Hi all, i'm looking for a 4wd for an extended trip around Aus towing a 16ft caravan (1400kg or so + all our gear). Our main requirement is interiour space as we have a lot of gear and most importantly is economical as we estimate 35000-40000km so fuel bill will add up. I am leaning towards LPG + fuel for the economical side of things.. I found our 80 series while used 30ltr/100 towing on LPG still was a hell of a lot cheaper than running on petrol and using say 24ltr/100.
Diesel i'm not sold on, sure it would be the best for towing in terms of torque etc.. But eco side they seem expensive to run, maybe use 30 % less diesel than the petrol equalivent but with diesel costing 10% more or so.. LPG still seems to come out on top? Plus the purchase price for a diesel is a lot more.
I've previously owned an 80 series petrol on LPG and loved it but sold it when we planned to do this trip in a bus.. Things changed now caravan. anyway.. Did like the 80 series except could only afford to run on LPG and the tyre carrier for spare was a pain in the arse.. But still an option.
We currently own a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder 3.3ltr petrol which we planned to do the trip in but it struggles to the tow the van comfortably up hills etc. Feels like it is working really hard.. Though averages 20ltr/100 which isn't too bad. If we chucked this on LPG it'd be pretty ecconomical. Just reckon this will give us the shits with poor performance and also not much space in the boot area.
Other options i've been thinking... Late 90's Prado 3.4ltr petrol but that prob is very similar to the Pathfinder. Only benefit is on LPG it already has the spare tyre on the rear door and has a bit more KW and Torque.
GU patrol 4.5ltr on LPG.. But seems the 80 series has a bit more power than the patrol and also has a larger fuel tank (GU ends up with only 40ltr aux tank on LPG).
Started having thoughts of grand cheroke and disco v8's etc on LPG but reliability, also some seem hard to convert to LPG as no where for the tank and to still run a decent sized fuel tank.
Basically i'm trying to do the sums and work out with initial outlay/fuel costs, etc what ends up the cheapest..
For example with our current Nissan Pathfinder (not towing figures as this is too hard to get data on for all options), vague information I know fuel prices will change dramatically and nothing is static but just trying to get something working out..
Initial Cost $7000
Ltr/100 - 15.7
@1.45 per ltr = 22c per km
35000km trip = $7700
Total Cost (initial purchase, 35000km fuel) - $14700
Install Cost inc rebate - $3500 (inc tyre carrier)
Ltr/100 - 20.5 (30% more LPG than petrol)
@.65c per ltr = 13c per km
35000km trip = $4663
Total Cost (initial purchase, LPG conversion, 35000km LPG) - $15163
So based on that it would seem best just to run fuel in the nissan.
If it didn't struggle pulling the van wouldn't be so bad.
If we went an 80 series, for better performance and space..
Initial Cost seems around $10000 you can get one already on LPG
Ltr/100 - 23 (on LPG not towing)
@.65c per ltr = 15c per km
35000km trip = $5232
Total Cost (initial purchase, 35000km fuel) - $15232
So really comparable to the Nissan Pathfinder, but get more space and better performance.
Does this make any sense? Am I working this the right angle?
At the end of the day we only have so much for fuel bill, already own a Nissan but could sell and upgrade somewhat.
Any other 4wd options I should be looking at?