Driving my 99 Jimny from Melbourne to Darwin, any tips?

by Jonathan
(Melbourne, Vic, Australia)

Driving my 99 Jimny from Melbourne to Darwin, any tips?

Its my first time driving across state lines.
Does anyone have any tips?
I'm concerned with my fuel economy though...right now driving through the urban streets it looks like I have 250km-275km per full tank mileage.
I'm also keen on buying the smallest trailer I can find to load more on fuel and some supplies (any tips on the trailer?)
If you have any comments please let me know.


Comments for Driving my 99 Jimny from Melbourne to Darwin, any tips?

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by: David

Look at Tour lite trailers, they even make trailers for motor bikes.
I bought a camper trailer from them and very happy with it.

Jimny Range
by: Nige

Hey Jono,
I like the sound of your road trip, I can understand your concerns on your driving range though.
I am assuming that your wheels are not standard size, from what I have read on forums like auszookers, fuel economy blows out depending on overall diameter of the tyres.

As you may or may not know bigger tyres will help out in the mud and ruts, but on road it impacts on fuel economy heavily, reducing your driving range from a full tank.

Suzuki's tyre chart is inside the drivers door and it will tell you the standard tyre size and pressure, bear in mind Suzuki's recomendation of 23 psi front and 26 psi rear is too low for touring in my opinion, and you will get an extra 50km out of a tank with the pressure up around 30psi and above.

We used to get about 400km from the 35 litres plus the extra 5l when the fuel light comes on, running the air conditioner reduces this.
I have had a jerry can holder fabricated for about $300 that fit into the tow bar square tongue, carrying an extra 40 litres in two jerry cans gave me a huge 800km range but I couldn't open the rear door without removing the assembly.

There is a light weight camper trailer for sale on auszookers at the moment, if you want a small trailer they are a great option, probably a better option I believe, but every trip is different.

I have towed up to 700kg and had a minimum of 650km range from carrying 40 litres of fuel in two jerry cans.
Keep below your towing capacity for worse case scenario, you don't want to get the book thrown at you if you are involved in an accident
Good Luck

1.3 jimny 2014
by: Marika Lombard

Towing a Bushtrailor with a weight of 780 kg. Bonnet got really hot, towed in 4th gear. But did not enjoy this. The jimnny struggled to tow this weight of my trailer.
The jimnny is a July 2014 model and i tow a trailer with a gvm of 780kg but it wasn't fully loaded even. It suffered to tow this weight of my trailer and i tow from Brits to Newsroom, the trailer is in good condition and have a breaking system. I was promised a perfect towing car. I am totally disappointed!

by: Nige

Hi Marika,

Going off your photo, it appears you have BF Goodridge All Terrain tyres which are not standard size.
Your tyres are larger than standard which will do two things: increase fuel consumption reducing the range you can travel on a tank of fuel, and the car will have much less power.
205/70R15 is the standard tyre size

Use premium unleaded fuel because it will give you a little more power and better fuel economy.

Referring to your comment that someone told you this is a "perfect towing car", that's not exactly true. The Jimny is an under powered car. Yes it can tow, yes it can go over 80 km/hr, but not uphill, not even without a trailer can this car accelerate up a big hill.
Towing a trailer up long steep hills will require 3rd 2nd and sometimes 1st gear. The engine is happy to rev and holding it in a lower gear and higher revs is a necessity.

Your car looks to be sagging in the rear a lot. You can install air bags in the rear suspension springs to alleviate the sag or install springs with a higher load rating.


the towball weight is above recommended. This is easy to measure with a set of scales you would normally use to weigh yourself. Simply lift the jockey wheel onto the scales to read the weight, use a plate or piece of wood on the scale to spread the weight.

If it is above the rated weight of the towbar, then move the load in the trailer rearwards or put it in the car.
You seem to have a few boxes at the front of the trailer, loading these up with heavy things will quickly load up the towball.
A well balanced load is very important when towing.

To conclude,
your tyres are giving you less power and worse fuel economy.
check you towball weight and ensure your trailer is evenly loaded.
your trailer at gvm is a heavy trailer, pack lightly and only take what you need.

Cheers, I hope this helps

Fuel tips
by: Jimny Junky

I would advise roof racks with a Aldi type of 4x4 roof tray, so sides on it, and carry 6 x 10L Supercheap plastic petrol jerry cans to guarantee you will make some of theI longer stretches of road between towns and cheaper fuel stations. Some towns and outback areas are damn expensive on petrol. Also I only use 98 octane in my 1999 Jimny, tried 95 once and it just gulped it down.
If you don’t have roof rails then buy a set and either install them yourself or get them installed if your not confident in installing them. Around $1100-$1300 is a guess as I bought a replacement set a few years ago at $11??. A set that fits any 3rd generation Jimny will fit any year of that shape so if dealer says "we can't get them for your year model" remind him the shape is the same all through the 3rd generation models.

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