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Why are so many $90K Landcruisers over weight when hooked up to a Caravan ?

July 16, 2020



Why are so many $90K Landcruisers over weight when hooked up to a Caravan ?

Updated: Jan 3

Toyota Landcruisers are probably the most popular choice for people who are going to be towing a big caravan.

So why are so many Toyota Land cruiser’s overweight when hooked up to a caravan?

At CHECK WEIGHT we have weighed more Toyota Landcruisers than any other vehicle.

(the vehicles in this blog post aren’t overweight – they are just examples…)

But apart from a few, most have been overweight unless they have had a GVM Upgrade, and those that weren’t overweight were right on their limits!

It seems silly though – why is a $90K Toyota Landcruiser GX Turbo not able to tow the advertised 3.5 tonne?

Well some maths and patience is required.

A Landcruiser GX Turbo-diesel has a Kerb Weight of 2635 kg and a GVM of 3350 kg

So that’s only a payload of 715 kg

Sahara Turbo-diesel has a kerb weight of 2705 but still the same GVM of 3350

So the payload is less – only 645 kg.

Kerb weight (in Australia) usually means the vehicles weight including radiator fluid, oil and fuel. (normal tank not extra)

So let’s do some quick calculations on a Landcruiser GX Turbo-diesel.

Landcruiser GX Turbo-diesel Weight kg

Driver 80

Passenger 70

Tow Bar 40

Light Bull bar 45

Food 35

Rear Drawers 70

Fridge 35

Beer 14

Recovery gear, tools, shovel, and other stuff 68

So that’s 457 kg of weight added already – and that doesn’t include items such as a 2nd battery, tools, chocks, fire pit, wood, shovels, kids, bikes an additional long range fuel tank, and other associated stuff we take in our caravan.

So that’s not too bad – we still have 258 kg left right ?


We haven’t added the tow ball weight to the vehicle – that’s the weight that’s imposed on the vehicle from the caravan.

Now people generally buy Landcruisers to tow big caravans.

And big caravans are heavy.

So let’s use the example of a Caravan with an ATM of 3200 kg – fully loaded to 3150

The tow ball would be around 300 kg – leaving the caravan with a GTM of 2850 and we add the towball weight to the vehicle.

(Want to know what the acronyms mean ? see our other blog article )

So now our payload is 757 kg – 42 kg more than our allowed payload.

Now imagine (like a lot of cruisers) it also has driving lights, a winch, roof racks and a canoe (or two).

And I’m guessing you now see the problem.

A $90K vehicle sold to tow 3.5 tonne which is overloaded if towing 3.2 tonne.

There is a solution – you can get a GVM upgrade to 3850 kg or more – but that will set you back another $4-5 K

Check Weight has weighed more Landcruisers than any other vehicle. And without a doubt they have the weight and the power to tow a large caravan.

But unless you have the GVM upgraded – or leave all the extra bits at home – you’re going to be over GVM and risking a fine. And if you have a Sahara – well you’re in more trouble because they are heavier to start with……..

And the other worry is that if you’re overloaded – it can void your warranty – and void your insurance.

Now that’s a $90 000 mistake !

To book your Landcruiser in for a Tow rig and Caravan weigh – book online at

(the vehicles in this blog post aren’t overweight – they are just examples…)

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