20' Series Advice for upgrade from 16.49-1 to 20.63-1OB

Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#21
The tare weight stated on the web is more than likely wrong along with the one on the van compliance plate, tare is really academic (a fairy tale figure) the best thing is put your basic stuff in the van ie; one full gas bottle, cutlery, bedding etc the very basic camping stuff then go and weigh it, this will give you a realistic figure to work from in regards to what else you can put in, will show if you can carry a tank of water and how much food, you just have to work out the priority of stuff..............The main thing is just ignore the tare and work on the loaded weight to be where it's okay for your tug, .....It doesn't sound like you have much lee way though.
The most important figure you need to know is the GCM of your tug (Gross Combination Mass), which is the total weight of the van plus tug you cannot go over that figure and the tow capacity of your tug is reduced as your tug gets heavier so a lot of factors come into play if you want to stay in the legal area.

It can be a can of worms and is discussed in detail elsewhere......this link may help explain it all... http://www.withoutahitch.com.au/caravan/ask-expert-navigate-tow-vehicle-limits/#
 
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Brougham

Active Member
May 22, 2016
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Perth, WA
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#23
don't look at the jayco website, look at the actual plate on your van. that will tell you what your actual van is rated to.

tare - weight of caravan, unloaded (no water, no gas, as it leaves the factory floor)
atm - caravan + max payload = the most it is allowed to weight fully loaded when connected to the car, as it allows for the ball weight.
GTM - max loaded weight when standing alone on it's own wheels (not on car).

normally jayco give about 450-500kg of payload. so take out 2 water tanks (160kg) 2x gas bottles (20kg) - and other odds from empty, and you're looking at 250kg or so of payload.

that's not so bad. clothing is light, probably max of 20-30kg for a whole family. food would normally be another 20-30kg.
drinks are heavy, they'll add a fair bit, allow 50kg or so.

then other items fitted AFTER factory (eg solar, dual battery, etc) as these are not included in the tare unless fitted in factory.
 
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roteleks

New Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Brisbane
#24
don't look at the jayco website, look at the actual plate on your van. that will tell you what your actual van is rated to.

tare - weight of caravan, unloaded (no water, no gas, as it leaves the factory floor)
atm - caravan + max payload = the most it is allowed to weight fully loaded when connected to the car, as it allows for the ball weight.
GTM - max loaded weight when standing alone on it's own wheels (not on car).

normally jayco give about 450-500kg of payload. so take out 2 water tanks (160kg) 2x gas bottles (20kg) - and other odds from empty, and you're looking at 250kg or so of payload.

that's not so bad. clothing is light, probably max of 20-30kg for a whole family. food would normally be another 20-30kg.
drinks are heavy, they'll add a fair bit, allow 50kg or so.

then other items fitted AFTER factory (eg solar, dual battery, etc) as these are not included in the tare unless fitted in factory.
Thanks Broughman. sounds like it will be OK... i'm sure there are plenty of Prado owners who tow Expanda OBs fine. I'm still learning so the more I google the more I question things. Getting info here on this forum is starting to put my mind at ease a bit as you obviously know your stuff. thanks again.
 

roteleks

New Member
Feb 2, 2018
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Brisbane
#26
yeah we tow ours fine. ours is the non-ensuite model, but we've added a bit of extras so probably similar weight.
the prado tows it fine, it's just the legal side of things you need to be careful of.
Oh great. Yes mine is the ensuite version but i've got no plans to add extra stuff so hopefully I can keep the weight on the conservative side. I didnt realise there were 'random weight checks' conducted by the police. Do they position themselves near truck weigh stations and pull over vans along the highways? Sorry for all the questions. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
 
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Brougham

Active Member
May 22, 2016
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Perth, WA
www.customphoto.com.au
#27
Oh great. Yes mine is the ensuite version but i've got no plans to add extra stuff so hopefully I can keep the weight on the conservative side. I didnt realise there were 'random weight checks' conducted by the police. Do they position themselves near truck weigh stations and pull over vans along the highways? Sorry for all the questions. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
Nah it’s not the police. Transport inspectors can check weights. It’s more if you have an accident and they work out you’re overloaded then they can refuse to payout.
 
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Drover

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Nov 7, 2013
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Cooloola Coast, QLD
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#28
Depending on your location @roteleks but here's some handy links for you to go over and scramble your grey cells a bit more..

http://www.withoutahitch.com.au/caravan/weigh-caravan-camper/ for info on weighing the stuff and this one for where to find them http://www.publicweighbridge.com.au

You can find some bridges that are free or low cost but if you want to be pedantic about it and do it properly then it can amount to a lot of $$$$$, as an ex Truckie I am familiar with loads and scales, and concentrate on the important figures of trailer ATM and vehicle GCM , too many folk have this fixation on Tare weight, the folks that could write you a ticket for a few Grand do not have any interest in Tare, with the lack of a weigh bridge within a decent distance of me I rely on my past knowledge to load and keep it all down, I certainly know when it's not but thats me, I would advise to find a nearby bridge, basic load and go for a weigh in, then you will have a base line that pertains to your rig, not all are the same.
You could start with just your tug one day with just the normal stuff and bums on seats, full fuel of course, then you have a base line mass for your tug and later when you run over the bridge with your van loaded to basic you only have to put the whole rig on and then just the van axles, you can then work out the Kgs and come up with a base line and not have to do a un- hitch re-hitch, buggering around especially as a lot of bridges have trucks moving over in quick time, a simple drive on, move again makes life a bit more stress free.
If you locate a bridge nearby, stop by one day and have a yack with the fella and he might surprise you with some ideas to make it easy peasy.....like time to visit and how to do the thing................

The chance of getting pulled over by Transport Inspectors is slim, unless you really look like an accident waiting to happen, it's Transport that does the weighing and checks not Police they aren't set up for that sort of thing............The Insurance checking your weight in an accident is a fairy tale, it could happen as stated in the PDS but in the real world I doubt it, the logistics and onus on how to prove weight would be horrendous, namely why they rarely hit up trucks unless they have conclusive proof.............unless you have a Prado with a 3t van behind and a boat on top of the tug then you could attract attention........

Hope I didn't confuse you with all this.
 
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bigcol

Well-Known Member
Nov 22, 2012
6,813
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Swan Valley Perth
#30
just as a side thought to @Drovers post @roteleks
when you plan what you are taking, I always have 2 things for people to think about and continually say (when given the opportunity)

1) put a small dot (sticky thingy from newsagents) on everything that goes into the Van, as you use it, take the dot off
after 2 trips, anything with a dot still on it is turfed from the Van - its not needed

or

2) everything that gets carried has atleast 2 jobs to perform
weber does baking as well as frying
stand for weber is also the "ladder" for fitting sides and annex, as well as an extra seat


I also keep saying

cute square pots and pans - waste of time

we carry 1 pot
2 frying pans - 1 electric one not
plates saucers cups etc for the amount of people we are (3) someone turns up and wants a cuppa - bring your own mug / cup

it has taken years, but SWMBO is now down to only 2 change of clothes per day (down from 10)
 

1DayIll

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Apr 26, 2016
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South Morang, Victoria
#31
Hi all, I've just joined this forum as I've just got my first ever caravan, The 2017 Expanda Pop top 17.56-2 OB. The tare weight is stated as 2145kg on the Jayco site. I've just picked up a Prado 2017 GXL too but its the model before the 3T upgrade to towing.. so its still at 2.5T. I'm just wondering if anyone has any advice on the weights of loading a van up... I know... 'how long's a piece of string?'... it will vary depending on what you take... but has anyone worked out a 'rule of thumb' approach based on basic bedding, kitchenware etc? I'll be careful not to fill all water tanks... (perhaps 1 or 2?). As I said I'm a total newbie so any advice (in addition to what I've learnt on this forum already) would be grateful. You seem like a nice bunch :)
Welcome and I am sure there are others who will be able to give you much more specific advice than I can. There is great advice to be had hear and everyone is very helpful with advice!
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,682
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Mentone, VIC
#35
Hey fellow Panda lovers.

Brief Background: I am a single mum of 3 boys, and we have done many road trips and holidays in our little Panda over the past 5-6 years. I am a confident driver, on and off road. And mechanically very practical, but not so much knowledgeable. My growing boys mostly prefer to sleep outside in their swags now, unless staying only the one night. And my eldest is about to get his drivers license too!

Ive just sold my little 16.49-1 Panda, and looking at a 2013 20.63-1, so thats about an extra 1000kgs Tare. I have a 2004 V6 Prado with lift kit and extra beefing (not sure what tho, lol) which towed the old van like a dream, had to remember it was following, lol, and barely noticed any extra fuel consumption either. I am going to 'update' the old girl (prado) soon too, but really didnt want to 'upgrade', as I love the Prados! But I realise that towing the 20.63-1ob (2247kg Tare) will be right on its max!:oops:

Just wondering if anyone else has done a similar upgrade, and how the extra weight (and length) affected the driving ease and fuel consumption?

Any advice is much appreciated:)
Hi @Caledapho. We did your upgrade from a 16.49.1 to a 20.63.1. We absolutely love the van. The 2013 had the slide out lounge as an option so some will have it and some wont. The slideout became standard in the 2014 model which coincided with the change over from load sharing suspension to the higher and very heavy JTec suspension. Our 20.63.1 is a 2014 and we opted to delete the slide out as a personal choice so effectively ours is a 2013 style model with JTec suspension. Your tare of 2247kg would be pretty close, with the 250kg weigh reduction by not having the JTec suspension and slide out.

The big Panda is certainly a lumping jump up from the 16.49, but with your confidence, experience, a capable car, decent brake controller and well adjusted brakes you'll be fine. Youll feel it up the hills regardless what you drive. I pull ours with a V6 Navara, the Navara has a higher power to weight ratio than a twin turbo Landcruiser and I still feel it. Fuel wise will very much depend on what you tow with; fully loaded in both van and car we average 17L/100km

With the vans 2247kg plus the Jayco 475kg allowed payload the van will well and truly be above the Prados capacity

Extra length is significant and youll need to be more mindfull of that when cornering, and with roundabouts etc. Not only is the rear of the van further away, but significantly so are the axles and therefor pivot point. Youll also need to be very careful of the extra height over a poptop, the 20.63 will be somewhere around 10ft high overall. Some vans might have the optional washing machine in the bathroom. Im 6ft and I can sleep comfortably in the bunk as far as length goes ... (but only if Ive been naughty). We have only 2 bunks. Like every van with triple bunk setups they are incredibly claustrophobic; fine for little kids but a torturous contortion for adults and adult size kids. If I could get into a 20.63 triple bunk bed (and only if), I certainly wouldnt be able to get out again.

Any other specific questions, just jump in. There a few 20.63 and the similar 20.64 owners on here with many nights on board, and plenty of tow km's of use under there belts

The 20.63.1 is to us the perfect combination of size and layout for us; we only have one 12yo muncher at home now
 
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Caledapho

New Member
Dec 27, 2012
17
16
3
#36
Hi @Caledapho. We did your upgrade from a 16.49.1 to a 20.63.1. We absolutely love the van. The 2013 had the slide out lounge as an option so some will have it and some wont. The slideout became standard in the 2014 model which coincided with the change over from load sharing suspension to the higher and very heavy JTec suspension. Our 20.63.1 is a 2014 and we opted to delete the slide out as a personal choice so effectively ours is a 2013 style model with JTec suspension. Your tare of 2247kg would be pretty close, with the 250kg weigh reduction by not having the JTec suspension and slide out.

The big Panda is certainly a lumping jump up from the 16.49, but with your confidence, experience, a capable car, decent brake controller and well adjusted brakes you'll be fine. Youll feel it up the hills regardless what you drive. I pull ours with a V6 Navara, the Navara has a higher power to weight ratio than a twin turbo Landcruiser and I still feel it. Fuel wise will very much depend on what you tow with; fully loaded in both van and car we average 17L/100km

With the vans 2247kg plus the Jayco 475kg allowed payload the van will well and truly be above the Prados capacity

Extra length is significant and youll need to be more mindfull of that when cornering, and with roundabouts etc. Not only is the rear of the van further away, but significantly so are the axles and therefor pivot point. Youll also need to be very careful of the extra height over a poptop, the 20.63 will be somewhere around 10ft high overall. Some vans might have the optional washing machine in the bathroom. Im 6ft and I can sleep comfortably in the bunk as far as length goes ... (but only if Ive been naughty). We have only 2 bunks. Like every van with triple bunk setups they are incredibly claustrophobic; fine for little kids but a torturous contortion for adults and adult size kids. If I could get into a 20.63 triple bunk bed (and only if), I certainly would be able to get out again.

Any other specific questions, just jump in. There a few 20.63 and the similar 20.64 owners on here with many nights on board, and plenty of tow km's of use under there belts

The 20.63.1 is to us the perfect combination of size and layout for us; we only have one 12yo muncher at home now
Wow, thanks for all that Crusty181!! Lots of food for thought in there.

So Im begining to feel that my only option is deciding between which compromise... stay with my love of Prados, and reduce my caravan requirements Vs saying goodbye to Prados, and get my dream van!?! But once you add the Toyota-tax to the equation, Im thinking the van compromise is not really worth the sacrifice.

The 20.63-1 Im looking at has the slide out club lounge and a double bunk. I dont thing my boys could cope with the triple bunk size either, especially as the 17yr old is now 6'3", and the younger two not that far behind :p

It hadnt really sunk in just how much extra weight you could fill a much bigger van with... oops! With the extra roof space storage, extra water, etc...the payload will probably double from my little 16.49:oops: Not that Id fill it up for the sake of it, but for legalities.

Just wondering how an insurance claim would work? In an accident, do they purely rely on what is written on the plate (ei: "possible" max weight), or is there a burden of proof that the van was overloaded? Say, if I towed the van empty at 2300kgs, but the GTM of the van was listed at 2700kgs, on the Prado at with its 2500kg max... would that be legal? Obviously some vans have their load scattered across the landscape in an accident, so I suppose it would be pretty hard to prove any payload weight!?

So now to decide on what new tow vehicle to get??:ambivalence:

But I have to say, I was fairly impressed with your 17L/100km towing on the Navara! We used to have a Navara a number of years ago, but I found the seats and the ride very uncomfortable, and I always had a backache after traveling distance in it. (half the reason I fell in love with the comfy Prados) Have they improved? What year is yours?

Thanks again!
 

Crusty181

Well-Known Member
Feb 7, 2010
4,682
10,383
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Mentone, VIC
#37
Wow, thanks for all that Crusty181!! Lots of food for thought in there.

So Im begining to feel that my only option is deciding between which compromise... stay with my love of Prados, and reduce my caravan requirements Vs saying goodbye to Prados, and get my dream van!?! But once you add the Toyota-tax to the equation, Im thinking the van compromise is not really worth the sacrifice.

The 20.63-1 Im looking at has the slide out club lounge and a double bunk. I dont thing my boys could cope with the triple bunk size either, especially as the 17yr old is now 6'3", and the younger two not that far behind :p

It hadnt really sunk in just how much extra weight you could fill a much bigger van with... oops! With the extra roof space storage, extra water, etc...the payload will probably double from my little 16.49:oops: Not that Id fill it up for the sake of it, but for legalities.

Just wondering how an insurance claim would work? In an accident, do they purely rely on what is written on the plate (ei: "possible" max weight), or is there a burden of proof that the van was overloaded? Say, if I towed the van empty at 2300kgs, but the GTM of the van was listed at 2700kgs, on the Prado at with its 2500kg max... would that be legal? Obviously some vans have their load scattered across the landscape in an accident, so I suppose it would be pretty hard to prove any payload weight!?

So now to decide on what new tow vehicle to get??:ambivalence:

But I have to say, I was fairly impressed with your 17L/100km towing on the Navara! We used to have a Navara a number of years ago, but I found the seats and the ride very uncomfortable, and I always had a backache after traveling distance in it. (half the reason I fell in love with the comfy Prados) Have they improved? What year is yours?

Thanks again!
There isnt a significant increase in the payload across the entire Jayco range. Jayco have a set payload for single axle (300kg), single axle with bathroom (375kg), and dual axle(400kg) dual with bathroom(475kg) The extra 75kg in each is related directly to the second water tank all bathroom models come with. If the van your looking at 2nd hand I can absolutely guarantee that the tare weight will be significantly higher than the plate weight. A full HWS, pipes, gas bottles and a few other personal bits and bobs fitted such as storm covers can easily add 100kg to the tare, and off your payload before you start loading your own stuff in. On paper youll have 100kg extra payload, but in real world application it will be less.

Legally your car can tow anything the weighs under 2.5ton, regardless of what the compliance plate states. You may get conflicting advice with this, but these are the actual facts. The plate can read 5ton, so long as it physically weigh is less than 2.5ton your good. Your van or trailers compliance plate is about the van or trailer and not about the car, nor the cars capacity. The cars compliance (or in this case manufacturers limits) relates purely to actual weight and not whats printed on a trailer plate. If that was the case, we all be free to tow 5 actual ton vans so long as the plate states its 3ton.

This of course is a theoretical legal position, actually consciously setting yourself up to apply it and push it too its limits is madness. As for insurance, insurance companies mostly employ contract accessors, and they access for reasonable loss, circumstances of the loss, and fraud etc. Generally the only time a totally destroyed van would be weighed would not be by the insurance company, but for a Coronial Inquest arising out of a significant incident; and if its a Coronial Inquest, you'd likely be the subject so the results would be irrelevant.

The logistics, continuity and experts required to assess for overloading in the absence of something very obvious would outweigh the costs of the insurance claim. Its possible that a Mazda 3 towing a van with a plated 3ton tare might cause the driver some issues, but I suspect they'd probably deserve it. Not only are the insurance companies required to prove overloading, they need to also prove cause and effect. The only place such a examination could be done would be in a capitol city as well. Again testing this would be madness.

We have a 2014 3ltr TD V6 D40 and we loaded our van upto its 3ton capacity and the car has a plated GVM upgrade to 3.4ton ... and the car was also loaded up as to capacity as well. The V6 Navara has 10% higher power to weight than the twin turbo Cruisier, so it can hold its own. Its more comfortable than the GU Patrol I had previously, but the comfort it has in the front its stolen from the rear seats Im told. Im 6ft and the Princess is 5ft and it suits us both. I really cant fault it, but Nissan of course dont make the D40 any more; pretty sure I bought the last one

Youll love the 20.63. The club lounge and full bathroom make it very comfortable and the kids feel like they have there own room once the divider i closed. We knew the van was huge when our son cracked the $hits and after about an hour we wondered what had happened to him. We found him on his bed but I had to physically get up an go looking for him. If you loose someone in the van, its a big van
 

Caledapho

New Member
Dec 27, 2012
17
16
3
#38
There isnt a significant increase in the payload across the entire Jayco range. Jayco have a set payload for single axle (300kg), single axle with bathroom (375kg), and dual axle(400kg) dual with bathroom(475kg) The extra 75kg in each is related directly to the second water tank all bathroom models come with. If the van your looking at 2nd hand I can absolutely guarantee that the tare weight will be significantly higher than the plate weight. A full HWS, pipes, gas bottles and a few other personal bits and bobs fitted such as storm covers can easily add 100kg to the tare, and off your payload before you start loading your own stuff in. On paper youll have 100kg extra payload, but in real world application it will be less.

Legally your car can tow anything the weighs under 2.5ton, regardless of what the compliance plate states. You may get conflicting advice with this, but these are the actual facts. The plate can read 5ton, so long as it physically weigh is less than 2.5ton your good. Your van or trailers compliance plate is about the van or trailer and not about the car, nor the cars capacity. The cars compliance (or in this case manufacturers limits) relates purely to actual weight and not whats printed on a trailer plate. If that was the case, we all be free to tow 5 actual ton vans so long as the plate states its 3ton.

This of course is a theoretical legal position, actually consciously setting yourself up to apply it and push it too its limits is madness. As for insurance, insurance companies mostly employ contract accessors, and they access for reasonable loss, circumstances of the loss, and fraud etc. Generally the only time a totally destroyed van would be weighed would not be by the insurance company, but for a Coronial Inquest arising out of a significant incident; and if its a Coronial Inquest, you'd likely be the subject so the results would be irrelevant.

The logistics, continuity and experts required to assess for overloading in the absence of something very obvious would outweigh the costs of the insurance claim. Its possible that a Mazda 3 towing a van with a plated 3ton tare might cause the driver some issues, but I suspect they'd probably deserve it. Not only are the insurance companies required to prove overloading, they need to also prove cause and effect. The only place such a examination could be done would be in a capitol city as well. Again testing this would be madness.

We have a 2014 3ltr TD V6 D40 and we loaded our van upto its 3ton capacity and the car has a plated GVM upgrade to 3.4ton ... and the car was also loaded up as to capacity as well. The V6 Navara has 10% higher power to weight than the twin turbo Cruisier, so it can hold its own. Its more comfortable than the GU Patrol I had previously, but the comfort it has in the front its stolen from the rear seats Im told. Im 6ft and the Princess is 5ft and it suits us both. I really cant fault it, but Nissan of course dont make the D40 any more; pretty sure I bought the last one

Youll love the 20.63. The club lounge and full bathroom make it very comfortable and the kids feel like they have there own room once the divider i closed. We knew the van was huge when our son cracked the $hits and after about an hour we wondered what had happened to him. We found him on his bed but I had to physically get up an go looking for him. If you loose someone in the van, its a big van
Thanks heaps Crusty181:chuncky:

I would like to go pick up the van asap, as I don't want someone else to snap it up, being the last model of that lovely layout. But I was worried that towing it home the 280Kms with my Prado would be illegal, even tho it would be (almost) empty and definitely under the 2500kg tow capacity. So your thorough info was very reassuring!

After Ive got her safely tucked away, then I'll start looking for a more appropriate tug. Thanks again:courage:
 

Caledapho

New Member
Dec 27, 2012
17
16
3
#40
Hi @Caledapho. Throw another option into the mix.... no setup. We love it (but you'd have to find one second hand as the model is discontinued - but there are similar layouts you might consider putting single beds into).
Four single beds.
Cheers.
Nice lot of inclusions there twscoot! And I do like the fixed back end, for an option of mounting a motorbike rack.
However, the lounge dinette is a little on the small side for my family. Do you know if they came with a club lounge option?
 
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