Buying a tow vehicle - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 11-22-2008, 09:16 PM   #29
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What it all boils down to is asking the right questions and knowing what the right questions are, which is what makes FGRV so valuable.

baglo
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Old 11-22-2008, 09:58 PM   #30
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Ok, Glenn... after giving this some thought today I have some conjecture... your RAV4 is probably unibody construction. Unibodies are engineered to take forces in specific vectors. I'd conjecture that you can only get a Class II hitch because they specifically don't want you using weight distribution. I'd also conjecture that they just say a WDH is "not recommended" because they're not exactly sure what kind of forces the unibody will take before deforming.

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Old 11-22-2008, 10:26 PM   #31
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Quote:
Ok, Glenn... after giving this some thought today I have some conjecture... your RAV4 is probably unibody construction. Unibodies are engineered to take forces in specific vectors. I'd conjecture that you can only get a Class II hitch because they specifically don't want you using weight distribution. I'd also conjecture that they just say a WDH is "not recommended" because they're not exactly sure what kind of forces the unibody will take before deforming.

Roger
I think you're absolutely right, although I'm thinking they are building in their own margin of error. Who needs a law suit? But, I'd see them in court, since every important issue in the owners manual is highlighted in yellow, and most owners would have never noticed that sentence.

And, the technician I spoke to at Hitchco had the tech specs provided by Hidden Hitch for the model they make for the RAV4. I don't recall exactly but they rated it for more than 4,000 lbs., maybe 4,500. The tech said Toyota was trying to avoid any potential liability and Hidden Hitch was taking that liability on by publishing their rating for their hitch for that vehicle.

I'm just going to continue to keep the Toad on a diet. Keep the weight down as much as possible instead of packing everything I might ever need.

And, pulling out of the rest area just west of Abbotsford, with the very short ramp, was amazing. Put the hammer down and get to highway speed well before the ramp runs out. 269 hp and a light rig sure work for me.

I just wish I didn't have to drive the Dodge Neon company car the rest of the week.

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Old 11-23-2008, 07:03 AM   #32
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And, the technician I spoke to at Hitchco had the tech specs provided by Hidden Hitch for the model they make for the RAV4. I don't recall exactly but they rated it for more than 4,000 lbs., maybe 4,500. The tech said Toyota was trying to avoid any potential liability and Hidden Hitch was taking that liability on by publishing their rating for their hitch for that vehicle.

baglo
Hidden Hitch, should there be damage to the RAV4, will just point out that the hitch itself wasn't damaged, and lived up to it's tow rating. They may not be able to pull that off in Canada, but that's what would happen here. They'd dump the blame on you and the installer for overloading the vehicle, or using a WDH in contravention of the owner's manual.

And Toyota, of course, would write you off saying "it wasn't the factory hitch; the recommended factory hitch is only a class II, and the owner's manual says we don't recommend WDH".

Fun stuff.

That's why I recommend going with the factory package. Life is so much more simple, and the factory issued tow ratings "as equipped" are listed in the owner's manual.


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Old 11-23-2008, 07:27 AM   #33
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I will soon be the proud owner of a 15' Escape. Reace and Tammy have been so helpful and have answered every one of the million questions I sent their way. My next question has to do with what type of tow vehicle I need to get to tow my new Escape. Some other fiberglass owner told me a Toyota truck was my best option, but I know that some mini-vans and some Subarus also fit the bill. The dry weight of the trailer is 1650. I have a large dog and certain amount of stuff that I want to take with me. I'm guessing I will need at least 3000 pounds of tow capacity to be on the safe side. I can't afford a new vehicle so used is what I'm looking at. What types of vehicles do you all think is a good option.
Cathy
Hi: Cathy Gale... Right now several of our Ford dealers have some purty good prices on '07/'08 Ford Escapes and Rangers. Seems they always get left out of the tow vehicle lineups and are quite capable of tugging what you are getting in a trailer. Some might even have tow pkg's on them!!! Happy Tuggin'
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:53 AM   #34
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I imagine the vanity plates for an Escape + Escape combo ...

Escape 1 and Escape 2
(modified from Dr. Seuss)

BTW, How much snow did you get Alf? I hear some areas out your way got 3' the other day. Ah, the Great White North, or should I say the Great White North Shore of Lake Erie?
(pardon the intended pun)
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Old 11-23-2008, 12:54 PM   #35
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You might consider a Hyundai Santa Fe.

Most of my towing experience has been at the wheel of our Ford Ranger with our Scamp 5th wheel attached, but we bought a Surfside last winter, and I brought it home from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada down to Vancouver, WA, USA (400 miles) with our 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe. The driving conditions were not ideal: not only did the trailer come without brakes, my drive home was filled with snow, heavy rain, medium hills and heavy traffic in Seattle. I passed three big wrecks between the UC/CAN border and Seattle.

The Santa Fe had no problems whatsoever. Good control, good power, good gas milage, comfy seating. I wish our Ford Ranger were as comfy inside! Heck, if the Surfside works out for us after we've done our tear-down and repairs on it we may put the 5er up for sale (with tears in my eyes) and go back to being a one-trailer family.

Or not.

Our Santa Fe has the smaller 2.7 liter V6 engine and came with all-wheel drive (which lowers the tow rating to 2300 lbs) and the factory tow package, but V6 front-wheel-drive V6 models are rated to tow 2700-3000 pounds. (The Santa Fe has 2.7 and 3.5 liter V6 engine options, ours is the smaller one, and the 2005-2006 models have slightly higher tow ratings). I'll add a brake controller and air-springs to our Santa Fe before we start using it and our Surfside regularly, but even without those things I was very pleased with how well it performed under much less than ideal driving conditions.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #36
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We will have one of those "Escape1 and Escape 2" combos....My husband was talking ofgetting plates like that

Hmmm, now a Dr Seuss mural on the second escape?????
Actually we have already named our yet unhatched egg as "Howie" as in..How We Escape.....
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:07 PM   #37
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We will have one of those "Escape1 and Escape 2" combos....My husband was talking ofgetting plates like that

Hmmm, now a Dr Seuss mural on the second escape?????
Actually we have already named our yet unhatched egg as "Howie" as in..How We Escape.....
I haven't seen vanity plates for a trailer. Have to check that out. I once considered a plate for the car, "75 BUCKS" which is what the plates cost at that time.

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Old 11-23-2008, 07:11 PM   #38
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Name: Glenn ( second 'n' is silent )
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B '08 RAV4 SPORT V6
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Quote:
We will have one of those "Escape1 and Escape 2" combos....My husband was talking ofgetting plates like that

Hmmm, now a Dr Seuss mural on the second escape?????
Actually we have already named our yet unhatched egg as "Howie" as in..How We Escape.....
You can get a personalized plate for a motor home, but not a trailer.
From the gov't site: The licence plates issued for trailers uniquely identify the trailer's classification and safety requirements. This allows police to determine the safety standards by simply viewing the plate.

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Old 11-23-2008, 10:18 PM   #39
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I should add this question; "Is there any vehicle I should avoid?" "Or specific years of certain vehicles?"
I know this is going to be a learning process. Hopefully not a painful learning process.
On the subject of one to avoid. I would avoid the Subaru. I towed my Surf Side with my outback and the 2.5 Litre is able to pull it but is working pretty hard, revving pretty high. After a trip from Ottawa ON Canada to Colorado and back I'd developed a telltale piston slap noise. I loved this car but they are susceptible to this problem and when pulling a trailer it comes on earlier. I don't think that the weight is the only factor. The Surf and your escape stands much taller than any Subaru and is pushing a lot of air. At 100 or 110 km/hr the car is working really hard. Subarus all have all wheel drive and although I loved it in Canadian winter it is costly on fuel. 22mpg (imperial gallons)

I replaced ithe Subaru with a Toyota Sienna 2004 model with a 3.3 litre V6. (Ithink in 2007 they have a 3.5 litre V6 and a six speed automatic) The Sienna is a very different experience. The Sienna, despite being a much larger, taller, heavier vehicle gets better fuel mileage under all circumstances. It tows like the trailer isn't there. The revs are very low when cruising at 100km/hr. I believe they are below 2,000rpm in 5th gear (automatic - unfortunately they're all automatic).

I find it a very good tow car for this size of trailer. The van is very comfortable, there is a large safe dog compartment behind the 3rd row of seats, where poodle/golden retriever is happy. Best of all it has that Toyota reliability, reasonable parts prices, many dealers, etc. All this ads up to a low cost per km and the lowest hassle factor in the business. I didn't expect to like the Sienna as a vehicle to drive around town but I have come to like it a lot. Even the auto transmission (my first) has grown on me. Toyota's hitch is appropriate for the weight range and is as reasonable a price as you're likely to find. Used car lots are brimming with them and if you have a friend at a Toyota dealership as I did he easily found a 2004 XLE at the end of it's 4year lease with 70,000 km for a great price. Now at 120K km it has needed only oil changes, new tires and new windshield wipers. If you buy a used Toyota from a dealer they can sell extended warranties that are similar to the original and cover most things for an additional 3 years/60,000 km.

I realize this sounds like a Toyota advertisement but actually it is just my experience.

Alan

Finally I like the feeling that the car outweighs the trailer by a larger margin than the Subaru did and there is never any sense that the trailer is driving the vehicle.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:33 PM   #40
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I imagine the vanity plates for an Escape + Escape combo ...

Escape 1 and Escape 2
(modified from Dr. Seuss)

BTW, How much snow did you get Alf? I hear some areas out your way got 3' the other day. Ah, the Great White North, or should I say the Great White North Shore of Lake Erie?
(pardon the intended pun)
Hi: Roy...We got aprox. 4" At my bro.'n laws where the trailer is tucked in for "FIBERNATION" they got a whopping 74cm./ 29" in real measurement. I hope the roof don't decide to bust a gusset!!! But then they are cowboys of the wild western sort. They can handle it.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:34 AM   #41
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Hi Cathy!
I towed my 1,370-pound (loaded) '1971 Compact Jr. 9,611 miles this summer behind my 2000 Toyota Sienna, factory-equipped with the tow package (which, oddly enough did NOT include a tow hitch!). The van performed wonderfully, and we were able to lock in our valuables, keep the cooler in the air-conditioned vehicle with us, and still keep up with traffic. We drove on all sorts of terrain - I'm kinda nuts that way anyway. We didn't have any emergency stops, so I'm not sure what would happen there, but we had no problem with sway or power.

I'm sure there's a better combo out there, but I'm pleased as punch with our setup.

Jen
(To see pictures of our trip, maps, etc. - jenpb.blogspot.com)
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Old 11-29-2008, 01:41 PM   #42
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I towed my 1,370-pound (loaded) '1971 Compact Jr. 9,611 miles this summer behind my 2000 Toyota Sienna, factory-equipped with the tow package (which, oddly enough did NOT include a tow hitch!).
Many factory tow packages don't include the hitch because there are several choices -- The real parts of the tow package are usually not obvious, like electrical, cooling, suspension and drive train.
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