DRIVING/TOWING - TOWING
Truckies know what most caravaners don’t: the importance of having the right tow vehicle. In this case, it’s an Isuzu NPR 45-155 Tradepack.
Grahame Butler has been a truckie for most of his life and he’s planning retirement: touring Australia with his wife, Robyn, with their caravan in tow.
“Originally, I had our caravan hooked onto a brand-new ute, but it didn’t turn out to be a great idea,” Grahame explained.
“Our Cell Caravan is eight metres (26-feet) long, and it weighs three tonnes, so it was up near the ute’s maximum towing capacity.”
Grahame also knew that the proportion of caravan weight on the towball greatly limited what he could carry in the ute. He looked at what was available in the market and discovered that he could buy a new light truck for the same money as a new ute – around sixty grand.
“With the Isuzu NPR 45-155 Tradepack as a tow vehicle, I had the space and payload to build a canopy on the back; carry all our camping gear and hook on the caravan, with no concerns about being over the legal limit.”
The couple love their Isuzu Tradepack so much they even re-lettered the nomenclature to spell their intention—renaming it their Isuzu ‘Retirementpack’.
When asked about why they chose an Isuzu truck ahead of other brands on the market, Grahame replied: “I’ve had three Isuzu vehicles and I’m always impressed with their reliability”.
“Isuzu has been around forever, and I know they produce quality vehicles.”
In preparation for their retirement the Butlers’ Tradepack has clocked over 9000 kilometres, with Grahame and Robyn taking turns driving the truck on country roads, during weekend getaways.
A GVM rating of 4495kg allows car-licensed Robyn to take turns at the wheel.
“We also upgraded to the Premium Tradepack, which has automated manual transmission (AMT), cruise control, satnav, airbags and all the bells and whistles,” said Grahame.
“It’s easy to drive and the cabin is comfortable.
“Generally speaking, trucks can be rough-riding, especially when they’re empty, but with the canopy and our gear packed in the back of the truck, along with the ball weight of the hooked-on caravan, the ride isn’t bad at all… it’s really good.”
Grahame also has only positive things to say about his after-sales experience with Isuzu Care and the service team at Wagga Motors.
“The Isuzu Care team have been great and we haven’t had any issues at all.
“I bought the truck new and the only people that will ever put a spanner on it are the service crew at an Isuzu dealership — nobody else,” Grahame concluded.