Help me find the best tow vehicle please - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-01-2012, 02:14 PM   #15
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My purpose was not to encourage the Crv but to dispel the mpg and wheel spinning to some measure
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:26 PM   #16
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We have a Nissan Frontier and a Subaru Forester. Both will tow our 13' Trillium. For local camping trips the Subaru does a good job although the clutch/ gearing on hills is proving problematic. Not towing, it is great daily drive. Fun and very practical. But, for long distance interstate towing the truck is my vehicle of choice. When you get into traffic especially, with big trucks, the size and power are a big asset. It just feels safer. And like others have said, towing, the mpg between the two is close. Raz
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #17
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We have the 09 Mariner 245hp AWD. Now the Escape, 25 mpg highway don't know city.
I've pulled our Bigfoot with it and it got 12.5 mpg. It pulled fine.
I prefer using my truck since we have one. The Bigfoot front end is bigger and flat.
A 16-17 foot would pull like a dream, it would be my first choice. I pulled a 16' Casita back from SC and didn't know it was behind me.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:11 PM   #18
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Same here, with 2 tow vehicles, when I tow within state I prefer my FJ cruiser, but out of state I prefer the truck, bigger and more powerful for the mountain grades.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #19
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By "small SUV's", I presume you mean "CUV's", or Crossover Utility Vehicles...

My current favorite in that group is the Honda Pilot 4wd. Its ready-to-tow package consists in part of:
Quote:
Standard equipment like an integrated Class III trailer hitch, heavy-duty radiator and fluid coolers means the Pilot comes ready with most of what you need for some serious hauling—up to 4,500 pounds (4WD)[1]. And the Touring model includes a trailer harness that provides electrical power to the trailer lights.
[1] Maximum towing capacity for 4WD models is 4,500 lbs. Premium unleaded fuel is recommended when towing above 3,500 lbs. Maximum towing capacity for 2WD models is 2,000 lbs. Towing requires the addition of the Honda accessory towing kit, trailer harness and hitch ball. Trailer harness is standard on Touring models. Please see your Honda dealer for details.
In my opinion, the most brilliant part of that setup is the integrated hitch. The manufacturer itself has in effect built a weight-distribution hitch system right into the (unibody) vehicle, presumably providing for/overcoming the lack-of-frame issues associated with aftermarket additions of W/D setups to unibodies. This feature totally eliminates any temptation to add such a setup, which people are often tempted/persuaded to do despite manufacturers of unibody vehicles' well-known warnings against doing so.

Francesca

P.S.:

I don't own a Pilot, but if my refuses-to-die Kia Sportage ever finally gives up the ghost, I'll be looking seriously at the Pilot!

F.
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Old 12-01-2012, 03:55 PM   #20
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Raz,
Why is the clutch/gearing on the Subaru problematic? What does that mean? Is there a problem with the clutch or dors it mean you hsve to shift a lot?

Curoous because a Subaru is a future possibility
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:11 PM   #21
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I think by "Integrated" that they mean that it's integrated with the bumper and the hitch cover. I'd have to see the actual hitch before I'd go so far as to say it's actually integrated into the entire unibody any better then most bolt on hitches for uni-body frames. I'd bet it's actually bolted on as well, much in the same manner that the CRV has bolt pads provided for the factory & after-market Class 3 hitches. The CRV hitch isn't integrated because it hangs down below the rear bumper. And they didn't make any mention of it being suitable for a w/d hitch, just the genuine Honda hitch/ball component.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #22
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I've been happy with my Highlander. At 5000 lb tow/500 tongue rating, it has plenty and to spare. A lower rating could limit you on tongue weight and cause you to exclude the Casita 17 from consideration... or might just cause you to worry a lot about your hitch weight. But if a 16 is all you ever wanted, I'd say the Rav4 (2012 is the last year for the V6 though) would be great.

My Highlander gets 23 mpg highway, and used to get 14 towing the Burro.

Other possibilities: Ford Flex, Chevy Traverse.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:56 PM   #23
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When I looked at the Highlander this year, it required premium gas, is this true?
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:07 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Raz,
Why is the clutch/gearing on the Subaru problematic? What does that mean? Is there a problem with the clutch or dors it mean you hsve to shift a lot?

Curoous because a Subaru is a future possibility
I seem to recall that Raz indicated his new Forester towed well but he was having troubles getting use to the new type of hill clutch assist that they put in the manual transmission models. The Forester unlike the Outback doesnt have a way to turn it off apparently.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:16 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
If you want to pull a loaded 16-17 foot you need to look for about a 4000 lb towing capacity, and that rules out all "Small" SUV's and almost anything else that gets decent MPG's.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce H View Post
I believe that towing a trailer close to the maximum weight rating of your tow vehicle carries greater risk. I know that doing so is more stressful and tiring on longer trips.
I agree with Bob concerning the 17' Casitas only. Their heavier average tongue weight (due to longer axle-to-coupler ratio) requires a heartier tow vehicle. However, I believe most 16' trailers are fine with a tow vehicle that has a 3500 lb limit.

I also believe everything in life carries some amount of risk. The question then becomes how much risk are you comfortable accepting?

The most often given recommendation is to never tow a trailer heavier than 80% of the tow vehicle's maximum capacity rating. This is for risk averse people, in other words people who cannot tolerate much risk at all, and seek to minimize it as much as possible. These folks choose either a larger tow vehicle or a smaller trailer; or do both.

I fall into the middle group who is comfortable accepting the greater risk of towing closer to my tow vehicle's maximum United States capacity rating; but I would get uncomfortable towing over that limit as a continual practice. My Honda Odyssey has a maximum capacity of towing a 3500 pound trailer and my Fiber Stream weighed 3300 pounds the last time I checked. The payoff of accepting greater risk is a little better fuel economy when not towing, as I must depend on the Odyssey for more than just towing. I thoughtfully weighed all of the costs and benefits; have modified my towing behavior, and accept the risks of my choice.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Tail <a title=Light Closed.jpg Views: 22 Size: 79.8 KB ID: 53295" style="margin: 2px" />"I get 16 MPG towing at 55 MPH."

A smaller percentage of people, for whatever reason, feel a need to maximize their return on investment. They look for the absolute best fuel economy in a tow vehicle coupled with the most trailer they can justify hauling. They quote the European towing capacities insisting they are valid here in the US of A. I have no quarrel with these people as long as they own up to the risks they take and try to mitigate them.

I think we are all afraid of the person who is totally clueless about risk and its presence in everyday life. They take risks that endanger everyone around them if not themselves. They try something that looks OK to them, and if they escape consequences that first time, believe there aren't any. This is the person we don't want the original poster to become.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:29 PM   #26
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Honda Pilot integrated hitch: integrated with bumper, bolted on to unibody

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I think by "Integrated" that they mean that it's integrated with the bumper...
Exactly true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
I'd have to see the actual hitch before I'd go so far as to say it's actually integrated into the entire unibody any better then most bolt on hitches for uni-body frames. I'd bet it's actually bolted on as well, much in the same manner that the CRV has bolt pads provided for the factory & after-market Class 3 hitches.
I had a look at a Pilot about a week ago: yes, the hitch receiver also serves as the bumper support bar, and it is indeed bolted into the unibody. This is what I expected, as I mentioned previously. Also as I mentioned at that time, this design is not unique to the Pilot.

Anyone can look for themselves - just get down on your hands and knees and look under the bumper. It's quite obvious - the similar design in the VW Touareg is more difficult to see due to the more enveloping bumper cover and the higher mounting points.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:58 PM   #27
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Integrated hitch receiver: not a WDH

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
...My current favorite in that group is the Honda Pilot 4wd...

In my opinion, the most brilliant part of that setup is the integrated hitch. The manufacturer itself has in effect built a weight-distribution hitch system right into the (unibody) vehicle, presumably providing for/overcoming the lack-of-frame issues associated with aftermarket additions of W/D setups to unibodies.
I've seen this remark before (see Honda Pilot to tow 17' SD? and bonaire oxigen towing question), but this is a more extensive version. It still makes no sense to me.

The statement that the integration of the Pilot's receiver with the bumper has anything like the effect of a weight-distributing hitch (WDH) suggests to me a complete lack of understanding of what a WDH does. So... Francesca, what do you think a WDH does?

The Pilot's integrated receiver hitch is nothing more than a strong square box in the vehicle's structure, just like every other receiver. Honda's online feature description for the Integrated Class III Trailer Hitch makes no suggestion otherwise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Francesca Knowles View Post
This feature totally eliminates any temptation to add such a setup, which people are often tempted/persuaded to do despite manufacturers of unibody vehicles' well-known warnings against doing so.
My reaction is completely to the contrary: the sound structure of this receiver makes it better suited to the varying torque loads of WDH use than some of the more tenuously attached receivers. The relatively high towing capacity of the Pilot (compared to typical passenger vehicles) in combination with relatively short wheelbase makes the use of WDH more appropriate.

Not only do the manufacturers of many unibody vehicles permit the use of a WDH, it may be required for the highest allowable hitch weight. In the case of a 2004-2010 Toyota Sienna (and probably newer years as well), the hitch weight limit is 350 lb weight-carrying, and 525 lb weight-distributing.
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Old 12-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #28
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Someone over @ Escape tows a 19' with a Pilot, not sure if a w/d is used.
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