I’m glad we aren’t the only ones who found caravan and tow vehicle weight requirements confusing at first, but as a travelling family it was so important for us to ensure we follow the rules, comply with legal and insurance requirements and most of all keep our family, and everyone around us, as safe as we can on the road.
Although we kept our possessions minimal in the caravan, weight quickly adds up, and if you don’t start with a decent payload, you’ll find yourself over very quickly. After 12months on the road we wanted to carry additional items to really help us live as free and off grid as possible. We also want to take the girls camping, away from the caravan and into some remote locations, so needing to carry extra accessories like a tent and bedding, not to mention we have 3 growing girls who literally increase our weight every week, raised some concerns.
We are definitely not experts, even after all our research, so we made the best decision ever and we called the experts. We gave specific details of our current setup, modifications and situation. We explained our future plans and asked so many questions to ensure we knew all the right options, and ensure we weren't wasting time and money on solutions that weren't quite correct. We received a lot of information, guidance and feedback which at first was overwhelming, but we just broke it all down into smaller decisions and then reached the conclusion that a six-wheel conversion was our best option.
For years Cameron has wanted a six-wheeler, and his dream was actually a practical solution to our weight concerns. So, we called Julian from Six Wheeler Conversions in Toowoomba and discussed our conversion from every angle. We took our Ranger in, met with his team and had the whole process explained in great detail so we knew exactly what we were getting. It seemed so much simpler than we thought and (even though you can’t put a price on safety) much more affordable than we thought a conversion would cost.
We dropped our Ranger off and the team got straight to work. The engineered lazy-axle framework was attached allowing better load distribution along the chassis and the increased braking ability from the rear hydraulic brakes make it safer to drive. Toowoomba Towbars fitted our new 4.5T tow bar and the enhanced stability has greatly improved our towing ability.
We instantly felt the difference when driving away in our completed conversion and were keen to test it out so the next day hitched up the van. Noticeably less sway, better handling, comfortable and Cameron felt more in control in the driver’s seat.
We installed a 2460mm tray and the extra space is fantastic. We kept our original canopy but relocated our storage container from the roof racks on to the back, decreasing our height clearance and allowing better weight distribution across our vehicle.
The team at Six Wheeler Conversions kept us up to date with progress photos from the start, and our build process was completed in 2.5weeks. With the upgrade going smoother and easier than expected we could not be happier with our final result.
Our Ford Ranger now gives us 4,495kg GVM and 4,500kg towing capacity, and while we have no plans to carry that capacity, it's comforting to know we no longer have to worry about weight restrictions or overloading.
The quality of workmanship that has gone into this build is amazing and we cannot thank Six Wheeler Conversions enough for making another dream of ours come true.