Territory, with the same load rating as the Falcon, but it feels great towing either one or two. They are about $25K from the auctions, 2 yrs old, petrol, either 2WD or 4WD options.

In normal everyday driving, the Terrotoryuses slightly more fuel than the falcon. Towing, slightly less. If you've got heavy feet, they can be thirsty.

foxni483
28-10-08, 11:05 AM
we have a ford fairmont

is from late 80s and tows two big lumps and a solid float easily and legally.
Passes its warrent of fitness every time as well (not sure if you have them in OZ).

We got it six years ago and before that had been used only by owners to tow their caravan (not very often)
I'm pretty sure it has done about 200 000 k

Is a petrol car, 4.2L and has lots of grunt.
Costs about $100 to drive about 500km (without float).

parts are cheap

reveleus
28-10-08, 01:01 PM
I've got a Nissan Navara ute. It's turbo diesel and just loves towing:-)

The discoveries are ok for towing but the parts for them are really expensive (if you can find them).