Tow vehicle has to come first - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-14-2017, 10:23 AM   #1
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Name: Bob
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Tow vehicle has to come first

Thanks to someone running a red light - and air bags (my first car had a lap belt and a lot of metal in the cabin; good age we live in) - I need a new
vehicle. It was going to happen anyway, but I had thought I'd zero in on the trailer first. Oh well.

I have a decided preference for an SUV; just like getting fly fishing gear, etc., together out of the back of a full lift. Still haven't seen too many trailers in person, but think I'll max out in the 17' Casita/16' Scamp range; could be smaller. I guess a 19' Escape could be in there too, but that seems to be in a different towing class (that's all impressions from web sites). Four-wheel drive for bad USFS roads and mountains that will want me to have a cushion on tow limits. Replacing a 2014 Subaru Forester; enjoyed the creature comforts of a large sun roof, heated seats, and satellite radio, but that kind of stuff is secondary.

Suggestions? Pros and cons? New or used, but reliable no matter what; will be my only driver.

Thanks for any advice.

Bob
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:47 AM   #2
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Bob, what would be your budget? I would like to have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the same diesel that the RAM 1500 uses, but the price is so difficult to justify.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:59 AM   #3
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Sorry to hear about your accident, but glad you're okay!

The Kia Sorento is highly rated by Consumer Reports and has several drivetrains with towing potential. You probably don't want the base 2.4L, but either the 2.0L turbo-4 (3500#) or the 3.5L V6 (5000#) would enable you to pull a number of mid-sized molded fiberglass trailers.

Perennial SUV favorites include Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Both are rated for up to 5000#.

If you want a little more offroad capability, a Jeep Grand Cherokee will tow up to around 7000#, and a Toyota 4Runner up to 5000#. As you would expect with more traditional SUVs, expect poor fuel mileage from either (except maybe the diesel GC, but I think it's under investigation by the EPA and sales have been halted).

Going the other way size-wise, one of the few compact SUVs with a decent tow rating is a Ford Escape Ecoboost (3500#).

For a 16' Scamp a 3500# rated vehicle is sufficient, but for the heavier 17' Casita I would want something rated at least 5000# (and you may need a weight distributing hitch to manage the tongue weight).

Given that you're considering a larger trailer, and in view of their outstanding reliability, I think a 4Runner would be my first choice.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:23 AM   #4
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I would add the Ford Exporer (5000lbs capacity) and the Grand Cherokee's longer-wheelbase cousin, the Durango (7000lbs+ capacity).
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:38 PM   #5
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2001 Nissan Pathfinder was a great tow rig. 4x4 3.5 v6 and 5000 lb tow with an automatic. i have since changed to a 1016 Tacoma pick-up. Almost the same as the Nissan but not better. Mileage slightly better than the Nissan around town.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by FishingBob View Post

Suggestions? Pros and cons? New or used, but reliable no matter what; will be my only driver.

Thanks for any advice.

Bob
Bob,

I found that I could sort the Consumer Reports online vehicle ratings by towing capacity.

Start with the 2017 Porsche Cayenne with a 7,716 lb rated tow capacity and work your way down the list until you start to see price tags that allow you to start breathing again!
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:03 PM   #7
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Bob,

I found that I could get the Consumer Reports online interface for vehicle ratings to sort by towing capacity.

Start with the 2017 Porsche Cayenne with a 7,716 lb rated tow capacity and work your way down the list until you start to see price tags that allow you to start breathing again!
Might be better to start from the bottom of the list and work your way up.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:24 PM   #8
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Might be better to start from the bottom of the list and work your way up.
Naw, a man's got to have a dream.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:36 PM   #9
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I towed extensively with a 2008 Toyota Highlander 4wd (more of an all wheel drive system, but full time like the Subie). 5000 lb tow rating if equipped with tow package, and 500 lbs hitch weight. The latter might rule out a 17' Casita front bath if you really loaded it up, though.

I currently have a 4Runner-twin, 2008 Lexus GX470 that I picked up preowned. True 4WD. Leather, adjustable air suspension and all the goodies. But I miss the carlike ride of my HL.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:04 PM   #10
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I would make my decision on a tow vehicle based on the model trailer you want to tow , how much gear / cargo you want to haul , number of passengers you need to accomodate , what style of camping you plan on doing , the area you live in or plan on towing / camping in , and comfort level .Then you can decide on a tow vehicle based on tow rating , tongue weight rating , payload capacity , rear axle weight rating .engine size , rear end ratio , interior vehicle room , styling ,desired options and cost ,Etc.
The simple solution is to buy a 1/2 or 3/4 ton V8 , eco boost or diesel , 4 wheel drive , crew cab truck with the tow package .
I personally do not like towing near or at my vehicle's max tow rating but others consider it a non issue and are only concerned about fuel mileage.
There is no " ONE" correct tow vehicle that fits everyone's standards The choice is too personnal for anyone to answer except you.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:20 PM   #11
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Let me throw my bias into the mix - don't leave out the Scamp19. The overall length of your rig is identical whether you connected a Scamp 19 or Scamp 16, so if you would like a truck, here is a way to justify it. Just a thought.
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:47 PM   #12
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I couldn't be happier with my F150 Supercrew 4X4 with a bed cap. We can sit on the tailgate to put on waders and boots and no worries about carrying wet stuff. It tows the 17' Casita well, is comfortable and gets decent mileage. It's definitely not as easy to park as a regular car.
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:06 PM   #13
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Bob,

I found that I could sort the Consumer Reports online vehicle ratings by towing capacity.

Start with the 2017 Porsche Cayenne with a 7,716 lb rated tow capacity and work your way down the list until you start to see price tags that allow you to start breathing again!
How did you do that? I can't find a sortable list. (Access through my library to CR.)
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:35 PM   #14
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Bob,

I found that I could sort the Consumer Reports online vehicle ratings by towing capacity.
Consumer Reports might be the last place I'd go for vehicle recommendations. I can't imagine spending my hard earned money based on their reports. They might be handy for comparing capacities, but even then, not a good idea to get something just strong enough. It's always better to have more truck than you need, than not enough.

Then consider towing packages, all wheel drive or not, factory brake controller, cargo volume, seating capacity, reliability statistics, type of engine. Always get something with much more capacity than the trailer weight for a wide safety margin.

What if you bought a tow vehicle only large enough to haul a 13' trailer and then fell in love with a 17'? Get enough truck, or wait until you have the trailer.
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