Cheap tow vehicle ideas? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-07-2015, 09:37 AM   #29
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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"
This is an excellent post, except for the last sentence since we have 2 tow vehicles, and, well, I'm not telling the colors now.

I, too, think it is good to get a lot of different opinions which you will get on any subject on the internet. I always try to best match up my "situation" with the others that seem to be similar.

We are "looking" for our molded fiberglass right now. Tend to favor the EggCamper but still have an open mind. We have two big tow vehicles chosen for our experiences even with the lighter trailers. We carry 3 adults, 2 large dogs and a guinea pig and supplies and comfort items for everyone. We have climbed mountains (I don't like it), hit serious cross winds and even going the shorter distance to local parks on the "back" roads, we can hit some really strong gusts. You get "lift". We have a Ford Club Wagon with a tow capacity of 5700 lbs and with a slightly over 2,000 lb pop-up, smooth. We just purchased a Dodge Durango with a tow capacity of 6,700 lbs. It has a thingy for towing stability but I haven't had time to figure out what that is yet. Since we generally only drive within our smaller town (25,000), gas mileage is not our main concern. Our main concern is durability, safety and space.

You really want to understand how all of this works before diving in. Too many people don't make informed decisions and just buy something and hope it works. I have seen a lot of people with insufficient tow vehicles and they were very uneasy on the road which limited their enjoyment.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:43 AM   #30
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I have an 06 Chrysler Town & Country. It has a 3600lb tow capacity. I added the receiver hitch when I first got my Casita, and recently bought an aftermarket tranny cooler ($70). The nice thing about them is also the stow n go seats. That makes for a lot of room for "stuff".
I can get about 16mpg towing and over 20 when not. I've used on on a 16' Casita in the past and now have a 16' Scamp.
There's lots of them around so you shouldn't have much trouble finding one.
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Old 03-07-2015, 05:07 PM   #31
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I love to read Andy Thomson writing on the subject.
But, in the thread I was reading, he was supportive of the existing owner's 4runner and made suggestions to optimize it.
George, no doubt there are many sources and post by Mr. T. The one I located from 2008 started out like this.....

"Don't buy a 4Runner to tow with. It is a great off road vehicle but I use it as an example of how not to build a tow vehicle. Every spec on it is bad for towing."

That is a very strong message that may or may not be of interest to towing enthusiasts.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:01 PM   #32
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It's pretty harsh applying a statement made 6 or more years ago to current production versions, the 5th generation of which appeared in 2009, after that comment was made.


And, without a specific year or year range mentioned in the reference, was he referring to a specific example, or is he condemning the 4Runner all the way back to 1984 when they were introduced as, basically, a rebodied pick-up truck. Toyota 4Runner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Or, perhaps, he was referring to use in a specific application, such as towing 26' Airstreams, not 17' FGRV's.


Generalities generally don't apply...
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:14 PM   #33
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George, no doubt there are many sources and post by Mr. T. The one I located from 2008 started out like this.....

"Don't buy a 4Runner to tow with. It is a great off road vehicle but I use it as an example of how not to build a tow vehicle. Every spec on it is bad for towing."

That is a very strong message that may or may not be of interest to towing enthusiasts.
Could you provide the link so we could understand the context? Andy often addresses Airstream which is useful but not the same. A Casita woild not be as demanding. Likewise, 4runners have been around for 30 years? Their capabilities have changed over the years. They obviously have shorter wheelbase and higher center of gravity. In contrast, is the experience of many Casita owners. Thank for indulging my curiosity.
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Old 03-07-2015, 06:35 PM   #34
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Found it myself. From the original poster on the AS forum. "...Must be a V8 capable of towing the AS (possibly a larger model up to 6000lb)..."

Another 4runner question - Airstream Forums

He clearly doesn't like the 4runner for a large Airstream.

Useful information in context. If I had or really wanted a 4runner to tow a Casita, it wouldn't cause me to rule it out. I think his comments about this specific hitch and it's weaknesses for a wdh is an example of his thoroughness.
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Old 03-07-2015, 07:11 PM   #35
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The quotes about the 4-runner and towing are many years old, and they reference towing an airstream that weighs at least 6000 lbs -- not a molded fiberglass towable that typically comes in at the 2000-2500 lb range. Irrelevant, and a little tiresome, but to each his own.
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Old 03-08-2015, 05:13 PM   #36
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The quotes about the 4-runner and towing are many years old,
So true Bryan and when you refer back to post #6 those are the ones we are talking about.

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and they reference towing an airstream that weighs at least 6000 lbs -- not a molded fiberglass towable that typically comes in at the 2000-2500 lb range. Irrelevant, and a little tiresome, but to each his own.
Maybe/maybe not. What is nice about the forum format is that we get to choose what threads interest us and which ones don't. Many of us being towing enthusiasts find these types on discussions interesting and a learning experience. The main goal here is to give George some food for thought.
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