Best tow vehicle for Lil Snoozy? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2015, 09:06 AM   #1
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Best tow vehicle for Lil Snoozy?

Hello!

We have just placed our order for a Lil Snoozy and now have to purchase a tow vehicle. (We have never towed anything, so this is all foreign territory to us.) I've narrowed the choices down to a few and am looking for feedback that might help us make the final decision. We are NOT handy and need a very reliable vehicle that will do the job with minimum fuss. This will be our only vehicle, so it needs to be a good choice both towing and doing errands/exploring. Here are the vehicles we are considering: Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, Toyota 4Runner, and Toyota Tacoma. I appreciate any thoughts y'all have about this!

Thanks,
Rachel P
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:04 AM   #2
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I had a base 2008 Highlander without towing package. It was therefore limited to 1995 lbs trailer and it towed a 1560 lbs trailer quite well. It had plenty of power however without the towing package there was no supplemental transmission cooling. I never got a warning light but I did monitor the temp and it climbed over 240 at least once (90 degree F or more in stop and go traffic) and that was high enough that I changed the fluid and bought a Van. It also developed a leak at the timing belt cover which Toyota wanted $2000 to fix. It was a very small leak and I never had to add a drop of oil so I lived with it.

Other Highlanders tow either 3500 or 5000 depending on model and year. I'm not sure what your trailer's real world weight is (packed and wet), but there should be a Highlander to handle it. IMHO it's best to keep the trailer weight under 75% of the TV capacity (i.e. 2625 lbs loaded for a tug rated at 3500). Even less can make for a smoother ride but then you probably have a bigger vehicle than you need.

Despite the oil leak my Highlander was a good car and it is highly recommended by many people and reviewers.
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:34 AM   #3
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My choice for pulling our 13ft Perris pacer is a 2015 v6 Toyota Tacoma
It has worked great although it is not our only vehicle.... A truck gives you lots of extra carrying space and I think it rides nicer than our Honda Accord ...... Towing capacity is well within your needs for the trailer your buying.....


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Old 05-13-2015, 10:45 AM   #4
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Just my take on your short list:


There is currently a thread running about towing problems with a Santa Fe, you might look that owner up for some direct input.


Chrysler/Fiat/Jeep hasn't been doing all that well on reliability surveys. I'd look into that very carefully. Plus don't expect great MPG's.


A Toyota 4Runner has a lot of extra weight, lower MPG's and a higher price than my choice, the Tacoma.


The Tacoma has been around for ever, they have proven drive lines, service is readily available anywhere in North America and they are very comfortable to drive.
If a pick-up will work for you that would be my choice.


BTW: Unless you have stock in Standard Oil, don't let a Toyota dealer talk you into a Tundra. They are BIG, HEAVY & eat gas like crazy. Right now they aren't selling so well so the dealers are doing a lot of discounting. However, a) Don't expect to find a Tacoma anything other that a bare bones work truck or loaded and b) Don't expect much price negotiation, they sell them almost as fast as they get them, at least here in CA.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:19 AM   #5
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I agree with Bob, the Taccoma is one of the most bullet proof vehicles that I have ever owned. When it was time to replace mine, I returned to the dealer that sold me my 2003. This dealership also sells Nissan, so I test drove a few Frontiers along with Toyotas. I ended up purchasing a left over 2014 Frontier full loaded for less money than a base Toyota. I can't imagine it being more trouble free than the Tacoma, but I found that the Frontier interior was more comfortable for me. It might be worth your time to compare the two.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #6
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Having pulled with a several vehicles including small SUV type vehicle and a number of trucks my choose for an all round use vehicle would be the Highlander with the tow package hands down! Know a number of people towing with them and are more than happy.

I know we have a lot of truck fans here and I love my truck but honestly having towed with other vehicles that have more evenly distributed weight across their axles I really can't support the theory you get a better tow using a truck. I also know trucks are not the best choose with you live or drive in snowy areas.
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:26 AM   #7
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Rachel, congratulations on your Lil Snoozy purchase. We have towed ours with our friends older Jeep Grand Cherokee Hemi V8 (best tow), our 2007 Jeep Wrangler 3.8L V-6, and a 2005 Dodge 1500 Pick-up with 5.2L V-8. We like to explore trails, so four wheel drive is a must for us, and living out west, we are constantly traveling over mountain passes. All vehicles could tow, but there is no substitute for cubic inches for a workhorse. The 5.7 L V-8 got the best towing MPG. Ideally I would have liked to purchase a 4 wheel drive Ram 1500 with the 3.0 diesel option, but couldn't afford it, so we are transplanting a 2014 5.7L Hemi V-8 into our Wrangler (should be ready tomorrow). We travel 5 months a year from Michigan, to Colorado, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California west coast and Arizona. Our other car is a Toyota Prius (51.5 average mpg), so we will be able to average out our yearly gas usage .
Happy Trails
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:19 PM   #8
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Rachel, I'm taking the other route, bought my 2015 GMC Terrain SUV first and love, love, love the it AND the gas savings. Remember you won't be pulling your vehicle all of the time.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:27 PM   #9
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We have been towing our Snoozy with a 2005 Ford ranger 4x4 4.0 liter V6. It has 5800 lb towing capacity. The truck is about the same size as a Tacoma or Frontier. It tows the trailer well but is not comfortable for really long trips. We did about 7000 miles in it last year. Now we are towing with a Ford Expedition 5.4 V8 4x4 . It uses slightly more gas and doesn't even know the Snoozy is back there. An added bonus is large storage space and it is a safer vehicle in a collision. We still have the truck.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:52 PM   #10
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GMC Terrain

Quote:
Originally Posted by B. E. Neis View Post
Rachel, I'm taking the other route, bought my 2015 GMC Terrain SUV first and love, love, love the it AND the gas savings. Remember you won't be pulling your vehicle all of the time.
Ya gotta be careful with selecting the Terrain as a tow vehicle.
According to the GM towing guide, the following applies to both FWD and 4WD versions of the terrain.

4 Cylinder engine: 1500 lbs
6 Cylinder engine: 3500 lbs.

Does this agree with what you owners manual sez for your specific vehicle? If so, am guessing that you have the V6.
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Old 05-13-2015, 01:05 PM   #11
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Such a personal decision, and influenced by so many factors, I hesitate to make a specific recommendation.

I'm pretty sure any of them, properly equipped, would be able to pull a Lil Snoozy, though there isn't a lot of user data available regarding real-world weights for a loaded Lil Snoozy. There are none in the "Trailer Weights in the Real World" database, and three listed here: Tow Vehicle & Trailer combos - POST INFO, all self-reported. It looks like about 3000 pounds total weight is typical, but hitch weights varied considerably (probably due to the 35 gal. fresh water tank ahead of the axle and the large storage space under the front bed). If you go with a lighter crossover (Highlander or Santa Fe) you may have to watch your loading, especially the water.

Just a few things to consider:
  • How much of the time will you actually be pulling the trailer?
  • Where and how do you plan to travel: highways or back roads, flatlands or mountains, short trips or long hauls, full-time or weekends?
  • Do you plan to bring pets or recreational gear (bicycles, kayaks, etc.)?
  • How do you personally prioritize performance, handling, ride comfort, reliability, safety, fuel economy, and other vehicle attributes? No vehicle gives the best of everything.
  • How complete is the factory tow package? Some people want plug-and-play, others don't mind dealing with aftermarket upgrades, like changing from 4-pin to 7-pin wiring.
  • Do you plan to buy new or used, and what is actually available in your area?
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:40 PM   #12
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Rachel, take the 4 Runner off your list as they are rated poorly by the towing professionals as far as towing capabilities.

Generally speaking any of the rest would work, personal preference comes into play here.

Why not look at Mini Vans? Honda and Toyota are very good at doing everything and much more practical than some of the vehicles you have listed.
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Old 05-13-2015, 02:48 PM   #13
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Old 05-13-2015, 03:13 PM   #14
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Who, What, When, Why & Where

Quote:
Originally Posted by MC1 View Post
Rachel, take the 4 Runner off your list as they are rated poorly by the towing professionals as far as towing capabilities.

Generally speaking any of the rest would work, personal preference comes into play here.

Why not look at Mini Vans? Honda and Toyota are very good at doing everything and much more practical than some of the vehicles you have listed.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
WOW, that's a very strong indictment of a vehicle. One that a number of list members seemed to be happy with the last time this came up. How about some references, or at least some specifics like:

Who are the "Towing Professionals"?
What Year and Model 4Runners were tested and with What trailers?
When were the tests done?
Why didn't they like them?
Where can these tests/opinions be seen?
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