Readers may recall Denyse and I asked your advice recently about purchasing a new tow vehicle. The decision has now been made, so thank you all for your advice. We found it very interesting, and helpful.
You may remember we were more interested in petrol than diesel, and after doing all the sums including the time we would keep the vehicle, the price of a diesel motor against petrol, service costs and frequency of servicing, cost of diesel and petrol fuel around the country, and discussions with motor guru, Philip Lord, we decided that a petrol vehicle would not work out any dearer than diesel over our time frame. In fact, over a period of time it could work out cheaper.
Indeed, diesel is a greasy, dirtier fuel, and due to the popularity of diesels now, some road houses have a queue waiting to get to the diesel pump. Have you ever been caught behind several caravans waiting to fill up in a busy servo? I know I am going to receive some flack here, but this is the way I see it.
That narrowed the available vehicles down considerably.
We have had two new Ford Territories, the first had done 90,000km when we traded it and this one has almost 70,000km after four years. We have covered a variety of road conditions around Australia and have had no major problems. Importantly, we have always been able to get service and parts. Denyse is very happy with the quiet, comfortable ride and enjoys driving it, so why change?
Our other two Territories have been AWD, but they make that only in a diesel version now, so more emails to Phil Lord and others, as we have had 4WDs or AWD vehicles for many years. At this stage we do not intend to do heroic roads any more, just black top and graded dirt roads, such as those into some national Parks etc.
The verdict? We finally decided to purchase a new Territory rear wheel drive Titanium, and have the extra comfort this car provides. Check out our pic. Things we could not do without include a bull bar, UHF two way radio, heavy duty tow kit, headlight protectors and mud flaps.
How will it tow? Will we notice much difference after the 4WD and AWD vehicles of the past? Will we be happy with it? Will it handle the dirt roads we intend driving on with and without the van, even though we will not be doing the Tanami desert tracks? And will we notice any difference in fuel consumption compared to the AWD version?
We will let you know after a reasonable period of towing.