Cheap tow vehicle ideas? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-04-2015, 06:10 AM   #15
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Hi George

I don't know where in Oregon you're located. But next month (Apr 23-26) is Spring NOG held at L.L. Stub Stewart State Park. You're welcome to come out and visit the folks and view trailers. I know there's going to be a couple of bolers and at least one Compact in attendance. Attending a gathering is another piece to that decision-making process.

2015 Spring NOG - Northern Oregon Gathering - Casita Travel Trailer Forum
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Old 03-04-2015, 06:26 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
RE: Posts #8 & #11

I have never heard a complaint about unstable towing an FGRV with a 4Runner.
George has been seeking advice about buying a TV for his proposed egg. Leading him toward a top rated vehicle is a good thing.

The Toyota Sienna was suggested as well as other vehicles which included an older Toyota 4 Runner.

For a comparision test take a 3,500lb fiberglass trailer and connect it 1st to a Sienna (tow rated for 3,500lbs). Take it for a highway drive with a 40MPH cross wind. Let a few 18 wheelers pass by etc.

Then take the older (5,000lb tow rated) 4 Runner with the same 3,500 fiberglass trailer and do the same drive.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:39 AM   #17
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Well known as a very stout and reliable vehicle that are great off road performers but have a reputation as an unstable tow vehicle. There are much better choices.
Wow, I couldn't disagree more. The 4-Runner is the only midsized SUV in North America with true body-on-frame construction and is stellar at towing. Know many owners and they LOVE its towing capabilities. I have not heard of any "reputation" of them being unstable at towing.
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Old 03-04-2015, 09:11 AM   #18
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My suggestion would be to choose/buy the "egg" first. Check the loaded weight & loaded tongue weight before purchasing a tow vehicle to insure you have a usable match. For example, I'm one of those towing an Escape 17B with a RAV4. Trailer loaded for a trip is 3010 lbs, tongue weight 345 lbs, both within the limits of the vehicle. If I had a Casita 17, I'd likely be OK for the total weight, but well over the rated tongue weight.

You can download a spreadsheet of the actual weights of some of the different fiberglass trailers at my website, but again you should check the weight of YOUR trailer before choosing a tow vehicle.
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:58 PM   #19
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We have camping friends that tow with a 2004 4-runner, and it tows their 97 17 ft. SD Casita with ease. No problems, they only use a anti sway bar and its a very stable ride, they have towed the SD all over from Northern California with no problems, to southern calif, North coast, etc. on all sorts of roads from major freeways to county roads, this suv is one of the few vehicles with a frame under it still, and is a great tow vehicle.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:05 PM   #20
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Wow, I couldn't disagree more. The 4-Runner is the only midsized SUV in North America with true body-on-frame construction and is stellar at towing. Know many owners and they LOVE its towing capabilities. I have not heard of any "reputation" of them being unstable at towing.
My buddy in upstate New York towed his 18' Fun Finder with an 04 Nissan Quest mini van.
It worked fine and when the lease was up he thought he would try something with more power. He leased a V8 4 Runner. Right away he felt insecure with the new vehicle towing the 18'. He made numerous adjustments/added a sway bar etc trying to improve the ride/stability, but it never met his expectations. He ended up replacing the 4 Runner with a Toyota Sienna mini van and the good road feel and stability returned.

His experience reaffirms the reports I have read and the accounts by the towing specialist at the seminar I attended.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:31 PM   #21
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His experience reaffirms the reports I have read and the accounts by the towing specialist at the seminar I attended.
Would be interesting to see some of these reports.
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:41 PM   #22
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Gotta love that "Good Road Feel"
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
My buddy in upstate New York towed his 18' Fun Finder with an 04 Nissan Quest mini van.
It worked fine and when the lease was up he thought he would try something with more power. He leased a V8 4 Runner. Right away he felt insecure with the new vehicle towing the 18'. He made numerous adjustments/added a sway bar etc trying to improve the ride/stability, but it never met his expectations. He ended up replacing the 4 Runner with a Toyota Sienna mini van and the good road feel and stability returned.

His experience reaffirms the reports I have read and the accounts by the towing specialist at the seminar I attended.
The thing about anecdotes is that they can be contradicted by other anecdotes. Probably hundreds of FGRV folks tow with a 4-Runner with great results.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:01 PM   #24
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Allot of members on the casita forum tow with their 4runners with no issues, that's why i recommended a 4runner to the OP. I have two 3rd gen 4runners and i haven't had no issues with towing and one of them has a 3inch suspension lift. I will admit i prefer my lifted tacoma as my tv because it's a manual trans. All 3 of my trucks have the same 3.4L v6 and 4x4. I did do two mods to my lifted 4runner before i used it to tow, one is a external trans cooler and 2nd is i installed the bigger toyota tundra front brakes. I also installed the toyota tundra brakes to my tacoma as well. Pics of my 4runners.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:03 PM   #25
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Quote:
His experience reaffirms the reports I have read and the accounts by the towing specialist at the seminar I attended.
Would be interesting to see some of these reports.
I agree Dave. Not a 4 Runner but he publish an on line towing related article not that long ago comparing the larger, more powerful and heavier, Toyota Sequoia to the Sienna and in most ways the Toyota Sienna mini van came out on top.

So knowing what we know about the highly rated Sienna, this is the reason I pointed it out to George.
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Old 03-06-2015, 08:33 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
My buddy in upstate New York towed his 18' Fun Finder with an 04 Nissan Quest mini van.
It worked fine and when the lease was up he thought he would try something with more power. He leased a V8 4 Runner. Right away he felt insecure with the new vehicle towing the 18'. He made numerous adjustments/added a sway bar etc trying to improve the ride/stability, but it never met his expectations. He ended up replacing the 4 Runner with a Toyota Sienna mini van and the good road feel and stability returned.

His experience reaffirms the reports I have read and the accounts by the towing specialist at the seminar I attended.
Okay, I'm going to be snarky here. But what does someone towing a box like a Fun Finder have to do with us? Those have more frontale area and a big difference between hitch to axle percentage than an all molded towable. Let's at least be on target with someone wanting to tow an all molded towable with [some brand, size] of a tug than mixing up all the stickies. It's far more than just weight.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:57 AM   #27
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It's far more than just weight.
Agree Donna and thnxs for pointing that out. There are many factors involved with the whole deal of set up and components related to towing.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:58 AM   #28
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I think 68dave and AandB illustrate a key point - there are many perfectly fine tow vehicles, just that some are better suited to a particular user. 68dave obviously likes 4Runners (along with a lot of other folks). Others would prefer a more carlike experience. If they are safe, good for them. They have both set a good example and provided good options. We provide our best service by providing options.

Any reasonable person would realize that they are very different vehicles and one might do something better than the other. The 4Runner provides more off-road capability while the minivan provides storage capacity. Neither is bad - people just value them differently. I find these discussions to be more helpful when the author tells why he likes and dislikes his own vehicle based on experience rather than theoretical or secondhand anecdotes as to why "your" choice is bad.

I love to read Andy Thomson writing on the subject. He is a bright, thoughtful, thorough professional. His well written ideas become less appealing after they are recycled imprecisely several times. He has done much to advance the use of non-truck tow vehicles. But, in the thread I was reading, he was supportive of the existing owner's 4runner and made suggestions to optimize it. He doesn't seem to have any vendettas against trucks, in fact he also suggest modifications to Suburbans (his threads from the early 2000's live on). While I generally hate on dealers of all sorts, I think I would like to do business with Andy if he wasn't on the end of the continent.

Now on to start my thread "Only an idiot would have a non-white tow vehicle"
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