Author Topic: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?  (Read 2134 times)

Offline Sabeeja1

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Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« on: October 06, 2016, 09:31:29 PM »
I am after Tvan owners opinions. I'm considering purchasing a Tvan where it must be capable of serious off road work. I'm concerned about the height when towing. At 2m high the van would have significant wind resistance compared to a standard camper trailer at 1.5 m high. Does anyone have feedback on the affect of towing on fuel economy or ease of towing in strong headwinds vs other camper trailers as it is higher and wider than a vehicle from 1.5m and higher. My other major concern is how the van would perform on tight serious offroad tracks with trees close to the sides of the vehicle and camper trailer. Is the Tvan more prone to body damage? Does the Tvan restrict you from travelling on tracks where the vehicle can only just fit and there are bends in the track where the trailer may lean over due to rough terrain and at the same time cut corners and not fit between trees given its height? Has anyone experienced this issue vs a conventional camper trailer at 1.5 m high?
2004 TVan behind a 2013 200 series Landcruiser VDJ200 GXL chipped full kit off-road tourer
Weight is evil 👹 & You can't have too much power 💥

Offline Wildmax

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2016, 10:28:09 PM »
Based on my experience, I reckon the TVan is about the best option available for the sort of travel you describe. We towed ours with a Hilux with a 50mm lift and a canopy on the back, and the van and vehicle height were around the same, so certainly no wind resistance/economy issues to worry about.
Also, the trailer body width and track width was the same as the Hilux, so if you can get down a track with your vehicle, the TVan will happily follow - and ours certainly did just that on some very dodgy tracks.
Take the leap, you won't regret it.
Cheers
Wildmax
MY2018 dual cab Hilux SR auto with all the ARB gear
Previously: TVan Canning MkIII
now: AOR Eclipse III + Black Wolf 210 tent

Offline Phil G

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2016, 10:53:40 PM »
Sabeeja1,  We also have a 200series and use the Tvan mostly offroad.

Q1:  "I'm concerned about the height when towing"
 Its not as high as your 200series.  So not an issue. and I doubt will affect your fuel consumption.  Towing the Tvan on the highway at 100kph in S5 I get around 15-16L/100k;  towing on corrugated bush tracks (eg Anne Beadell Hwy) I get closer to 18 l/100k.  Strong headwinds at 100kph - worst I got was 18.5 l/100k.  My second set of tyres - BFG KM2 add an extra 1-2 L/100k to those figures.

Q2: "My other major concern is how the van would perform on tight serious offroad tracks"
Yeah, the Tvan drawbar is reasonably long, so if winding in and out of trees if off the track it will cut corners, you need to keep an eye on your mirrors, but you can get through pretty tight situations.  Tvans used to come with a short drawbar option which tracked the vehicle more closely on tight turns.  But they are all long drawbar now.  Body damage hasn't been an issue for me - when you brush overhanging trees they ride up nicely over the edge of the roof.  Some people fit 4wd awnings on the side that might get damaged - I fitted one but it is recessed inboard about 300mm.

Big differences I see between a good fold up camper and a Tvan is that you don't have wet canvas over the bed, you have huge storage inside the Tvan,  and the Tvan suspension is still the gold standard.

Cheers
Phil
« Last Edit: October 07, 2016, 01:50:03 PM by Phil G »
Phil
2003 Tvan behind a 2012 200series Landcruiser

Offline Slick

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2016, 08:11:46 AM »
Sabeeja1,

Prior to owning a Tvan I followed a MkIV down some pretty tight tracks, including the Hay River Track (very tight in places). Since owning mine I have towed it along parts of the Starke-Wakooka track and the entire Maytown Track (along the Folders Hotel section too) which was very, very tight in places and required quite precise wheel placement to avoid serious damage to car or camper. IMHO, length has not been an issue.

Regarding height, I cannot say that has ever caused me any significant problems, I do have a few scuff marks from encounters with trees when navigating some pretty steep side slopes but have never found it an issue when towing as the roofline sits below my roof rack.

Regards,

Vince.




Vince & Sandy
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Offline Rob M

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2016, 09:59:53 PM »
We towed our Tvan series 2 through lots of tight tracks and it stood up to the roughest tracks. The suspension is the best.
Short draw bar helped with tight corners.
Last year we towed the Canning Stock Route and it performed really well. No damage just a few scratch marks from vegetation.
Cheers.
Rob
Previously 2009 Tvan Canning and now Topaz Series2 towed by Landcruier 200 series

Offline boobook

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2016, 09:23:15 AM »
I had a 2008 200 and the Tvan. Like Phil mentioned, it is similar in height to the 200, though a little squarer. I got 16 - 18 towing on highways compared to 12.5 ish not towing. I suspect the later 200's get slightly better fuel economy. My new one is definitely better ( though is still fairly stock). I don't think there would be much difference between a traditional camper and the Tvan for the same weight.
Off road  I have had no issues in places like the high country. On tracks like the ABH, Hay River etc in the closed in sections, both car and Tvan will suffer from pinstriping. On the ABH I put street wrap on the Tvan ( like thick glad wrap) and it worked well.

As an aside, NEVER use that roll on goop stuff. It stuck to my car paint and ripped it off. The importer ( who imports all of this stuff  in bulk Australia and bottles it under different brands) walked away, fortunately the online retailer came to the party. It happened to his car too. The damage was $8000. I found out that it was never intended to be used on car paint. It is to protect glass and bare metal for transporting.



Tony,
Landcruiser 200
MK 111 Canning Tvan
VKS 1523
VK3TON

Offline Patrol Dude

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Re: Is the height of Tvan an issue when towing and offroad?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2016, 02:14:29 PM »

Hey mate, I suspect your questions have been answered. Like anything you tow, due care and attention is the key, I suspect a lot of us have taken our Tvans down some real dodgy tracks and probably had to modify tracks, build ramps and cut overhanging trees to stop our Tvans getting damaged, I know I have. Yes they can follow you where ever you chose to venture, the suspension is the best you can get. But getting any camper home in the same condition is really dependent on you. Cheers


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