NEW BUDGET TOW VEHICLE, THE FORD RANGER....

 
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:02 am    Post subject: NEW BUDGET TOW VEHICLE, THE FORD RANGER.... Reply with quote

Hello Friends,
Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker,

I have watched us use the Ford Ranger for three years now. And Joshua in the Office just bought a new one. Now in reality it is about the same size as a Landcruiser, but I would rate it's capability at just below Landcruiser and possibly limit the size of Bushtracker to 19' or a moderately equipped 20' but certainly no more...

It is far more refined for Driver Fatigue than a Landcruiser Ute, but arguably the LC Ute is a tougher vehicle. The Landcruiser beats it, but beats you up to drive it where the Ranger is more of a refined tow vehicle. The Ranger is one notch below it in capability, at about 25% cheaper than a GXL Landcruiser, and is far more refined for combating of Driver Fatigue...

For those on a budget, that 25-30% savings is considerable, and I cannot fault the vehicle except for on thing you need to take care of:
Anyone that is planning to tow with a Ranger, needs to negotiate that a Hayman Reece tow bar be put on instead of the stock Ford Ranger one… The Ranger one is too shallow where the hitch slides in, woefully inadequate, and does not work well with a WDH (Weight Distribution Hitch).. This Tow Bar upgrade might not even cost anything as it can be negotiated at purchase to have them install a Hayman Reece TB…

Other than that, we cannot fault it. Yes Landcruiser is still Number One for comfort and power and quality of Service and backup in the Outback it cannot be beat.. However, on a budjet, the Ford Ranger is on a par with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Both cannot get the Service in the Outback as well as Landcruiser, but both are a substantial discount in price to a Landcruiser, and both will do the job certainly up to 19' and with care and not too loaded then a 20' Bushtracker.

If you wanted a comfortable ute, the Ford Ranger passes the muster and we now have two of them in our stables..

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs
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Roachie



Joined: 31 Dec 2015
Posts: 163
Location: Kadina
State:: SA
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 8:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the write-up Steve.

The problem I have with ALL of the Japanese dual cab utes (yes, even the mighty Landcruiser) is the relationship between the rear axle and the tray/tub etc. The exceptions are the big US trucks and even the Landrover 130; all of which have a more sensibly laid-out configuration.

In every case, the axle is very close to the back of the cab/front of the tub-tray.

The result is that the "balance" of these Japanese vehicles would tend to be compromised when a heavy load is added at the rear extremity. This would include a ball-weight of 350kg +/- or as I have witnessed many times, a pair of swing-away spare wheel carriers hanging off the back of the vehicle etc.

The number of these Japanese dual cabs that I have seen with cracked chassis is unbelievable. The chassis themselves are (in my opinion) just not built to the task required of them in a lot of cases.

Yes, they will handle the load of a large BT or similar..............for a while.

I've had all manner of Japanese 4x4s over the past 30 odd years and they were all a compromise; usually in either power and/or payload.

Now I have the Silverado....and I'm still compromised!!! But now it is the challenge of how to get the large beast to negotiate narrow tracks and tight car park spaces. At least power and chassis strength is no longer something that weighs on my mind!

Just my thoughts......thinking out loud.

Cheers,

Bill
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2013 Bushtracker being tugged along by 2012 Chev Silverado. Bee-ute-tee-full!!!
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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State:: Queensland
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2016 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roachie,
Maybe you should think about these details, but censor sharing them a bit, because I think you are adding to the confusion......

I mean think about it: The title of this is "Budget..... ". Even your choice at TWICE the money, has compromises. No budget, money no object? Of course something longer wheelbase like my MegaCab ( now here in Australia🙂) with a longer wheelbase and less overall overhang is in a whole different League.

This Topic is addressed to Owners that can reach as high as a Bushtracker if they do a smaller compromise in an adequate tow vehicle... Saving $25,-30,000 might make the difference in being able to get Australia's top Offroad van... Hmmmm

With that in perspective, it may make better sense to You, OK?

Kind regards from the lone Ranger, always scouting the trail ahead....
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Softbreeze



Joined: 14 Apr 2016
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Location: Little Hartley
State:: NSW
Current Bushtracker owner:: Ordered
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Steve.

Curious to know how the Ranger rear suspension will handle a 16' van?
We have got a van ordered to pick up in Feb. and will be towing with a Ford Ranger.

Will the rear suspension need upgrading to prevent rear end sag or does it travel ok?

Can't wait for the van!!

Regards
Mark.
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mark,

We have TWO Rangers... One is three-four years old, and Joshua is so impressed he bought a new one. We routinely tow vans to Shows with it. Joshua thinks it is quite capable to tow a 20'... Me, I think probably better to say 19', but you could certainly do 20' with care. It has the same functional wheelbase and towing capacity as the 200 Series, and my only reservation is the weight. Probably the more loaded it is, the more capable. On a budget, certainly in the running, about the same as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. Wink

Suspension is more than adequate to load up IMO.

And: WELCOME TO THE FORUM !! Post Number One!

Kind regards, Steven Gibbs, head of the Vehicle R&D Department Laughing
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paulk



Joined: 17 Jul 2016
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Location: SEQ
State:: QLD
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my 2 cents worth. I tow a 3.5 tonne boat with 300kg weight on the ball with a 2013 Ranger XLT. Also tow a big horse float about the same weights.

We noticed it dropped it's arse a fair bit with that weight, so got the suspension guy at Kunda Park to put a new 10mm leaf in the rear end. This has worked well, and friends have done the same with their 2016 Ranger, towing a caravan, and are happy with it. Cost $500
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Softbreeze



Joined: 14 Apr 2016
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Location: Little Hartley
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did it change the ride in your Ranger Paul?
Would you have a rough idea of what the ball weight will be in our van Steve? I know you have heaps on the go so it's only a approx. 16' van.
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Bushtracker
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Softbreeze

You are probably worrying too much... We routinely tow 18',19', and 20' Bushtrackers with our two Rangers, and neither have been modified.

I would have to pull your file to guess what thw ball weight is going to be, but that means nothing. It is all about how you load the van, and you want 10% on the ball. If the fully loaded van was 2500, then 250 kg on the ball, and that is well below its capability.

Regards, stg
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Softbreeze



Joined: 14 Apr 2016
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Location: Little Hartley
State:: NSW
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 06, 2016 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cheers Steve. Thanks
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Trudy



Joined: 17 Oct 2016
Posts: 1
Location: Korumburra
State:: Victoria
Current Bushtracker owner:: Ordered
PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All
We have ordered a 20 ft BT and will be towing with a current extra cab ranger with OME BF-51 Suspension upgrade and a steinbauer chip.
Hopefully this will be adequate?
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Bushtracker
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Joined: 12 Jul 2007
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Location: Kunda Park
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Trudy,
Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker,

With prudent care, you should be fine. We do it all the time. The thing to do when you are at Bushtracker in any planning stages is to talk with Joshua who is on his second one, and Matthew that uses one to tow to Melbourne and Adelaide Shows... I only say prudent care as it is a bit light when empty, so it has a little less control over that big of a Bushtracker on the highway in a pinch.. So, you travel a little slower and leave a little more room in front of yourself so you don't get that "pinch"... That or load it up with a canopy and to its upper limits on weight, just because it is weight and control that matters in the extreme..

Also have a chat with the right People here that actually use the Rangers, when you come for a visit to Bushtracker. Namely Joshua and Matthew...

And WELCOME TO THE FORUM, POST NUMBER 1 !!
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Ted & Narelle



Joined: 24 Jan 2009
Posts: 63
Location: Mudgeeraba
State:: Qld
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 3 current model rangers work Utes and would not tow any thing thats that heavy scary👎👎
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