Frontier vs Tacoma for Escape 5.0? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-09-2014, 02:52 PM   #15
Raz
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Originally Posted by Roke W View Post
We've been thinking 2WD but lots of folks seem to have 4WD vehicles. Would we be better off with 4WD?
While I've used the 4wd on occasion when camping the main reason I own a 4wd is because I live in snow country. Here in Vermont when it comes time to sell, you can't give a 2wd pickup away. Raz
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Roke W View Post
We've been thinking 2WD but lots of folks seem to have 4WD vehicles. Would we be better off with 4WD?
In some cases such as the Nissan Frontier the 2WD has a much lower pay load cap & tow cap than a 4 WD. I am always going to go for a 4 WD as I like to ski in the winter and travel on snow covered roads.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Maxamillion View Post
My Questions:
Can you users give me some advice on a configuration (SUV/Truck and trailer) and give me your positives and negatives?

I also like the SUBARU Forester, but hesitate, since I have always driven a truck. Not sure a smaller vehicle like the Forester will have enough power in the mountains. The vehicle will be my "every day" vehicle and my travel vehicle. I am thrifty .... not cheap .. and want the best ... most cost effective vehicle and trailer.
Welcome to the forum, Cheryl!

Sounds like you are thinking this whole thing through carefully. I do agree a small fiberglass trailer makes a lot of sense for a single person. It means you can have a tow vehicle that makes a reasonable daily driver. That said, there is a big difference between a Forester and a 4Runner in terms of economy and towing capability. The Forester is really going to limit how big a trailer you can have. The 4Runner comes with a bigger price and fuel bill. For that reason, I would be inclined to pick your trailer first. Then you can determine the most reliable/functional/efficient tow vehicle with the capability you need.

Attending a rally is a good way to have a chance to look inside a number of different sizes and makes. The thread Trailer Weights in the Real World is a good place to find out what different units actually weigh when loaded for travel, since manufacturer's dry weights are often misleading (there is a nice downloadable spreadsheet in post #267).

No doubt, a Toyota 4Runner pulling an Escape 19' would be a nice combo. Pricey, but nice. Both are known for good build quality. Some would consider 19' overkill for one person, but only you can decide what works for you. There are lots of options out there!
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:49 PM   #18
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Jon is right. Trailer first, tug second. Don't fall in love with a trailer, then find out the tug you just bought can't tow it.

All manners of tugs are found on every street corner of a major metropolitan city. Trailers will be found miles and miles away!
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Old 09-09-2014, 09:35 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roke W View Post
We've been thinking 2WD but lots of folks seem to have 4WD vehicles. Would we be better off with 4WD?
I would buy a limited slip differential, but I would not buy a 4WD for towing. There are several reasons, but one outstanding reason is that I would not take a fiberglass trailer anywhere 4WD was needed.
Having been a fleet mechanic I have just changed too many front hubs, half shafts transfer case components etc. The 4WD parts are not only extra weight, but are also superfluous if not redundant. They also hog most of the maintenance cost and rob fuel economy.

In twenty-five plus years of driving 2WD Rangers where drifts often have to be removed with payloaders and dump trucks, I have never been stuck.
No sandbags over the axle either.
4WD has its place of course, but for on-road towing of a fiberglass trailer, the cost and liabilities outweigh the advantages by some margin. IMNSHO.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:50 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I would buy a limited slip differential, but I would not buy a 4WD for towing. There are several reasons, but one outstanding reason is that I would not take a fiberglass trailer anywhere 4WD was needed.....
There are other reasons for not wanting a 4x4. Insurance is one. I purchased a 2014 Ford F-150 (w/ ecoboost) in April of this year. In order to get everything else I wanted, I had to purchase the 4x4. DANG. I even promised my insurance carrier, I would NEVER go out of 2-wheel drive, didn't matter... it's by VIN.

AND, I have a 36 gallon fuel tank, instead of the 24 gallon tank on the 2-wheel drive. I KNOW, I KNOW.. in the end the fuel doesn't cost any more by pump. But spending more than $100 for a fillup, BITES!

Good thing I really like my truck or I'd drive it over a cliff.

And as a good friend of mine has told me... these suckers come with a "mortgage."
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:33 PM   #21
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I've towed some pretty good loads with my '09 TRD Sport 4x4. 16' 15k lbs rated double axle flat deck trailer that weighs about 2k lbs with 4k lbs of tractor & implements on it. That pretty much hits about the 6.5k lbs tow rating... And it felt like it.

I had power to get the job done if I flogged it. Suspension was feeling it good, but holding up, same with the brakes.

I ended up getting a $4k F250 farm truck. While the Tacoma got the job done barely, it was at its rated limits & felt like it.

I also often towed my 7x14 double axle cargo trailer. Not sure how much load, but I never had any real issues pulling it. It crossed the rockies towing a 3/4 full trailer struggling to keep at 70. Pretty fast for that load & grade.

As my daily driver it gets 20mpg with my leadish foot. Towing can go as low as 12mpg, usually 15-16.

My main issue with it these days is its not an economy commuter car with great MPG or a 3/4 ton truck, its somewhere in between. That use to fit me, but since moving rural I need more optimized vehicles.


Sent from my A0001 using Fiberglass RV mobile app
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roke W View Post
We've been thinking 2WD but lots of folks seem to have 4WD vehicles. Would we be better off with 4WD?
Hi: Roke W... Personal choice 2 or 4 wh. drive. At year end discount time there were more 4X4's avail. Dealer had to do a search for a white truck for us. The height at the rear axle needed to be within a certain limit as set by the trailer pin box. There is adjustment avail... but only so much.
Changing from a 2wd GMC Sierra @ 51" tall to a 4wd Nissan Frontier @ 49" tall was fairly easy. We let the pinbox out one set of bolt holes... Level
Changing from a 5.0 to a 5.0TA we dropped the hitch plate one set of bolt holes... Level.
With a 6100# tow cap. and a cargo cap. at 1100# we are still in range with the new 5.0TA.
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:16 PM   #23
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Roke, A few other things to think about that others haven't already touched on. If you envision boondocking with a small generator and spare fuel can, it's nice to have an outside ventilated truck bed so the gas fumes stay out of the tow vehicle and camper cabins. If you think you might be travelling in hot weather or with a pet, it's nice to have an SUV so you have extra room for your pet and ice cooler inside the climate-controlled tow vehicle cabin. A king cab style pickup provides the best of both worlds and is currently a very popular choice. Personally, we currently tow an EggCamper with a 2002 3.0L V6 Highlander. The Highlander handles the EggCamper, us and all of our stuff just fine. Actual fuel mileage is 23 MPG when not towing, 13 MPG when towing. Our 1999 Ford F250 extended frame 4x4 diesel gets way better mileage towing, but it's not a fun vehicle to run around and play tourist in once you get to a camp site, and the heavy-duty clutch and long-reach standard transmission stick shift are more than my wife likes to mess with when shifting gears. We've looked closely at the Tacoma and Frontier and like them both. We like the Frontier a bit more for its functionality over whistles and bells. And I'm still scratching my head over that "composite" (not steal) bed on the Tacoma. But for now, we're waiting to see what kind of reviews the new remodeled Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon get when they come out later this year - especially with their new small diesel engine offering coming out early next year. I can see a GMC Canyon king cab with a small diesel engine and long bed being a nice fit for us, our EggCamper and the kinds of "stuff" we drag along with us when we camp. We'd be happy to be tempted by a similar up-scaled mid-sized Ford pickup if Ford would ever decide to bring their Ranger back onto the American market. I think a scaled-up Ford Ranger king cab with a V6 Eco-boost would sell big, but apparently Ford doesn't agree with me. Luckily, we're not in a hurry and have time to sit back and see how others get along with the new models first. Dale
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:52 PM   #24
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Roke, A few other things to think about that others haven't already touched on. If you envision boondocking with a small generator and spare fuel can, it's nice to have an outside ventilated truck bed so the gas fumes stay out of the tow vehicle and camper cabins. If you think you might be travelling in hot weather or with a pet, it's nice to have an SUV so you have extra room for your pet and ice cooler inside the climate-controlled tow vehicle cabin. A king cab style pickup provides the best of both worlds and is currently a very popular choice. Personally, we currently tow an EggCamper with a 2002 3.0L V6 Highlander. The Highlander handles the EggCamper, us and all of our stuff just fine. Actual fuel mileage is 23 MPG when not towing, 13 MPG when towing. Our 1999 Ford F250 extended frame 4x4 diesel gets way better mileage towing, but it's not a fun vehicle to run around and play tourist in once you get to a camp site, and the heavy-duty clutch and long-reach standard transmission stick shift are more than my wife likes to mess with when shifting gears. We've looked closely at the Tacoma and Frontier and like them both. We like the Frontier a bit more for its functionality over whistles and bells. And I'm still scratching my head over that "composite" (not steal) bed on the Tacoma. But for now, we're waiting to see what kind of reviews the new remodeled Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon get when they come out later this year - especially with their new small diesel engine offering coming out early next year. I can see a GMC Canyon king cab with a small diesel engine and long bed being a nice fit for us, our EggCamper and the kinds of "stuff" we drag along with us when we camp. We'd be happy to be tempted by a similar up-scaled mid-sized Ford pickup if Ford would ever decide to bring their Ranger back onto the American market. I think a scaled-up Ford Ranger king cab with a V6 Eco-boost would sell big, but apparently Ford doesn't agree with me. Luckily, we're not in a hurry and have time to sit back and see how others get along with the new models first. Dale
I had an old '86 Toyota pickup years ago & after dealing with no cab space in the standard cab swore I'd never get another standard cab. Days after I got my brand new '09 Access Cab I knew I'd made a mistake & should have gotten the double cab. For the Tacoma Access cab & double cab, the trucks are the same length & frame, the double cab just eats up a bit of bed space. Anything that's close to fitting in the bed or not is always 1-2" to long. Should have gotten usable passenger haulage space.

My 6 year old "plastic" bed looks as good if not better than a metal bed of similar vintage despite having overloaded it with gravel & done plenty of other truck stuff with it. A few people have broken theirs from what I've heard, but realistically there haven't been any significant or systemic problems with them.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:14 PM   #25
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Frontier owner's manual disagrees

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
In some cases such as the Nissan Frontier the 2WD has a much lower pay load cap & tow cap than a 4 WD. I am always going to go for a 4 WD as I like to ski in the winter and travel on snow covered roads.
My 2007 Frontier owner's manual says its towing capacities are:
King Cab 4 cyl 2WD - 3,500 lb
King Cab 6 cyl 2WD - 6,500 lb
King Cab 6 cyl 4WD - 6,300 lb
Crew Cab 6 cyl 2WD - 6,300 lb
Crew Cab 6 cyl 4WD - 6,100 lb

The GCRW is 11,133 lb on all 6 cyl
I expect other years are similar.

I don't think the clearance is much, if any, different between 2 & 4WD, MPG is better on 2WD, and I don't want to take my Scamp 19 off-road very much as I don't think they're built for that sort of abuse.

We're very happy with the long bed 2WD towing the Scamp.

David
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I would buy a limited slip differential, but I would not buy a 4WD for towing. There are several reasons, but one outstanding reason is that I would not take a fiberglass trailer anywhere 4WD was needed.
Having been a fleet mechanic I have just changed too many front hubs, half shafts transfer case components etc. The 4WD parts are not only extra weight, but are also superfluous if not redundant. They also hog most of the maintenance cost and rob fuel economy.

In twenty-five plus years of driving 2WD Rangers where drifts often have to be removed with payloaders and dump trucks, I have never been stuck.
No sandbags over the axle either.
4WD has its place of course, but for on-road towing of a fiberglass trailer, the cost and liabilities outweigh the advantages by some margin. IMNSHO.
On the other hand, 4WD is great for those who want to unhook the trailer at the CG and spend time exploring some back-country trails.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:07 PM   #27
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And just in case it's on your bucket list

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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
*In twenty-five plus years of driving 2WD Rangers where drifts often have to be removed with payloaders and dump trucks, I have never been stuck.
*No sandbags over the axle either.*
. IMNSHO.
Floyd, let me extend an open invitation for you to come visit Maggie and me next January. Should you make it up the long, steep, winding dirt road that leads to our home, I will gladly make you all the pancakes and real Vermont maple syrup you can eat. If you get stuck, I have a 4wd truck, a good sturdy chain, a 4 Ton come-a-long, a tractor, and a camera to record the memories. After we pull you out, we'll have pancakes anyway. Let me know , Raz
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:07 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Stretcher View Post
My 2007 Frontier owner's manual says its towing capacities are:
King Cab 4 cyl 2WD - 3,500 lb
King Cab 6 cyl 2WD - 6,500 lb
King Cab 6 cyl 4WD - 6,300 lb
Crew Cab 6 cyl 2WD - 6,300 lb
Crew Cab 6 cyl 4WD - 6,100 lb

The GCRW is 11,133 lb on all 6 cyl
I expect other years are similar.


David
For those considering a 5th wheel or a hitch heavy trailer its actually the "Payload" one needs to pay special attention to when shopping for a Frontier - very different by each model and option package - i.e. SE SV Pro 4x as well as king cab which is less than the crew cab.
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