From the Honda CRV Casita
The towing issue is very interesting. For years I've looked for reasons behind the rules of thumb for towing ability. It's obvious that manufacturers are not consistant from country to country with the same vdehicle. It's also obvious that the US idea that 10-15% hitch weight
is required does not seem to apply in Europe.
We've been towing extensively for 4 years now with our Honda CRV, towing a 15.5' Sunline, a 16' Casita and now a 16' Scamp. Tongue weights have varied from 7% to 15%; tailer weights from 2300 to 3000#s. None of the trailers have swayed. We do not use a WD hitch; we did use a sway bar on the Sunline because we had one, feeling it might be good for emergencies. Since we still have one, we will probably add it to the Scamp.
We love our CRV. It gets great mileage towing (22-23) and not towing (28-30). It has a 5 speed manual transmission. Mostly we are in 5th while towing. Of course we down shift in hilly situations and have driven 1000 miles of dirt roads with severe grades.
As well the Honda has been incredibly reliable. We've replaced tires
and changed oil. The only thing thats failed is the air conditioner at 60,000 miles, replaced by Honda at no charge.
We're retired and don't drive long distances in a day (but have made 4 loops of the USA and been every where in Canada). We don't drive fast never over 60.
We have placed a mark on our temperature gauge to indicate normal temperature. The Honda has never moved off this position; simply does not overheat while towing no matter the hill or temperature.
Obviously we love our Honda. It has worked well for 135,000 miles. Our goal is to reach 250,000 miles with the Honda, another 5-6 years; we'll probably having to replace the clutch one of these days.
I must admit we considered a Casita 17 because I need the inside height but decided the tongue weight
on the 17 is too high for the Honda. As a result we choose the Scamp 16, a taller lighter rig than the Casita 17.
We also like the Honda because it has on demand 4 wheel drive, not the best 4 wheel drive solution but it's saved us a couple of times on Airozona back roads. Any time a front wheel slips it kicks in. It's definitely not a 'jeep like' rock climber but for sub-normal driving or snow it works.
We have moved to smaller rigs because we recognize that gas prices are heading up rapidly, doubling in the last two years. Since it's now almost impossible to drill in the USA and a growing car market now exists outside the USA (Chinese bought more cars than Americans last year) gas prices have no where to go but up and rapidly. We want to RV for another 10 years so we need good mileage and reliability and to us that spells Honda and Scamp.
Next year we plan a loop of the USA and Canada and that will give us a good measure of Scamp/Honda mpg.
Hope this helps people find their personal Tow Vehicle solution,