Economical Tow Vehicle - Page 9 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-09-2012, 09:44 PM   #113
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On legalities... It really depends on what happens in the courtroom. A guy was driving across the Chesapeake Bay bridge a few years ago when the home built trailer he was towing came off the coupler, he had never installed safety chains (a LEGAL requirement), and the trailer went into the oncoming lane and killed at least one person. I can't remember the details, but they let him off on manslaughter charges because (and I am loosely quoting here) he obviously wasn't trying to kill someone that day, it just happened. Now, personally, I thought it was more than just a little negligent to build and use a trailer without safety chains... But that's just my opinion.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:32 PM   #114
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So, in 20 years, they increased the weight by 24% and horsepower by 78%, but highway fuel economy was increased. I'd call that an improvement in engine efficiency.

In some cases you are correct -- where they are using much larger engines. For instance, the V8 in the new F150 is 6.2 liters!!! There is no need for a 1/2 ton truck to have a 6.2 liter V8 gasoline engine other than for a quicker 0-60 time.
The VW rabbit diesel used to get 50mpg.
A Chevrolet pickup with a 5.0 (305) V8 used to get 22mpg.
An F100/150 with the 4.9 (300) L6 got 20mpg.
Remember the Fiero? 40mpg

Vehicles that get this kind of economy today do so with a smaller displacement engine than the prior model had.

The 6.2 is an unusual engine to see. Its really only common on the Raptor.
Most F150s have the V6 or the 5.0 V8. (The twin turbo v6 has more power than the V8 and tows more) I'm waiting for the "baby" Powerstroke V6 that everyone has been dreaming about.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:43 PM   #115
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And the smaller Duramax!
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:50 PM   #116
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And the smaller Duramax!
I miss the GM 1/2 ton diesels. Especially the last series with the 6.5 turbo!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:04 AM   #117
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There has to be some good advice out there somewhere.

Any recomendations for a small SUV that can and should be towing up to 3500#'s??

i know my surfside is well under that but someday i may move up to a 17 foot escape so 3500# would suite my comfort level

toyota rav 4, escape , mitsubishi outlander ......Others ??? experience??
Tongue weight is what can get you on the Escape 17. 3500 lb. tow rating is enough, but 350 hitch rating may not be if you aren't very careful with the loading. I bought my Highlander (5000/500) mainly because of the 500 lb. hitch weight rating even though I only tow 3500 or less.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:19 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by mcbrew View Post
On legalities... It really depends on what happens in the courtroom. A guy was driving across the Chesapeake Bay bridge a few years ago when the home built trailer he was towing came off the coupler, he had never installed safety chains (a LEGAL requirement), and the trailer went into the oncoming lane and killed at least one person. I can't remember the details, but they let him off on manslaughter charges because (and I am loosely quoting here) he obviously wasn't trying to kill someone that day, it just happened. Now, personally, I thought it was more than just a little negligent to build and use a trailer without safety chains... But that's just my opinion.
Jesse I agree IMHO he should have been found guilty. Just two days ago a very similar accident happened here in BC taking the lives of two people - one of them a member of a friends family :-(( It wasnt as far as I know a home made trailer though.

In the case you describe it sounds like he was being tried in criminal court if up on manslaughter charges - its much harder to prove someone guilty in criminal court than it is in a civil liability case.......just ask OJ about that! He was found not guilty in criminal court twice but he got hammered in a civil case brought on by his victims families. Its a pretty good bet that if someone faced manslaughter chargers in criminal court that they stand a high chance of getting hit with a civil liability case as well.
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Old 05-10-2012, 07:38 AM   #119
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I think the issue here is that you are talking about vehicle fuel economy, and I am talking about ENGINE efficiency. Engines have gotten bigger, vehicles have gotten bigger, and in many cases, they get the same or better fuel economy. That's better efficiency. Unfortunately, trucks always seem to be in a battle for more horsepower. The Ecoboost seems to be something of a solution for this, albeit and expensive one.

The Rabbit diesel is a bad example, because it started with a 1.5 liter 48hp engine and weighed 2,145 pounds. A 2006 Rabbit (Golf) diesel has a 1.9 liter 100hp engine and weighs almost 3,000 pounds. Both cars get around 50 MPG. So, they added more than 800 pounds and more than DOUBLED the horsepower, and still get about the same fuel economy.

There are plenty of cars that get 40, 50, or more MPGs today... They just aren't sold here in the US -- even though many of them are MADE by American car companies! These cars are safer, more comfortable, and better appointed than econoboxes of the 80s and 90s, but they aren't pushing them here... Either because they don't think there is a market for them, or they aren't profitable enough, or because the EPA's standards are too hard to meet... Pick your reason.

Seriously, though... I have a van that is over 20 feet long and 8.5 feet high (6 feet of headroom), can (legally) haul over 4,000 pounds and tow 6,000 pounds here in the US... And gets 23 MPG, even with OVER 4,000 pounds of cargo in the back. Oh, and it is safer than typical American vans, too. And it does this with a 2.7 liter engine.
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:50 AM   #120
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Originally Posted by alan in alberta View Post
Any recomendations for a small SUV that can and should be towing up to 3500#'s??

i know my surfside is well under that but someday i may move up to a 17 foot escape so 3500# would suite my comfort level

toyota rav 4, escape , mitsubishi outlander ......Others ??? experience??
Alan I am in the same boat and have been looking around. I would like a 17' Escape as well some time in the not to distant future and would luv to find a vehicle to replace my Outback with thats *really* good in the snow (p/u's are not the best in that regard) and good on gas.

As Mike has suggested there are a number of small SUV that can handle the total weight of 3500lbs but the tongue weight is the deal killer. Currently know all to well what a pain it is to have to worry about what you stow or dont stow or what additions you make to the trailer or dont make to keep it within a lower tongue weight. I know I would be much happier with something with more rather than less tongue weight cap.

I have talked with a few folks towing the 17' Escape with the RAV4 and the issue of the lower tongue rating has come up more than once. Some of those folks have made some changes to what they bring along or dont bring along to keep the tongue weight down - others have added air bags to the rear suspension and other equipment to help out. As much as I would prefer to keep to a smaller SUV having been there and done that for the past five years I personally would be happier not having to worry about going over tongue caps. The other downside to the RAV4 that I noted is you cant open the back door all the way if the trailer is hitched. It would for me be a pain to have to unhitch the trailer just to get my golf bag out of the back or get a *big* dog out.

So far I have only been doing a fairly casual look at my options - some high on my list to explore further are the Highlander and the Acura MDX (although good for 5000lbs I am still not really clear on its tongue rate). The Mitsubishi Oulander XLS-S-AWC has a tow rating of 3500lbs and tongue of 350lbs but again I just think the 350lbs might be to limiting. Honda Pilot is another within the tow cap but again Im not totally clear on the tongue weight or what addn package you may need to purchase with it to get a tongue rating over 350lbs. Suspect there are a number of others to look at as well.

Now if I were to win the lotto and think I might head straight over to VW and bring home a Touareg..... one of the models has a 7000lb tow cap and tongue weight of over 600lbs. A few other smaller SUV options are the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 and MB ML 350 all have tow caps over 6000lbs and tongue weights of 600 or more....

On the other hand if Subaru suddenly decided to bring to NA an Outback with much higher tow cap and tongue cap than what they currently offer that without a doubt would be my first choose regardless of having won the lotto or not

If you find some other options **please*** share with us what you discover.
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:00 AM   #121
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Alan I am in the same boat and have been looking around. I would like a 17' Escape as well some time in the not to distant future and would luv to find a vehicle to replace my Outback with thats *really* good in the snow (p/u's are not the best in that regard) and good on gas.

As Mike has suggested there are a number of small SUV that can handle the total weight of 3500lbs but the tongue weight is the deal killer. Currently know all to well what a pain it is to have to worry about what you stow or dont stow or what additions you make to the trailer or dont make to keep it within a lower tongue weight. I know I would be much happier with something with more rather than less tongue weight cap.

I have talked with a few folks towing the 17' Escape with the RAV4 and the issue of the lower tongue rating has come up more than once. Some of those folks have made some changes to what they bring along or dont bring along to keep the tongue weight down - others have added air bags to the rear suspension and other equipment to help out. As much as I would prefer to keep to a smaller SUV having been there and done that for the past five years I personally would be happier not having to worry about going over tongue caps. The other downside to the RAV4 that I noted is you cant open the back door all the way if the trailer is hitched. It would for me be a pain to have to unhitch the trailer just to get my golf bag out of the back or get a *big* dog out.

So far I have only been doing a fairly casual look at my options - some high on my list to explore further are the Highlander and the Acura MDX (although good for 5000lbs I am still not really clear on its tongue rate). The Mitsubishi Oulander XLS-S-AWC has a tow rating of 3500lbs and tongue of 350lbs but again I just think the 350lbs might be to limiting. Honda Pilot is another within the tow cap but again Im not totally clear on the tongue weight or what addn package you may need to purchase with it to get a tongue rating over 350lbs. Suspect there are a number of others to look at as well.

Now if I were to win the lotto and think I might head straight over to VW and bring home a Touareg..... one of the models has a 7000lb tow cap and tongue weight of over 600lbs. A few other smaller SUV options are the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 and MB ML 350 all have tow caps over 6000lbs and tongue weights of 600 or more....

On the other hand if Subaru suddenly decided to bring to NA an Outback with much higher tow cap and tongue cap than what they currently offer that without a doubt would be my first choose regardless of having won the lotto or not

If you find some other options **please*** share with us what you discover.
How about the new Ford Explorer?

http://www.ford.com/suvs/explorer/
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:33 AM   #122
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How did I know Floyd when I wrote it, that you where going to suggest a Ford!

Your right though I need to forget the allergy I developed to their products based on past experiences - lots seemed to have changed with them in recent years. Suspect GM also may have a something that does the trick as well although I my have more trouble getting over may allergy to them as I am still stinging from the hit my investment portfolo took in regards to their past history
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:16 PM   #123
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How did I know Floyd when I wrote it, that you where going to suggest a Ford!

Your right though I need to forget the allergy I developed to their products based on past experiences - lots seemed to have changed with them in recent years. Suspect GM also may have a something that does the trick as well although I my have more trouble getting over my allergy to them as I am still stinging from the hit my investment portfolo took in regards to their past history
Buy a Toyota!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:52 PM   #124
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The Rabbit diesel is a bad example, because it started with a 1.5 liter 48hp engine and weighed 2,145 pounds. A 2006 Rabbit (Golf) diesel has a 1.9 liter 100hp engine and weighs almost 3,000 pounds. Both cars get around 50 MPG. So, they added more than 800 pounds and more than DOUBLED the horsepower, and still get about the same fuel economy.
One of the great advantages of diesel engines is their part-load fuel efficiency. So unlike with a petrol/gas engine, there isn't a huge penalty for fitting a large diesel engine, for the rare occasion when you want/need the extra power/torque, and then driving around in a way that only needs a small engine.

For example, using a BMW 5 series sedan, just because BMW offer a wide range of diesel engines, the 2 litre diesel engine makes 180hp/280ft-lb and produces a combined Euro economy figure of 50mpg. The most powerful 3 litre diesel makes 310hp/440 ft-lb but still gets 44mpg combined. Those are miles per US gallon, but the Euro economy test is only about as harsh as the old EPA one.
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #125
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One of the great advantages of diesel engines is their part-load fuel efficiency.
Andrew do the newer diesel engines have a lot less issues with cold weather starts than those of the past decade?? Reason I ask is many of the mountains where I go to ski it gets down into -20C or greater for a few days -30C isnt unheard of. In the past I know friends with diesel engines had problems starting them if they had been sitting for a few days in that temp and block heaters where not use. Just wondering if that has changed and if I should reconsider diesel as an option.
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Old 05-10-2012, 03:12 PM   #126
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There has to be some good advice out there somewhere.

Any recomendations for a small SUV that can and should be towing up to 3500#'s??

toyota rav 4, escape , mitsubishi outlander ......Others ??? experience??
For a small SUV the BMW X3 would be my first choice. For the weights you are looking at it would be creme de creme. For less money you have other options but the performance will not be comparable.
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